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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 a half after geocaching was born (in May of the year 2000), that was how geocaching was done. Caching primarily involved 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 I placed it in a cache that still stands out today in my mind as one of the best (even though it has since been archived) – Light House Point.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 it 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! 

 

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The Search for the Lost Sin of Greed – A Trackable Tale

jeremy devil duck
Original geocachers Scott Martin (left) and Geocaching Co-Founder Jeremy Irish hiding the ill-fated Greed Devil Duck

It starts like this a couple of weeks ago. People at Geocaching HQ had been sharing stories about some of their personal highlights of celebrating 15 years of geocaching. Jeremy Irish, the CEO of Geocaching and one of the founders who launched Geocaching.com in 2000 said, “So, I have a mystery story to share…”

This mystery dates back to the beginning of geocaching. It was 2001. A new game piece called a Travel Bug® had recently been introduced into the geocaching. Although most players had not yet heard of Travel Bugs many players, including Jeremy were sending out the trackable tags attached to items.

Geocaching.com homepage  circa early 2002
Geocaching.com homepage circa early 2002

Jeremy says, “When we first started Travel Bugs, I released 7 Deadly Ducks in the wild.” Each of the new trackables were based on one of the deadly sins. Devil ducks with the names of Sloth, Envy, Pride, Gluttony, Lust and Anger head out into the world to travel geocache to geocache. Did you catch that? Only six of the deadly sins were listed.

Jeremy says, “Well, I actually only released six, since the Greed Devil Duck, conveniently enough, was placed in a geocache that was never listed on Geocaching.com and may still be hidden in Virginia.”

 

Get your detective hats fitted.

Here’s The Search for the Lost Sin of Greed – A Trackable Tale.

 

Jeremy went on to say:

On December 16, 2001 I was visiting Scott Martin, a longtime friend who lived in Franklin County, Virginia and we decided to place a geocache there together. He had an old decoy duck and I put my Devil Duck in there along with some trade items and a logbook. We then headed over to either Waid Park or Franklin County Recreation Park – we’re not quite sure. I remember hiking on a short loop trail and going down a hill next to a small pond to place it. Sadly, the coordinates were lost before I was able to list it as a geocache. It may still be there today.

Currently Franklin County Virginia offers fewer than than 100 active geocaches to try to find. Geocaches are also located in both Waid Park and Franklin County Recreation Park, locations where Jeremy believes he may have hid the lost devil duck. So maybe the most difficult geocache find in Franklin county is a geocache that’s never been active. If you lived near Franklin County Virginia, would you search for The Lost Sin of Greed?

So, do you think you know the history of geocaching? Check out the 15 Years of Geocaching quiz.

#Geocaching Instagram: 30k

“A camera is a ‘save button’ for one’s mind.” Rogu Kingston.

 

Geocaching is more than a hunt. Geocaching is that “first to find” smile… the secret beach you stumble upon… the mountain you never thought you’d climb… the unexpected sighting of a rare bird… a forgotten piece of history… a new friend you pick up along the way. All of these geocaching “moments” can be captured through a camera lens (and beautifully, with a nice filter).

Everyday, geocachers on Instagram share their visual geocaching experiences with the world through the hashtag #geocaching. The official geocaching Instagram is our way of joining that conversation, sharing beautiful and inspiring geocaching images. Launching only 2.5 years ago, we’re thrilled to announce that the Geocaching Instagram has reached 30,000 friends and is still growing! Our eyeballs have never been happier.

Here are some of the most stand-out Instagram images from the last couple years.

 

Found it! #TFTC #geocaching #31in31
8-13-13 Found it! #TFTC #geocaching #31in31
8-21-2013 Sometimes #geocaching takes you to forgotten places and shadows of the past. #31in31 #ilovegeocaching
8-21-2013 Sometimes #geocaching takes you to forgotten places and shadows of the past. #31in31 #ilovegeocaching
11-27-13 Even in this concrete jungle we continue to be inspired while #geocaching. What's your favorite #UrbanCache?
11-27-13 Even in this concrete jungle we continue to be inspired while #geocaching. What’s your favorite #UrbanCache?
10-23-2013 Fog and rain can't deter us from #geocaching! What's the most extreme weather you've gone #geocaching in?
10-23-2013 Fog and rain can’t deter us from #geocaching! What’s the most extreme weather you’ve gone #geocaching in?
5-14-2014 #geocaching takes us to some of the most incredible places. GC3C2JW is located in Lisboa, Portugal - and what a beautiful stop along the way! What's the coolest thing you've discovered while #geocaching?
5-14-2014 #geocaching takes us to some of the most incredible places. GC3C2JW is located in Lisboa, Portugal – and what a beautiful stop along the way! What’s the coolest thing you’ve discovered while #geocaching?
4-29-2014 View from GC1CWV4 in Iceland. This #EarthCache is of a glacial river lagoon - and incredible wonder of nature. What amazing natural spectacles has #geocaching shown you?
4-29-2014 View from GC1CWV4 in Iceland. This #EarthCache is of a glacial river lagoon – and incredible wonder of nature. What amazing natural spectacles has #geocaching shown you?
7-24-14 GC13N11: An epic #geocaching hike to Lake Serene in the foothills of the Cascades. How long have you hiked for a geocache?
7-24-14 GC13N11: An epic #geocaching hike to Lake Serene in the foothills of the Cascades. How long have you hiked for a geocache?
10-7-14 Geocachers, who's up for an extraordinary #hike? The coordinates for EarthCache GCZ5YD in Utah will lead you to the start of the Zion Narrows trail. The rest is up to you.
10-7-14 Geocachers, who’s up for an extraordinary #hike? The coordinates for EarthCache GCZ5YD in Utah will lead you to the start of the Zion Narrows trail. The rest is up to you.
11-11-14 Here lies an official geocache... do not disturb :-).
11-11-14 Here lies an official geocache… do not disturb :-).
1-6-15 On top of the world! Geocacher "jcnbee" soaks it all in at GCGGHB in Rogaland, Norway. #geocaching #adventure #explore
1-6-15 On top of the world! Geocacher “jcnbee” soaks it all in at GCGGHB in Rogaland, Norway. #geocaching #adventure #explore
GC3Q9VP: Tomb Raider! Snag this geocache at sunrise to avoid muggles at the world famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. #geocaching #adventure #travel
1-13-15 GC3Q9VP: Tomb Raider! Snag this geocache at sunrise to avoid muggles at the world famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. #geocaching #adventure #travel
10919683_431843023635118_286317334_n
1-17-15 How many compartments can one geocache have? #geocaching #explore #makers
Camo'd Ammo. #geocaching #getlost #adventure
2-04-15 Camo’d Ammo. #geocaching #getlost #adventure
GC1D7NJ: Would you cross this bridge for a geocache?
1-31-15 GC1D7NJ: Would you cross this bridge for a geocache?
GC2TJKV is a must see if you are visiting the lovely city of #Amsterdam. What looks like an ordinary latched door, is actually a geocache. #geocaching #urban #travel
3-4-15 GC2TJKV is a must see if you are visiting the lovely city of #Amsterdam. What looks like an ordinary latched door, is actually a geocache. #geocaching #urban #travel

 

You too can join in the Insta-fun and share your #geocaching endeavors with the world! Oh, and follow us too www.instagram.com/geocaching.

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It’s the Same Old Story: Romancing the Geocacher

It’s the same old story.

Boy meets Girl. Boy takes Girl geocaching. Boy falls in love with Girl. Girl falls in love with geocaching. Eventually also warms up to Boy. Here are the 13 dates that made up this imaginary geocaching love story. This is a fictional account, so, basically steal any tips you find here to make your own moves on your potential geo-crush.

 


THE FIRST DATE

GC274GK

TamsinTugboat and I found this one on our walk through Discovery Park. I got us to GZ, but she
made the find (her first). Had a really great time, hope she did as well.
(Haven’t read her log yet…here’s crossing my fingers).  

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THE SECOND DATE

GC24H25

Cheers to making this incredibly tricky D3 cache my fifteenth! RusselltheSpaceman and I
spent the good portion of Sunday afternoon looking for this one. We gave up several times
and decided to re-energize with fresh pears from Pike’s Place Market. He convinced me
to try this really odd looking peanut butter drink. After that feat, finding this cache among all the
red-herrings was a  piece of…gum!

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THE THIRD DATE

GCPD31

Time to spice things up with some good ‘ole EarthCaches. Thanks for bringing
TamsinTugboat and I to this part of the world. Despite living across the water from it,
neither of us have made it out to Bainbridge Island very often. We had a heck of a time
figuring out whether this was glacial till, outwash, or silts and clays…but
guess who’s taken at least one geology course in college? (Hint, of the
two of us, it’s the prettier one.)

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THE FOURTH DATE

GCWTP1

Let’s get one thing straight—I was not the one to suggest this 4am hike up Sun Top Mountain. 
RusselltheSpaceman thought it would be “appropriate” to get to the top at sunrise, given
the name of the mountain. I thought it would be appropriate to sleep in. 
Guess who thought wrong?
‘Twas a beautiful hike, I’ll admit, and this geocache was a worthy reward. TFTC. 

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THE FIFTH, SIXTH, AND SEVENTH DATES

GCPWDY (among others)

If a 4am hike to a geocache on top of a mountain to reach a ‘cache didn’t discourage
TamsinTugboat, I think it’s safe to say she’s hooked on geocaching. She came on this
three-day camping trip in the Cascades with me, so things must be going well. This cache 
our fourth find of the trip, and the first island cache for both of us. The swim
was frigid, but there was no getting around that. Thanks for the T4 ‘cache!

925597_363104427191519_1682129996_n

 

THE EIGHTH DATE

GCK25B

Geocaching Headquarters on the eighth date?! Smooth move, my friend. Smooth move. 

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THE NINTH DATE

GC53PD0

I reached GZ with TamsinTugboat. We weren’t sure what to expect from a 
Terrain 4 cache in the middle of a residential neighborhood. If we’d known we’d be 
climbing this pine, we probably wouldn’t have worn flip-flops. Okay, so shoes off, and 
up the tree we went, barefoot as Mowgli. Due to technical restrictions, we each 
went up separately, but I caught this shot of TamsinTugboat waiting patiently for me to 
get over my vertigo and climb down. 

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THE TENTH DATE

DNF

It was bound to happen eventually — the dreaded DNF. According to RusselltheSpaceman,
the streak of 45 finds and 0 DNFs we had going was unusual. Even when you know
you’ll have to DNF eventually, it’s hard to accept. But it’s a bit easier to accept when you’re 
with a friend. 

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THE ELEVENTH & TWELFTH DATES

GC4DG0T

First Geocaching Mega event! TamsinTugboat and I took a road trip up to Saskatchewan 
to attend this awesome event. Met so many other nice folks and found over twenty geocaches.
She’s almost caught up to me (has someone been geocaching alone on the side?!).

8a44c8c7-90d0-464e-8ba7-26761bb04e7b

 

THE THIRTEENTH DATE

GC2WVHP

We came back to the park where we found our first cache to celebrate our 100th find together!
(Actually, 
this was my 140th find and RusselltheSpaceman’s 132nd find, but who’s
counting? Well, I am of course.) This EarthCache took us to the stunning sea bluffs at the edge
of Discovery Park, and as luck would have it the weather was gorgeous. From GZ we could 
see the little lighthouse at West Point. I’d love to someday restore that old lighthouse to
live in. Beautiful buildings like that deserve loving inhabitants.  Answers to the required
questions have been sent off to the cache owner.  We’re
both crossing our fingers on this one. 

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Go Geocaching Like a Local

We recently released 6 shiny new Geocaching Souvenirs for Greece, Mexico, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, and Italy.

In case any of these countries are still on your bucket list (or if you’re planning a return trip) check out this pocket dictionary of common phrases used in Geocaching. They’re perfect for starting or ending a fantastic log entry.

6 Souvenirs that could be added to your profile, if you’ve found geocaches in any of these countries.

 

 

 Brazil (Portuguese)

This statue of Frederico Engel can be found at  GC3FMPF
This statue of Frederico Engel can be found at GC3FMPF

Take a virtual vacation and tour of some of Brazil’s best geocaches.

Obrigado pela Cache
(Thanks for the cache)

Encontrada
(Found)

Boa aventura
(Good adventure)

A minha primeira cache
(My first cache)

 

Belgium (Dutch, French, German)

Here you'll find GC1EG4C, also known as "Atomium".
Here you’ll find GC1EG4C, also known as “Atomium”.

Check out one of Belgium’s most-favorited geocaches.

Bedankt voor de cache
(Dutch – Thanks for the cache)

Merci pour la cache
(French – Thanks for the cache)

Danke für den Cache
(German – Thanks for the cache)

Trouvé notre première cache en Belgique
(French – Found our first cache in Belgium)

 

Greece (Greek)

Finding GC1X5VF is a vacation in and of itself.
Finding GC1X5VF is a vacation in and of itself.

 

If you’re heading to Greece, relax, soak up some sun, and check out this awesome multi-cache.

Ευχαριστώ για την κρυπτη
(Thanks for the cache)

Ευχαριστίες για τη μνήμη
(Thanks for the memory)

Ομορφο μερος
(Beautiful place)

 

 

Mexico (Spanish)

Gringo Gulch lighthouse is the site of GC3B5XW one of the most-favorited geocaches in Mexico.
Gringo Gulch lighthouse is the site of GC3B5XW one of the most-favorited geocaches in Mexico.

Check out these five must-see geocaches from the birthplace of the sun.

Gracias por el cache
(Thanks for the cache)

Encontrado
(Found)

Muchos muggles
(Many muggles)

Excelente camuflaje
(Excellent camouflage)

 

Italy (Italian)

Geocache, geocache, wherefore art thou? The site of GC49T24.
Geocache, geocache, wherefore art thou? The site of GC49T24.

What better way to celebrate geocaching love than featuring a geocache located at a (supposed) site of one of the greatest love stories ever told?

Grazie per la cache
(Thanks for the cache)

Trovato
(Found)

Decisamente merita un FP
(Definitely worth a favorite point)

Posto bellissimo
(Beautiful place)

 


Croatia 
(Croatian)

You'll see this stunning water fall (and many others) at GC1FNKR.
You’ll see this stunning water fall (and many others) at GC1FNKR.

 

Also known as the Land of a Thousand Islands, Croatia is home to these five unmissable geocaches.

Hvala za cache
(Thanks for the cache)

Pronađeno
(Found it)

Mjesto je prelijepo, a pogled fantastičan
(The location and view are fantastic)

 

Are you drooling yet? Maybe it’s time to book some around-the-world tickets…

Fun fact: “Thanks for the cache” in Klingon is ” Tlho’ vaD yoDjuH’a’So’ ”