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A Travel Bug Dream 29,157 Miles in the Making

"Riding with Judi" Travel Bug

You don’t know Judi Nordgren, but at the same time she’s probably as familiar as a favorite aunt. She’s described as a loving second mother to many, a woman with a heart as big as all outdoors and an avid motorcyclist. While you may know someone who fits Judi’s description, you’ll never have the pleasant opportunity to meet Judi. She passed away unexpectedly in 2005. She was 42.

Even though you can never meet her, Judi’s family wanted you to know her. They created a Travel Bug, “Riding with Judi.”

Netherlands- Team Friedeljan

Its mission is to do what Judi had only dreamed. The Travel Bug wished to go around the world. The directions were simple, the message powerful and the act of those who helped “Riding with Judi” travel 29,157 miles can only be described as beautiful.

It took more than four years and 60 stops. But riding with Judi is now in the same state where the Travel Bug started its journey. All those who touched “Riding with Judi” with their hands, they also felt it in their hearts. Judi’s family felt it too.

They tell me they’re excited Judi has returned home and her wish to see the world honored by those who never meet her, but now know her.

Australia -
Australia - RottenWood
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They Say Your First Million is the Hardest

We’re not talking money. Get this. There are more than a million (pronounced: milllllllllion) geocaches hidden around world waiting for you to discover. It’s a big deal.

Right now there are 1,057,398 caches out there somewhere. Remember, just short of a decade ago there were only 75. You’re now truly within minutes of a geocache almost anywhere on earth (and beyond).

Find yourself in Libya for a conference on shoe-repair? Enjoy finding all ten geocaches there. Traveling around the Indian Ocean collecting bacteria spores and you’re sitting out a long layover in Seychelles: 17 geocaches. Christmas Island? The International Space Station? Kyrgyzstan? The moon?

Yes. Oh Yeah. Yep. Errr… No (not quite yet).

The first million geocaches took about a decade to accumulate. The second million will be outside your door before you know it. Some geocachers are really racking up the numbers. It takes more than all your fingers and toes to count the people who found more than 15,000 geocaches.  And more than 100 people have 10,000 finds or more.

However, the best of anything (geocaching included) can’t be measured by numbers, but in moments. You might want to cue the violin music. Cough. Cough. “…Right now, Catch a magic moment, do it right here and now. It means everything …” Did I say violin music? Maybe I meant the rock ‘n roll stylings of 80’s super group sensation Van Halen.

You get the idea. Still… I’m sure there were plenty of “moments” while you’re logging more than 15,000 geocaches.

A Promise NOT to be “N 45° 25.9 W 122° 22.4”

Not many people can make the promise not to be “N 45° 25.8 W 122° 22.4.” But I do. However, I won’t promise to not make you work. Sure you could click this, and find the answer. Not you though. Your voyage of discovery is true… wait… you’ve already clicked the link. Okay, the link goes to Boring, OR, USA. Okay. So I won’t be “boring.” I might take away hyperlinks in clues though.

Here’s something you can do to keep “boring” far far away and the adventure of geocaching close at hand. Stay in touch. Look to your right. “Like” our Geocaching.com page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. Share your geocaching world of discovery through Tweets, pictures on Facebook and Flickr and video on YouTube and maybe I’ll keep posting the hyperlinks (just maybe).

Geocaching and Talking Animals

Okay. So, this will all come together, promise. A children’s story by Lewis Carroll came to life again earlier this year. The latest incarnation of Alice in Wonderland includes the standards like talking animals; cats, rabbits and caterpillars galore.

But agree or not, the story’s leading lady Alice is a geocaching pioneer. The adventure seeker finds a rabbit hole (read: geocache)… and slips into another world (read: geocaching enthusiast). Sure, Alice is in 3D and there’s the whole Johnny Depp situation, but really, a stretch? I don’t think so.

Remember your first geocache? Whether you’ve found ten more, a hundred more or a thousand more, you’ve entered a new world, slipped down the proverbial rabbit hole. Hopefully in your new world the animals don’t talk so much (read: seek help if they do).

Here’s a tip though, if you’re up for a little adventure that is. The real rabbit hole (which still exists) is surrounded by at least 16 geocaches. But no one’s tagged the original rabbit hole… yet. Is your GPS handy? How’s N 51° 45.115 W 001° 15.489 sound?

Okay, a little admission, placing a geocache here might be illegal and/or unethical. According to Carroll, who died in 1898, the “rabbit hole” is a staircase inside Christ Church in Oxford, England.

The coordinates I gave you are actually across the street. Check out this link. And finding this magnetic micro cache isn’t easy – but adventure isn’t for the faint of heart and neither is falling down rabbit holes.

What are your favorite literary caches? Was Alice a geocaching pioneer?