Just some mutterings:
Step 1: Someone tries to explain geocaching to you, you don't understand, but they sound so excited so you let me take you into the woods. You hear the word 'cash' and figure it can't be all that bad if you are getting paid. What? I have to leave something?
Step 2: You find your first cache and immediately take the WG$ and the coins (even if they are foreign)... you are happy and excited and must by a GPS.
Step 2a: Depending on your income level this intermediate step involves begging your friend who has a GPS to go caching... or even borrowing it for a while. (ranges from 1 day to 1 year)
Step 3: Armed with your own GPS you now discover the nearest 1/1 suburban park cache all by yourself. You write 4 pages in the log book (which gets wet a day later because you didn't seal the cache lid properly) and gets stolen a week later. This is also the time discover: Travel Bugs.
Immediately forking out $42.50 for six bugs! Still haven't figured out what GZ or TNLN SL means.
Step 4: Now at your most experimental time of your caching life, you decide to go benchmarking and manage to find 4-12 before you realize that there is no log to sign and no one else on the site pays too much attention to them. Back to caching... You tell everyone you know about this new sport...
Step 5: First to Find Challenge! You have now bagged 10-25 caches in the area (50% are virtuals the others are suburban 1/1s). You are determined to get an FTF and can't figure out why StayFloopy or BassoonPilot keep beating you to the caches... conspiracy theories form: Maybe they tip off NJ AdMin, maybe they have a PDA in the field and are constantly driving around waiting. Hmmm! Many possibilities...
Step 6: Placing your first cache. You decide you have the perfect spot. You fill out the online form in 30 minutes (the wording, grammar and spelling have to be perfect!), submit the cache and the computer has timed out! DOH!!! You quickly reenter eveything and NJ Admin lets you know the 46 geocaching guidelines you broke... it's on private property, in the middle of a freeway, no you can't place it 364 feet from another cache... the cache has no logbook... etc. You argue and lose.
Step 7: Your first DNF. Not sure whether to log it as a DNF or just a note, or not at all, skip that you were ever there searching fruitlessly for an hour (you tell people two hours of course) ... the decision that you make now shapes the rest of your geocaching career.
Puts a crimp in your: #10 of 11 caches today log.
Step 8: You have read other cacher logs and you now decide to go for a ***/**** madness cache... in your log you write the equivalent to a set of encyclopedia pitting yourself verses the beast of a cache... A true Herculean effort... etc.
Step 9: You now think you are ready to help others with their caches and offer suggestions anytime you finish a cache. You carry your GPS everywhere you go, vacations etc. to bag caches in other states and countries. You also discover locationless caches and binge on those for a month... anything to boost your numbers! You stop trying to convince your friends that geocaching is trendy and all the cool people are doing (even though they are)
Step 10: You discover a whole new world when you log onto the forums for the first time and find 20 people you have never met congratulating you on your 100th find!?! You now check the forums daily for new news and developments in the NorthEast Daytime TV Caching Soap Opera. You also painfully realize that you are never going to place more cool caches than BrianSnat, find more caches than StayFloopy, find more caches first than BassoonPilot, place cool puzzle caches as Kber, place plain hard caches as HartClimbs, write witty comments like JMBella and write cool logs like Planet. Your forum post number comes dangerously close to your total cache finds. But you love it anyways! You scan all areas looking the best way to snag more than one cache in a general area... Numbers obsese you, (but of course it's not about the numbers).
Step 11: You attend a geocaching event and finally meet the people and faces behind the many e-mail exchanges, logs and forum posts. You share stories and bond until the wee hours of the morning. Other cachers notice quirks about you... funny you look fatter than your pictures, you have an accent? How come you don't type with an accent? Your find list moves above 200 and you are now clear on caches you prefer (I hate micros!). Your immediate area is clear of all easy caches and now, one by one you have to wade thru the tougher ones... you prefer to hunt in packs rather then in solitary. (preferably when the moon is full )
Step 12: You are now firmly engrained in the culture of geocaching. Whether you like it or not. You mention great caches you did to others and people look at you weird ?!? They say, that cache has been archived for 6 months! You archive your first cache since you do realize it was in a stupid location, and work on placing caches in really cool spots more than grabbing new 1/1s unless you can bag 6 on a hill. You pick and choose and don't feel the GOTTA GET IT NOW! Addiction you had before...
My name is Avroair and I am a geocacher...