By Holly Walker, Geocaching HQ Guest Experience Coordinator
There’s the “you” when you begin a journey, then if by magic, there’s a completely different “you” when you finish a journey. As geocachers, we’ve all experienced this phenomenon. You learn and you grow and you change, even if ever so slightly, into a new person. And so it’s the same as we vicariously travel through Geocaching game pieces known as Travel Bugs®. We’re able to track an object as it moves around the world to new places. And sometimes when we see that Travel Bug, years later, the whole world we know has changed. This is one of those stories.
On February 7, 2010, Arkfiremedic placed a 2009 Groundspeak Lackey Geocoin in a Travel Bug hotel in Arkansas. The mission? “Try to make it back to Groundspeak Headquarters [in Seattle, WA] from Arkansas.” Lackey Geocoins are limited edition items annually released by Geocaching Headquarters. Commemorating its employees, or Lackeys as they we occasionally (and lovingly) referred to by the community, these Geocoins feature each Lackey’s unique pixel icon, an artistic characterization of each person and a rite of passage when hired. (You can see that latest Geocaching HQ Logbook Geocoin or Lackey Geocoin here.)
What could have been a simple 2,000 mile trip from Arkansas to Geocaching HQ across the country became, in the end, much more. This 2009 Geocoin, featuring just under 30 Geocaching Lackeys, spent nearly five years traveling to eleven different US states, visiting three countries across three continents, and logging over 26,000 miles all in an effort to visit us. To the delight of the coin’s owner, this lackey geocoin reached its final destination a couple weeks ago. On January 5, 2015, the coin finally arrived at Geocaching Headquarters and met a staff of over 80 lackeys! My how things have changed here at headquarters in the last 5 years!
Shortly after arriving, the Geocoin was discovered and photographed by the Lackeys and quickly retrieved that afternoon by a kind geocacher visiting HQ. Wondering where the coin is headed next? “The coin would love to come back to sunny Arkansas to retire the rest of its days in its owner’s collections.” And off it went back into the world…
This is just one of the many awesome trackable stories we encounter each day at our office. You’re invited to join. Schedule a hosted visit with us the next time you find yourself in Seattle. Discover all the interesting trackables our geocache contains and pick up your own Lackey Geocoin. Or activate a trackable from home and send it our way to travel the world for you. Who knows what kinds of adventures it may have.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway