Guest Post: Caching In The US Of A


Categories: Opinion United States xBoomstickx



Wellington’s Geof Robinson (GC handle: xBoomstickx) may not have left his heart in San Francisco but he certainly dropped an It’s Not About The Numbers geocoin off there.

“My last post was predominantly written on an iPad en-route to Australia for business. I’d accelerated my find rate so that cache No 400 could be recorded overseas. A dozen target caches near my hotel had been selected; trackables were in tow.

Geof Robinson

Well, this blog post is being authored on a Galaxy Note 10.1 (a very cool toy, which runs c:geo nicely) on Flight NZ5 returning from the United States. Another business trip – this time to a conference in Florida – had enabled another overseas caching mission. I’d learnt a few things in Australia.

My current caching weapon is a Samsung Galaxy S2, which is a good multi-purpose device but a fairly average GPSr. What it does need in normal caching mode is a data connection, as without one it tried to refresh the maps, fails and then you end up with a picture of your target caches but no map reference. Combine this with average GPS performance and it makes life hard.

The solution (aside from buying a new toy) was open-source maps stored in the device, and running a few pocket queries to give a much larger target list – in this case, the closest 500 active caches to each hotel.

Now to my trip … The conference was in Orlando, Florida, at one of the Disney centres.  I managed to wrangle a couple of nights’ stopover in San Francisco on the way, so these were my target locations. In preparation my find rate was manipulated so that No 600 would fall in the US, three trackables all wanting to travel to the States were in hand, and an It’s Not About The Numbers geocoin TB4P9FW) was obtained and given a mission.

Sounds Of The Bay: The San Francisco traditional was named as one of Groundspeak’s Geocaches of The Week back in June.

San Francisco was awash with fantastic targets, lots of virtuals, webcam caches, earthcaches and traditionals.  The cache selected to drop the INATN coin was GC30CB Sounds Of The Bay, a cache with more than 215 favourite points at the time, and a fantastic location where a wave cavity had been created at the end of a breakwater, in which a series of tubes were placed and tuned to create different tones of wave noise. Brilliant! This was an out-of-the-way spot that I would never have otherwise visited, and it’s why I love the game.

Muggle central: Every man and his horse was out in the Disney town of Celebration.

Other San Fran caches took me to the Golden Gate Bridge (GC3BKWC), Alcatraz (GC238HF), Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill (find No 600, yay!), Laughing Sals (GCBD0A), the Fisherman’s Wharf seals (GCMKWT), a community garden (GCEC8), Pier 39 (GC3170E) and a few others.  A great run, only hampered by lack of time and the fact my travel companions had their own activities to attend.

Orlando was a very different story.  The conference was at a Disney resort, where no physical caches are allowed. There was a virtual very close by, but it was in a neighbouring resort that I had no access to. I tried going on a geo-run but there are no footpaths, lots of security, and you’re surrounded by motorways. The place was evidently designed to keep you there; so frustrating.

On the second day, we went shopping at an outlet mall to buy the obligatory gifts, and there was a cache only a few hundred metres away, so that one was nabbed – more out of paranoia of failing to log a Florida cache than anything else.

Luckily, though, I had a couple of hours spare on the final day so took a taxi ride to Celebration; a nearby town designed by Disney. (Think faux-Art Deco meets faux-American and stir in Stepford Wives!) This place was full of caches, so condensed that it could almost be considered a power-trail town. One hour and eight traditionals later, it was time to grab a taxi back again before beginning the 30 hours of transit time home.

Unfortunately, muggle-rich San Francisco, and the motorway-constrained Orlando put a lid on my total finds goal, but I’m happy to have had the opportunity to cache in some of the US.  Next stop: ET Highway?”

Furtherest cache from home: 13,109km



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