Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Different Kind of Locationless Cache

I went caching last Saturday down in the O.C. My daughter was coming home from college and was going to be dropped off in Orange, so I thought I’d make a day of it and get some caching in before picking her up. I drove down to Anaheim and ended up getting a bunch around the Honda Center where the Ducks play their home hockey games. The day was rather open ended, which made it a fun day. I knew there was going to be a definite end to it, but I just went out and found caches. I came across a couple of lamp post caches, that I passed on because of muggles around and I wasn’t into waiting them out.

I found a couple of fast food caches that were better than some. Most fast food place caches tend to be lamp post or bush hides, but there was one that was hidden in the seating area. I was actually surprised that there weren’t any muggles eating there at the time since it was a beautiful day, but I had the area to myself, so I bought a Dr. Pepper and sat right by the cache. It made the find and the re-hide very easy to do. I’ll take that over a lamp post hide in the middle of a busy supermarket parking lot any day. The last cache was a micro, which led me over to Anaheim Stadium where the Angels play their home baseball games. That’s where I saw a water tower.

I’ve always found water towers very interesting. They tell a little bit about the town they’re found in, since most have been decorated in some way advertising something about the town. I found a water tower in Cutler, CA, when the locationless caches were still around. I would have done more if I’d been able to but since you could only log one per category in the locationless caches; that was it. That was the frustrating thing about locationless caches. I liked them because they made me more aware of my surroundings. I had a list of about 20 different locationless caches that I wanted to get. I’d get one, then add another. And yet, that’s what was frustrating, because once you got one, you couldn’t get another.

Enter waymarking. Most of the locationless caches were moved over to waymarking and now people were free to nab as many as they wanted. I’ve actually seen some really nifty water towers being part of the water tower management group, but I’m not sure I’d really seen a new water tower that was as cool as the one I saw near the stadium. It was situated on the grounds of the Grove Theater and made to look like something out of the 1920s, even though it probably wasn’t more than 10 years old at the most. Having grown up in the O.C. and gone to many Angels games, I knew it was fairly new.

So here I was, looking at this beautiful water tower and thinking to myself, “Self, you can waymark this one. There’s no limit to how many you can do.” So I did. I didn’t get a smiley face like when you geocache, but I got to document something that I find interesting and that’s what I think is the appeal to waymarking. Much like geocaching, you can choose not to find lame lamp post caches if you don’t want, in waymarking, you can choose what categories interest you and then you can waymark to your heart’s content.

I’ve tried to keep my focus of categories small, so I don’t overwhelm myself. I don’t always do waymarks all the time, nor do I always do them every time I see one that’s in one of my categories. Geocaching is still my first choice. But if the mood hits me, I’ll post a waymark or two. I’d done enough caching that Saturday, I’d cleaned out an area and so, the waymark seemed like a perfect way to end the day. In fact, it really wasn’t because once I’d documented that one, I knew of another one about three miles up the freeway, so I decided to head up to that one and get it too. But, just as I was getting on the freeway, my daughter called me saying she had arrived. So I guess it really was the perfect way to end an enjoyable day of caching and waymarking. The nice thing about waymarking is very few of them will get muggled, which means that other water tower will probably still be there the next time I head down into Orange County.


Ben said...

I've started to post the occasional waymark as well.

I'd do more, but the site is very slow since it hasn't been upgraded yet like was last year.

Steve Natoli said...

What are locationless and waymarking?

Webfoot said...

Locationless caches were caches that weren't really anywhere, yet everywhere. They were sometimes called reverse caches. In other words, instead of finding a container, you had to find a thing, but it could be anywhere. One example of a locationless was NPS HQ. Go to a national park, take the coordinates for the headquarters, usually the visitors center, take a couple of pictures and post them to the site. The catch was, you could only log it once and you couldn't log a headquarters that had already been logged. There were all sorts of different things for locationless caches - Yellow Jeeps, American Flags, Lion Statues, and Water Towers.

Geocaching has done away with locationless caches and created You can do the same thing, only you can log as many national park headquarters as you want at waymarking. At waymarking, you can find one, like a National Flag, take the coordinates, take some pictures and log it there. Someone else can do the same one. You can do more than one. Make sense?

chaosmanor said...

Found a great old water tower up in Diamond Springs, just south of Placerville, right off the 49, on our recent trip. Didn't have time to get the details (and not being the driver, I couldn't "force" the issue ;-), but I took a photo and I'll e-mail it to you. I *did* get info on a water tower south of there that I need to add to the WM system, as well as a couple of CA Historical Markers that weren't in there, yet. I like that category, as well as public sculpture, and fountains. I do the occasional WM, if I think of it at the time. In my mind, it's a poor substitute for locationless and virtual caching, but it's what we have, and until someone decides to do a full website just for those, we have to make what we can of it.