Our handheld GPS receiver is scheduled to arrive today and we’re about to embark on an adventure called geocaching, which is treasure hunting outdoors using navigational coordinates (latitude/longitude). According to www.geocaching.com, geocaching is “a sport in which you are the search engine.”
A geocache, often shortened to “cache” (and pronounced “cash”) is a hidden container placed by a fellow geocaching enthusiast. The cache contains a logbook, so that you can record your visit to the cache, and sometimes it contains stuff you can trade (and you should always leave something of equal or greater value). Once you find a cache, you’re encouraged to log your experience on Geocaching.com and upload photos…but not give out any hints.
Caches also can contain items called Geocoins and Travel Bugs that you can take from the cache and drop into another cache. Entering the information online allows the item’s travels to be traced online.
Some caches are Earthcaches, which are places registered for educational purposes. Earthcaches are organized and maintained by the Geological Society of America. When you find an Earthcache, you take your photo next to it to show that you were there. Andrews Geyser, which comes from our little lake, is one example of an Earthcache.
Caches are classified with levels of difficulty, terrain and size of the cache. You can see an example of an easy cache called Light Up My Life in Asheville. An example of a medium difficulty and terrain cache is 5000 above 5000, also in Asheville. A difficult cache example is Happy Hiker #1: The Ten Essentials in Old Fort.
According to Geocaching.com, over 688,000 geocaches are currently registered, placed in 100 countries and Antarctica (12,000 in North Carolina alone)…so we have a lot of geocaching to do this winter during our slow season.
If you want to go out geocaching with us, just let us know! Don’t forget to bring your GPSr when you stay at the Inn on Mill Creek. We’ll also be hiding our first cache soon. Since the Inn will be celebrating its 10th birthday in 2009, we’re going to pack our cache with 10 items for trade as part of our The Inn Turns 10! celebration.
* a J.R.R. Tolkien reference for our friends Mark and Eileen in Bay Village!