Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cashing in on the Caches

The days are getting shorter, winter is right around the corner, and I can feel the onset of PMS (parked motorcycle syndrome). As you may have gathered (rather presumptious of me to assume anybody else is reading this), I am a bit over zealous about chasin stuff. (God forbid I used the word compulsive). Over the past year, I have been casually researching another form of treasure hunting, but really have done nothing about it other than just read. Well I finally decided it was time to stop testing the water with my pointer finger and to dive in. I got one of these.

I really should buy stock in Garmin, since I seem to buying all their stock. But alas I digress (which is my prerogative, afterall it is my blog). So now I am equiped with the equipment to execute this new hobby. (and I thought simply buying a motorcycle would be the only purchase for that hobby). So what is this new obsession, I mean passion to see the world.

G E O C A C H I N G !!!

Yup I am gonna go out in the woods and walk around and get healthy and be one with nature and associate with the Audobon Society and become a member of the Sierra Club and maybe join the NRA and the Peace Corp and and ...hey hey I am gettng a carried away here. I am just gonna search for stuff and of course I will use the Connie for getting to those places that are simply too far to walk to (anything over a 1/4 mile)

There are a couple of sites that I have found which assists (read enable) one to partake in this endeavor.

For Geocaching click this part of the sentence, see you have already started to get the hang of it, you found your first treasure

Geocaching is the hunt for caches that people hid in various places around the world and provide the coordinates to find the caches. The caches are containers, hopefully weatherproof, and can be be as large as a Gallon jug or as small as a thumbnail. Heres some examples of the containers. According to the above site there are 673,265 sites hidden, so I shouldn't run out of places to find any time soon

The caches contain things such as log (a small note pad) for signing, a pen and pencil, and other trinkets. I have seen notes on some caches that say a Hamilton for FTF, which my interpretation is $50 for the First to Find. Caches can contain TravelBugs and Geocoins, which travel from cache to cache, gathering stories along the way. Each one has an unique ID and is logged into the Inet so you can follow it around the world.

Included in the GeoCaching world is another from of caching called Benchmarking. These are official markers placed and verified by the National Geodetic Survey ("NGS") that can be found using the yellow thing above. The following is an example of a benchmark. You can find benchmarks at the Geocache site too


Oh its the little brass thing next to me. Benchmarks can also be a church spire, the dome on a building, an antenna or any type of marker that can be located and relatively permanent.

Waymarks were once part of GeoCaching called virtual caches, however they have been established as their own sport called Waymarking. There are tons of categories of waymarks which can be found here.

We then have a sport called Letterboxing, which has their own site too. As described best by the site "LETTERBOXING is an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming "treasure hunt" style outdoor quest. A wide variety of adventures can be found to suit all ages and experience levels."

Yup a new hobby that fits right in with riding, just a little more gear to take with me, but alot more places to go.

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