When I first started caching back in March 2001, caching was still new. President Clinton’s executive order de-scrambling the satellite signals so that the average person walking around on the planet could utilize the GPS technology was less than a year old. Caches were few and far between and there weren’t as many regulations regarding caches, probably because not everything had been thought out yet.
The sport is still evolving today. I remember looking at the website, even before I’d purchased my first GPS unit and marveling that there was actually a physical cache hidden in
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, more likely, just the way things have worked out over the past 8 years that the sport of geocaching has been around. I think physical caches in national parks would become problematic no matter how well they were maintained by the owners. I found a Pop-Tart in one of my geocaches once. Imagine what would happen if an uniformed cacher placed a small granola bar in a cache that had been placed in a national park where bears frequented, or any animals for that matter. Animals would be attracted to that cache like honey to a hive. In all likelihood, the cache would probably be destroyed and if the animals became a problem, they could as well.
Within the past year or two, we’ve seen the development of a new kind of cache called an Earthcache. Earthcaches are places that people can visit usually to learn more about the geology of a particular area. In reality, what Earthcaches do is replace the Virtual Cache (which has been eliminated by Geocaching.com) in spots where physical caches can’t be placed, like national parks. Cachers learn about the geology of an area, do something for the cache “hider” to prove that they were there, and they get credit for finding an earthcache. Similar to virtuals, usually the requirement is to answer questions about the site, or posting a picture of you and your GPSr at the site.
My son enjoys going out and finding earthcaches. He stated one time that he likes the educational nature of an earthcache. “You get to learn something about the earth when we visit them Dad.” Needless to say, when we went on our tour of the pueblo areas near
The larger national parks within the
Pictures are from the following caches:
Bonito Lava Flow - by TerryDad2
Cinder Hills Overlook - by TerryDad2
Wupatki Pueblo Blowhole - by TerryDad2
Walnut Canyon Geologic Sampling - by TerryDad2
Joints of the Wonderland of Rocks - Joshua Tree NP - by TerryDad2