If you’ve ever gone geocaching in Great Britain, you’ve probably come across a Church Micro cache. Church Micros are geocaches near interesting churches, church ruins, or chapels to highlight beautiful architecture or fascinating history. Contrary to the name, the container itself does not need to be a micro; in fact, it can be any size or even a Virtual Cache. While the series is predominated by Traditional and Multi-Caches, there are also Mysteries, EarthCaches, Wherigos, and Letterbox Hybrids. Even some of the new Virtual Rewards are Church Micros.
The series was created 10 years ago by sadexploration (Steve) and exploded in popularity since then. There are now more than 11,000 Church Micros, making it the largest cache series anywhere in the world.
Any serious geocacher probably has a list of geocaches they wish to find before they “kick the bucket”, so to speak. We’ll be doing an intermittent series dedicated to bucket list geocaches, and the first theme is, “Amazing Views.” We hope this blog post takes your breath away!
1. GC1FPN1 – München-Venedig / Munich-Venice / Monaco-Venezia Multi-Cache in Bayern, Germany D2/T4 What has 28 legs, spans 3 countries, and covers 560 kilometers (65,000 feet) of altitude? Why, this amazing Multi-Cache of course! Make sure to set aside at least 2-4 days to complete this life-changing journey from Munich, Germany to Venice, Italy.
3. GCVTH7 – Chimney Top Cache Traditional in West Virginia, USA D4/T4.5 The North Fork Mountain Trail offers a plethora of breathtaking views. According to the cache page, “If this trail is the best for scenery in the state (I think it is), then Chimney Top would be the golden crown upon this king of trails.” Gorgeous.
4. GC3QR3J – Arctic Circle Trail (K –> S) Multi-Cache in Greenland D5/T5 Only found 11 times due to the remote location and D5/T5 rating, this unique Multi-Cache is worth the effort. There are several adorable huts along the way to seek shelter, but make sure to pack in your own food and beverages since there are no stores along the route.
Time to grab those hiking boots out of storage and get packin’! Special thanks to acadicus, eigengott, and Keystone for their wonderful contributions to this list.
Are there any amazing views you’ve visited while geocaching that you would add to this list? What about other “Bucket List” themes or geocaches you’d like to see featured? Tell us in the comments below!
Yes folks, it’s officially October. We’d like to keep the party going by referring to this month as ROCKtober. Here are 10 ways to make your geocaching world “rock”!
This idyllically placed geocache takes you to the North coast of Gozo, Malta with sheer high cliffs. The area shows rock strata and breathtaking views across the Mediterranean sea. If you’ve logged this geocache, you’re probably a really fun guy . :-\
Since your in Malta, swing on over to nearby Sardegna, Italy. This geocache is on the way to the top of a giant rock with panoramic views. GPS signals can be temperamental here, so check the photos if you need a hint (or even a spoiler).
Stonehenge has been around for over 7,000 years, and this location has been a Virtual Cache since October 2002. No need to purchase tickets, just post a photo with this amazing wonder from the Middle Ages in the background, and you’re good.
Gluten intolerant? No worries with this loaf of bread. This geocache is located in near at Bread Rock in Castle Peak, Hong Kong. This is a D1.5/T4 cache in a “maze-like-area”, so make sure to do this one with a few geo-buddies!
But why should geocaches get all the glory? Trackables can rock, too. This Geocoin’s page states, “GEOCACHING ROCKS geocoins were designed by FOX 661L‘s friend Adam – DIVINGDJ – who DJ’s Rock Karaoke evenings around Coventry and had the coins created to bring some heavy metal into the geocaching world!”
The now famous Frog Rock has a romantic and heartwarming history. Located at the intersection of Phelps & Hidden Cove roads, Frog Rock was created by two Bainbridge High School sweethearts on “Paint Night”, back in about 1971.
Paint Night is an old tradition for graduating seniors, on Bainbridge Island. They go out and paint their first names and graduation year on the roads. Even back in 1971, the tradition was frowned upon, because motorists would drive over the wet paint, and the paint would slop up off their tires onto their cars.
So, creating Frog Rock was an extraordinarily creative way (and a responsible way) to participate in Paint Night, without painting the roads. Painting the roads was not just frowned upon; it was then, and is now, illegal.
The best part of this story is that, a few years later, the young couple got married and they’ve been together all these years.
Maybe it’s the influence of Grunge music, but here’s a second geocache from Washington state that rocks. Until very recently, this was the oldest unfound geocache in the state. But why wasn’t it found for seven years? It’s a D5/T5 geocache with a challenging hike, and 400 feet of intense rock climbing. Geocaching HQ’s own video team attempted this geocache in July of 2015. Watch the breathtaking video here.
This somewhat famous rock in Iowa was originally painted by artist Ray Bubba Sorenson, and is close to (what else?) an ammo can geocache. “For generations, kids have painted slogans, names, and obscenities on this rock, changing its character many times. Now, it stays painted with something worth seeing. Each year around Memorial Day, Ray uses white paint to cover over his previous year’s work, then spends one to three weeks creating new scenes on his blank canvas.”
Lastly, the very first EarthCache ever created went live on January 10th, 2004 and is located in New South Wales, Australia. Explore this beautiful area and learn about worm burrows, split joints, dikes, drop stones, and fossils (including a Bryozoan colony).
Tell us how geocaching rocks your world in the comments below!
Each geocache you find has three essential stories and you’re one of them. Remove any of the three parts and geocaching, well just isn’t geocaching anymore. The three parts of geocaching are the location, the hider, and the finder. Of course there’s many more parts to the geocaching experience, but these three are the essential ingredients to any geocaching adventure.
It’s the location that brings us somewhere undiscovered or overlooked, the hider whose lightbulb idea brings the geocache to life, and it’s you (the finder) who makes geocaching an adventure. In order to best describe this recipe for geocaching success, we’ve zoomed in to look at geocaching through a microscope. We’ve taken one out of the 2.7 million geocaches around the world to explore this idea of the location, the hider and the finder to celebrate 15 years of geocaching, which started with a location, a hider, and finder 15 years ago in 2000.
Geocaching exists where these three storylines intersect. It’s a nexus where the story of the geocache hider collides with the story of the location where the geocache is hidden. Then each find of the geocache is another chapter. Geocachers discover the geocache and add their own chapter, and so on and so on. It’s happened a lot in the 15 years of geocaching. In fact… Did you know: We’re approaching 500,000,000 “Found it!” logs. This is a picture of 100,000,000 stars to give you an idea of how big 500,000,000 is.
Even though geocachers are separated by time and distance, when a geocache and its location become a meeting point for colliding narratives, geocachers are able to add their experience to a growing community experience. Despite taking different paths to get there, by holding a cache’s log in your hands and signing your name, you contribute to the ever growing cache narrative. An exploration of one particular geocache reveals how the stories of the location, the hider, and the finders meet.
Location is the backdrop to every geocaching adventure. In some cases, it’s not the geocache you remember years down the line, but where the journey to find it took you. In the best geocaching adventure, you remember both the journey and the location. A side street in a small town in the U.S. state of Washington offers both, and a history lesson. At a private residence in Spokane, Washington stands an unmistakable stone monument, which often draws the attention of pedestrian passerby near the busy street. It is not unusual for cars to slow down to catch a glimpse of the plaque that highlights a story unique to Spokane’s history. However, little do they realize that they are actually passing a geocache as well. The monument adorns the residence of Sonora Smart Dodd, Spokane native and founder of the national holiday, Father’s Day. Dodd’s mission to honor her own father is now celebrated annually around the globe.
Thanks to the work of the current homeowners, Jerry and Bev Numbers, the house was placed on the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places in 2010, and the moment was erected the same year. The couple purchased the home in the 1970s from Dodd and rented it until they were able to move in permanently several decades later. Now the foyer of their home acts as a small museum dedicated to Dodd, featuring her artwork and family heirlooms.
Jerry and Bev joke that they have become adopted members of the Dodd family. They extend that same family feeling to anyone who knocks on their door, welcoming geocachers and visitors alike to view their treasures.
Few passersby realize that there is more to this plaque than meets the eye. “Mother of Father’s Day” GC2CFF6, is a geocache hidden nearby that pointedly commemorates this piece of Spokane history. When the homeowners were first approached by geocache owners, Bikely and Wifely, with the prospect of hiding a geocache, the two were intrigued. Although they had never heard of geocaching, they thought it would be “a great opportunity for people to find out a little more about the history of Father’s Day.”
Over the past five years, the small geocache has proven to delight and surprise its finders with its unique story. The owner exclaims that the geocache has “been a great learning tool, not only for geocachers, but for people stopping by on a very regular basis. Sometimes it’s almost daily, sometimes it’s several times a week. A car pulls up, some people sit in the car and read the monument, some get out and walk up to it. A host of different people though.”
Over the years, Jerry and Bev have encountered geocachers on a regular basis and greet them whenever they are home. From large groups to lone wolves, to families with young children to active seniors, each group and individual bares an original story that brought them to the geocache location.
Their favorite pastime is to watch the children set free by their parents to search high and low for the nearby treasure. Most importantly to the homeowners, the geocache has kept the history of Father’s Day alive in the community, especially among the younger generation.
Geocache Owners Bikely and Wifely, a husband and wife team, hid “Mother of Father’s Day” in the summer of 2010. Bikely, an active geocacher since 2004, is the owner of numerous popular geocaches in the Spokane area, with “Mother of Father’s Day” being one of his most popular. Bikely’s inspiration for this particular geocache came after first noticing the geocache location on his regular bike ride. Passing by the location so frequently, he already knew a little about the house’s history. It was the newly placed stone monument that helped him decide that this spot would be the perfect location for a geocache.
However, what attracted Bikely most to the Dodd home was not the location’s history, but the homeowners. What impressed Bikely more than Dodd’s story was the homeowner’s dedication to preserving this rich piece of history. Using their own time and financial resources, Jerry and Bev extensively researched the home’s history and Dodd family tree. For a time, they even hired their own researcher to dig deeper into the home’s legacy. Thanks to their hard work, the home was placed on the National Registry for Historic Places list in 2010, and remains the only private Spokane residence to do so.
The geocache also gained the attention of a local Spokane Reviewer reporter. Having seen his fair share of geocaching dos and don’ts, the journalist felt that “Mother of Father’s Day” was an example of a thoughtful and quality geocache. What he admired most about it was that it brought geocachers to a location with historical significance, as opposed to being “yet another streetlamp” geocache. Indeed, the sensation of discovering a unique part of history and the creativity of the location make “Mother of Father’s Day” a truly memorable find.
Who are the finders you may ask? Well surprise, you are! With over a 150 logged visits, Mother of Father’s Day is the home to a number of memorable geocaching moments. You can hardly scroll past a log entry without someone commenting on the story of the house or being thankful for the unexpected piece of local history. Although the Numbers have seen a host of cachers pass through the area, one particular story has stood out to them over the years. Thinking back to within the first few months of when the cache was first hidden, Jerry remembers meeting a man in his front yard who seemed to be in a bit of a hurry. Much to his surprise, it turns out this geocacher was in a rush to complete the challenge of finding two caches on opposite sides of the world in a twenty-four hour period. After hearing this, the homeowners realized the geocaching may be a little bigger deal than they originally thought.
What impressed me, as a geocacher and a writer, was that I felt like I was discovering a hidden gem. Working three blocks from the geocache location made me realize that I did not to leave my city, yet alone my neighborhood, to discover something amazing. Thankfully, I now know that Father’s Day was not invented by greeting card companies, but by someone who loved their father and wanted the world to know. It also taught me that whether you’re finding a cache on your way home from work or after a flight from China, different journeys bring us to the same place. In that moment, no matter how we got there, we are all geocachers.
It’s those three essential ingredients, location, the hider, and the finders, that bring us each to that universal “ah-ha!” geocacher moment. A geocache is more than just another number in your stats, it’s a memory and by signing the log you cntribute to the cache’s constantly growing story. It goes to show that although geocaching is a global game, we’re all one big geocaching community with our stories at the foundation.
Fifteen years of geocaching means over 2.7 million location, over 6 million geocachers, and fifteen years of stories. What’s the next chapter in your geocaching story?
Editor’s Note: Geocaching HQ holds an all company meeting once a month. The 80 folks from HQ discuss all things geocaching. The meeting changes each month. But there’s one constant. Every meeting starts with a geocaching community story. A Geocaching Life in Pictures is the story we shared in our meeting today.
Kristian and Maja, a father and daughter team from Denmark share their #Geocaching15 story in 15 pictures. In 2004, Kristian thought of an innovative way to connect with his growing daughter. He found geocaching by reading an article while waiting in the doctor’s office. Eleven years later the duo is known as Farogdatten and have collected more than 3,000 finds. Maja has grown from a 13-year-old to owning a house near her parents.
Kristian says they still geocache together from time to time. But one note he wrote to her teachers years ago helps explain their adventure.
I took her out of school two days, to prolong a weekend, but wrote a note to the teachers, that I would guarantee for her learning history, math, language and gymnastics on our geocaching trip. They had never before had an honest note like this and I am told the note was pinned at the teachers wall for a long time.
#Geocaching15 in 15 – Farogdatter
2004 Geocache Finds: 34
2005 Geocache Finds: 533
2006 Geocache Finds: 1103
2006 Geocachine Finds 1103
2007 Geocache Finds: 1552
2008 Geocache Finds: 2175
2009 Geocache Finds: 2376
2009 Geocache Finds: 2376
2010 Geocache Finds: 2560
2011 Geocache Finds: 2656
2012 Geocache Finds: 2987
2013 Geocache Finds: 3171
2014 Geocache Finds: 3522
2014 Geocache Finds: 3572
May 2015 Geocache Finds: 3,591
For Maja’s confirmation in 2005 she asked for one gift that would mean the most to her: a dog. She then named her dog CITO.
Kristian says geocaching still inspires and unites his family, “Well – the most important lesson, we learned, is, that it is still surprising, that geocaching can bring us new surprises.”
Celebrate 15 years of Geocaching by sharing your #Geocaching15 pictures and stories with us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram – and leave your favorite #Geocaching15 stories here on the blog in comments.