5 Comments

How a Geocaching.com Co-Founder Found Geo-Love

unnamedSome people find much more than just cache containers when they’re introduced to geocaching. Geocachers may discover parks they never knew existed, the hidden history of their community or even the sting of stepping in poison ivy. But some geocachers wander into something else. They’re lucky enough to find the person they’ll spend the rest of their lives with.

It happens. It happened to one of the founders of Geocaching.com. Bryan Roth attended a geocaching event fourteen years ago. Fellow founder Jeremy Irish encouraged Bryan to attend.

Bryan says, “This was the first of [88] total geocaching events that I’ve attended so far. Jeremy had suggested that I attend and I figured it’d be a great opportunity to meet some members of the local geocaching community. I really didn’t know what to expect but, of course, that day has changed my life forever.”

What happened next may have been one of the very first cases of geo-love.  The event’s name was innocent enough. It was called Washington Geocaching Potluck & Quilting Bee.

Event in 2001 where Bryan and Hydee met (Hydee far left of picture)

Bryan’s “will attend” log read, “I will be there (with chocolates).” Bryan says he wasn’t fishing for love with those chocolates, “Not at all.  At the time, I don’t think I was even looking for a date. I was only thinking about meeting geocachers and getting more involved with the local community.”

But Bryan says he soon met a geocacher named Hydee and her son Dylan. He remembers his first thought, “Yeah [my first thought was]—she looks like trouble.  I was right, of course.  ;)”

She later told Bryan the chocolates helped cement her intuitions that he was the right person for her. She loves chocolate.

Jon Stanley, Moun10Bike, hosted the event where Hydee and Bryan first met. Jon says, “That event is actually where I first met Bryan. I didn’t know that the spark had been lit at that time, but I soon found out. Hydee and her friend CameraThyme kept referring to “AFM,” which stood for “Action Figure Man.” After a while I discovered that this was their code name for Bryan. Then, all became clear!”

The Roth’s 10 Year Anniversary geocoin

Hydee’s friend CameraThyme also played a key role. Bryan says, “Thanks to CameraThyme for letting me know that Hydee was single.”

Bryan and Hydee were eventually married. They’ll be celebrating their 15th anniversary of meeting in November 2016.

Jon says Bryan and Hydee are lucky, geo-love can be a rare commodity, “I attend a fair amount of events, though, and while I’ve heard of people meeting through them, Bryan and Hydee are the only ones I personally can name who linked up as the result of an event!”

But you never know. Attend a geocaching event before September 2nd this year, and you might come away with more than just your Meet Your Road Trip Crew souvenir—you could meet your own Geo-Love.

Can’t get enough geocaching love? Check out these sweet videos from the 2014 Geocaching International Film Festival.

[vsw id=”i14YiphCkfI” source=”youtube” width=”555″ height=”450″ autoplay=”no”]

[vsw id=”z-ImnJ-2le0″ source=”youtube” width=”555″ height=”450″ autoplay=”no”]

Do you know any geocaching love stories?

 

 

11 Comments

Geocaching.com Co-Founder Celebrates Ten Years of Geo-Love

Bryan, Hydee, Nicolas and Dylan

Some people find much more than just cache containers when they’re introduced to geocaching. Geocachers may discover parks they never knew existed, the hidden history of their community or even the sting of stepping in poison ivy. But some geocachers wander into something else. They’re lucky enough to find the person they’ll marry.

It happens. It happened to one of the founders of Geocaching.com. Bryan Roth attended a geocaching event ten years ago today. Fellow founder Jeremy Irish encouraged Bryan to attend.

Bryan says, “This was the first of 41 total geocaching events that I’ve attended so far. Jeremy had suggested that I attend and I figured it’d be a great opportunity to meet some members of the local geocaching community. I really didn’t know what to expect but, of course, that day has changed my life forever.”

What happened next may have been one of first cases of geo-love.  The event’s name was innocent enough. It was called Washington Geocaching Potluck & Quilting Bee.

Event in 2001 where Bryan and Hydee met (Hydee far left of picture)

Bryan’s “will attend” log read, “I will be there (with chocolates).” Bryan says he wasn’t fishing for love with those chocolates, “Not at all.  At the time, I don’t think I was even looking for a date. I was only thinking about meeting geocachers and getting more involved with the local community.”

But Bryan says he soon met a geocacher named Hydee and her son Dylan. He remembers his first thought, “Yeah [my first thought was] – she looks like trouble.  I was right, of course.  ;)”

She later told Bryan the chocolates helped cement her intuitions that he was the right person for her. She loves chocolate.

Jon Stanley, Moun10Bike, hosted the event where Hydee and Bryan first met. Jon says, “That event is actually where I first met Bryan. I didn’t know that the spark had been lit at that time, but I soon found out. Hydee and her friend CameraThyme kept referring to “AFM,” which stood for “Action Figure Man.” After a while I discovered that this was their code name for Bryan. Then all became clear!”

The Roth's 10 Year Anniversary geocoin

Hydee’s friend CameraThyme also played a key role. Bryan says, “Thanks to CameraThyme for letting me know that Heidi was single.”

Bryan and Hydee would marry. Today they’re co -hosting a “10 Years Since They Met!” event in the Seattle area with Moun10Bike and Avroair. Nearly a hundred people are expected to attend.

Bryan says, “I feel so fortunate to have met Hydee and adopted Dylan. Our youngest son Nicholas is almost six and I can’t believe what a wonderful ten years it has been for all of us. A really cool aspect of it is that many of the people at the event ten years ago will be there today, so it’s really an anniversary for all of us. We’ve built some wonderful friendships along the way and we have geocaching to thank for it.”

Jon says Bryan and Hydee are lucky, geo-love can be a rare commodity, “I attend a fair amount of events, though, and while I’ve heard of people meeting through them, Bryan and Hydee are the only ones I personally can name who linked up as the result of an event, let alone stayed together happily for ten years!”

Still want more love? Watch this video about others who met through geocaching.

[vsw id=”aqFJvj22WBU” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]

61 Comments

The Eureka Moment: Challenges

Jeremy Irish: CEO and Co-Founder of Groundspeak

By Jeremy Irish,

To me, the core geocaching experience is the “eureka moment” when finding a cache.

The word, Eureka, comes from the ancient Greek εὕρηκα heúrēka, meaning “I have found it.” I love this word. It represents that elated feeling of discovery when you move a few leaves to discover that container in the woods, or reaching under a park bench to extract a magnetic key holder. It is a sense of accomplishment and marks the end of a successful journey.

Finding a geocache is fun and rewarding, but I’ve always been frustrated of the limitations of a geocache. As a physical object, some places are inappropriate for placing a cache. They can’t be hidden close to each other to reduce confusion, many locations have to be regulated by land managers, and some locations just can’t support a hidden container. But there are lots of cool and interesting eureka moments in the world. So how can we get people there without a cache?

We tried this before. Our early attempt was to support virtual caches, which weren’t geocaches at all but unique locations on the world for people to discover. The best of those virtuals still exist today as grandfathered listings, but there was a time when virtuals were hard to qualify. The biggest reason was that we were applying the guidelines of geocaches to virtuals, which required a reviewer to publish them. No one could determine what the subjective threshold for what was a virtual was and wasn’t, so the constant angst resulted in the retiring of virtuals. For years we have focused on the core game of geocaching, but have always wanted to find a way to bring virtuals back.

Click on the image for a preview video of "Geocaching Challenges"

Spring forward to 2010 when we added the feedback section of our web site. It became quickly apparent that the community wanted virtuals back as much as we did. However, knowing the history of virtuals, we couldn’t just flip a switch and have the same process again. So we sat in a room and tried to distill the idea of virtuals into one sentence. The result was “go somewhere and do something.” This evolved into Geocaching Challenges.

Find a location of interest and challenge someone to take a photo or complete some kind of task unique to that location. Make it fun! Take a picture of yourself holding up the Tower of Pisa. Pull statue Lenin’s finger in Fremont (Seattle). We’re looking for the community to define the best challenges in the world.

We also know in the early days that there won’t be many Challenges, so we’ll be issuing Worldwide challenges daily. For those old timers, these challenges will be like the old Locationless caches. For example, we’ll challenge you to take a picture of yourself on a boat, kissing a frog, or dressed like a pirate. We’ll be using our feedback site as a way for the community to suggest Worldwide Challenges.

What are the guidelines for issuing a challenge? Unlike caches, there aren’t any official guidelines. Instead, you can rate challenges with thumbs up or thumbs down, and there are reporting tools available in the case that a challenge is inappropriate or unavailable. We’ll be tweaking these tools and introducing new ones as the activity grows, to ensure that the community can collectively decide what is appropriate, and what isn’t. For example, there is no 520’ guideline and Challenges won’t be blocked from being issued at Disney World, or even a pub.

There will be some restrictions at the start. To reduce the growth during the early days, only Premium Members can submit challenges. Premium Members will be limited to creating a Challenge once every 24 hours. Our hope is that we’ll be able to open this up further once we tweak our system to address the feedback we get from the community.

We’re also releasing a whole new set of mobile applications for Challenges, on the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7. We expect that this new activity will be primarily accessed through these free applications, though we’ll continue to support GPS devices.

I’m very excited about Challenges, and look forward to seeing what the community can do with the new concept. I also look forward to constructive feedback on how to improve the activity and make it a part of the core geocaching experience.

 

97 Comments

Geocaching Caption Contest 10 – Win a Barely Coveted Prize

Winning Caption: “The pain was made worse when a voice from below shouted, ‘Found it!'” – KBLAST

This is the tenth installment of our Geocaching Caption Contest.  This picture was posted to Geocaching.com’s Facebook page by a German geocacher.  It was too good not to share here on the Latitude 47 blog.

What caption would you write? “Additional logging requirements (always optional), Sing Soprano.” You can do better.

Barely coveted prize

The winner receives this barely coveted prize. The patch celebrates 10 years of geocaching.  As a bonus, I can vouch that the patch comes directly from the office of Groundspeak Co-Founder and Vice President Bryan Roth.

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

The winner of Geocaching Caption Contest 10 will be chosen by an ad hoc committee of Lackeys.

15 Lackeys voted to award the winner of the ninth Geocaching Caption Contest a barely coveted prize.  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.

4 Comments

Groundspeak’s Lost & Found Celebration – Geocaching.com’s Lost & Found Video

Geocachers from around the world celebrated ten years of geocaching at Groundspeak Headquarters in Seattle, Washington on July 4th, 2010.  The Lost & Found Celebration brought together thousands of geocachers, dozens of Lackeys, Groundspeak’s mascot Signal the Frog, the Bubbleman, a dunk tank and The Founders of Geocaching.com.

Geocachers were also able to explore the Fremont neighborhood and earn a trackable HQ tag by completing a scavenger hunt.

Groundspeak CEO, President and Co-Founder Jeremy Irish gets dunked.

There’s more celebrating to come. Stay tuned for additional plans to commemorate ten years of geocaching.

Tell us, how have you celebrated a decade of geocaching?

You can see even more geocaching adventures by watching our Lost & Found video series here.