Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cacheing in

My friend Kris was in town.  He gets in usually once or twice a year, this time it had been a full year since he last graced the hallowed halls of the Pacific Northwest.  We'd been talking a while back and he told me he and his wife had started Geocaching.  Now - a slight explanation for those who might not be familiar with Geocaching.  It's basically hide and seek for computer geeks.  Really.  Someone will go and hide a "cache" and then go onto the Geocaching website ( and post it's location in GPS coordinates.  This is the geek part since you need a GPS or something along those lines to FIND said cache.  Then once you find the cache you mark the log in the cache...depending on it's type you can put a little doo-dad in there and then go back to the site and brag that youf found it.  Or in some cases cry that you didn't. Anyway that's Geocaching in a nutshell, except for the fact that some caches are in really nice hiking areas and you can see a lot of beautiful sceneary, when you're not heads down looking at your GPS. 
So, Kris and I had figured we'd do some geocaching when he got into town.  But sadly we never could synch up, that is until today. He is flying home tomorrow. 
Now I don't have a GPS but I do have an iPhone with the Geocaching app on it and, as luck would have it, there was a micro  cache within blocks of the office at the old Children's Muesum.  So, both of us headed out to find the cache..Kris with his GPS and me with my iPhone.  Now I have found 1 count them 1 cache in my tenure of geocaching.  Kris has found hundreds. 
The day was foggy and kind of chilly but the walk wasn't that far.  We arrived at the Children's Museum and begin our search.. now you have to be somewhat secretive when you search so that Muggles (non-geocaching people..I'm sure Ms. Rowling is so happy to have that term used) don't actually SEE you at the cache, for they are ignorant and know not what they might mess up.
Anyway, can't find it...d'oh wait...his GPS and my iPhone show it's about 300 feet away.  Off we go.  Coast is clear, lady watching her two dogs play in Lair Hill Park.  We head over to an older building.  Who knew that there was a much older version of the muesum.  We begin our search...THERE behind the black down spout is a film canaster.  SUCCESS!  I retrieve it and open it. Inside is a rolled up slip of paper.  The front side is already filled with names and dates.  We flip it over and write ours..well our Geocaching handles, you know you just can't write Sharon Axline found your cache!  Very passe'  So we signed, and put it back like nice little Geocachers and headed back to the office.
So now I have 2 count them 2 caches to my name.  And perhaps I shall find more...maybe...when Kris comes back.


  1. I have never heard of this before...sounds intriguing.

  2. Actually, geocaching is not new. It started back in the early 1700's. Only instead of a GPS they used a compass and instead of listing the cache online, they listed it on a pirate map.

    Hopefully you had your rum with you.

  3. YAR - Sadly work frowns on rummy programmers..go figure...if you saw some of my code you'd be sure I had a dram or 20 before writing it.

    Hmm you know I always thought of GeoCaching as hide and seek for geeks. but you're right it's more like 21st century pirate treasure hunts!

    Except no dubloons, a geocoin if you're lucky.

  4. So, it is true that computer programers are nothing more than pirates, then? Aaarrr, me 'earty, pass me that GPS and a tankard of small beer. And remember the programer's code..."Take all you can and 000 0000 00000 0 00101"