This guest post is written by Southern California geocacher, snowyisland.
One sunny Saturday in Southern California, geocacher snowyisland went on a moderate hike to get some fresh air and log a few caches. In addition to the geocaches, she found one incredible piece of SWAG; a Rolex watch, twenty years after it was lost by the original owner. Here’s her story:
On a Saturday in June, I went hiking along a side trail near Santa Monica in Will Rogers Park. I’d found many geocaches out there a month ago, so I returned to grab some neglected caches which had been dormant since 2016. This trail was very overgrown.
On the very first cache I went searching for (GC6MM4Z Give Peace A Chance), I looked around for a good ten minutes before marking it as a DNF. I looked high and low and could not find the cache, but then I saw something shiny behind a tree. I crawled through the bushes to grab it and withdrew a Rolex watch! I thought It had to be fake. I noticed a name inscribed on the back so I put it in my backpack with the intent to research the name when I got home.
Of course, right after that I spotted the geocache about ten yards from where I found the watch. I signed the log and continued my day logging the other neglected caches on the overgrown trail.
When I returned home, I ran an internet search for the name inscribed on the back of the watch. I actually found a listing for a man living in Los Angeles with a matching name. When I called the number, I learned that the watch had been lost some 20 years earlier when the owner was helping to clear the overgrown trail (with a machete!). He said he’d been back to the trail more than ten times to search for his watch.
I brought his watch to his home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, where his family was visiting for Father’s Day. He had purchased the watch in Germany on a business trip 40 years prior. And now it was back in his hands after being gone for 20 years. And amazingly it still works! I should mention he is now 87 years old.
A few of my friends have looked up the value of the Rolex and told me what it’s worth, but being able to reunite this gentleman with his watch on Father’s Day was a feeling of gratification like none I ever had before.
I didn’t mention or try to explain geocaching to his family, although they mentioned it was odd for me to be on that trail. But without geocaching, the watch would still be ticking away under a tree. I mean this more than I ever have before: TFTC!