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Geocaching Caption Contest 9 – Win a Barely Coveted Prize

Winning entry by geocacher Ellemmiire, “FTF gets… JAZZ HANDS!”

This is the ninth installment of our Geocaching Caption Contest.  This picture was taken at “Signal Studios” during Groundspeak’s Lost & Found Celebration on July 4th.

What caption would you write? “Mommy, the SWAG scares me!”  You can do better.

Barely coveted prize

The winner receives this Barely Coveted Prize. The Trackable commemorates Groundspeak Headquarters (the Lily Pad) and ten years of geocaching.

Good luck!  Please include your geocaching username in all entries.

The winner will be chosen by an ad hoc committee of Lackeys.

19 Lackeys voted to crown the winner of the eighth Geocaching Caption Contest.  Take a look at the Latitude 47 blog post to see who won.  Explore the wit and wisdom of geocachers by checking out all the Geocaching Caption Contests.

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Who’s Hiding in Your GPS Device?

Who's in your GPS device?

Your GPS device is hiding a cast of tens of thousands. Every time your GPS device blinks to life, pioneers, innovators and at least one Chinese explorer blink back.  The journey to help you walk out your front door and find a geocache begins way back in 1400.

There were clearly no GPS devices then. Magnetized needles were used to find direction for more than a thousand years. But it wasn’t until the 14th century that an admiral in China put the innovation to another use.  Zheng He is reported to be the first person to use the compass as a navigational aid. The Chinese explorer and diplomat employed the compass to direct ocean expeditions to the South and West of China beginning in 1405.

Chinese magnetic compass (pbs.org)

Over the next two hundred years others, including Galileo and Amerigo Vespucci, the namesake of America, further researched navigating by latitude and longitude. But there was still far to go.

It wasn’t until the 1884 the International Meridian Conference adopted a universal Prime Meridian – or zero point of longitude.

Less than a hundred years later, in the 1970’s, a constellation of GPS satellites was launched into orbit.  They provided never-before-realized navigation accuracy to the U.S. military.  The rest of us began enjoying that accuracy on May 2nd, 2000 when the order was issued to stop intentionally degrading the GPS signal available to the public. GPS accuracy instantly improved tenfold.

One day later the first geocache was placed.

Think of the scientists, politicians and navigational crusaders behind the ideas of navigating by latitude and longitude.  Every time you power up your GPS their ideas boot up too. There’s a lot going on inside your GPS.

In addition to all those innovators, don’t forget the 40-some Lackeys at Groundspeak, 200-some volunteer Reviewers and four to five million other geocachers who drive this activity.   Each of these people and events make your geocaching adventure a reality.

Now don’t you want to put them all to the test and go grab a geocache?

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“Kilimanjaro Lava Tower” GC25W5D GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – July 18th, 2010

Kilimanjaro Lava Tower (GC25W5D) is an EarthCache three million years in the making.  KDubs created this EarthCache and two others on the mountain.    Kilimanjaro Lava Tower (GC25W5D), Kilimanjaro Climate Zones (GC1X8Ao) and Kilimanjaro Glacial Sublimation (GC29PKY) all wait for visitors to answer their EartheCache questions.

Lava Tower


Kilimanjaro’s summit reaches 19,342 feet (5895 meters) into the clouds.  The Eastern African mountain rose about three million years ago during the formation of the Great Right Valley. Kilimanjaro Lava Tower (GC25W5D) requires you to answer two questions about this rock tower, from one of the three volcanoes which comprise the mountain.

Kilimanjaro Climate Zones (GC1X8A0) asks you to take a photo in each of the five climate zone on the mountain.

Kilimanjaro Glacial Sublimation (GC29PKY) challenges you to explore the fading glaciers of the mountain.  You need to answer three questions and provide a photo.

Geocachers at the summit of Kilimanjaro
Glacier on Kilimanjaro

Today, adventures hike up the mountain in the thousands.  Geocachers stop along the way to claim EarthCaches, learn about the mountain, the forces that formed it and the glaciers that still crown Kilimanjaro.

Explore other Geocaches of the Week here.

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GeoWoodstock VIII – Geocaching.com’s Lost & Found Video

Geocachers gathered in Carnation, WA, USA to celebrate GeoWoodstock VIII. The event on July 3rd, 2010 drew thousands.  Do wish you were there?  Did you attend and want to relive the experience?  Watch this video postcard from the world’s largest geocaching-related event.

Play the Lost & Found video above to witness the spectacle that inspired so many geocachers to travel so far.  See a giant geocache, witness Geocoin Poker and hear from geocachers from around the globe.

If you missed GeoWoodstock VIII, you haven’t missed all the fun.  Already, more than 700 geocachers have logged “will attends” for GeoWoodstock IX.  The geocaching nation will visit Warren, Pennsylvania for the event on July 2nd, 2011.

If you attended GeoWoodstock VIII, please share where you visited from and your favorite memory.

View all the Lost & Found stories here.

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“Captain Jacques Yves Cousteau” GCJ9YK GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – 7/26/2010

The Virtual Cache titled, “Captain Jacques Yves Cousteau” (GCJ9YK) takes divers forty feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.  At this location you’ll discover a plaque honoring Caption Jacques Yves Cousteau.

This difficulty 4, terrain 5 Virtual Cache delivers geocachers to what’s reported to be one of the most popular dive sites on the West Coast of North America.  The dive site is located off Catalina Island, California.  According to the cache page, you must use SCUBA gear to reach the cache and dive with a partner.

PezCachers, Jill and Ken, created the geocache.

They say, “We enjoy placing caches that have some sort of history to them and are fun to find. GCJ9YK is a fine example of that. When we placed the cache in 2004, there were very few underwater caches and we thought it would be fun to see how many geocachers were divers. Turns out there are a lot! Thanks for bringing attention to the great legend who gave us a vision and the key to the silent world.”

PezCachers asks three questions before you’re able to claim the cache. Beside answering to those questions at this Virtual Cache, you’ll also discover much more: wrecks, drop-offs and come face to face with countless colorful fish.

Explore all the Geocaches of the Week here.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Virtual Caches are no longer available for creation on Geocaching.com.  These types of caches are now considered waymarks on Waymarking.com.