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How I became a Geocacher

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I am ashamed to say it now, but it took quite a push for me to get started with Geocaching. Several years ago my uncle stumbled on the activity and managed to get my father involved. Like most Milligan’s the FTF’s and number of cache’s found became an instant competition followed up with, “Well I have found more cache’s in more states!” They were hooked.

The adventures of my father turned into an obsession and he began collecting Geocoins and constructing elaborate races and adventures for his trackable’s. Every chance he got he would tell me about some elaborate design he had seen on a coin and just HAD to HAVE the entire set of various colors. At that time I just couldn’t see the fun. I can recall the first time I saw my dad in Geocaching bliss, we were on a family trip to Vegas and with him came no less than ten plastic tubs of travel bugs.

This was my first trip to Vegas! The last thing I wanted to do was hike through the desert and play with kids toys. The rest of the family trekked off for a hike while I sat in the hotel and administered a healthy dose of liquid calories. The hike would have done me some good. If I had know then what I do now, I would have jumped at the chance to find some new cache’s in a new state. I’de probably have more money and shed a few calories to boot.

After the Vegas trip I was intrigued. My dad, who is a large man, was out getting exercise and bringing his family along with him. He was enjoying himself and seeing parts of the country one would not normally visit on a trip to Vegas. I decided to do some research. I logged into Groundspeak and started asking some questions. After reading about other’s stories I decided I wanted to try it out. A short time later I was visiting my dad in Texas and we went out for an adventure.

It took about two cache’s for me to get hooked on the idea. The thrill of being in a park with people around and just turning over a rock to find the hidden treasure was thrilling. I enjoyed the idea that until now, I was clueless of this public activity and of the hidden game right beneath my nose. I wanted to find more and the harder they were to locate the more determined I became.

After my trip to Texas I returned home to New Hampshire and purchased a Garmin 60CSx. At the time, I was living in Portsmouth which is right on the coast and home to some of the best cache’s I’ve found yet. Also during this period, “Buddy” and English Cocker Spaniel, entered my family. Together we took off in search of Geocoins and FTF’s.

Portsmouth, NH is a beautiful city with lot’s of hidden locations and ocean-front views. Buddy and I found several trails and historic landmarks that I had either driven or walked by a thousand times, but never had taken the time to explore. We found dog parks, vacant beaches and even a few Geocache’s by accident! Together we were getting exercise and slowing the world down to an appreciative level. It hadn’t occurred to me how fast life was moving and how little time I spent enjoying my surroundings. There were hundreds of geocaches in the area and I planned to find them all.
From Portsmouth, Buddy and I headed north to Lake Winnipesaukee to visit family and corral some of my friends to take part in the adventure. The map showed several TB’s in caches around the lake and we were off. We spent several weekends hiking in the White mountains and found lookout towers, old graveyards and even a loon sanctuary that I particularly enjoyed. There seemed to be no end to the places we could discover and the best part, this new hobby was not costing me a lot of money.

As things tend to do, my life changed and I moved south to Charlottesville, VA. With a new job in a new state the best way I could think of to get acclimated was to get Buddy in the car and go Geocaching. I was pleased to find some many cache’s and discover I was living in one of America’s most historic locations. (I currently live just a few miles from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello).

Before long, I was introducing Geocaching to my co-workers and took my now fiancé on what I think could be our first date, but she would tell you otherwise :-) Having spent most of my career building websites, I wanted a way of sharing my stories with others. Ej, a lifelong friend an avid cacher, agreed that we should get a blog together. I will admit this is my first time really being a contributor to a blog, but I am finding it exciting and welcome the new opportunity to share my stories with you.

  1. Krista
    Krista02-21-2012

    Good story! I was introduced to geocaching last summer by my Braille professor! During class breaks we went out to find a few local caches and then she showed us the website. I was immediately hooked! The fact there were things hidden all around me that I didn’t know about fascinated me!!! I now have a few geocaches and trackables of my own and have spread the love of geocaching to family members. This will be a life-long hobby!

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