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Looking at the world through GeoCaching colored glasses


GetMeOutdoors
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I have been caching for 6 months now in and that amount of time I've noticed some changes happening. I look at my world differently. Here's a few example of what I mean...

 

Whenever I'm driving down the road and see a red jeep pass me, I get the irresistible urge to write down the license plate number and stick it in my pocket!

 

If I'm walking along and notice a pile of sticks next to the sidewalk, I can't rest until I look under them to see what's there.

 

When I walk through the grocery store I buy products packaged in things that would make good GeoCache containers. (we've had lots of coffee and peanut butter)

 

So, how has being a GeoCacher changed YOUR world?

 

GetMeOutdoors

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I now exercise, I did not do much of that before, because now it is FUN. The other thing I have learned, and it sounds corny, is a total apprecation for trees! I never noticed them before like I do now. When I go to areas that have not been all cut for timber - I am amazed at the sizes of some of these beauties. I also learned to value time spent by myself in the peace and quiet. Geocaching, it's a good thing... :huh:

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I've only been at it for a month, and I've noticed all of the points raised so far. I'd also add that I am much more aware of the geography of my hometown. I've learned about a ton of new little parks and trails that have been right under my nose but I never stopped to look.

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Geocaching has led to a lot of new observations - things I'd never realized or thought about.....

 

I REALLY don't much care for rattlesnakes

 

If you walk up to a tree with a sleeping owl in it, they will generally look at you and go back to sleep

 

A lot of glue that calls itself 'waterproof' really isn't

 

We will crawl literally up the side of a hill if we can't find the trail and know there's a cache "just up there a little farther"

 

ZipLock bags frequently are on sale

 

There's a whole lot of new maps in the house and cars

 

Tarantulas are really fuzzy and wave their legs at you if annoyed or surprised

 

Turkeys are very very noisy if surprised - or nearly stepped on.

 

It's tough not to be in a good mood if you are out hiking with a bunch of folks or a loved one.

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We now look at the world in a manner in which nothing is impossible. Those hills and mountains are climbable. The waterways can be canoed or kayaked. We've put ourselves in situations that most people think are completely crazy and we LIKED IT. Thanks to all our fellow cachers who challenged us!

Edited by Team LaLonde
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I do not fear small dirt roads into the hills.

 

I see a windy trail through the trees and I think - "I'll bet there is a cache over there" or "should be"

 

I carry a pen with me at all times now.

 

My kids get excited about trips because they know some "treasure" hunting will be involved.

 

I actually stop to see some of the really interesting side trip things advertised on all those roadside signs.

 

I stop at historical markers.

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Seeing things differently has been a quiet plus to my addiction.

I also have a newfound love for the outdoors and out of the way places. It's amazed me that we have a world class environment right here in our back yard. It's not the tree covered mountains or the rivers flowing through the meadows. I have fallen in love with the South Florida swamps mosquitoes, gators otters, pigs and all. I've never been much of a photographer but I now carry a small camera "Just in case".

 

Oh yea and the silly obsession with seeing Light poles, small trees and Guardrails differently.

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Not how its changed me personally, but a rather interesting story that seems to fit.

 

I first learned of geocaching when I was in Iraq. I had a girl in my unit with that seemed to have this uncanny ability to see hidden IEDs along the roads. Turns out she was a geocacher from Utah that was good at locating unnatural piles of rocks and other such things in the desert. :huh:

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I've lived in the same area for roughly 38 years. I've seen more of my own "backyard" in the last year than I have seen in the other 37 or so. Every time we drive by a park or some forest, we think "I bet there's a cache or that would be a good place for a cache". Whenever I watch movies and there are outdoor scenes, I wonder to myself if there is a cache there? Oh yeah, and the exercise factor has been an added bonus. I tried kyaking this year and had a blast! Don't know that I would have tried it if not for geocaching.

The down side is that it's made me realize I have only been in 2 states in the past two years. We need to travel further!!! :huh:

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Not how its changed me personally, but a rather interesting story that seems to fit.

 

I first learned of geocaching when I was in Iraq. I had a girl in my unit with that seemed to have this uncanny ability to see hidden IEDs along the roads. Turns out she was a geocacher from Utah that was good at locating unnatural piles of rocks and other such things in the desert. ;)

 

How cool is that!! :P Maybe it (geocaching) should become part of basic! :huh:

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I have been caching for 6 months now in and that amount of time I've noticed some changes happening. I look at my world differently. Here's a few example of what I mean...

 

Whenever I'm driving down the road and see a red jeep pass me, I get the irresistible urge to write down the license plate number and stick it in my pocket!

 

If I'm walking along and notice a pile of sticks next to the sidewalk, I can't rest until I look under them to see what's there.

 

When I walk through the grocery store I buy products packaged in things that would make good GeoCache containers. (we've had lots of coffee and peanut butter)

 

So, how has being a GeoCacher changed YOUR world?

 

GetMeOutdoors

 

For me it's yellow jeeps, even to this day.

 

I can remember going through the same thing when I started out. There's this whole secret world that people drive past every day and never know it's there.

 

My co-worker is a cacher and he uses a small lock-n-lock container for his breakfast. Drives me up a wall to see it filled with cereal and milk. Ask him, I never fail to mention that it's against guidelines.

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I am more aware of homeless people.

I am more aware that homeless sometimes don't have access to restrooms.

I am more aware that some people use remote isolated sections of public parks to engage in activities that most of us would rather be done in private.

I am more aware that teenagers sometimes get a six pack of beer, go a little ways into the woods, drink one or two cans, and then leave the empties as well as the unopened cans.

I now know that you can lift up the skirts on lampposts except when they are bolted down.

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Before caching, I visited a few limited parts of the US. I have now been to all 48 contiguous states and parts of Canada. I have seen things I never imagined I would see.

 

I've seen the bald eagles and porpoises off Vancouver Island and even saw the Peace Arch.

I've seen Delicate Arch and the slickrock of Utah and the mountains around Salt Lake City.

I've seen the mountains around San Fran, the Mohave Desert and the lava fields of SE California.

I've seen the mountains and the flatlands of Colorado.

I've seen the sand dunes of SW Michigan.

I've seen the sand dunes of White Sands in NM and walked alone with no fear. I met ants.

I've seen Central Park in NYC at night... and lived.

I've seen the Vegas strip, Red Rocks and Hoover Dam.

I've seen wreckage of a downed Warthog spread across the desert mountains of Arizona.

I've seen beaches, chickens and six toed cats in the FL Keys and sawgrass in the middle of the state.

I've seen Bourbon Street, and my wife saw me on a webcam there.

I've seen almost every monument in DC. I've touched The Wall.

I've seen the view from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial more times than I can count.

I've seen the view from the top of a mountain in WA state... with friends.

I've seen ancient steps along the mountain across the river from Pittsburgh.

I've seen parts of my home state of Georgia that I never could have thought existed.

I've seen the ball field where I first found out I was good at track.

I've seen the Space Needle from close up and from the great views of Kerry Park.

I've seen Froggy Central and lackeys and their leader.

 

I have friends across the world and close to home.

I've seen them do goofy things. They have seen me being... me.

 

I could go on, and on, and on.

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I have seen many places I would have never seen. I have found a great thing to do on short notice and love doing it, so my life is never boring. I can always cache and garanteed a good time. As soon as I weed thru the 1/1 park and reach and get on to real cacheing hikes! I want to be out there.

I also have gotten better and judging distances since caching, and have learned aloot more about the woods. No really bad experiences.

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Exercise! I used to do it anyway but it was a chore, now it's fun!

 

Have a sense of "ownership" of the territory in which caches reside and an added desire to keep those areas pristine.

 

What else would get me out of the house when it's 13ºF in the dead of winter besides riding my quad in the woods?

 

quadinwoods.jpg

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I've got some additional motivation to go for a walk, whereas previously it was all too easy to put it off.

 

I've also got an incentive to go walking in new places. Before, I tended to stick to my favourite familiar areas.

 

My girlfriend and I both bet more exercise and lungfulls of fresh air.

 

I get to use a cool gadget while out walking and it's integral to the activity, rather than just being a gimmick.

 

My girlfriend gets to pick something fun from the cache when she comes caching with me.

 

Even though we enjoy caching for different reasons, we've found an activity that we enjoy going out and doing together.

 

I've visited places I probably would never have visited otherwise.

 

There's a certain thrill of knowing about something secret that most people walk past without even knowing it's there.

 

Strangely, I even get some enjoyment out of finding and buying swag to put into caches. That feeling when you see something and think "THAT would be good to put in a cache".

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:D

 

+ yes..that would make a cool geocache! ..or I wonder if I could make a cool geocache out of that?

 

+ I wonder if that Garage sale has any cool geo-treasures?

 

+ did you know there a geocache hidden there?

 

+ what geocaches are along our route to...?

 

+ yes..I've now seen and been to every page of the Delorme in Kansas & Oklahoma..and there some really cool places to visit!

 

+ a 1 is Easy and a 5 is hard!

 

+ what's this still doing in my pocket?

 

+ I really hate TICKS and POISON IVY!

 

+ ..gotta go'n check my email..and of course see if there are any new caches..

 

:D

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Caching has made all our trips SO much more interesting - even the short ones - as we get to see the many interesting and historical out-of-the-way places along the way to, and at, our destination. These are often places we would never have visited.

 

Its changed our movie-watching habits. Now when the characters run through the woods and take refuge behind a rock we no longer think of their peril. We just wonder if there is a cache in the rocks.

 

Last weekend we went to an art show featuring local artists. We saw four paintings of caches. Well-maybe not the cache itself, but the interesting spot where we found it. If an artist painted that location, I guess it means that that cache took us to a great place.

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I have been caching for 6 months now in and that amount of time I've noticed some changes happening. I look at my world differently. Here's a few example of what I mean...

 

Whenever I'm driving down the road and see a red jeep pass me, I get the irresistible urge to write down the license plate number and stick it in my pocket!

 

If I'm walking along and notice a pile of sticks next to the sidewalk, I can't rest until I look under them to see what's there.

 

When I walk through the grocery store I buy products packaged in things that would make good GeoCache containers. (we've had lots of coffee and peanut butter)

 

So, how has being a GeoCacher changed YOUR world?

 

GetMeOutdoors

 

It has made me much more aware of the world around me in both an urban and rural setting.

 

I spend a lot more time figuring out ways to entertain others.

 

New fun people have come into my life from all directions. I have a new potential friend any place I go. I have met 100s of people near my home that I never knew. People from all over the world contact me about caches in Hawaii and usually end up meeting them.

 

I've learned how to behave better in the Groundspeak forums.

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I find that I am constantly scanning the sky for hawks and other interesting birds. Like this juvenile bald eagle:

 

f7363000-fda2-4db5-9d04-86b199abb7f7.jpg

 

And I scan the ground for beautiful mushrooms and wild flowers and intersting insects.

 

bffc4c83-73aa-44ea-94de-ffdfd790968a.jpg

 

I see the details in the world, and find beauty in the oddest places. Never did that before caching!

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I've realized that people wandering around screaming at a little box in their hands aren't crazy, they're geocaching!! :D

 

I've found one more way to spend time with our kiddos and have some more family fun! At this point our kids would rather go out hiking, snowshoeing, or caching, than be with their friends!

 

I've met some of the sweetest and funniest people in our state who have welcomed us with open arms!

 

I've found another reason to postpone cleaning the house, doing the dishes, and mowing the lawn....cause caching's more fun!

 

I've come to realize there are some really small places to hide things in this world!

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I've also met the most amazing people because of caching. Recently, another cacher more than 500miles away emailed me out of the blue, because our geo-names are similar. Then this total stranger invited me to visit and stay at his Lake Superior lakehouse. So I drove 565 miles and had an amazing vacation with (as his wife said) this guy I met on the internet! (another thing I wouldn't have dreamed of doing without caching!) They took me on a whirlwind tour of the North Coast and we hit more than 30 caches in awesome scenic areas. Why Look! Here's one now.

 

aa751d88-464e-466c-9eb4-06e1709d66d0.jpg

 

OK, and one more: (if you'd like to see more, cruise my recent gallery from early Oct.07)

 

158a667d-fc74-4857-af47-01011632d6e6.jpg

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Well, before caching i was going seriously downhill.

So I get out and start walking a bit further each time finding these daft things that were the targets each time.

 

time passed and I got a little better and yet still went searching for these daft boxes but now with a few friends, both online and locally.

 

More time passed and now I have lots of very good friends and a special one who puts up with all my idosyncracies.

 

So yeah I now look at the world through much rosier specs than I did a few years ago. :wub:

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I think the biggest difference to me is all the great new places I've discovered for hiking. I had been an avid hiker for many years but I had my favorite half dozen or so areas and rarely ventured beyond them. Through geocaching I've discovered many new places to put my boots.

 

That and I'll never look at Tupperware the same way again

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Well for me it has changed the way that I view cemeteries.

 

Just this past weekend, we buried a geocacher. Buried him alive we did. I hope that we don't get caught.

I wonder what might be the penalty for burying a geocacher?

 

I understand that if you bury a cache container that it might get archived. But if you bury a cachER? Can he be archived?

 

Probably not. Shame. :D:(:D

 

I suppose that we could go back and dig him up a bit. You know, leave one foot sticking out or something. ;-)

 

Yeppers, I surely do view cemeteries differently. :wub:

Edited by Team Cotati
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I understand that if you bury a cache container that it might get archived. But if you bury a cachER? Can he be archived? Probably not. Shame. :surprise:;):ph34r:

found this recently:

 

http://www.snopes.com/photos/signs/graphics/expired1.jpg

 

Supposedly it says "time expired". Maybe you could get a laptop headstone and engrave "cache archived" with the geocaching.com logos!

Edited by mtn-man
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uh... that wasn't the pic I submitted... does anyone know how to delete a topic post?

That's what happens sometimes when you link to an image you don't host yourself. Funny picture for sure (the one you intended to submit), but you'd have to host it somewhere yourself or just post the link to it. Otherwise you can edit your own post within a period of time after you submit it if you've made a mistake.

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uh... that wasn't the pic I submitted... does anyone know how to delete a topic post?

 

LOL! I'm glad you explained that, meralgia. I was having a hard time trying to make the connection.

 

I haven't posted many pics in the forums, but for the couple that I have, I've first uploaded them to an archived cache of mine, then view the image, and get the URL from that. That way, as long as geocaching.com is up and running, my image will be there.

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uh... that wasn't the pic I submitted... does anyone know how to delete a topic post?
I killed the image tags, now it is just a link.
Thanks much! Sorry to bring us off topic. Now, back to your regularly-scheduled, original topic.

 

I've met a lot of wonderful people whilst geocaching--some in person, some only virtually. Of course, I have to remember to avoid telling my mother that I'm caching with a stranger I met via the geocaching website and Groundspeak topics!

Edited by meralgia
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Four months ago: "The cache is a .2 mile hike from here. That's almost 1/2 mile round trip!

Now: "It's only a couple of miles. Come on."

 

Four months ago: "It's 10:30 at night. I'm not going out now!"

Now: "It's only 10:30. If we leave now we should get FTF!"

 

Four months ago: "What's cammo tape?"

Now: "I need more cammo tape!"

 

Four months ago: "If we don't stop, we can be there in two hours."

Now: "If we only make three or four stops we should be there by dark."

 

Four months ago: "I wonder where that trail goes."

Now: "Let's see where that trail goes."

 

Four months ago: "Look at the cool tank!"

Now: "I hate tanks."

 

Four months ago: "Geocachers are a strange bunch."

Now: "Geocachers are a strange bunch."

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I find myself examining potential containers and have a great time testing them!

I'm excited to go for a walk!

The kids like to point out potential cache locations

I have a camera at all times for those unexpected little treasures/views now

 

We've become more aware of our county and the incredible areas within it like:

abandoned churches & schools

abandoned cemeteries

wonderous geological sites never before seen

old timberframed barns

beautiful homes & landscaping

old old concrete bridges

local legends

local historical sites

homes of friends

road names

 

and I can now navigate the entire county with confidence. We're ready to hit Crawford County now to expand our local knowledge base. I do this with our kids and we are having a grand time, thanks to many ingenious area cachers. THANKS!

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Not how its changed me personally, but a rather interesting story that seems to fit.

 

I first learned of geocaching when I was in Iraq. I had a girl in my unit with that seemed to have this uncanny ability to see hidden IEDs along the roads. Turns out she was a geocacher from Utah that was good at locating unnatural piles of rocks and other such things in the desert. :laughing:

 

How cool is that!! :D Maybe it (geocaching) should become part of basic! ;)

 

That is brilliant. I have also noticed a number of unfounds in Afghanistan, one of which is described as an IED lookalike. Not sure if I'd be unscrewing the top off that baby. :huh:

Edited by uk89camaro
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For me it's yellow jeeps, even to this day.

 

I can remember going through the same thing when I started out. There's this whole secret world that people drive past every day and never know it's there.

 

My co-worker is a cacher and he uses a small lock-n-lock container for his breakfast. Drives me up a wall to see it filled with cereal and milk. Ask him, I never fail to mention that it's against guidelines.

 

You know what you gotta do! Open that puppy up, take something you want, leave something else, and leave a piece of paper with your geo-handle and the date on it! :laughing:

Edited by scuba dude
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My wife and I were talking about this topic and we both agreed that when we are driving around we are regularly asking ourselves "is this a good place to hide a cache" etc. And since I enjoy finding benchmarks - I find myself looking at old buildings, tall hills, or railroad bridges and wondering if there is a disk that I haven't found yet.

 

Also, I look forward to the podcacher.com podcast - and often wonder if they will add an extra show during the week.

 

And lastly, having done several great cemetary caches - my wife and I sorta decided one day that we would like to be buried in a cemetary that is more than just a flat plaque headstone like you see in most modern cemetaries.

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Changed? Not really. I've been geocaching since I was 13 years old. That's 47 years. I just didn't know what it was called for the first 44 years and I seldom found stuff hidden by other people! But I've always wanted to see what's around the next bend, what's in that hollow tree, what's behind that rock.

But there's no doubt that geocaching is magic. For me it's a time machine. When I'm climbing rocks, jumping over a brook, peering into the cave made by the root end of a fallen tree, I am 13 again. I sometimes have the feeling that if I just don't tumble back through that wardrobe I can stay that way forever...

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Oh, and one more change... Now when someone gives me directions to a place, I wish they would just give me the coords! If I can find a pill bottle in a swamp, finding a house should be a snap. :)

 

Oh how true! I recently took an outside sales position and was given about 185 addresses of current customers and prospects. I used the internet to convert the addresses to waypoints. Then I mapped the waypoints into routes and loaded my GPS.

 

Sometimes being a geek pays off. :)

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