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Geocaching Bucket List: Amazing Views Edition

Bucket List Geocaches: Amazing Views Edition
Bucket List Geocaches: Amazing Views Edition

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.

On the way to the top
On the way to the top

 

Lush valleys
Lush valleys

 

Beauty beyond belief
Beautiful beyond belief

 

Made it to the top!
Takin’ it to the top!

 

2. GC282A – Petra
Traditional in Jordan
D2.5/T3.5
Channel your inner Indiana Jones and visit Jordan’s first geocache in the ancient city of Petra. Petra was named one of the New7Wonders of the World in 2007, and was chosen by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 28 Places to See Before You Die. That means it’s officially on someone else’s bucket list, too.

Approaching the geocache
Approaching the geocache

 

Mmmm... peanut butter anyone?
Mmmm… peanut butter anyone?

 

Along the route
Along the route

 

The famous city of Petra
The famous city of Petra

 

 

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.

You want me to climb that?!
You want me to climb that?!

 

Breathtaking
Breathtaking

 

Wow!
Wow!

 

In summer or winter
Hikeable in summer and winter

 

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.

Camping along the way
Camping along the way

 

A slight upgrade the next night
A slight upgrade in lodging the next night

 

It's so quiet above the valley
It’s so quiet above the valley

 

Stunning sunsets
Stunning sunsets

 

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!

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Geocaching ROCKS!

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”!

GC5G7A7 - G.P.S. I. NORTH COAST WALK - The Mushroom Rock
GC5G7A7 – G.P.S. I. NORTH COAST WALK – The Mushroom 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 . :-\

 

GC5BMM0 - Moon Tower
GC5BMM0 – Moon Tower

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).

 

GCA68D - Stonehenge
Tesco Wolf TB visits GCA68D – Stonehenge

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.

 

GC45DC3 - Can you eat rocks?
GC45DC3 – Can you eat rocks?

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! 

 

TB3XM3T – GEOCACHING ROCKS! Geocoin

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!”

 

GC1C93A - Frog Rock
GC1C93A – Frog Rock

Oh, Signal the Frog would be so proud of this geocache in Washington state! The best way to explain this surprisingly romantic geocache is to quote the description:

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.

 

GC1G5BY - Tensegrity on Liberty
GC1G5BY – Tensegrity on Liberty

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.

 

GC2FFRV - The Secret of Rolling Stones (USA)
GC2FFRV – The Secret of Rolling Stones (USA)

A rolling stone gathers no moss, especially when it’s located in the middle of Death Valley, California. Here you’ll find this Earthcache based on a recently “solved” mystery: self-moving rocks. This phenomenon has been studied for over half a century. Can you figure out how they move?

 

GCQEVF - Patriotic Rock
GCQEVF – Patriotic Rock

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.”

 

GCHFT2 - Earthcache I - a simple geology tour of Wasp Head
GCHFT2 – Earthcache I – a simple geology tour of Wasp Head

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!

 

 

 

 

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Mother of Father’s Day: Investigating The 3 Parts of Every Geocache

20150204_122057
Mother of Father’s Day GC2FF6

By Dani Navarre 

Mother of Father’s Day

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

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Location: Spokane, WA USA

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.

Dodd
Sonora Louise Smart Dodd

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.

The Hider

Bikely & Wifely
Bikely & Wifely

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.

Finders

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.

A full log sheet at the geocache site
A full log sheet at the geocache site

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?

 

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A Geocaching Life in Pictures – Farogdatter – Celebrating 15 Years of Geocaching in 15 Pictures

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. 

15 years blog image 1

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

 

 

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.

Maja with CITO the dog thinking about trackables
Maja with CITO the dog thinking about trackables
CITO the dog upon hearing someone did not pickup trash while geocaching
CITO the dog upon hearing someone did not pickup trash while geocaching

 

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.”

Farogdatten geocoin
Farogdatten geocoin – 2007

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.

geocaching flag
Share your story and we might just send you one of these Geocaching car flags for your #Geocaching15 road trip

 

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The Father of the Geocoin: Moun10Bike

 

Geocoins—it’s hard to imagine Geocaching without them, Travel Bugs, or any other kind of trackable. But for an entire year and half after geocaching was born (in May of the year 2000), that was how geocaching was done. Caching primarily involved of using GPS technology to discover ammo cans hidden deep in the woods, then the seekers would write long entries into pre-placed log books.

The Father of the Geocoin: Mr. Jon Stanley, aka Moun10Bike
The Father of the Geocoin: Mr. Jon Stanley, aka Moun10Bike

But geocaching’s path changed forever (and for the better) when Jon Stanley, aka Moun10Bike, created and placed the very first geocoin in a cache near Deception Pass in Washington State, USA.

Not only is Jon a legend of geocaching, he’s also a Charter Member and now works as a System Analyst/Lackey with Groundspeak. We caught up with Jon between bug fixes, forums posts, meetings to keep everyone in the loop, and geocaching on his lunch break, to find out more about how geocoins came to be.


What gave you the idea to place a geocoin?

Back in 2001, I was coming up on my 100th cache find. I wanted a signature item to launch in time for that milestone, and had heard about military challenge coins from a fellow cacher. They sounded like the perfect geocaching item – compact, easy to carry, durable – so I designed and minted a set of personalized coins that I dubbed “geocoins.”

Here it is, folks: Moun10Bike Geocoin 001. Try not to hyperventilate.
Here it is, folks: Moun10Bike Geocoin 001. Try not to hyperventilate.

When was the first Geocoin placed?
The coin was placed September 30th of 2001. I placed it in a cache that still stands out today in my mind as one of the best (even though it has since been archived) – Light House Point. It involved a rickety aluminum ladder that you could only access during low tide. I climbed the ladder. I didn’t know if I’d be able to do it because I have a fear of heights. But knowing I wanted to place that coin in a special cache got me up the ladder.

So the first coin was placed in that cache?
I kept the first one for my personal collection. So it was number two… 002. That was the first one placed.

And then what happened?
I placed in there, and didn’t think that much about it. Well you know, it started off really slowly. It was about 6 months after I placed or minted my coins and placed them that anyone else started making coins that I know of. They became desired items. So rather than people seeing them and moving them on, the goal was to get to it first and keep it for their collection. It was almost like a Beanie Baby craze. There was the Geocoin craze.

How many Geocoins do you think you’ve placed out in the world at this point?
I’ve sent out over 1200 of my Moun10Bike geocoins so far, and over 1500 coins if you count my coinaments (a Christmas tree ornament that is trackable and shaped like a coin)!

How many Geocoins do you own?
I stopped counting in 2006. At that point it was around 1000. I have at least five times that many now.

Jon, aka “Moun10Bike”, and his son Jameson, aka “Moun10Tyke”, on an adventure a few years ago.


What is something that most people would be surprised to learn about you?
Hmmm, I’m pretty boring. Would it surprise people if I said that my wife and son can barely tolerate caching? :)

Getting abducted on the E.T. Highway
Getting abducted on the E.T. Highway


Any parting thoughts?
From computers to the web, to gadgets, and then foremost the outdoors, I just couldn’t ask for a better hobby.

 

Sure is crazy to think that any experiences you’ve had with geocoins, Travel Bugs, or trackables lead back to Jon Stanley. Do you collect geocoins, or geocache with trackables? How have they changed the way you cache? Tell us your stories below!