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How a Geocaching.com Co-Founder Found Geo-Love

unnamedSome people find much more than just cache containers when they’re introduced to geocaching. Geocachers may discover parks they never knew existed, the hidden history of their community or even the sting of stepping in poison ivy. But some geocachers wander into something else. They’re lucky enough to find the person they’ll spend the rest of their lives with.

It happens. It happened to one of the founders of Geocaching.com. Bryan Roth attended a geocaching event fourteen years ago. Fellow founder Jeremy Irish encouraged Bryan to attend.

Bryan says, “This was the first of [88] total geocaching events that I’ve attended so far. Jeremy had suggested that I attend and I figured it’d be a great opportunity to meet some members of the local geocaching community. I really didn’t know what to expect but, of course, that day has changed my life forever.”

What happened next may have been one of the very first cases of geo-love.  The event’s name was innocent enough. It was called Washington Geocaching Potluck & Quilting Bee.

Event in 2001 where Bryan and Hydee met (Hydee far left of picture)

Bryan’s “will attend” log read, “I will be there (with chocolates).” Bryan says he wasn’t fishing for love with those chocolates, “Not at all.  At the time, I don’t think I was even looking for a date. I was only thinking about meeting geocachers and getting more involved with the local community.”

But Bryan says he soon met a geocacher named Hydee and her son Dylan. He remembers his first thought, “Yeah [my first thought was]—she looks like trouble.  I was right, of course.  ;)”

She later told Bryan the chocolates helped cement her intuitions that he was the right person for her. She loves chocolate.

Jon Stanley, Moun10Bike, hosted the event where Hydee and Bryan first met. Jon says, “That event is actually where I first met Bryan. I didn’t know that the spark had been lit at that time, but I soon found out. Hydee and her friend CameraThyme kept referring to “AFM,” which stood for “Action Figure Man.” After a while I discovered that this was their code name for Bryan. Then, all became clear!”

The Roth’s 10 Year Anniversary geocoin

Hydee’s friend CameraThyme also played a key role. Bryan says, “Thanks to CameraThyme for letting me know that Hydee was single.”

Bryan and Hydee were eventually married. They’ll be celebrating their 15th anniversary of meeting in November 2016.

Jon says Bryan and Hydee are lucky, geo-love can be a rare commodity, “I attend a fair amount of events, though, and while I’ve heard of people meeting through them, Bryan and Hydee are the only ones I personally can name who linked up as the result of an event!”

But you never know. Attend a geocaching event before September 2nd this year, and you might come away with more than just your Meet Your Road Trip Crew souvenir—you could meet your own Geo-Love.

Can’t get enough geocaching love? Check out these sweet videos from the 2014 Geocaching International Film Festival.

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Do you know any geocaching love stories?

 

 

Assemble your Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 Team

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Invite your friends to join the adventure

Doing a happy dance by yourself after making a find is fun, but nowhere near as much fun as doing a happy dance with a bunch of your friends. No, really—see for yourself.

The Geocaching Road Trip ‘15, celebrating 15 years of Geocaching, is kicking off in a little under two weeks. Now is the time to get your friends to join you on the adventure. It’s easy. Just use our Refer a Friend page to post an invite on Facebook or Twitter, or to send an invite email. It’ll have all the details your friends need to join Geocaching. Plus, you’ll have the chance to earn a few more stats.

Begin assembling your Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 team now! Visit the Refer a Friend page.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” Author Talks Geocaching

diary of a wimpy kid

Geocaching partnered with Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney to create a fun set of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul trackable tags to celebrate the book’s release last year. What you may not know is that the Wimpy Kid trackables came about because Jeff Kinney is a geocacher. He enjoys taking his kids out on geocaching adventures. We are thrilled that he wanted to share one of his geocaching experiences with us.

If you are following his series, you will be excited to learn that the next book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School, will be released on November 3, 2015. This book is particularly exciting because it will go on sale on the same day in 90 countries around the world, which has never been done by any book before!

Kinney shared one of his geocaching experiences with us, in his own words.

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Geocacher and author, Jeff Kinney poses with Greg Heffley from his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

By Jeff Kinney

When I first learned about geocaching a few years back, I was thoroughly confused. People have stored little treasures in hiding places all around me? It seemed like an odd pastime to me. But mysterious and exciting at the same time.

I was looking for something fun (and cheap) to do with my two sons. And so I downloaded the Geocaching app. I was ready to head off into the wilderness some miles away, armed with a walking stick and an iPhone, braving ticks and scrambling over felled trees. But as a swarm of blue dots filled the map on my screen, I was surprised (alarmed?) to find that there was a hidden treasure not 200 yards from the back of my house.

Now this was exciting. I made sure my kids had adequate footwear and we headed out, stepping from the verdant grass of our backyard into actual raw nature. There was some scrambling and some hopping over creeks formed by snow melt runoff. There was some negotiating of brambles. There may have even been some burs. I’ll admit, I’m not exactly the outdoor type, so the thrill of forging my way through the wild… with two of my progeny in tow… had the feeling of real danger.

Eventually, we reached a clearing where power lines cut through the woods (OK, so maybe it wasn’t raw nature). By now, we were getting close. The pulsing blue dot was nearby, but where could the hiding spot be? These were early days of GPS pinpointing, and the dot hopped madly around the screen. It seemed that our quarry was on the move, taunting us.

I was waiting for the dot to stop. Then we’d creep up on it, look down, and find the treasure at our feet.

My kids must’ve detected the confusion on my face. This was a strange ordeal for them to begin with, so the sight of me spinning in place and shaking my iPhone violently didn’t give them a feeling of confidence.

But then I realized I needed to start thinking like the first person who had decided that this was the place to hide a cache. I gave up on the teleporting dot on my phone and started using my eyes.

My eyes fell to a fallen tree. It was all starting to come together. But where was the cache? Under the tree? Oh no! Did someone place a cache in this spot and a tree fell on it? This was going to be very hard to explain to my sons.

By then, my eldest son had climbed over the tree to investigate it from a different angle. And that’s when he found it. A plastic box, hidden in a hole in the log.

A real eureka moment. Inside the box was a giant pencil. A decent treasure for the effort put in. We added our names to the log, proud members of a long list of explorers who had come to the same spot, but from different starting places.

Neither of my kids saw me palm a baseball I had brought from home and slip it into the box before putting it back in the fallen tree. I didn’t need the tears.

A good bite-sized adventure and one I’ve repeated in locales further from home.

I never did teach them how to throw a baseball.

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A Geocaching Life in Pictures – Farogdatter – Celebrating 15 Years of Geocaching in 15 Pictures

Editor’s Note:  Geocaching HQ holds an all company meeting once a month. The 80 folks from HQ discuss all things geocaching. The meeting changes each month. But there’s one constant. Every meeting starts with a geocaching community story. A Geocaching Life in Pictures is the story we shared in our meeting today. 

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Kristian and Maja, a father and daughter team from Denmark share their #Geocaching15 story in 15 pictures. In 2004, Kristian thought of an innovative way to connect with his growing daughter. He found geocaching by reading an article while waiting in the doctor’s office. Eleven years later the duo is known as Farogdatten and have collected more than 3,000 finds. Maja has grown from a 13-year-old to owning a house near her parents.

Kristian says they still geocache together from time to time. But one note he wrote to her teachers years ago helps explain their adventure.

I took her out of school two days, to prolong a weekend, but wrote a note to the teachers, that I would guarantee for her learning history, math, language and gymnastics on our geocaching trip. They had never before had an honest note like this and I am told the note was pinned at the teachers wall for a long time.

 

#Geocaching15 in 15 – Farogdatter

 

 

For Maja’s  confirmation in 2005 she asked for one gift that would mean the most to her: a dog. She then named her dog CITO.

Maja with CITO the dog thinking about trackables
Maja with CITO the dog thinking about trackables
CITO the dog upon hearing someone did not pickup trash while geocaching
CITO the dog upon hearing someone did not pickup trash while geocaching

 

Kristian says geocaching still inspires and unites his family, “Well – the most important lesson, we learned, is, that it is still surprising, that geocaching can bring us new surprises.”

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Farogdatten geocoin – 2007

Celebrate 15 years of Geocaching by sharing your #Geocaching15 pictures and stories with us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram – and leave your favorite #Geocaching15 stories here on the blog in comments.

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Share your story and we might just send you one of these Geocaching car flags for your #Geocaching15 road trip

 

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Announcing the April 2015 Geocacher of the Month

The April 2015 nominees for the celebrated Geocacher of the Month award run the gamut of what it means to be a legendary geocacher.

For Marchand de cailloux, it means crafting intricate, clever, beautiful wood caches.

 

 

For Zugführer, it means organizing Cache-Events that repeatedly draw dozens of old and new geocachers alike.

 

 

For hoosiersunshineFailedApparatus it means inventing a highly popular local geocaching trivia night complete with customized trophy.

 

 

The featured Geocacher of the Month is named by a panel at Geocaching HQ after reviewing community input and blog comments. It’s a tough decision, given the combined contributions of these folks to the geocaching community as a whole.

All the nominees will receive special prize packages from Geocaching HQ, but only one will receive the elusive Geocacher of the Month Geocoin.

The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month Geocoin.
The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month Geocoin.

 

After tallying the sentiment and reading the comments, hoosiersunshineFailedApparatus have been officially named the featured Geocachers of the Month for April 2015.

 

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‘Caching team hooserisunshine and FailedApparatus have made a big impression on the the geocaching community in North and South Carolina with their regular geocaching trivia events, ‘It’s All Just Trivial!’

Though the geocaching trivia nights were spawned as a way to spice up regular Cache-Events, they’ve since become an institution. The winning team at an ‘It’s All Just Trivial’ event take home medals and sometimes a trophy – both of which were created by hoosiersunshine and FailedApparatus.

Geocacher Beth Andrews says, “Hands down… my vote is for Hoosiersunshine and FailedApparatus. Not just for the great and wonderful things they have done with geocaching trivia around the whole South East…., but with geocaching as a whole. From fun hides to hair pulling puzzle caches to just being great people. I’m honored they are part of my geocaching family and no two people deserve this more than those two.”

Echoing her sentiments, Matt Norris says, “Hoosiersunshine and Failedapparatus are the best nominees I could think of for this! Anyone who has ever been to an “It’s All Just Trivial” event knows that this would be incredibly well deserved. Those who have not can’t even imagine what those two have put into these events! Not only fun trivia, but everything from fully stocked caches, to unactivated geocoins and everything in between as prizes to every person who attends. And every person who wins gets a real gold medal! They bring fun geocaching events to a new level that I have never seen. Amazing people bringing fun not only to SC and NC, but they’ve traveled to host these events in GA, FL and VA too!”

Thank you to all the April 2015 Geocacher of the Month nominees for your tireless efforts to bring joy to other geocachers. Three cheers for legendary geocachers!

 

Know an outstanding geocacher who should be recognized? Nominate them for next month’s award!