Geocachers Find a Message in a Bottle from 1970. It says… (Part 2)


Jean-Francois with bottle
Jean-Francois with bottle

Part 2 or 2 [read part 1]


A message in a bottle captures the imagination…

…and apparently, the attention of media. Last week we published  Geocachers Find a Message in a Bottle from 1970. Its says… (part 1). Jean-Francois Cianci (known in the Geocaching word as Monkeyturtle) detailed how he discovered a bottle while clearing garbage from a wetland at a Calgary, Alberta area CITO event.

The bottle contained a very clear note from 1970. It also contained a request, a mission even. And Jean-Francois took the mission seriously. The note read, “Anyone finding this bottle please contact: Darilyn Yates and Georgia Love… ”

The message in the bottle


Jean-Francois, who discovered geocaching in 2003 and now has more than 250 logged geocaches finds, is used to finding. As determined geocachers often say, he wouldn’t DNF this (Did Not Find).  An online investigation began but success didn’t come easy, “(I) did a search online with the name and the city where they were from.  I found the name of Darilyn Yates’ father and found he had moved to another city. From there I contacted a Darilyn from the same area but with a different surname and it was a match!” Darilyn says she dropped the bottle in the Bow River while on vacation in 1970. She was just 14 years old, and according to news reports, not sure exactly where along the river she tossed the bottle in.

Darilyn today
Darilyn today [Courtesy CTV News]

Darilyn in 1970 [Courtesy CTV News]
Darilyn in 1970 [Courtesy CTV News]
Darilyn had moved hundreds of miles away to Vancouver Island. She fondly recalled the trip she took back in 1970 when she dropped the message in the bottle in a river. Jean-Francois says, “Darilyn has contacted Georgia’s cousin to let her know about the find.”

Since finding the message in the bottle, the story has spread across Canada.

calgary herald article
The story first appeared in the Calgary Herald (Click the image to read the story)

You can hear and see Darilyn and Jean-Francois. They’ve appeared on CBC radio together [click on Part Two in the link]. And even in this CTV television story.

The stories is not over yet though. Jean-Francois plans to hand deliver the bottle back Darilyn. He’ll drive to Vancouver, securing his first to find and reuniting Darilyn with a 44-years-old memory – that had patiently waited for her in a bottle.

Click to meet Darilyn and hear from Jean Francois
Click the image to see the news story featuring Darilyn and Jean-Francois

1,000,000 Reasons to Get Outside Now Hidden Throughout the U.S.


Each square represents a cluster of geocaches

A milestone 14-years in the making reached yesterday at 7:45 am as the millionth geocache was published in the U.S.

1,000,000 reasons for Americans to get off the couch and explore their neighborhoods are waiting to be discovered and some are likely within walking distance. Geocaching.com launched in 2000, listing just 75 hidden geocaches. As of 7:45 am EST on Sunday, September 14, the 1,000,000th active geocache in the U.S. was published on Geocaching.com. The 1,000,000th active geocache is called Daddy’s Fishing Hole, located near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

As of 9:00 am PCT on Monday, September 15, the 1,000,000th geocache has only been found only three times. To celebrate the 1,000,000th active geocache in the United States, the staff at Geocaching.com named the top 8 most amazing geocaches for beginners in the U.S.

The 8 Most Amazing Geocaches for Beginners in the U.S.

  • Just outside Milwaukee, WI, adventure-seekers will have a little extra help from some geocaching chickens.

  • Geocachers in Hershey, PA will be able to channel their inner Indiana Jones with this adventure.

  • Visitors to Fremont, CA, will learn the best way to catch a geocacher (and it might just involve a giant mouse trap).

  • Follow the yellow brick road to this geocache in Saratoga, Springs, NY.

  • Unlock a 1890’s history lesson involving Moon Towers in Austin, TX.

  • Visitors to Blackshear, GA can discover a newspaper box that’s out of the ordinary.

  • Stop by Denver, CO to find a geocache that’s a puzzle and a fashion statement.

  • One AA battery is all new geocachers in Seattle, WA need to unlock this geocache.

Geocaching events will be held near each of the sites the weekend of the September 20 to cheer on the 1,000,000th geocache and welcome new geocachers to the adventure. Expert geocachers will attend each of the geocaching events to guide new people through the free adventure. They’ll also give insider tips and tricks, and help find the geocache. New geocachers should register for the events and anyone can find a geocache near them now.

There are more than 6,000 hidden geocaches in Alaska alone
There are more than 6,000 hidden geocaches in Alaska alone
More than 2,000 hidden geocaches are waiting to be found across Hawaii
More than 2,000 hidden geocaches are waiting to be found across Hawaii


Geocaches can be found in all 50 US states


  • California holds the record for the state with the most active geocaches, boasting more than 130,000 hidden geocaches.

  • The oldest active geocache in the U.S.. published in May of 2000, is located in Mingo, Kansas.

  • Texas A&M just published an independent, CDC-funded study on the health benefits of geocaching.

  • Geocachers occasionally arrange their geocache hides in the form of county-sized art.

  • Nearly 11 million people have registered for accounts on Geocaching.com since 2000.

  • Germany is second to the U.S. in active geocaches with 325,000.

  • There are currently 2,487,221 active geocaches hidden around the world – in 2013 alone geocachers were found 75,453,001 times.

finding a geocache 2
Geocaching is increasingly popular with families


Geocache containers can look like almost anything... they should never be buried and should always be clearly labeled.
Geocache containers can look like almost anything… they should never be buried and should always be clearly labeled.
Most people in the U.S. walk or drive by dozens of hidden geocaches nearly every day
Most people in the U.S. walk or drive by dozens of hidden geocaches nearly every day


 Congratulate the 1,000,000th geocache owners in comments below!







Oldest Unfound Geocache in Europe… Found! (12 years later)

DeepButi on the hunt for caches.

The geocacher who found the oldest unfound geocache in Europe on a thin ridge line of one of Europe’s most imposing mountains, doesn’t even like climbing. In fact, DeepButi doesn’t like caves either, but when the prize at the end of the adventure is a First to Find (FTF) after 12 years, 1 month, and 3 days…well, there’s no stopping him then.

The Traditional Geocache, ‘Puppet Theatre stash on the Mont Blanc’ (GC89FF) sat undisturbed among frigid slabs of rock and shifting snowdrifts for years. Several intrepid geocachers had attempted the search—and some came very close—but none had laid eyes on the geocache itself.

DeepButi says, “One day, I found myself wondering why what seems like a reasonably accessible cache had not been found for almost eleven years.”

That’s right—”Puppet Theatre stash on the Mont Blanc” (GC89FF) was hidden on Mont Blanc by an Estonian team of geocachers (Tarmo Männard, Kaido Pähn, Üllar Rosenfeldt, Anu Audse ja Vilja Heinmets) on July 2nd, 2002. At 4074 meters (13,400ft) above sea level, the contents of the geocache were well protected. They included 9 chocolate medallions, 14 candies, 3 bags of Lipton tea, 3 boxes of matches, 10 whole-family tickets to the Estonian Puppet Theatre, a paper and a pen, and a geocaching letter in Estonian and in English.

This is the story of DeepButi’s FTF.

What a view.
A geocache is hidden here… somewhere

He says, “I love mountains. Hiking for hours just for the sake of it, probably getting a fantastic reward at the peak with astonishing 360º views. And then there was THAT geocache, a normal one I didn’t need any special tools for.

“And one day, I found myself wondering why what seems a reasonably accessible cache had never been found for almost eleven years. After having “Puppet Theater stash on the Mont Blanc” on my watchlist for years just as a curiosity, a find in Canada switched something in my mind. If “4.5lb Walleye” was already found, why not give GC89FF, oldest unfound in Europe, a chance? So I did.

“It was not going to be a simple cache hunt, nor a long hike or a complex cache hunt. From the very first minute, the planning and logistics made the ‘it’s the journey’ concept the key element of the whole adventure.”

A little bit of research showed that the team who’d hidden the cache had formed a normal hiking expedition up Mont Blanc. They were not climbing experts carrying special equipment. This reassured DeepButi; with correct planning, the geocache was reasonably accessible, but sometimes the mountain decides whether or not you find a geocache.

DeepButi says, “Three months later, on Sep 2013 I went there. A full five day alpine hiking experience. Some great caches. But weather, and specifically avalanche risk, makes its own decisions. We had to cancel the attempt at the very last minute as the route was not safe. Instead, we summited Mont Blanc…not bad as a substitute.

“Summer 2014 in central and Southern Europe has been, in weather terms, a disaster. Without the normal anticyclonic periods, finding a day for a second attempt was delayed week after week until we decided to try a small window on July 23-25. After a terrific hike from refugio Torino crossing the Vallee Blanche we arrived at Cosmiques, the logical starting point for the hunt, on 24th.

A perfect image of my mood.
Weather delays the hunt

“The noise of small avalanches surprised us at the East side of Maudit-Tacul creating some incredible moments I will keep forever. But it was not our day. The guard at Cosmiques told us of a recent avalanche and more expected. No way to go up for several days. At 4,000m high you don’t play with this kind of advice and I returned home in quite a bad mood.”

Finally, a window of good weather opened up a week in August, and DeepButi knew it had to be then. He arrived at Cosmiques with his guide, Fabio Levi, and the forecast was perfect.

He says, “And there we went. At 6:15am we started a hard hike up Mont Tacul. You need to be there to know what it is like, every meter of its iced slopes deserves the T5 [Terrain 5] rating.

“It took us almost three hours to move the GPS distance [from the geocache coordinates] from 1,600m to 500m…at that distance only a soft slope down remained and the objective was pretty clear: a group of rocks at the East edge of Col Maudit. An incredible vision. All my efforts at sight for the first time. White snow and black rocks. I love it.

“Once there, laminated photos of the cache location proved to be helpful. They allowed us to confirm the GPS arrow and directed us to the northern group of rocks. Fabio crossed the last aerial meters and found exactly what was on the images. He said, ‘I have something. A broken plastic box.’

Fabio, one second after making history: Found!
Fabio, one second after making history: Found!

“The best words I could imagine. I knew at once that “broken plastic box” could only mean one thing: the original box! Aha! Nobody was there to see two adults shouting and jumping like children at 4,000m meters high. It was an incredible end to a 14-month obsession, full of hope, despair, deception, and positive energy.

“Honestly speaking, the cache itself is not that difficult a find—a 7 hour hike is nothing special and the final spot is quite accessible. But you must plan to go there as only a geocacher can do, with a specific goal on your mind. And you have to convince yourself that, after 12 years there was no single reason to suspect it would not be there. And yes it was.

So, we did it. Because we knew we could do it.”

The NUKU Puppet Theatre confirmed the tickets are still valid and will be forever. One of the original geocache-placers still works there, and DeepButi is already planning his trip. Another one of the geocache owners is going to bring DeepButi some “fresh” candies the next time he visits Spain.

DeepButi was also FTF on the long unfound cache in Spain, and has some of the highest peaks under his belt. His next adventure?

He says, “I’m already thinking on my next “incredible one”…but it will have to wait sometime.

The geocache
The geocache

Share your congratulations with DeepButi by posting a comment below!


Geocaching.com Turns 14 – Rare Fun Facts Revealed

Happy Birthday Geocaching.com

Remember the year 2000? In the United States a pound of bacon only cost $3 and a gallon of gas set people back $1.26. The iPhone was still 7 years away from being introduced. But on September 2, 2000 some hearty adventurers, tired of being tied to an office cubicle day after day, launched Geocaching.com. The adventure to inspire outdoor play through GPS technology began.

Just like any story-worthy journey Geocaching.com’s beginning was filled with uncertainty. Before geocache joined the ranks of approved Scrabble words or a Geocaching game piece rocketed to the International Space Station, Geocaching.com launched with only 75 geocaches.  Today, the site lists the locations and descriptions for nearly 2.5 million geocaches hidden around the world. Adventure is truly waiting to be discovered all around you, as long as you’re in the 180+ countries where geocaches are waiting to be discovered [hint: you are].

Here are some more little known facts about the game you love:

  • The activity of geocaching was originally known as the GPS Stash Hunt.

  • What we now know as the 1st geocache was hidden on May 3, 2000.

  • Running Geocaching.com was originally funded by the sale of  144 donated t shirts.

  • More than 9 million people have created Geocaching profiles.

  • Hugh Jackman geocaches (and other celebrities like cyclist Jens Voigt).

  • The word ‘geocache’ means ‘hidden location on Earth’, as ‘geo’ means Earth, and ‘cache’ is French for a hidden location or place.

Share your Geocaching birthday wishes and your geocaching adventures in comments.

There's a geocache out here some where...
There’s a geocache out here somewhere…