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Geocaching HQ – The Land of Extreme Coincidence

Eric Schudiske on October 8, 2013, 9:29 am

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Geocachers Care

Lindsey (flossinmatoof), Larry (apawinmyface), and Ciaran (Goldencircle)

Lindsey (flossinmatoof), Larry (apawinmyface), and Ciaran (Goldencircle)

This story begins with some high expectations. A chance meeting would lead to the statement, “Visiting HQ is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time, and as it turns out, the experience was crazier than I could have ever imagined.”

It all started on a typical Friday in the Seattle lobby of Geocaching HQ. We see the world come together in 500 square feet of solid, wall to wall, Geocaching . There’s a treasure chest, logbook and usually hundreds of Trackables coming and going. It’s Geocaching HQ after all. You hear languages like German and Portuguese spoken along side English and Spanish. People around the world find themselves visiting for an hour or so and meeting new friends. Rarely, extremely rarely- and let me not under sell this – maybe once or twice a decade, geocachers randomly stumble upon an old friend from another part of the world in our lobby.

Ireland Event Cache 'Toof & Paw's Jetlag Beater"

Ireland Event Cache ‘Toof & Paw’s Jetlag Beater”

And it just happened again. As most stories like this do, this one begins with a Puzzle Cache in Ireland. Larry, username APawInMyFace, and Lindsey, username Flossinmatoof visited Ireland in August. Larry contacted Ciaran, username GoldCircle, for help on a Puzzle Cache. Well, you know, so many email flew across the Atlantic between the America and Ireland that an Event Cache was planned.

More than a dozen people welcomed the out-of-town guests from America. Ciaran and the American couple went their separate ways. Most stories end there. They might never have seen each other again, except for an intervening photo booth in the Geocaching HQ lobby.

Larry and Lindsay were visiting Geocaching HQ from Miami. Larry and Lindsay were visiting friends in Seattle that Larry hasn’t seen in three years. They’d just finish taking pictures in the Geocaching HQ photo booth. Larry placed the strip of photos in our scrapbook. He noticed a familiar face. That guy looked like Cairan, aka GoldCircle. It was GoldCirle. But he wasn’t at HQ.

Carly at the Geocaching HQ front desk, told Larry Cairan would be back in a few minutes. If that one connection would be missed, if a page would have been flipped in our scrapebook, if Larry visited from Miami one week later…. well, you get the idea. It. Was. Close. It was also significant. Cairan just happened to be in Seattle for business.

Photobooth pics reveal a startling discovery!

Photobooth pics reveal a startling discovery!

Geocaching HQ was Cairan’s 1000th find. Can you guess what Larry gave Cairan as a thank you gift for hosting the Event Cache in Ireland? Yeah – a 1000th Find Geocoin.

Larry says they could have never planned this meeting if they tried. Wow right?

That word, “wow” gets said a lot in the Geocaching HQ lobby. People meeting friends they’ve connected with a world away. Some reacquainted themselves with long lost Travel Bugs that ended up in the Geocaching HQ Treasure chest.

Larry wrote in the Geocaching HQ log, ” The ways in which the geocaching community can make our enormous world feel so small are indescribable, yet somehow, rarely surprising. Thank you for the truly unforgettable day and for the wonderful memories that we formed both in and around HQ.” Lindsey wrote in her log, “The world is an incredible place.” She’s right.

Geocaching HQ Lobby (the photo booth is in the corner)

Geocaching HQ Lobby (the photo booth is in the corner)

That’s the thing about geocaching…  you’re always welcome. Whether that’s at a geocache, at an Event Cache or at Geocaching HQ, you never know who you might bump into.

The question now might be where in the world will Larry, Lindsey and Ciaran connect again?  We have a guess. The might randomly bump into each other while claiming the First to Find at this geocache.

What’s the strangest coincidence you’ve encountered geocaching? Tell us about it in comments below.

 

 

  • MamabearCrew

    Amazing story!!!

  • Ans Wouters

    Imagine “Goldcircle” took my TB to Ireland. Together with many others. How cool!

  • mtchl10

    In November 2011, I was visiting family back in my hometown outside St Louis. Everyone was at work so I thought I’d do some geocaching. Only thing is, at that time, I didn’t have a gadget. So all of my caches were found using Google Maps. Adds an element of challenge, let me tell you. I found a series that took me along the old country roads of my youth. I hadn’t been back there in over 20 years, especially since the flood of ’93 destroyed everything, including my childhood home. The drive was nostalgic and reminiscent, although everything looked vastly different, much smaller. Perhaps because I remembered all of this from my childhood where everything looked big to me. The landscape was so barren, almost all of the old home were long gone, unable to rebuild due to flood zoning. My next find was to be in what “used to be a tree” but had been struck by lightning so it was this magnificent abstract shaped bark with no center. About 1/4 mile away I said, if that’s a tree, that has to be the one I’m looking for. I pulled over to the side of the road and got out of my vehicle. Instantly, I had an overwhelming eerie feeling of familiarity. Could it be?!? This GZ was in what used to be the giant tree in the front yard of my childhood home! This tree served our family as first base for pickup games of ball, and home base for hide-and-seek. It was a majestic thing of beauty. The grounds were completely flat, giving no signs of the 2 story white farmhouse with black shutters and a rickety screen door on the front porch. The red barn and silo across the street were just memories. I just couldn’t believe that geocaching had brought me back here! I found the cache and thanked the owner as I relayed this story in my log. Then I told several of my family members (who I also introduced to geocaching!!) and brought them back the next day. We walked around the yard looking for any artifacts and sharing stories of growing up here. It was a beautiful and bittersweet coincidence that I’ll remember forever. Thank you!

  • TeamFox

    Strangest coincidence – getting poison ivy at age 55 while out geocaching in my own little town of Ellsworth, Maine, and only ever getting once before at the age of 5 – a half-century ago! And my husband said he’s never, ever seen a worse case of it. I’m severely allergic to poison ivy. So now….I will definitely be on the look out for it! :)

  • msklem24

    My son and I picked up two duck trackables in a race across the country in a cache about an hour from our house. They were coming from Alaska on their way to NY to catch a cruise to the Bahamas. We decide to leave them in one of our caches close to our house. The first cacher to the cache after we placed the ducks just happened to be Texdoc, who was with the ducks when they were released (his is trapped in Utah) and was going on the cruise in a few short weeks! All in good sport, he took them with him so they could win the race.


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