Andrea Hofer, , reports from Florida Finder’s Fest
Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are joining geocachers at Mega-Events around the world to celebrate and share the adventure of geocaching. Andrea Hofer returns to her home state of Florida to attend the 2013 Florida Finder’s Fest. This is Andrea’s account of her trip.
The 2013 Florida Finder’s Fest was a total blast. With hundreds of attendees in the Ocala National Forest, activities ranged from a chili cook-off to running through the woods at night. And of course caching, caching, caching!
Group photo from The 2013 Florida Finder’s Fest
Check out the photo gallery below for a look at a geocaching paradise in Florida.
The first step to arriving in style at a mega is to make sure your car is properly decorated. I decked out my rental in Geocaching flags and the HQ car Travel Bug.
First thing in the morning I set out with a2arnold for a Jeep run. Now I’ve learned that snorkels aren’t just for people.
Here we are crossing the St. Johns river on the tiniest ferry ever to get the other half of a multi-cache. St. Johns is one of only 3 U.S. rivers that flow north.
After that, it was time for the night gauntlet. This was my first time night caching, and if you haven’t tried it, you owe it to yourself to get out there and stumble through nature at night – with a group for support. Ocala National Forest is known for alien activity, so aluminum foil deflection beanies were encouraged.
I also had the opportunity to go caching with Hunster, who has racked up 80,000 finds in 8 years. This included a crash course in GSAK and in using a GPS, since so far I’ve been more of a mobile cacher. Photo Credit: Laurie Olesen
Ok, this part of my recap might scare you a bit, so consider yourself warned. One great part of megas is seeing the creative trackables people bring to be discovered. This one took me a while to figure out.
All in all, visiting my home state and learning about local geocaching traditions (Florida Style caching, anyone?) was a fantastic experience. Thanks to IceCreamMan and his forest minions for all their work!
Don’t miss this recap video by Geopat92. I’m in there at the 5:28 minute mark.