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Poor Article On Geocaching

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Just got notified of a new geocaching article which, after reading, I felt others here might, as I will, want to contact the author to.


The article is titled Rob on the Road: Fun of geocaching escapes this indoorsman and it truly is an anti-geocaching article. I can't imagine anyone that reads it would have any desire to try it out. The guy just didn't seem to be the right person to do an article on being outside under any circumstances.


If you'd like to contact the author, Robert Golub's email address is rgolub@journaltimes.com and the general feedback address is comments@journaltimes.com in case anyone wants to copy the site as well.


I would also be interested in knowing which geocachers the author went out with and how they feel about the article. They have a lot of finds (676 finds at the time mentioned in the article), but it doesn't mention them by any site name.


The article is at http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2004/.../iq_3031492.txt



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I didn't take that as a negative article at all. That guy just didn't take to caching. He didn't speak anything bad about the sport.


Just because someone doesn't like to participate in the same activities that I do, is no reason to complain.

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As the author stated "I'm not a hiker. For me a "hike" is a negative word that means I'm not doing that."

Well I wouldn't have to worry about him going after any of my caches. He clearly explained that this was't the kind of thing that would give him a rush. And I must say he did not use the word Buried which is a word that puts Caching in the negative zone.

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It's not that bad. The guy makes it obvious from the article that he is not a hiker or outdoorsman, which makes it likely that a hiker, or someone who ejoys the outdoors mightl be attracted to the sport after reading it.


Geocaching isn't for everybody and this guy is one of those people who don't get it. Sending him 1,000 angry letters won't make him get it and will lead him to think that geocachers are a defensive bunch of people with no sense of humor.

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I agree with most here that this article is actually positive...it clearly ties together the family nature of what we love to do...from adults to kids...the writer clearly defines himself as being someone who doesn't really want anything to do with the outdoors...and finally, gives a free plug for GC.com.

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Good golly...


Look at this guy's last paragraph:


Instead, I accuse them of visiting www.geocaching.com just a little bit more than I might. I accuse them of spending time outside with children. I accuse them of having fun in a way that I don't totally get.


Please note the sentence "I accuse them of spending time outside with children." I read this sentence to be telling me that he is being tongue-in-cheeck


Please don't send this guy flame mail. I think you're missing the point if you do.


Also, please realize that people are allowed not to like Geocaching. They are allowed to voice their opinion and shouldn't get a lot of flame mail about it - as long as they are honest about what the sport is about, and this guy seemed to be. We will look stupid, and get a much funnier article written about us as a result of a flame-war thrown at the guy...



Edited by TeamJiffy
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I don't get the "anti-geocaching" statement. This writer clearly would rather spend his time inside watching Best Week Ever than going for a walk in the woods. He tried the hobby and didn't like it. He wrote an article describing the hunt. That's his right. He made sure to point out that he prefers not to be outdoors. I don't view it as negative. My brother tried geocaching and didn't like it. It's not for everyone.


Flaming the guy would do far more harm than the 2 or 3 readers who might actually take this guy seriously and miss the satire. Could you imagine the negative article he could write describing the flaming from uptight geocachers? He'd then be able to quote the TV guy and tell us to "get a life".

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I actually enjoyed the article. Not everyone is geocaching material. I have friends who think I'm an idiot for spending so much time, energy, and money going out and hunting McToys.


I don't think he blasts geocaching or even puts it in a negative light. It's his own opinion based on his experience, and he's entitled to it.

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I have to agree with everyone this is not a negative article. He tried and did not like it, but his kids did. I'd really love to see what happens when they ask when they can go treasure hunting again.


As for the tounge in cheek humor, he really needs to work on it. All in all this was not an article cast Geocahing in a bad light, just a badly written article. When I finshed reading my only thought was, huh??

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I believe this person simply has a cynical approach to writing. I can see how this article could be taken negatively, however, I don't believe it is negative.

Geocaching is/was not a turn-on to the author. I didn't necessarily pick-up any praise for the sport.

Rememer there is no such thing as bad advertisement. If people are talking about something, a product, etc. that's just what you want them to do.


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The guy makes it obvious from the article that he is not a hiker or outdoorsman


Like 95% of the geocaching "community."


which makes it likely that a hiker, or someone who ejoys the outdoors mightl be attracted to the sport after reading it.


I don't know about "likely," but clearly the article is written in a self-deprecating manner and is actually a positive review of a family activity.


Just got notified of a new geocaching article which, after reading, I felt others here might, as I will, want to contact the author to.


The article is titled Rob on the Road: Fun of geocaching escapes this indoorsman and it truly is an anti-geocaching article. I can't imagine anyone that reads it would have any desire to try it out.


The action recommended in the OP of this thread is a gross over-reaction if ever I've seen one.

Edited by BassoonPilot
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Yeah, I don't think this was intended as a negative review of the game. (Although, even a negative review of geocaching can't be grumbled about too much. As long as it is factual, unlike the last article we all got up in arms about.)


Anyway, I got the impression that this guy was going to great lengths to let the readers know that HE disliked being outdoors for any reason. Notice his negative view of hiking. A sport that I'm sure many of us enjoy even if there isn't a cache at the end of the hike.


I would just let this one go. No harm will come to geocaching as a result of this article, IMHO.


It was kind of a funny article to read though. I kept thinking to myself "geez, this poor guy. He must be a very pasty faced bored person who never leaves his computer."

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OK was it just me or did this guy seem overly whiny? My arrow points the wrong way, I don't want to look for a film canister in the mud, I dont want to cross a stream, I dont want to look in the cache because there are too many bugs... I'm surprised this guy ever goes outdoors period! :huh: Talk about taking all the fun out of it :huh:

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The article is fine. Anyone who doesn't like hiking isn't going to like geocaching (at least, not the ones involving hikes). There is certainly nothing wrong with writing about your experience and why you didn't care for it. It definitely doesn't warrant any angry e-mails.



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To me, it was obvious that it was a humor piece before I got through the title. I see no harm in a self-proclaimed "indoorsman" bringing attention to the sport.


It seems like the real negative points were in reference to himself.


Heck he even gave the name of the website!


No sense getting excited if a guy, that is afraid to cross a stream that a 3, and 5-year-old cross, doesn't "get it." :huh:

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I read it. I think this guy's a Dave Barry wannabe, and it's actually a positive report on geocaching?

i will definitely agree on the dave barry thing. the only thing is, dave barry usually makes me laugh.

i think this one article i'm not gonna write to though... i guess you have to read this guy and understand him and his humor to know whether the whole thing was or wasnt sarcasm. what the heck did i just say in that last sentence?

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I read the article, and I feel moved to write to the author. I am gonna say something like this:


I read and enjoyed your article on your first geocaching experience. Many other "cachers" around the country did too, and your writing style was compared to that of the great and delightful Dave Barry. The kind of treasure hunt that you participated in was not your cup of tea, and you might be surprised at the variety of types and avenues of interest encompassed in this global phenomenon.


Geocaching can take you to the artistic, the historical, the hysterical, the educational, and the aesthetically awesome locations in an entirely urban environment. I would invite you to go back to the geocaching.com website and look up a few "virtual" caches, and a few mystery caches near your office or home. You could even "cab cache" and not have to walk (outdoors) to have a delightful experience.


I for one, would enjoy seeing another geocaching article written by you, after you have made a few discoveries, and when you can say, "now I get it!"


Mr Smiles

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I have to agree with most of the others here. It was funny and written from the perspective of someone who undertakes an activity that they aren't suited for.

Different strokes for different folks....whatever floats your boat....whatever trips your trigger.


I could write a similar article if someone got me to agree to go on a camping trip (yeah, like that would ever happen). It would be full of comments about crazy people who like sleeping in tents and cooking over an open fire.

And yet I fully acknowledge that there are people who love that kind of stuff....I'm just not one of them.

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I think the guy is a schmuck! Imagine commenting on everything you do that you don't like? It would be like posting in every thread just because you can.


First off, he used poor judgment in participating in an activity that he knew wasn't up his alley. I have no desire to take ballet, so why would I write an article on ballet and that it isn't for me? I think I have better things to do then go do things I know I don't like.


I'm not sure why folks think this article is somehow positive. If I read the article and was unfamiliar with geocaching, I don't think I'd find any desire to do so. If there was something new I read about, and it didn't discuss an activity in good way, unless I could somehow determine that I'm the exact opposite of the person, I'd imagine I wouldn't enjoy it either. I wasn't a hiker when I started geocaching, so I feel this individuals categorization of his "type" is what I was. If it wasn't for geocaching I wouldn't have found out how much I enjoy hiking.



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I have no desire to take ballet, so why would I write an article on ballet and that it isn't for me? I think I have better things to do then go do things I know I don't like.


You really have to read A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson then. Actually, I think this guy was trying to write something Brysonesque.

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I have no desire to take ballet, so why would I write an article on ballet and that it isn't for me? I think I have better things to do then go do things I know I don't like.


You really have to read A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson then. Actually, I think this guy was trying to write something Brysonesque.

Ok, I heard you the first time :huh:


But I hate reading. Maybe I should write an article on how dumb it is to read since I hate reading, so why would anyone else want to read it.


We have a guy in the Bergen Record who sometimes writes the same way. I guess it's more likely to be best interpretted if you're reading the article and know the person writing it. Yes, it could be the style of writing he always uses, but I don't really know.

Edited by Team DEMP
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So, what's the problem? He says straight out that he doesn't like the outdoors, and has no plans of starting to. :huh:


Not everyone likes this game. My kid brother got me into this, but his wife detests it.


I thought the article was very T-I-C, but put caching in a positive light.


Don't go running around saying that he wrote an article trashing Geocaching just because he didn't call it the greatest thing since sliced bread.


Everyone has the right to their opinion.

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There is no problem with this article other than the unwarranted flame emails that hasty geocachers might send.


The article is written in a literary style that is a little cynical but humorous and enjoyable none the less. It places geocaching in a good light and at least in didn't use the dreaded b-word, buried.


Read, step back from the keyboard, breath deep, read again, step back, breath, then touch the keyboard only as a last resort.

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Wow, what an interesting set of opinions!


As we were the folks that he and the Folks were tagging along with, I guess I should make a few comments.


First off, I don't think he's coming off as negative about the sport at all. I actually hadn't read any of his articles before so I didn't know what sort of tack he was going to take, I think he did a fair job of covering what we were doing, while keeping with his "Dave Barry" style.


As he was walking around, I did get the sense that this wasn't his cup of tea. He was eager to listen to what we had to say and asked a lot of good questions. I agree with whoever above mentioned parachuting. I think he certainly respected up for enjoying geocaching, but it's something he'd never get into on his own. The photographer seemed to have a better time that he did.


I don't see the need to whip off a hundred emails complaining about the article. At least he didn't utter any quips like that anchorman from Michigan did a few months ago...

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We are the Folk Trakers, the ones that were originally contacted by this reporter to do this article. In speaking with the reporter initially, he wanted to attempt the family angle and we therefore enlisted our friends, the Cheeseheads.


First, please don't send him angry e-mails/letters. What purpose would that send but to give him a negative connotation of geocachers?!?


His editor found out about geocaching and asked him to do the article. Did he have a choice? Who knows? I'm sure many of us do parts of our jobs that we may not like, but try and go through with.


Second, we don't think the article was negative at all. The most negative about it was that it wasn't something he'd enjoy. He is more of a comedic reporter and we know that from living here and reading this paper daily. The 'Dave Barry' style definitely fits him--great classification--he's still a wannabe though.


Third, while he did seem to enjoy himself, asked great questions, and seemed to 'get' geocaching, it wasn't something he saw himself spending his free time doing. We, too, have introduced many to the sport--some like it (bought GPSrs the next day)--some still give us crazy looks when we talk about it.


Personally, we enjoyed the humorous article. We've read many from other areas of the country, including Wisconsin, and some are very technical and many give wrong info. This article did neither. In fact, we chuckled that it was a true testament from someone who only got to do one cache and never had even seen or used a GPSr before.


He isn't an outdoorsman and maybe a different reporter would have been better. Since we can't change any of that, we're just happy that an article talking about geocaching was written. We hope that it will be enough to intrigue those that are truly outdoorsy and/or those looking for a new interest for themselves or family to at least visit gc.com and learn some more on their own.


We gave him some great info, lots of cache sheets, and told him much more info than he printed (including our team names), but he obviously only printed what he thought would fit his personal angle on the article.


Again, please don't send him 'hate' mail, this won't help our sport. We, here, all love our hobby, others outside this forum just don't/won't get it.

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While it's horrible writing, it's not hateful writing.


The on-air anchorman that said we should "get a life"....that's hateful.


But please just call this guy a "budding comedic columnist"...calling him "Dave Barry-like" is an insult to Dave Barry AND Dave Barry-like columnists worldwide.



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I see where you're coming from Dave but I think he made fun of himself more than anything.

The coordinates led the group to a stream, which I bravely refused to cross, but which Stephanie, 5, and Matthew, 3, crossed with no problem.


I agree it's not the most positive article I've ever read but it's not the worst either. I think someone who is into the outdoors and hiking etc will see this as something they would want to do. On the other hand it didn't present it in a good light for someone who is more of a lump-on-a-couch but might end up enjoying geocaching. All in all, I don't think it was damaging.

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As a writer, my humble opinion -


He's a Dave Berry wannabe (someone else hit that on the head).


He's trying to take an approach to something he has zero interest in and show folks that it's an outdoorsy thing to do with family and enjoy such as many would enjoy a scavenger hunt - but trying to be a bit too funny/sarcastic only makes him come off as dry and abrasive.


The only comment - I'd have to say the Bobby Fischer one was funny *snickers*


The ole saying "too much of a good thing" applies here.

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I personally would never read another article by this person on any thing even if it was indoor activities. His over use of negative words to describe what he didn't understand was numbing. Instead he used negative associated words like "accuse" to point out what he saw as good traits fof the sport, but because of the negative implemntation of the words, it doesn't sound as good. I am guessing this guy had a bad childhood memory of an easter morning and his basket was empty and his siblings were overflowing with plastic eggs.

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I think much of the article was written toungue in cheek, with the author critiquing his own lack of appreciation for outdoorsy type stuff.....


The end of the article made that clear.....he was actually calling attention to the fact that these are people who spend time with their kids instead of setting them in front of a TV screen...


On the surface, it DOES seem silly, doesnt it?? Grown adults running around the woods in search of a box of trinkets?? :huh: I know I really enjoy it.....but in a day when everyone is so pressed for time etc, I can see how easy it would be to condemn geocaching as another "waste of time"....


I didnt see the article as that negative really.....the author's sarcasm is what I think threw some folks.....


This thread just goes to show you how the written word can be interpretted in SO many different ways....we should all remember this the next time we punch in a post.... <_<



Edited by shadango
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Dude, (to Shop99er), she doesn't detest it. She just isn't as rabid about it as we are! :o Usually she's the one that suggests going and she does the driving while I navigate. But when it comes to bushwhacking, that's where she gets off the bandwagon.


As for anti-GC (or perceived anti-GC) articles, I kinda like reading them. They sometimes point out areas where caching or cachers could stand some improvement. Other times it's just funny. In any case, so what? Everyone is entitled to an opinion.


Just my 2/100 of $1


Kilted Cacher

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I kinda enjoyed the article. I am like most others that thought he was making fun of himself or at least his own lifestyle.


Personally, I know some things about me. I am NOT brave, so when I say I am ChickenSh##, I mean I am. That don't mean I am poking fun at someone else for having more bravery than me. I don't like things that go bump in the night but there are LOTS of you guys that cache at night...alone no less. OMG I would die of fright, AT LEAST.


I don't do long hikes. I am good for about 2 miles or so. That means if it is farther than a mile in... count me out. Some of us are just like that.


Lots of geocachers are fit and into ALOT of outdoors stuff. Personally, I just like to get out of the house and go to a park and spend time with Mark and my girls. We look like the Beef Trust together. Just us...... of course, I am trying to teach the girls better habits, but that is hard when you don't example them.


My point is.. Not all Geocachers are the same. Not all of "us" like the same things. Like the rest of the human race, we are different. Sometimes you roll with things. Cut the man some slack, he was probably assigned to the article without much choice and in all truth wasn't particularly interested. I thought he did a pretty good article myself.


Karen aka okpondlady/N5PNE

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