There’s some serious Geocaching going on in this family.
Brothers Sterling and Ethan are avid geocachers, and it seems to run in the family. Their mother, Candice, wanted to teach a Geocaching unit to the 120 students in her school’s gifted children program. At the time, though, there simply weren’t enough caches within walking distance of the school.
Like a true geocacher, Sterling came to the rescue.
Once he had 100 finds, Sterling hid four geocaches that his mother could take her students to. The class was undoubtedly a success. Within several months, many of the students had over 100 finds (and their parents were getting in on it too). Sterling and his younger brother Ethan maintain their caches carefully, and Sterling himself now has over 200 finds, with 250 in sight.
We were so excited that Sterling, Ethan, Candice, and David decided to spend the day at Geocaching HQ…especially since it was Sterling’s 10th birthday. Happy birthday Sterling, and best of luck to everyone!
While the bright blue tiled image has the potential to disorient a geocacher, the photo in the center column and the color of the text tie the whole thing together.
How do you transform your cache page from blah to rah?
Can you say “Hypertext Markup Language” five times fast?
That’s right, we’re talking about HTML, baby.
And we’re talking about it with as much spice as possible, because we know some of you are about to fall of your chairs at the sheer boringness of it all.
HTML code is created using tags framed by the greater-than and less-than signs: < and > . A piece of code usually uses two of these tags to change the text between them.
To make a paragraph break
Enter <p> and </p> on either side of the text in your paragraph.
To make something bold
Enter <strong> and </strong> on either side of the text you want to emphasize.
To add italics to your text
Do basically the same thing as with bold text, only use the <em> and </em> tags.
To add both italics and bold
Use both the <em> and the <strong> tags, with their closing tags: </em> and </strong>
To add an image to your page
Make sure your image is saved to your cache page gallery or is available on the internet somewhere. Find the URL of the image.
To find the URL, open the image in your browser, and right-click to get the URL.
You’ve read about geocaching in far off lands, on ships and mountains…even in space. Wild, exotic geocaching stories make the news so often, that sometimes they seem more common than, well, the commonplace.
But for once I’m tired of palaces and underground tunnels! I’m even tired of spaceships! We’re going geocaching in the most exciting place of all—this geocacher’s home coordinates.
The small town of Blaine is packed so tightly into the northwestern corner of Washington state that it looks like it’s hiding from the rest of the country. The town itself feels that way too—which is odd, considering a population of around 5,000 and the presence of two international border crossings. It doesn’t seem like the type of town where anything terribly exciting is likely to happen. I grew up in Blaine, so you’d think I would know.
Turns out, all it took was a weekend of geocaching in Blaine to completely derail my perspective.
Over the course of two days, my mom, dad, sister, and I made 15 finds and 4 DNFs. (For all you hard-core geocachers out there, stop your scoffing! These are impressive numbers. My 16-year-old sister had recently come into possession of her learner’s permit and was driving us for the very first time. For once I was appreciative of my town’s severely conservative speed limits.)
Those 15 finds were accompanied by three realizations about why my hometown was the best place I could possibly go geocaching—and why the same is probably true for you.
1) Learning new things about old places
The Peace Arch (yes, there’s an actual arch) that stands on the international boundary between Blaine, Washington and Douglas, British Columbia, is supposedly one of the first earthquake-proof structures in North America. Had I not gone geocaching at the Peace Arch, it’s likely I would have continued to lose sleep over the fate of unsuspecting border-crossers in the event of an earthquake.
2) Writing logs with a personal touch
It turns out writing a log for a geocache in a place you know is very different to writing a log for a geocache in a place that’s new to you. When caches take me to new places I find myself writing with much the same sentiment: “Beautiful spot! Never been here before, but now that I know it’s here…” And so on. In Blaine, I found myself adding my own memories of places to my logs. I wanted the CO’s to know that I too really loved this spot, because of that one time we jumped off this pier in the middle of winter…
3) Revisiting old memories
Blaine is a small town. Spend fifteen years there and you’re bound to have a memory tied to every lamppost, street corner, and homeland security office. One geocache took me to the forest where I first met one of my best friends on a field trip. Another took me to the sewage treatment plant they built to replace the one near my house. Both good memories, happily re-lived in the name of geocaching.
So what’s the take-away here?
Blaine really is a lovely town, worth more than a drive through on your way to Vancouver or Seattle. Geocaching at home can be as rewarding an experience as something more fanciful and exotic. And, whoever decided that learning to drive at 16 makes sense clearly never met my sister.
Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are joining geocachers at Mega-Events around the world to celebrate and share the adventure of geocaching. Andrea Hofer attended Swedens oldest and largest annual Geocaching event – FUMBLE AFTER DARK 2013. This is Andrea’s account of her trip.
After attending Florida Finders Fest, I hopped on a plane and made my way to Fumble after Dark in Sweden, getting a chance to see two different communities back to back! Sweden in November feels much like Seattle in November – short, drizzly days and long, chilly nights. That’s why Fumble after Dark is so great: 900 participants come together to embrace the long nights and make them into an opportunity for amazing geocaching!
The event was in Sodertalje, a one-hour drive from Stockholm. After my 22 hour travel from Florida, I gratefully settled in at the adorably Ikea-esque Scandic hotel. A few fun facts about driving in Sweden:
You have to keep your Headlights turned on 24/7 by law.
Traffic lights briefly turn orange after red to warn that green is coming.
In a Peugeot, “A” means “drive” and when you brake, the motor goes completely silent.
The Fumble After Dark event ran from 10 AM to midnight. Noon to 5 was reserved for presentations, which included puzzle cache tips, a fascinating presentation on “lost places” (especially Detroit), and cache hiding tips from the Swedish Reviewers. I gave a presentation focusing on what the Geocaching HQ Community Team does and our plans for 2014. I also learned that the majority of the attendees are on Facebook and completed the entire #31in31 August challenge!
Next it was time to load up the night caches’ GPS coordinates (including the 10 lab caches) and head out into the woods for 3-4 hours of spooky excitement celebrating All Souls’ Day.
It was utterly dark, chilly, off-trail in a forest, muddy, hilly, scary, and exciting, and I was glad to have been invited to tag along with the Swedish Reviewers. Much of the cache terrain was higher than one would see at a similar event in the U.S. and the geocaches were all clever, especially the haunted kindergarten lab cache:
Many thanks to organizer Fredrik Wellener and all the geocachers who helped create this very special experience.
Click here to see more pictures from Fumble After Dark.
Have you ever gone nightcaching? Share your best experiences with us in the comments below!
On November 6 and 7, 2013, more than 26,000 geocachers attended almost 1200 Geocaching in Space Events in close to 40 countries all over the world to watch a Travel Bug® make its way to the International Space Station (ISS). American astronaut Rick Mastracchio, who was asked to take the Travel Bug to space by its owner Czissors, plans to use the Travel Bug as a tool to teach students on Earth about geography and science.
The Travel Bug has made its way around the earth many times aboard the ISS. We think this is a great time to look back and say “Thanks” to all you geocachers out there, who hosted and attended events, posted on the Travel Bug details page and have shared pictures, videos and stories with us.
Here are some of the most interesting pictures and videos we got to enjoy from all over the world:
Did you miss your #SpaceCaching picture or video in the gallery? Let us know and share in the comments below!