This story begins with some high expectations. A chance meeting would lead to the statement, “Visiting HQ is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time, and as it turns out, the experience was crazier than I could have ever imagined.”
It all started on a typical Friday in the Seattle lobby of Geocaching HQ. We see the world come together in 500 square feet of solid, wall to wall, Geocaching . There’s a treasure chest, logbook and usually hundreds of Trackables coming and going. It’s Geocaching HQ after all. You hear languages like German and Portuguese spoken along side English and Spanish. People around the world find themselves visiting for an hour or so and meeting new friends. Rarely, extremely rarely- and let me not under sell this – maybe once or twice a decade, geocachers randomly stumble upon an old friend from another part of the world in our lobby.
And it just happened again. As most stories like this do, this one begins with a Puzzle Cache in Ireland. Larry, username APawInMyFace, and Lindsey, username Flossinmatoof visited Ireland in August. Larry contacted Ciaran, username GoldCircle, for help on a Puzzle Cache. Well, you know, so many email flew across the Atlantic between the America and Ireland that an Event Cache was planned.
More than a dozen people welcomed the out-of-town guests from America. Ciaran and the American couple went their separate ways. Most stories end there. They might never have seen each other again, except for an intervening photo booth in the Geocaching HQ lobby.
Larry and Lindsay were visiting Geocaching HQ from Miami. Larry and Lindsay were visiting friends in Seattle that Larry hasn’t seen in three years. They’d just finish taking pictures in the Geocaching HQ photo booth. Larry placed the strip of photos in our scrapbook. He noticed a familiar face. That guy looked like Cairan, aka GoldCircle. It was GoldCirle. But he wasn’t at HQ.
Carly at the Geocaching HQ front desk, told Larry Cairan would be back in a few minutes. If that one connection would be missed, if a page would have been flipped in our scrapebook, if Larry visited from Miami one week later…. well, you get the idea. It. Was. Close. It was also significant. Cairan just happened to be in Seattle for business.
Geocaching HQ was Cairan’s 1000th find. Can you guess what Larry gave Cairan as a thank you gift for hosting the Event Cache in Ireland? Yeah – a 1000th Find Geocoin.
Larry says they could have never planned this meeting if they tried. Wow right?
That word, “wow” gets said a lot in the Geocaching HQ lobby. People meeting friends they’ve connected with a world away. Some reacquainted themselves with long lost Travel Bugs that ended up in the Geocaching HQ Treasure chest.
Larry wrote in the Geocaching HQ log, ” The ways in which the geocaching community can make our enormous world feel so small are indescribable, yet somehow, rarely surprising. Thank you for the truly unforgettable day and for the wonderful memories that we formed both in and around HQ.” Lindsey wrote in her log, “The world is an incredible place.” She’s right.
That’s the thing about geocaching… you’re always welcome. Whether that’s at a geocache, at an Event Cache or at Geocaching HQ, you never know who you might bump into.
The question now might be where in the world will Larry, Lindsey and Ciaran connect again? We have a guess. The might randomly bump into each other while claiming the First to Find at this geocache.
What’s the strangest coincidence you’ve encountered geocaching? Tell us about it in comments below.