Monday, December 5, 2011

Geocaching Update - Fall 2011

It has been a very quiet second half of the year from a geocaching perspective. Since beginning in April 2010, I had managed to maintain a pace of around 50 to 60 finds a month, and while this slacked off somewhat earlier this year, things didn't take a nose dive until this fall. July and August were decent months mainly on the strength of the caching day with Ellen in Lancaster around the 4th of July holiday, and the finds made with Dave while on the Dakotas trip. After the end of August though, a strange thing happened - not a single find between then and the middle of November. Seventy-nine days without a find.

I still have a strong interest in this, and have every intention of making more of an effort to get back to it. But I don't realistically expect to get back to the pace that I was on for the first year or so. There are too many other things going on, and I just don't have the quantity of caches around home to get numbers of finds without making at least a several hour trip somewhere. I expect that I will find the time to grab a few local caches around home as new ones pop up, day hikes and family trips will continue to be opportunities to grab a few caches in other areas, and I will manage to find a chunk of a day here and there to get some numbers. Beyond that, we will have to wait and see.

My favorite part of geocaching continues to be the fact that it takes me to places that I wouldn't ordinarily go, and makes me stop and take the time to see little things I would never have noticed otherwise. I like the idea of filling in maps with finds in new counties and new states (and new Delorme map book pages), filling in calendar dates (working toward a find in all 366 dates), filling in difficulty/terrain combos and the like. Pure numbers don't hold the same appeal that they used to, at least at the moment, but knowing myself, I suspect that feeling will go in cycles. I still would like to get to 1,000 finds in the not-too-distant future. I am currently sitting at 882.

With all that in mind, what little recent activity there has been has bagged me two new PA counties; Dauphin on the way back from Sunset Rocks hiking on 11/26, and Lebanon on the way to the day in Hershey with the family on 12/4. One of three finds on the way to Hershey was a virtual cache, which are not all that common and are worth going out of the way to get. A find on December 3rd filled in my only empty calendar date between August 26 and January 26, completing a nice sized chunk of the year in a solid block. And a grand total of 9 caches since September 1st. Oh well.

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