Uhhh, did you see the photos? This location is amazing! And if you’re in the United States and celebrating Thanksgiving, the hike to this geocache is a great way to work up a hunger or burn off some of the food you just ate. Geocaching often takes us to amazing places that we never would have known about otherwise. In fact, I had no idea these caves existed until a fellow Geocaching HQ staffer visited them. In addition to taking you to such a beautiful place, this Earthcache will teach you about the unique weather and geology that comes together to form these caves.
[WARNING: If you venture out to find this Earthcache and see the ice caves, be EXTREMELY careful. Watch for avalanches, falling rock and ice, and collapsing caves.]
“AH! Words cannot express how AMAZING this location is. Honestly, it felt like we stumbled onto the set of the Lord of the Rings…or the moon…or another fake world.” – Bethany_B
“Wow, what an amazing place. We couldn’t believe the cold air that was blowing from the cave, it was like someone had the air conditioner on full blast. We had a beautiful hike here and really enjoyed our visit. TFTC” – G.O. John and Carol
“Thanks for bring me here. I haven’t seen the ice caves in probably 25 years. Back then we went in. Now I am older and wiser.” – Smiley Cacher
[ANOTHER WARNING: Please use extreme caution and think twice before entering the caves.]
Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.
If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, leave a comment below with the name of the geocache, the GC code, and why you think we should feature it.
*Wampas are creatures that live on the planet Hoth in the Star Wars universe. Luke is attacked by one in The Empire Strikes Back.
This past August I had the pleasure of meeting Andi Beyer and Jim Williamson, founders of the “Going Caching” Mega, for the first time. They had just flown to Seattle to attend this year’s Geocaching Block Party and were introduced to me because Geocaching HQ had chosen to send me to this year’s version of their event in Warm Springs, Georgia. We hit it off immediately. They made some bold promises about how much fun I would have at their event and I became super-excited to trek across the country for their Mega-Event.
Often when one travels to mega events as a Groundspeak Lackey it is difficult to find the time to participate in the various events and activities because one gets caught up at the main event meeting and greeting with cachers from around the area. To avoid this, Andi and Jim insisted that I add another day to my trip so that I would have enough time to participate in all the events. When I arrived in Warm Springs, they immediately hooked me up with an amazing family, the Villanuevas, who adopted me for the day with orders to make sure I would partake in all the various events. Agent Hop, his wife HopsGeneral and their two awesome daughters were gracious hosts and went out of their way to make my trip a great one.
The first event planned for me was a series of geocaches to be found on horseback. My hosts drove me to Roosevelt Riding Stables, a cute little outpost in the FDR State Park, where Andi and company had set up a special geocaching course for those who wanted a brand new caching experience. Caches were placed at a perfect height on trees along the path, so that it wasn’t necessary to dismount in order to find them. There were multi-caches, traditional caches, puzzle caches, and letterboxes, all accessible only by horse. We spent the morning trotting around the park collecting these caches and then headed back to the main park to jump head first into the main puzzle. Great fun!
When we returned to the main event site, it became clear to me how amazing the organization and logistics for this event actually were. Andi and Jim had designed a giant, super-complex puzzle cache based on a hybrid of the television series “Lost” and the Indiana Jones trilogy to be the centerpiece of the event. They had printed, minted and crafted all kinds of cool swag for participants such as path tags, collectable coins, gold-painted plaster scarabs, collectable caching cards featuring photos of attendees, and laminated map cards. All of these things were brilliantly incorporated into the puzzle so that participants would be required to collaborate with one another but in such a way that made it actually possible for everyone to complete the challenge. They repurposed staff members as actors, who were dressed up as druids with scary contact lenses in order to defend an elaborate map room from the unauthorized. Those who made it past the druids were required to hook up their collectable geocoin to a staff of the correct size, and a laser would then shoot out of the wall pointing to the final cache location on the giant map. This location ultimately turned out to be a faked aircraft crash site in the middle of the woods with a huge cache box where participants could enter the evening raffle by dropping off their validated map pieces. So cool!
Overall, there were 10 different mini-events associated with this awesome Mega including a Civilian Conservation Corps CITO event, a tasty brunch on Sunday morning and even a Fireside chat with FDR himself! Also, the event hosted a series of Groundspeak’s new Lab Caches featuring a historical tour of FDR state park and another fun caching challenge called the ACE challenge which had participants run around the park gathering a series of stamps with the ultimate goal of cashing them in for a specially-designed Magellan coin. Finally, 100 newly published caches were released throughout the region and were provided to participants the morning of the event on a special thumb drive provided in the welcome pack.
Truly the Going Caching Mega events are a special treat for those who are fortunate enough to attend. Next year’s theme is already set, Going Caching 2014 – “When in Rome…” to be held in Andi’s and Jim’s hometown of Rome, GA! If you are able, you should definitely find a way to attend. You won’t be disappointed!
On November 6 and 7, 2013, more than 26,000 geocachers attended almost 1200 Geocaching in Space Events in close to 40 countries all over the world to watch a Travel Bug® make its way to the International Space Station (ISS). American astronaut Rick Mastracchio, who was asked to take the Travel Bug to space by its owner Czissors, plans to use the Travel Bug as a tool to teach students on Earth about geography and science.
The Travel Bug has made its way around the earth many times aboard the ISS. We think this is a great time to look back and say “Thanks” to all you geocachers out there, who hosted and attended events, posted on the Travel Bug details page and have shared pictures, videos and stories with us.
Here are some of the most interesting pictures and videos we got to enjoy from all over the world:
Did you miss your #SpaceCaching picture or video in the gallery? Let us know and share in the comments below!
In Geocaching in Harmony with Nature (Part 1), we gave you tips and tricks on how to hide an environmentally friendly geocache. A wise geocacher once said: “If you hide a geocache, someone will come and find it.” So this time we want to take a look at how to be a Nature Lover when hunting for a geocache.
We asked the geocaching community, Geocaching HQ-ers and Volunteer Reviewers for their tip-top tips on being kind to nature when searching for a geocache. Then we combined all the great answers into this list:
Stay on track. Stick to designated trails and don’t cut across switchbacks when navigating to the geocache. Doing so might disturb flora and fauna along the way.
Bring garbage bags. Geocacher Cindi Lee G. says: “We cache in and trash out every time we go geocaching or hiking.” We think that’s grand! Next time you go geocaching, include a few garbage bags with your geocaching gear. This way you can pick up litter on the way to and from the geocache. And here is something we think is genius: there are some geocaches with an extra compartment for trash bags geocachers can use to Cache In Trash Out (CITO) on their way back out.
Leave the car at home. If possible, bike or walk to the geocache location. This is not only great for your health and good for the environment, the slower pace might even make you notice things along the way you would have never seen speeding by in your car.
Keep geocache owners informed. Let the geocache owner know if their geocache is damaged and could potentially be dangerous to animals or vegetation.
Respect wildlife and plants. Observe wild animals from afar. Never feed or try to touch them. Be conscious where you are stepping so you don’t destroy fragile plants and mushrooms. Pro-Tip from Geocacher Sarah H.: “Please clean your footwear and gear when hiking in various places. Footwear caked in mud and plant material is a good way to spread invasive species.”
It is OK to DNF. You have searched in all the obvious places. You took a good look at the geocache description and the hint, but you still couldn’t find it. Log your DNF (Did Not Find) online to let the geocache owner know that you did not find the geocache. Don’t keep on searching, turning over every stone, and potentially ravaging the area. Keep in mind: A DNF is not admission to failure, it is just honest communication.
We hope these tips will help you sharpen your nature senses and become a skilled environmentally friendly geocacher. Do you have another tip for environmentally friendly geocaching? Let us know in the comments below!
Find out how you can be a complete nature loving geocacher with our 6 Tips for Hiding an Environmentally Friendly Geocache!
1,000 geocachers volunteered to be part of the first ever major study of geocaching and its effect on health. The 14-month Texas A&M study called Geocaching for Exercise and Activity Research (GEAR) launched in January of 2013. The first set of results from the study were presented on November 5 at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Boston.
Each of the participants were given devices to track their movement and a logbook to record their level of geocaching intensity. The first results showed the effects of regular geocaching. Researcher Whitney says, “The GEAR study has identified an association between geocaching and improved health.”
Another researcher, Garney, goes on to say, “GEAR participants who report geocaching once a week or more are more likely to meet national guidelines for physical activity and are more likely to report good or very good health status compared to those who geocache less frequently.” In addition, research showed that geocachers reported fewer days of poor physical and mental health compared to state level data.
These findings are still preliminary, but nevertheless we’re excited about them. The study concludes in early 2014 and final data will be analyzed and presented later that year.
The health benefits of geocaching are often the subject of emails to Geocaching HQ. Have you lost weight geocaching or sharpened your mental skills? Share your stories about improving your health through geocaching in the comments below.
2 Million Geocaches in 1 Minute
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