Editor’s Note: Staff from Geocaching HQ in Seattle are visiting more than 30 Mega-Events around the globe this year to shake hands, share stories and hear what you think is next for geocaching.
By: Katie Barker
It was my first time traveling to Texas and it definitely lived up to my expectations! Known as the “friendship state”, Texans showed me that geocaching friendship we all know and love the moment I arrived at the Friday Night Meet & Greet in the small town of Bastrop. Geocachers from near and far traveled many miles to attend the weekend’s festivities and I was feeling lucky to spend my time with such a great group of people. Here’s a little re-cap about my weekend in Texas. If you’ve never attended a Mega-Event, here’s what you can expect.
I was up bright and early on Saturday on a mission to complete the Lab Caches. Jana Fite, (cybercat) a long time geocacher and event organizer, created a series of 7 Lab Cache locations from the historic district of Bastrop to Smithville highlighting the most interesting businesses in the area. Each location had a unique experience like exploring the largest bronze foundry in the state of Texas or sampling bottled Texas rainwater at Texas Rain. I couldn’t help but giggle when we ended up at Berdoll Pecan Farms where we found a giant squirrel! A big special thanks to TxDiva and Dark Star for showing me around.
Halfway through the Lab Caches I made a quick stop at the Bridge Spittin’ Ceremony! Who knew that spitting over a bridge was a long time tradition in Bastrop? I do now! The kayakers in the river below had to stay back a little ways as the 200+ geocachers leaned over to spit all at the same time. It was an experience I will never forget to say the least.
I headed back to the 12th Annual Texas Challenge after lunch to watch the challengers come racing in with their completed score cards. The competition was fierce and I must congratulate North Texas on taking home the win! I also got to meet Jenny Mills, the host of the Birthplace of Texas GeoTour. (Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try any Blue Bell ice-cream, next time!) I was overwhelmed with joy from all the compliments and positive feedback geocachers gave about the GeoTour. Keep up the good work in Washington County.
The weekend was packed with fun activities, but it wouldn’t be complete without a quick Texas Challenge CITO on Sunday along the Colorado River before heading to the airport (with a stop at Buc-ee’s, of course). Thanks to all the organizers for hosting a great fun-filled geocaching experience.
My favorite part of the weekend was hearing everyone’s stories, from PPanther’s prank (check out her profile page, it’s quite impressive) to the 254 county challenge. Thanks for making me feel at home Texas geocachers!