Geo what?

Geocaching is a sport, or more precisely a giant global fantasy roll playing game in which people using hand held GPS units go out into the wild and search for hidden treasure. I got dragged into this game by my wife, who became an avid geocacher after going to a demonstration sponsored by the local Unitarian church.

The treasures are plastic food containers, ammunition boxes, magnetic key holders and other
mostly water tight objects, filled with trinkets, small toys, collectible items and a logbook. They are everywhere! I have found them at the public boat launching ramp, on a footbridge, on a college campus, on the undercarriage a permanently parked railroad car, attached to the base of a statue and way back in the spooky old woods. Each find is logged on the geocaching.com website Here you see the ugly mug of this blog’s author, who is holding a cache container found somewhere on the shore of the Chesapeake bay.

Caches can also hold items called “travel bugs” and “geocoins,” which travel from cache to cache in the hands of their lucky discoverers. Each of these items has it’s own log so that their owners and other interested parties can track their progress through the world. The photo shows the “Hopewell’s Snow Wolf” geocoin which I found in the middle of downtown Salisbury. I put it in another cache, but I’m not going to tell you where.

Pretty objects, like geocoins sometime disappear from geocaches, so some cachers have begun to put pictures of their coins into caches and keep the actual geocoin in their own treasure trove. Occasionally a cache will be “muggled,” or found and disturbed, stolen or vandalized by persons unknown. Geocachers are always on the alert for “muggles” when they are out geocaching. Stealth is required so as not to be observed finding and opening a cache.

There are geocaches hidden in every corner of the world. Even if you didn’t get a letter from Hogwarts you don’t have to be a muggle all your life. All you need to do is register online to join the Order of the Geocache.

The Groundspeak Geocaching Logo is a registered trademark of Groundspeak, Inc. Used with permission.

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