GPS Travel: Treasure Hunting With Geocaching
Welcome to the addictive, fast-growing sport of Geocaching.
On May 3rd, 2000, a container of goodies was hidden by a someone outside of Portland, Oregon.
By May 6th the treasure, or “cache” in the parlance of the game, was visited twice, and logged in the logbook.
And a whole new global pastime was born.
Today there are 172, 289 active caches in 215 countries.
And thanks to the Inn at Weathersfield Inn in in Perkinsville, Vermont, my Geocaching partner and I became two of them.
So, we crossed the wooden Cornish-Windsor Bridge from Vermont into New Hampshire, just over a narrow section of the Connecticut River. It’s the longest covered bridge in the world.
The bright yellow, hand-held Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) said we were there.
But “there” was a dusty shoulder off a winding country road pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
All we knew was that within a few feet of us lay a hidden treasure, and we were determined to find it.
We parked on the shoulder, grabbed our one sheet of clues and looked around.
The GPS only got us within twenty feet. We had to sleuth out the rest, using common sense, always a tricky proposition, and the cryptic clues.
Somewhere tantalizingly nearby, the cache was hidden.
While I’m staring at the GPS trying to line up its mocking arrow with the coordinates, my partner and photographer, always several steps ahead of me, walked toward the river with the instincts of a big game hunter.
Felt around the stones next to the guard rail.
And found it.
“It” was a beaten up plastic container with fantasy trinkets: toy soldiers; colored marbles; a tiny airplane. Mini pens. Stuff like that.
Wendie took a marble and left a ceramic magnet, courtesy of the inn one of the places catering to the increasingly popular Geocaching Weekends.
We signed the log book and looked at each other: We were more than attracted; we were hooked on the sport.
This cache, our first ever, was called Walk Your Horse (waypoint GCMTRW).
I had no idea why until we re-crossed the river and there, on the top of the bridge, next to the date 1866, was the admonition: “Walk Your Horse or Pay $2.00 Fine.”Continued on the next page