just plain rambling

Here a cache, there a cache…

Three sleeps until London! Unless you count Saturday night on the plane (which I don’t).

Have I rambled-on here about geocaching before? Here’s one (really old) post about it (dates back to the days when I called myself ramblingstroller and was going to write the BEST guide to Ottawa with kids EVAH). But in case you don’t want to go and read that post (it’s ok, I understand), here’s a quick glossary. You will probably need this for, I don’t know, my next seventeen posts:

  • cache: A hiding spot, usually with some sort of container, that you can find with the help of geocaching.com.
  • swag: stuff in the cache
  • travel bug: a tag, with a unique number on it that is registered at geocaching.com.
  • hitchhiker: a piece of swag with a travel-bug attached that hitchhikes from cache to cache, courtesy of friendly cachers. Thanks to the tag, you can track it’s progress on geocaching.com.
  • geocoin: a small, coin-like item, also with a unique number (like a travel bug) but you don’t attach it to anything
  • trackable: anything with a unique number (like geocoins or hitchhikers with travel bugs) that you can track from cache to cache on geocaching.com.

Clear as mud? Don’t worry, I’ll post about this again, hopefully with pictures. And if you want to know more, don’t hesitate to check out geocaching.com.

Anyhow, I did a bit of caching while I was on mat leave, but just recently picked it up again. With London looming, I’ve been really focussed on picking up trackables – items that “hitchhike” from cache to cache. The idea is, when you find one, you log it on the web site, and then you take it to another cache. The owner (and anyone else) can watch it move from place to place. Some trackables have a goal – like visiting every provincial capital in Canada. Sometimes they’re just out to see the world.

If you think this sounds like fun, then you might understand how I’ve been absurdly excited about going hiking in the woods at lunch and coming back to the office with swag – everything from stuffed animals to an orange plastic funnel. I’ve discovered walking trails near home and work that I didn’t know existed, and discovered new places in & around London that I can’t wait to visit. And finally, I have a swag-bag full of hitchhikers that are coming to London:

Trackables

  • Ying-ying wants to visit Olympic venues
  • TRUCKS wants to see trucks and truck stops
  • Traveltratten wants to visit caches that start with a T
  • The Incredible Journey just wants to “meet Incredible cachers and visit Incredible caches”.
  • Seasons of Maine – I don’t really know what this one wants to do.
  • Chain Male – this is the one I’m most excited about. I got positively giddy when I discovered it online: it started south of Manotick, but wants to “visit places frequented by knights of all types.” Woot!

But I think this may be getting to be a bit of a… problem. I mean – how many people get excited at the opportunity of “helping” a stuffed dinosaur cross the ocean? And the other day, I ran out of the office at three o’clock in the afternoon because a new cache had appeared nearby (and being FTF – first to find – comes with bragging rights). I got back to the office 45 minutes later – scratched, soaked and mosquito-bitten – all to be SECOND-to-find. Gah.

And the whole trackable thing has kinda gone to my head. I don’t want to just help others’ hitchhikers travel the globe, I want some of my own. So I went online, and ordered some tags.  Ten, actually. And I’ve decided that they all need names. Personalities. Backstories! GOALS!

Because, you know, I really needed more on my to-do list before catching a plane in 3 days.

10 Comments

    1. It makes you feel like a kid again, Chantal, it really does. Except that there’s a real map, and real treasure 🙂

  1. Funny, I took Tuesday off for something that may not happen after all, and was thinking about hopping on a plane to London to visit a friend (not that I’ve checked with her, since said “thing” has not yet been cancelled either).

    1. That IS funny! It’s easy to forget, from this side of the pond, how narrow the Channel really is.

  2. Have you gone geocaching in Highland Grove/Wilberforce area yet? They are on the map as the geocaching capital of Canada. One of these days I’m going to drag the kids out to try it.
    Hope you enjoy your treasure hunting!

  3. You’ll be like one of those people who steals a gnome, takes it on holidays and sends pictures home to its owners from exciting locales. Perhaps they can have their own blog posts and share stories of their tales!

    Deb t

    1. Er, busted. Maybe. We have a stuffed critter named Geomonster that comes caching with us, he’s totally coming with me tomorrow. Same basic idea 🙂

  4. Don’t worry. When my son gave his grade two travel buddy, Big Ears the elephant, to my husband to take to France, his colleagues took it upon themselves to make sure the frigging thing circumnavigated the entire globe – and anyone who didn’t get to do it was peeved. You are so not alone.

    1. Thank you, I am so glad to hear that. Because when I turned up in the cockpit this morning with a Hello Kitty, an iPhone, and a sheepish grin, the pilots really didn’t know what to do with me 🙂

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