In the last 30 days 6.9 million logs were submitted on Geocaching.com. Most of the logs claimed a “Found it,” followed by details of a caching adventure. Or the logs gave a story about the cache that got away under the banner of a “DNF” (Did Not Find).
His “Found it” log entry began with, “Wow. How do I start this log? This cache has to be one that I will always remember.”
Mark not only found the information to claim a smiley on the EarthCache – he also found a lost girl.
His log reads, “I passed a very nice stream bed on the way up to the summit. On the way down, as I got closer and closer to the stream, I heard a child crying. When I got to the stream, I found an 8 year-old girl alone and crying. She was lost and had no idea where she was.”
Mark quickly devised a plan. He had been involved with scouting for nearly 40 years. He says he discovered geocaching in 2010 at the Boy Scout National Jamboree. He got hooked. Mark learned plenty about geocaching with nearly 4,500 finds in two years. Mark sets memorable locations in his GPS device as waypoints. Following a waypoint he’d just set, Mark was able to lead the girl to a nearby campsite with a pay phone. There had been no cell phone coverage.
He wrote, “She was tired and scared. I wound up giving her a ride on my shoulders most of the way. When I offered to let her wear my hat, she stopped crying. When I got to the pay phone, I dialed 911 and told them I had a lost girl and where I found her. A ranger showed up within about 15 minutes.” It turned out the girl had been missing for three hours. She’d followed the stream collecting rocks, until she was far past her parents. She was reunited with her parents shortly after. Mark says he never ever got the family’s name.
Mark finished his log with this, “Does Geocaching make a difference? It did today. I’ll always remember this hike and cache.”
Mark says one of his other memorable caching experience was topping a peak with his wife as she was rehabilitating after knee surgery. He says he likes sharing his caching experiences with fellow cachers, like reaching that peak, or finding a lost girl.
Mark says geocachers also share a common trait, “Most cachers operate on the “Do Right” philosophy. Do what is right. I like that in my fellow cachers.”