Can you spot the Geocaching HQ’er? (This photo was taken from the ladder of a fire truck!)
Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are attending dozens of Mega-Events around the world, shaking hands, sharing stories of adventure, and of course, geocaching. Each person at Geocaching HQ brings their own unique talent to advancing the adventure. Some write code for the website, others design images for the apps, and some shoot videos explaining it all. Mario Bellemare (|\/|ario) is developer at Geocaching HQ specializing in Lab Caches and other innovations. He recently traveled to St. Charles, Missouri, the final embarkation point of the Lewis and Clark expedition, to join more than a thousand people in a celebration of what Lewis and Clark’s journey represents and what geocaching is all about: exploration.
The log book. Can you guess who these characters are? (Hint: The Quest for Lewis and Clark.)
I had the opportunity to attend one of the biggest Geocaching events of the year in the United States: Geowoodstock XII. This year’s Geowoodstock was located in St. Charles, Missouri, a charming location with a really rich history. Main street is a cobblestone road surrounded by beautifully preserved, restored, and century-old buildings containing a variety of enticing little shops and restaurants. I made my way from the airport straight to the Pre-Geowoodstock Meet-N-Greet event, where I picked up my registration packet and got to meet a lot of the volunteers and attendees. The place was very busy as the Missouri River Irish Festival was rockin’ right next door. At the end of the evening, I went out to a local pub to grab a bite and share some stories with a few reviewers and some geocachers.
Saturday, the day of the event, was a very busy – and exciting – day. The mayor, the Leprechaun (representing the Irish festival), Signal the Frog, the organizers and I were led onto the main stage by a bagpipe player. I stayed on the ground of the main event the entire day only going out for a quick lunch across the street from the event. I had many opportunities to practice my autograph because one of the squares on the event’s bingo sheet asked the attendees to “Find a Lackey”. The event was very well attended (even surpassing the attendance from last year’s Geowoodstock!) by geocachers from all over the States, as well as some international attendees from Germany and as far as Thailand.
I ran into a lot of interesting and unique trackables, including a nice wooden carved version of Signal the Frog… and a tooth (yeah, a tooth trackable!).
The following day, I went to the Biking and Caching on the Katy Trail event to see geocachers head out on their bikes for some exploring. The logbook was well suited for the occasion – a large deflated bike tube. I wanted to make sure I could complete the Geocaching Adventure (Lab Caches) set out for the event. So, before I had to head home I set out to do some exploring and also enjoy and take photos of the stunning Main street.
Yeah, a tooth trackable!
Geocaching HQ’er Mario on the big stage!
Kicking off the exploration Lewis and Clark style.