By gonzogrrl aka Sara
My mother always tells me my life should be a book. I have simultaneously some of the best and worst luck.
This past weekend at ASP GeoBash 6 was a perfect example.
Just before I arrived at Allegany State Park in Western New York, I’d landed myself in the emergency room for a tandem bicycling accident. Nothing was broken, but my left arm turned an awkward shade of yellow and purple. Somehow, though, the good always outweighs the bad.
ASP Geobash was my first Mega-Event outside of Groundspeak’s Lost & Found Celebration, and I had the time of my life. Arriving on late Thursday to a wet and drizzly park, I unpacked my sleeping back at my cabin and snuggled up to the delightful sounds of wilderness and silence.
The ASP Committee members welcomed me on Friday and dismissed my offers to help. They had it all under control, so instead I colored in the sign to the shop next door to make it more visible, signed the “log”, otherwise known as a sheet, and waited for someone to arrive to go geocaching.
Before I knew it, lady luck struck. One of PaRacers’ caches had just been published in the park. Wii Two had a jeep, their Geocaching.
com iPhone app, and were ready to go. “Can I ride with you?” I asked.
The Jeep was crowded, but we were fortunate to have a local newspaper photographer nearby who wanted to get some shots of cachers in action. The pictures were going to be used to publicize the event in that Saturday’s paper. I hopped in with her, and we dashed off together to the beautiful bridal falls at I’m Falling for You, with no one else in sight.
I was tempted to stand and gawk at the falls, as the rain had made them even more awe-inspiring, but we had a job to do. With our smartphones in hand, we headed toward the coordinates. Looking around in the woods, I went to the first place I would have hidden a geocache—and there it was! A shiny, untouched lock and lock with a crisp logbook inside.
The day continued without a hitch. I met up with f0t0m0m (Jim, you’ll have to ask him the story behind the caching handle) for some caching after sharing a nice lunch conversation. Together we went on my first ever numbers run, dashing around Bradford, PA. We chased after the 101 Dalmatians series and other caches well into the night, when I found my first night cache, too. After following the little reflective dots back into the woods to find 101 Damations #74, I was impressed by the accuracy and ease of the cache. I had always assumed night caches were extremely complicated, but the cache owner wants you to have fun and find this one—worth a Favorite Point from me.
Day two was the biggest day of the event. Most of the 1,000 plus attendees arrived to sunshine and summer heat after over a week straight of rain. I ran into a group of laid back Canadians and their geo-kids that were about to head out on an adventure. But this day was not to be a numbers grab. Dressed in shorts and my Chaco hiking sandals, the Canadians laughed at me as we hiked through tall grass in the woods for find after find after find. Checking my numbers, I realized I was coming up on 100, and davetecsgirl was coming up on 2,500. “We should do it together!” she said.
With bggy leading the way, the whole gang headed out to Thunder Rocks II for one of the most amazing EarthCaches I have ever seen. The big, ancient Paleozoic rocks at the EarthCache are native bedrock that was deposited 325 million years ago. We stayed and played around, having fun guessing what the rock formations looked like, marveling at the trees that managed to grow up in the tiniest cracks between the rocks and watching as DAVTEC climbed to the top of the tallest one. If the gnats had not been attacking us at warp speed, I imagine we could have spent hours there, basking in the magnificent natural wonder.
I walked away from ASP GeoBash 6 with new friends, new finds, and some great experiences geocaching. If that isn’t lucky, I don’t know what is.
What is Geocaching?
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