Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
Today is my 6th year anniversary of my first geocache find with my family – My Geo-versary as it were. That’s not when my Geocaching adventure first started!
At my friend’s 4th of July party in 2013, I was having a lively conversation about family day. My Dad was still living in the United States so my sister and I carried on the tradition of Family Day every Sunday. I casually mentioned that watching movies and drinking were only last so long before it ends up boring.
I followed up with my plan to host a photo scavenger hunt for my birthday party in 2014 which I already laid out the groundwork. I suggested that I continue my grand ideas with a GPS based scavenger hunt instead of photos …
My friend, Sidney and her mom, both look at me befuddled.
She asks, “Are you serious?”
“If you’re asking about my sincerity of the statement,” I pause, “Yes, very much so. Why do you ask?”
Her Mom pipes up, “Because that game exists already.”
“OH!” I exclaim. “Well good, now I don’t have to invent anything. What’s the game called?”
“Geocaching,” Sidney answers.
I pause to think. “Geo for earth or Earth-like, and cache like a bin or container, yeah?”
They nod their heads, “Something like it. Search for the Geocaching game, sign up, and go from there. Knowing you, you’ll like it.”
That night I signed up: July 2nd 2013. However, it would be almost a full year later before I picked it up.
Distracted As Usual
As a busy Aquarian I was distracted by other activities that year: photography trips, survival 5K runs, general socializing as a single guy trying to find a partner, etc. And shortly into 2014 I was living by myself, so I had some down time, if you wanna call it that.
I roamed around the Geocaching website after watching the 75 second introduction to the game video. I used my new address to be the center point for the Geocache Map. Apparently there were quite a few in the Renton area, so I picked the closest one to me: across the street. I read the description, and all the pertinent information before printing it.
With the built-in compass on my mobile phone in one hand, the piece of paper in the other, I set out to find my first geocache. I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for that day, and after 6 years of playing, I now know that no one really ever knows.
I didn’t find it.
I logged my entry online as did not find, or DNF. For the next Sunday Family Day, I used my Dad’s address, also in Renton, for a close geocache. I proposed that with 3 people searching we would certainly find it.
We didn’t find it – after an hour of searching.
You’d think I would’ve been frustrated enough to stop. I understood the potential for fun, the collaborative skill usage, and so much more, plus I was super pissed off that I couldn’t find at least one of these so-called, geocaches.
I was determined to make this work! I searched the interwebs, discussion boards (if you even remember those!), and Facebook to conclude one thought: get the app.
I had an iPhone at the time, so there I stared at the iTunes applications to buy. The official Geocaching app, only $9.99. THIS IS ROBBERY! At this time, all other apps were .99 or $1.99. Regardless, I bought it and downloaded it.
It revolutionized our game play! Which brings me to that fateful day … May 11, 2014.
The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning
I suggested, actually pleaded with my Dad and sister to try Geocaching one more time. If we don’t find one, then I’ll never bring it up. Thankfully they relented, and agreed to one more attempt.
The app had a ton of information including a compass to the posted coordinates. It led us to the Whistle Stop Ale House in Renton. We concluded that the accuracy was this +/- 20 feet as it’s not military grade gear.
We started with the bench outside of the ale house. After a few minutes, the hostess popped outside, “Are y’all looking for the geocache?”
“YES!” we answer.
“Ok, only a couple of hints. It’s not inside a building, it’s not buried, but it’s hidden from plain sight. And lastly, the bench is where it’s at.”
We renewed our search. As I moved my hand along the metal, I accidentally brushed off a container that was only held there by a magnet (see picture above) We picked it up, opened it, damn near lost the logbook as it tumbled toward the street, and lastly inked the logbook, and put it back exactly where we found it so others can enjoy.
You’d think we would run into the ale house for celebratory beers. Nope, we wanted to find more geocache now that we had been de-virginized! We were instantly addicted and ran off to find a couple more before we ran out of daylight … then we did have beers to celebrate Team Bayne’s efforts.
So I consider this day, May 11th, my geo-versary date versus the date I signed up on the website and did nothing for a year.
Be good like you should, and if you can’t be good … be good at what you do!
More from me later,