Saturday, September 13, 2008

Secret Societies

One of the things I love about Geocaching, Geodashing, and Geovexilla is they're what I like to call "Secret Societies." My daughter and I play a game when we drive around town. I'll point a spot out and say, "You know, there's a geocache over there." Her response is always, "Did you find it?" Usually my answer is yes, but one time it was no and she made me stop and find it. Good thing I had it in the GPSr with me at the time. It's a fun game we play, but then again, we all play it to some extent. Geocachers know there's secret spots out there that only they know about, so in essence, we do have a secret society.

Finding dash points or those virtual flags is very similar but maybe weirder because there's nothing there. The points and the flags are all virtual. One of the reasons I like the latter two is there's always going to be an air of uncertainty as to whether you'll be able to score the flag or the dashpoint. With geocaching, the hard part of determining whether you can enter a spot because of private property issues has already been resolved for you by the cache hider. Not so with the latter two. The points are randomly placed by computer, so there's no way of knowing whether you'll be able to score the flag or dashpoint or not.

Today, I went to my son's cross country meet in Laguna Hills in the O.C. My plan was to do some geocaching, plus score two dashpoints and a vexilla (virtual flag). The dashpoints were both relatively easy to score, both being on driveways leading up to houses. Since you only have to be within 100 meters to score a flag or dashpoint, it was easy to park the car at the curb in front of each house and quietly write some notes about the area for my log on the Geodashing website. I'm sure the owners of both houses don't realize they have virtual points sitting in their driveways. Hey, it's our secret society.

There was also an American Flag that I thought about getting today as well. However, if you look at the satellite images for that one, you can see that it appears to be in a green belt area of a residential community. Not a problem? Yeah, but the residential area is in a gated community, so access is going to be difficult for this one. There's that uncertainty creeping in. I think it still can be scored, but I'd have to hike to it, something that I didn't want to do today because of a time crunch. There's a possibility that I might be down there again in the near future so I'll have to investigate it again at that time.

Interestingly enough, although I expected to find more geocaches than the other two combined, today was a total wash with caching. Not a single find and that was by choice. The two dashpoints were enough today. I'll have several hours before my son's next meet next weekend to find some caches. The pictures of my son running were taken last year at another meet down in the same area.

Pictures was taken near Dana Point T-bird - by devhead and somberairokid

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