Geocaching Travel Bug

Once upon a time, a long long long time ago (2001) I discovered this Geocaching* thing. It sounded cool, so I bought a global positioning system (GPS) receiver and went looking for the nearest cache to me, which at the time was 45 miles away in Plainview, Texas (looking today, I see there are now 194 caches inside that same radius). I alerted some friends of mine about this thing, and a few of them took up the hobby.

Fast forward 6.5 years. I have a grand total of eight logged caches, all but one gathered in the first year. Mdsteele47** has found 42, Jcronen has 52. Vanepa has found 203. We’re Dead have 638. Aslanspawh has found 1310! He’s a nut.

Anyhow, one of the intricacies of geocaching is a device called Travel Bug. A travel bug is a tag that you can attach to something then place in a cache. The bug has a destination, or series of destinations, and the bug will move from cache to cache (hopefully in the direction it is supposed to go) as people find it and move it along.

Today, the Caldwell travel bug made its way to hot hands in Marietta. Here’s an image of it.

Caldwell Travel Bug

It had intermediary stops in Troy, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, and will continue to Lafayette, IN, and E. Lancing, MI, then finally back to Palmer, MA where it originated. I’ll need to place it in another cache and get it on its way to Indiana sometime soon.

*At its heart, geocaching is hide and seek with Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates. One person hides a cache (usually a watertight box of some sort) containing a log book and some goodies, then posts the position of the cache on the geocaching website. The finder then goes out with a GPS receiver and attempts to locate the cache. For more detail go to the geocaching website**.

**As a part of this blog entry research, I’ve discovered that the website is absolutely terrible. The search engine does not work effectively, i.e. I was unable to pull up the profiles of some of the usernames mentioned above. Their breadcrumbs aren’t operating like breadcrumbs. You can’t look up users. It’s barely possible to navigate, and often you end up back where you were by clicking on different links. It seems to me that all they’ve been doing since 2001 is adding features, not useability.

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