(In process of editing )
For those of you who haven't heard -- and there can't be many, because I'm usually among the last to catch on to these things -- geocaching is one of the latest internet/hi-tech hobbies going. What it is, is, some creative soul hides a container out in a woodsy or public place so other people can come along and find it.
A more detailed explanation is: afore-mentioned creative soul determines whether to create a "micro" or a "regular" cache -- a micro cache only contains a few slips of paper so that finders can log in their find, and a regular cache might contain some little souvenir for the finder to keep (with the understanding that the finder will in turn leave some other bit of treasure for a future finder). Then said creative soul locates a place to hide said cache, records a global positioning location in latitude and longitude, then records the new cache on a website like this one. Really clever and creative souls will create clues, hints and other little goodies to help increase the thrill of the hunt.
I went geocaching for the first time yesterday. My buddy and former neighbor, Steven, came to rescue me from a Fourth of July spent in front of a box fan (no a/c) with my nose buried in a book and to introduce me to one of his favorite hobbies. He's been geocaching for at least two years now.
We looked online by my zipcode to locate some of the caches hidden in my area. I was astonished to learn that there are actually dozens, if not hundreds, of geocaches located within twelve miles of my home! We visited three locations during the afternoon; I made my first find over in Jackson Springs near the old spring.
This could certainly become a delightful (and addictive?) hobby. A GPS device is pretty necessary to save time and energy in locating the cache, but those can be gotten relatively inexpensively nowadays, I'm told (under $100). Looking for the hidden treasure is only part of the fun I experienced -- It gets one out of the house, and yesterday I discovered a local site I'd not known of before - an old cemetary (the originator of the cache used information on the tombstones to provide clues for the whereabouts of the actual cache). I look forward to visiting a number of other parks and woodland sites in our area over coming months. I think it's going to be quite a lot of fun!