What got you started?
I am starting this thread partially out of curiosity. How did you become interested in caching? Was it a friend that dragged you kicking and screaming the first time? Did you read an article in a paper, or see a story on TV? I think there will be many varied answers and stories here. What brought some of the older cachers in may be a lot different than what gets someone hooked now. Tell us your story.
Mine is very simple. I had read and article on an in flight magazine while taking a trip. The premise seemed extremely interesting to me. It was a couple years later that I finally went out and purchased my first GPSr for the sole purpose of geocaching. A Garmin Vista, the top of the line E-trex model in 2003. I went with Garmin since I owned a Garmin model 40 that I had bought for my boat when I lived in Florida back in 1995. I did my first hunt here in Brewer on July 6, 2003 and as they say, the rest is history...I'm hooked. I have met so many good people over the last 3 years, I can't wait to see what the future brings not only for me, but for the hobby in general. Now tell us your story.
I remember seeing your early logs, Brad.
For me, I'm not sure just where on the internet, but that's where I read about it. I had been using my GPS for over a year mapping out hundreds of miles of ATV trails. I was still busy with that project when I read about caching, so I put it on the back burner for a while, thinking I may place one up on Chick Hill, less than 1 mile from my house. I had checked back with the site a few times and eventually someone placed one up there before I did. I went and checked out the cache to see what it was like but did not log it. June 30th 2002 I went to MDI and logged my first caches down there. It was not until July 4th that I went back and logged it.
In the summer of '03, we were on a vacation trip across country to Minnesota, then back trhough Canada. While driving in Ontario, we heard 1-hour story about geocaching that sounded VERY interesting. We researched the subject when we got back, bought a GPSr, and the rest is a great experience! :D
Well, Constance and I are very adventurous people and for my birthday a coupl of years ago she went to a web site (GC.com) and printed out a bunch of caches. She cut out just the name and the coords and wrapped them in individual boxes. She gave me these little boxes for my birthday but said I could not open them right now. Her Idea was that we could only open them one at a time on the weekend when we where stuck and had no idea what to do or we where bored. She took them from all over the state and the idea was to get us out of the routine of going to the same places all the time. I already had a gps so it seemed easy enough. Then we got addicted and started an account and off we went:D
I got started the same as everyone else. You see when 2 adults fall in love they begin to have feelings for one another and well ummmmm must I go on. I remember it as "the birds and te bees".:D :p :D :p :D :p
This thread started me thinking so I briefly looked back at a couple of things when I started caching. The fall of 2002 our son was in Alaska so we bought him a Garmin Vista with the mapping software for a Christmas present as he loves the outdoors. I wanted to be sure everything was working properly so I set it up for him and starting playing around with its features. While doing some research on the internet I ran across GC.COM and saw there was a geocache a couple of miles from home. It looked interesting so I asked my wife to get me one for Christmas....which she did. On Christmas Day I opened it up...loaded the software...hand-loaded the coords to two caches, Homeworld and Ft. Point Delight and found them before Christmas dinner. It wasn't until we did Squaw Head cache together, 4 days later, that Charron became hooked. :) 6 of the first 12 caches we did are now archived. I still don't know what my first FTF was and don't have the time to read back through but I do remember my first FTF with my grandson.:) Quarry Rocks.
My doctor told me to walk as rehab. after suffering an injury. Walking up and down the street bored the life out of me. One morning, while reading the KJonline, I came across "Outdoors with Children" by Wendy Almeida (Robotbunny). Having 2 little girls, we are always looking for new and fun things to do. In the article she mentioned geocaching and provided a link to geocaching.com. This really sparked my interest. I had all the tools needed by coincidence; eTrex personal navigator and an old PALM and can't ever remember being without an internet connection (well, I can remember but since the "net" has been available, I've had a connection). All I needed was a caching handle and we are ready to cache. Choosing a handle turned out to be the hardest part for us and decided that the girls being "treasures" and treasure hunting sounding like lots of fun, we incorporated that into out handle, lo and behold Trezurs*-r-*fun.
On May 5, 2005, I headed out solo to find "The Bog Road" Cache by Smitty and Co. just across town from where we live. There are two old bridge trestles in that location, one being the old Narrow Gauge and the other, the old vehicular bridge that collapsed. The reason I mention this is because I went to the wrong location and then tried to realize why my GPSr was wrong. I looked at the coordinates and they didn't match up with the coordinates given. I figured I had the foolish GPS set up wrong or that it was a piece of junk. Then I remember the words of a pilot friend of mine, "Always trust your compass, never question it no matter how wrong you think it is." Reading the numbers, I slowly managed to get where I was suppose to be and with Smitty's great coordinates I found the cache. I was hooked!!!! First thing I did when I got home was dig out the users manual and learn how to use the GPSr and with all the time off from work to rehab. my injury, I managed to rack up a lot of finds quickly and become hopelessly addicted to geocaching!!
I'm back to work after a 6 month rehab. and find that it really does interfere with my caching, LOL!!!
My experience is perhaps opposite most. Instead of finding out about geocaching and buying a GPSr, I bought a GPSr and then found out about geocaching.
I had been kayaking for a while with some old buddies, primarily in NH. I always borrowed a kayak and finally decided to get my own. When I got one, I went out a few times by myself and found that I really needed to know a little more about where I was and, more importantly, how to get back to the start. I did some research and found a GPSr that was waterproof and would do well for kayaking.
I'd had the GPSr for about a month before I investigated the geocaching options. I had seen them when I was learning about the unit but I didn't bother with them. It was nearly another month before I printed out several pages and punched in the numbers. Back in Spetember, my first cache was a kayak cache. I did about 4 that day and I've been caching ever since.
My first 50 or so finds were solo. I'd venture to guess that now more than half have been with another cacher or in a group.
Interesting question Brad. Thanks for starting this thread!
For lack of anything to get the guys for Christmas we bought them each a gps for Christmas of 2000 which they never used! In August 2001 I happened to read a news article about brdad and Thornbird Sanctuary and geocaching. I scanned the article and emailed it to Twin One and a couple days later we found the cache at Kineowatha and a DNF at Monument Hill. That was it, we were hooked!
It was October of 2004 and Troy came home from school with the story. Dad there's free stuff out there and all we need is a GPS. Needing to teach him a lesson of life, Troy there is NO free stuff and what the heck is a GPS. A month later at his parent teacher conference, one of his teachers had an eTrex that I was showed. He also gave us the GC.com address on a post it note. I went home and left it next to the computer. Just before christmas I looked into the website and was hooked immediately. There were alot of caches around our home. I ran up to L.L.Beans the next day and bought him a GPS for christmas. We found " cache on the fly " well Troy found it christmas day 2004. We have been caching ever since and love spending the time together outdoors. The people, the places, the stories. I would not have met you all, espicially Karen who still remains our best find, while geocaching.