The mailman recently delivered a nice surprise to me. It’s a beautiful trackable geocoin from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) GeoTour. I had completed the GeoTour last year, and in the process earned a digital badge for my Geocaching.com profile. Little did I know that the NMNH was working on a geocoin that would eventually take a place of honor in my collection.
The National Museum of Natural History is a truly spectacular place. Located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., it’s the most visited natural history museum in the world. The NMNH GeoTour debuted in 2013 with several Mystery caches, a Traditional cache and three EarthCaches.
All but one of the caches’ posted coordinates are at the museum, with one outlier located about a two-hour drive north, in Pennsylvania’s Michaux State Forest. (The NMNH also owns a Letterbox Hybrid with posted coords on the museum grounds. It is not an official part of the GeoTour.)
My wife and I started the GeoTour during a trip to D.C. in November 2013, when we were able to stamp our passport for all but two of the caches. I was back in that part of the country for the GeoWoodstock Mega-Event last year, and jumped at the opportunity to complete the tour and earn my digital badge. The NMNH GeoTour is a really fun way to enjoy the museum from a new perspective, and to continue exploring outside the Smithsonian walls. I had visited the NMNH a time or two in the past, but this GeoTour encouraged me to dig into subjects that had escaped my attention on previous trips. Plus, it led me to a few beautiful sites outside of D.C.
So how can you qualify for a digital badge and one of these super-cool geocoins? The requirements are listed on all of the NMNH’s GeoTour cache pages. If you’re looking for a way to enhance your next visit to the U.S. capital, I highly recommend making this GeoTour part of your trip!