Sunday, September 27, 2009

This Week in Geocaching

So I didn't get to do any geocaching this week. Even though I worked through most of my vacation, I was still slammed busy when I got back. Then I spent yesterday moving offices, and today doing homework. Today, I created clay models of the various nuclei in the human brain...somehow they all look like phallic abstract sculptures. Ever see Clockwork Orange? If not, forget I said anything.

Moving on. I dread off-weeks like this, but it gives me a chance to discuss tidbits from the world of geocaching.

Last week (technically), Groundspeak released an app they should have released a long time ago: Geocaching Intro. It's a free, extremely toned down version of the classic Geocaching app. In a nutshell, it allows you to locate the three closest caches, view the description, and see a blue-dot-to-green-dot map to find the cache. The only real downsides (in my opinion) are that you don't get to read recent logs, see a satellite view, or log finds in the field.

When I first took an interest in geocaching this past March, I relied heavily on the google maps iPhone app. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed, but I didn't want to plunk down $10 for the real thing. I figured if I couldn't cache without the app, I probably wouldn't be good at geocaching. But then my Dad told me to stop being so cheap (paraphrasing...) and download the app. So, I did it. And a geocacher was born. Then when Groundspeak finally integrated the satellite maps, the app went from beautiful to god-like.

Had I not spoken to my Dad that day, I may have given up on geocaching as "just not my thing." Groundspeak must have picked up on that mentality, because geo-curious iPhone users can now have a genuine geocaching experience, for free! Groundspeak will finally capture all those people who said, "Ten bucks?! Eff this..."

Plus, now Brian and I can each use our phones to search for a cache. Since he only caches with me, we never saw a point in him downloading the $10 app. We have a system: I navigate and he jumps in all the scary bushes. I'll let you know when we try out this app. I'm curious to see how our accuracy compares being that I have a 3G and he has a 3GS.

Enough with the app. Here's the big news: Geocaching may be a household name. The family featured on Extreme Home Makeover this week are into geocaching, so Ty hooked them up with a new GPS and sent them on a Hawaiian caching adventure.

Let's be clear. I don't watch Extreme Home Makeover. I was watching the 6 o'clock news on ABC and left it on for Zazu while I went to finish packing up my freaky little nuclei. At some point EHM came on and I happened to overhear Ty explain my beloved hobby to all of America like they were a class of pre-schoolers.

I died a little inside knowing that Ty Pennington has been introduced to geocaching. All we need is muggles with freaking megaphones. While I am kinda sick of explaining geocaching, I don't really want everyone to know. Muggles serve a purpose in this game. One of the reasons I love geocaching is that it's kind of like a secret society. For now, geocaching is like Mac - yet to be crushed by it's own popularity.

I'm sorry, Doomsday Ev is on the loose again. Geocaching is definitely not everyone's thing. Even when it does get popular, a lot of people just won't care. But, just like PC, it only takes a few haters to screw things up.

The flip side is this could mean a rebirth for geocaching. It might force us to get even more creative, devious, and obsessed. Koolaid, anyone?


  1. When we visit Florida, I want to go with you! I am so interested in geocaching!

  2. Definitely! Let me know next time you're in town and we'll go grab a few.

  3. I think what I said was more along the lines of "You'll be glad you spent the ten bucks." Tomato, Tomahto, anyway your adventures have inspired me and gotten me back out doing more. I can credit at least two of my finds to things I learned in your blog and I recommend reading it to people that might be interested in starting up. Don't worry about the explosion of geocaching. It will be like trying to get a treadmill at the gym in January - before too long things will be back to normal.

  4. I had to take a recovery break, the tic bites have all but disappeared, but the poison ivy is still going strong 10 days later, but it looks to be making a turn for the better as of today! Did bri show you the pics? They're yummy.

  5. Yeah...gross. I don't even know what poison ivy looks like, but I'll be sure to educate myself.

    If it makes you feel better, I cached for about 10 minutes the other day and have now scratched my bug bites to the point of bleeding. And I still have a few tick bites hanging around. So worth it.