I took up geocaching eight years ago, on February 10, 2007. I was out hiking with a friend, Miranda, from Search & Rescue, which I had joined not long before. We were discussing how to learn the use of a GPS unit. Miranda said, "You know, there are these things called geocaches all over the place—and you need a GPS to find them. They'd be great practice." We happened to be in Garland Ranch Regional Park, a favorite area for cachers, and as we made our way down a steep trail she said, "In fact, I think there's one right around here." Sure enough: it was tucked into the well of an oak tree, covered over with dry leaves. My first cache.
Since that fateful day, I've found 1,652 caches, over the course of eight years. I'm not a particularly avid geocacher, though, not like some people, who have found tens of thousands of caches. One super-caching couple, known as alamogul, has found 112,440 since 2002. Seriously: that's crazy.
Although my two-hundred-a-year average may seem like a lot, it's not really. Some days you can find dozens, if that's how you happen to be spending your time. My best day, so the statistics page on geocaching.com tells me, was June 8, 2011: David and I were on a road trip in the Sierra Nevada, enjoying the sights and stopping for hikes and caches as we drove. We found twenty-one that day, and didn't find three more. My longest stretch without finding—that is, looking for—a cache was October 2007 to April 2008: 167 days.
The satisfying green color for today's date is thanks to Little Hiawatha's Carmel Cache, which I ventured out with David and the "geodog" (as we call Milo in our cache logs) to find this afternoon. We located it handily, and it was large enough that I could drop a Swiss "travelbug" called Nemo, which I brought home from New Zealand.
It's a silly pastime, I suppose, but it gets me out, it gets me solving puzzles—some of them confoundedly difficult—and it often gets me to some beautiful places that I would not otherwise have discovered. So: it's my guilty little pleasure, and I'm sticking to it.