It started with a flick of a switch, figuratively speaking.
In early May 2000, selective availability for 24 satellites around the world became open to everyday people, thus making GPS receivers that much more accurate. The government removed the selective availability, giving people the chance to pinpoint their location.
Just one day later, Dave Ulmer went out and placed the first geocache, calling the idea the “Great American GPS Stash Hunt.” His idea was to hide something in the woods, note the coordinates and get people to come find it. The rules? “Take some stuff, leave some stuff.”
Within three days, two people found it and told about their experiences. People then started hiding “stashes” of their own.
The game of geocaching has since grown. There are more than 2.7 million active geocaches hidden around the world as well as more than 6 million people playing this game.
Unfortunately, the original “geocache” is no longer with us. It was swept up in some cleaning. One of the original items – a can of beans – was recovered and it currently appears at some Mega events and such for people to see. The history of the game – in a can form.
On top of that, an historical marker was placed at the first site to show the beginning of geocaching. It’s also a geocache, allowing people to come from all over the world to see where it started. It’s not like the baseball Hall of Fame or anything, but in the short history (15 years) of the game, it’s still pretty cool. People flock to this spot to see this marker and to nab the cache.
This cache has 2,665 favorite points and more than 9,500 finds. That’s pretty impressive and makes it one of the most found caches in the world.
There’s some history to this cache, for sure, so it was neat to find and see. There were some others close by that were fun to do as well.
It’s right on the side of the road, though. A small pull-off area was next to it, so people could park. When we were there, a few others were also there so it was nice to meet up with some people and such. The photos of the plaque are out there so I had seen if before, but it was still cool to check it out in person.
This is definitely something that should be on a geocacher’s list to do, even if just for the historical ramifications. Everything had to start somewhere, right? This is where geocaching began, so it’s nice to look back at the spot.
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