Geocaching is Better with Friends… Lots and Lots of Friends.
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. Amy Faulkner is the Geocaching HQ staff member behind the Geocaching Block Party and other awesome events. She recently traveled to her home state of New York to join nearly a thousand people in celebrating geocaching and the geocaching community at the ASPGB IX. Here’s her story.
A Return Trip Home with Geocaching
Here at Geocaching HQ, we often hear glorious stories of geocaching taking people to places they never knew existed. And we’ve even experienced this phenomenon ourselves – stumbling upon EarthCaches that reveal large geological events that we never knew happened, or finding the Little Library around the corner that just so happens to contain a geocache.
As excited as I was to attend the ASPGB Mega-Event again this year, returning to the place where I grew up to attend an event I had previously attended seemed a bit anticlimactic. But I was wrong. Not kind of wrong, I was so wrong – out of the ballpark wrong- that I’m actually embarrassed that I had that thought in the first place.
To begin, the ASPGB was spectacular this year. It was great to see familiar faces from last year and meet all of the new attendees this year. The event was packed full of fun activities, from Lab Caches to a creative cache contest to a raffle dripping with anticipation. I met so many great people including these lovely ladies (below) that were celebrating their 100th find. They presented me with the awesome smiley which now permanently resides at my desk.
In addition to attending the event, I had the opportunity to spend a day geocaching with my mom in the town where I grew up. We found an amazing EarthCache at one of my favorite childhood spots, Rock City Park. My mother has become quite the geocacher over the last year.
A Hometown Still Full of Surprises
The biggest element of surprise happened on my drive back to the airport. About 30 minutes into my drive, I stopped at a rest area in a place called Friendship, New York. While there, I decided to peek at the Geocaching app to see if there were any nearby geocaches. To my surprise, there was one right at that rest area. I left the car and wandered to GZ and quickly made the find. As I was re-hiding the container, a car drove up behind me. From the window I hear, “Can we sign the log before you put that back?”
As I turned around, I saw a car full of geocachers. They pulled over and we shared stories, trackables and even had an impromptu photo shoot.
All in all, I realized that geocaching is so much more than finding new places. It’s about the randomness of the things that happen along the way, the people you meet, the experiences you have and the community that you belong to as a geocacher.