I realize not everyone “gets” geocaching.
In fact, I’ve been asked several times why I do such a thing.
The questions are usually something along the lines of …
“Wait, let me get this straight. You go hiking out in the woods, or drive around, looking for a box that somebody placed? And you don’t get anything out of the box?”
That is correct.
Geocaching, like anything else, is a game people play for various reasons. Whether it’s the thrill of the hunt, being outside, getting exercise or spending time with family, the game means different things to different people.
This past Sunday reminded me why this game really is so much fun.
Two of us headed to the Ithaca area to do a new cache series that would take us around Cayuga Lake. There were 20 geocaches in this series, and as long as you found at least 15 of them, you received an unactivated geocoin. For those who are geocachers, you know all about geocoins. For those not into the game, basically, a geocoin is a trackable item. So if you release it into the world, it can move from cache to cache, picking up mileage as it goes along.
If they are released, they are not something you keep. But some people (me included) will purchase coins or whatever and keep them as part of a personal collection. I have a pretty nice collection of coins, but am looking to release proxy versions (using the trackable number, but not the coin) to get them traveling. I’m trying to decide the best way to do it.
So, besides knowing a coin was on the line, it also gave a good reason to get outside, see some great things and enjoy the outdoors some (though, to be fair, it was a bit hotter than expected and I wasn’t ready for it to be that hot!)
This was a day I needed.
It was good to get out and get some fresh air. To take a few walks and get to see and smell nature. To find a few caches (32, to be exact!) and sign some log books. To drop off some geocoins and travel bugs so they could continue their journeys. And to just get away from life a little and be able to smile and not worry about anything else.
All of the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byways Geotrail caches were quite easy to find. We ended up finding all 20. Most of they were pretty cool in that they took us to decent places. There were a handful, however, where we wondered how this was part of a “scenic byway,” outside of being near the lake. One or two left us wondering if they were last-second placements.
But, it was enjoyable.
A couple of wineries were on the trail, so it was neat to stop in those. In fact, one had a note in a cache where if you went in and mentioned geocaching, you got a tasting for free. I’m not a wine guy, so I stuck to some lemonade.
Some of the non-trail caches we found were older ones, too. Being able to find a cache that is nearly 10 years old — and still in the original container with the original logbook — is really quite cool.
In the end, it was a fun-filled day. Geocaching is one of those things you can do on your own, with friends, with family, with kids or with whoever. It can be as hard or easy as you make it. For those wondering, we started in Ithaca, went up the east side of lake, then down the west side. It was about 95 miles and with 31 caches, it took us about seven hours, give or take.
And if you pick the right series, you can earn some cool things, such as this coin.
If you want more info about the game, I have a Geocaching 101 series I’ve been working on and post here sometimes. You can see all those posts by clicking here.
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!