I have been thinking about the past decade of caching. Well, I can cheat and say almost 15 years. I found my first geocache when my kid was younger and playing soccer (football for all those not in the USA). My daughter wandered out to the corner of the field and when I went to find her I found an ammunition can. The Cache was Lehi Parks GCR0X6.
I had heard of caching for some time. Though I had not taken the time to actually get involved. I was a scoutmaster in the BSA and was scrambling to keep on top of everything. Well, after a bit I decided it would be smart to get a GPS. So off the the store I went.
I bought the worst GPS ever made. Literally the worst. I could not get it to run, it crashed constantly. I took it back to the store and paid more for a better model. It was crap as well, so back to the store. They had a policy that said I had to contact the maker to be fixed. So I was really pissed. I eventually badgered the guy until he let me switch to a Garmin.
Well, with that trusty old crappy GPS I did find a few caches. On May 4th in 2008 I stumbled upon Generic Cache GC17484 It was a two minute walk from my home. I looked twice, before I found the stupid thing. It was on a guardrail on a bridge over a creek. Wow, my eyes were opened.
I chose firennice as a handle from gaming. I started using the computer and internet back in the early 1990’s. It was a cool time, new tech every month. In that time period there were not really a lot of online gamers. I saw the origin of spamming at least in forums. There would be a discussion, and someone would say. “I like spam”. That was followed by a “I hate spam” and the boards discussion would devolve into that discussion. But I digress. I would try to grab firenice or fire-n-ice as a handle. There and on AOL. It was often taken, so I would add an extra n. It was never taken, so I grabbed it and rolled on. That became my geocaching handle.
I dove in really heavily that first year. I think I had well over 100 caches, and made a number of new friends. I remember attending my first event, and kind of sat in the back by a campfire. I had put out a series that was very well received by the local cachers, and it made me feel good to get the comments, and see the reactions.
I do remember getting home and my wife asked how it was. I remember saying that you had never seen so many OCD people gathered in one place at one time. It was really funny to her because she worked in the mental health industry.
Well. As this year rolls into my 11th year… whats up?
I have seen the rise of Earthcaches. they were around, but I feel like they came into their own later. I ran one mega event, attended a few others. I have many many coins. Had a few made. Hosted thirty events, and placed some 500 caches. I don’t look at my find count. I am behind on logging. I need to get back to that. So I really do not know how many I have.
My stat that I am the most proud of is the 1450 favorite points. I really try to pick and choose some of the locations. I think those are paying off as time goes by.
so thanks for everyone that has made this trip so great. I plan on more, perhaps a bit more picky than in times past, however I do plan on more. As I move closer to retirement and see kids slowly head out into the world.