11/16/02 - Geocaching - Not too long ago, Rick introduced me to an activity called Geocaching.  Using a GPS (Global Positioning System) device, you venture out on a treasure hunt using coordinates provided by the individual who hid the cache.  It's a lot of fun, a good way to exercise, a nice method for taking scenic tours, and healthy for the environment (you are supposed to pick up litter while searching for the hidden cache).

While in Lawton earlier this month, Rick, Nina, and I took a short trip to find my first non-virtual cache.  In one of the caches, we found what is called a travel bug.  Basically, it is a military-type dog-tag with a serial number on it.  The goal of a travel bug is to travel to distant places and unique locations.  By taking the bug and planting it in a cache in Fort Worth, we were able to help the critter continue on its journey.  Using the serial number, you can also track all previous and future destinations of the travel bug.

Although I don't have a GPS myself, I was able to borrow one from a friend in Fort Worth in order to plant the travel bug.  Susan and I took advantage of this opportunity to visit a few local caches and enjoy a warm afternoon.  The following is a picture of one of the caches we found. 

As you can see, they are frequently well hidden.  Nevertheless, Susan quickly found this plastic bag full of goodies by a bridge, near a river, and under a large rock partially covered by leaves and twigs =). Without the exact coordinates, I doubt anyone would even notice it was there.

Once you find a cache, you can log its location on  From there, anyone can track the caches and items you have found.  For example, the following links contains statistics for both Rick and myself.

- Nathan