Volume No. 10 Issue No. 6 June 2013  

Alli Griffin
  Treasure hunting through geocaching
  By Alli Griffin

     Cathy Vredeveld of Falcon has been geocaching since 2003, and she said her family has been all over the world “hunting” for treasures. According to the geocaching website (http://geocaching.com), the search activity is referred to as a “free-world outdoor treasure hunt.”
   The rules are simple: A GPS is needed to navigate to the site. If the geocacher finds the treasure and decides to take it, he or she needs to bring along small items like trinkets or mementos to replace the treasures. Items left should be of equal or greater value. The geocacher then posts the find in the online log book.
   The website lists 16 different kinds of caches, from micro caches that contain just a log book to event caches created around something specific.
   Scott Longberry is another Falcon resident who enjoys caching. He said for him it is more about the search than what is hidden in each cache. His advice for people new to geocaching is to begin with small caches. He said it’s important to read the previous finder’s log to make certain the cache is still there and in good condition. “Did not find” posts mean the cache might not be there or it could be hard to find. Longberry said playing has led him to places he might have never visited. It’s a good way to get out and experience the community, he said.
   Longberry and Vredeveld said the geocaching community is close. Geocachers often get together to connect with other families and swap stories. Vredeveld holds an event at her “Fright in Falcon” haunted house each year. “I have been to events where we enjoyed a chili cookoff and events where we cleaned up the Rock Island Trail (known as a CITO – Cache In Trash Out),” Longberry said.
   The “prizes” or trade items are usually a big hit with the kids. Vredeveld said anything can be left behind in a cache, noting that “travel bugs” are especially popular. “The bugs have specific locations they want to get to, and people bring them cache to cache to move them along their journey,” Vredeveld said. “They are like dog tags. You take it and register it online and then watch it as other people move it. One wanted to go to the 9-11 memorials; it made it there.”
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