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Travel Bug Rescue – Learn from a Pro

Scott Stracener, Me2Ugly, rescuing a Travel Bug.

Scott Stracener is geocacher Me2Ugly.  You may recognize his name if you’ve ever had a Travel Bug in need of rescue.  He’s currently ranked among the best of the best in Travel Bug rescue. Scott talked to us about how you can request assistance in rescuing your wayward Travel Bug or become a rescuer yourself.

Latitude 47: How did you hear about Travel Bug rescue?

Scott: I found out about TB Rescue through Geocaching.com.  I was just clicking around the site and saw a banner ad.  I clicked on the banner to get more information.  I thought that it was a great idea and a great way to get more involved with geocaching.  I know I would like someone to grab my Travel Bug or coin and move it along.  This gives us a way to help fellow cachers and to connect with others on a more personal note.

The long road to rescue. Me2Ugly treks up a California road to rescue a Travel Bug.

Latitude 47: What is your most gratifying recovery?

Scott: Most gratifying rescue, there are two.  Obviously, my first successful rescue.  TB2ECQA ‘Geocoin Club June 2008’.  The coin was dropped on 11/4/2009. The owner requested a rescue on 3/12/2010, 128 days after the drop.  I saw the request on 3/15 and went out the next morning, hiked up Sugarloaf Mountain to retrieve the coin.  I then took it to the ‘Un-Original Stash’ in Oregon, which is where my most memorable TB Rescue took place.

TB346VW ‘KC The Traveling Gorilla’, created by a mother for her son to watch the Travel Bug move from cache to cache.  KC was dropped on 1/31/10 and the mother requested a rescue on 4/21/10.  My investigation of the TB showed that it had only been active for two months and was already stuck.  I was going to be in the neighborhood (Un-Original Stash) so I [thought, “I] will stop by the last known cache for the Travel Bug.”  On 4/25/10, I found the cache and rescued the Travel Bug.  I had already decided that if I found the Travel Bug I would take it to the Project A.P.E. cache Mission 9: Tunnel of Light.  For the next month I kept KC The Traveling Gorilla and took him on a number of cache hunts, a Cache Rescue (which I do when requested through WSGA) and even a TB-Rescue on the Olympic Peninsula that was unsuccessful.  On 5/24/10, I dropped KC The Traveling Gorilla at Mission 9.  Then, when finishing the Geo TRIAD at HQ, I spotted KC there.  That was cool.

Latitude 47: What advice do you have if someone is interested in Travel Bug rescue?

Scott: Know the area where the rescue will take place.  No Travel Bug Rescue is worth risking yourself or property.  Have fun and remember that not all rescues can be successful.  However, when they are, it really feels great.

Latitude 47: Have you ever lost a Travel Bug?

Scott: I have not lost a Travel Bug.  I do not have that many out there.  I do know I will launch one on July 17th near Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, WA.  It will be my grandson’s second birthday.