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Thread: What got you started?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Bangor, ME
    Posts
    3,961

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    Like most other things in my life, my intro to caching was a mistake.... I was browsing the internet one day for software to use with my GPSr and stumbled across geocaching... puzzled about the game I did a search for geocaching... and one thing led to another and the rest was history...
    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dedham, Maine
    Posts
    351

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    My Uncle (Senior Dave) took John out for a few geocaches while on a family trip to Ft Lauderdale. John told me all about it and I kinda brushed it off. A year or so later I was looking for a birthday gift and thought about the GPSr, (although I seem to recall he kept bringing up how helpful it would be to do this and that and the other). Now, though we still go out mostly together, I'm WAY more addicted than he is. And we took my brother and his wife out shortly after we started and they WAY surpass addicted.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Auburn, Maine
    Posts
    318

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    I looked up an old radio co-worker on the internet and found him in a Yahoo group for geocachers in Nevada. He's really enthusiastic and wasted no time getting me enthusiastic too! I just can't stand knowing that they are all around me. That was in March. In May I needed to be in Minnesota for a conference and he flew up there so we could be cache buddies for a couple of days. We didn't break any records but we sure had fun!
    ~*There's Tupperware in thum thar hills!*~

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Unity, Maine
    Posts
    3,866

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    Great thread.

    Like a few of you I bought my GPSr originally for other purposes -- mainly to use as a navigational aid while four wheeling and specifically to use while four wheeling on the ATV on the Sunrise Trail off Rt. 9.

    A buddy of mine (let's call him Joe) and I were out for a day ride last June with the idea being to off load at the Rt. 9 Snack Bar in Clifton and ride to Nicatous Lodge for lunch. We packed some cans of fuel, drinks and the trusty Delorme map.

    Unfortunately, the trails were not well marked and we ended up getting lost. We figured it was no big deal though since we had both the Delorme and the local ATV trail map . . . the only problem is that we began to realize that if you have no point of reference as to where you are it's impossible to know where to go (sort of a metaphor for life.) When you're in the woods, often one blue pond on a map looks the same as the five other ponds you passed not more than a mile or so away on the ride in.

    We ended up riding in a big half circle and ended up on (I believe) Chick Hill. It had a great view and was nice, but it was not where we wanted to go. In addition we met up with another couple who willingly shared their packed lunch with us since we were quite hungry and in return we shared some of our gas. It was a bonding moment, but it was also one of those "well duh" moments when I knew I needed -- not wanted -- a GPSr to keep me from getting lost while ATVing.

    My wife knows that I am never obsessive-compulsive except when it comes to comparision shopping . . . I always like to research products and find out what has the best deal, price, what people like/dislike, etc. And so I went to the internet and began to research GPS receivers and somewhere in that search I stumbled on to geocaching.com.

    It sounded interesting and I figured it might be a nice side hobby along with four wheeling in the summer . . . plus I figured it would also be another selling point to convince my wife that I would truly utilize this $300 piece of hardware. "See Hon. I can use this for ATVing, snowmobiling, driving directions and this hobby called geocaching."

    I bought my Magellan in late-June, signed on to gc.com in early-July as a member to find out more information and successfully found my first cache (The now archived Cornfield Cache) on July 17th (after one failed attempt a week earlier -- at the time I still didn't know how or that there was a "go to" point-to-point feature and instead I kept trying to "line" up the numbers on the screen to match the numbers in the posted cord.) I can still remember the excitement that I felt and thrill of finding that hidden cache . . . and immediately afterwards I went up to do Noreasta's Frye Mountain cache as the second . . . and after that I was helplessly hooked.

    Ironically, while I use my GPS all the time while snowmobiling to mark trails (for the club and to figure out where I am and make maps afterwards to see where I went and how far I went), ATVing (for the same reason) and as a driving aid (to get to unknown locations) I find myself mainly using the GPSr for geocaching . . . which was originally only a minor reason/justification for buying a GPS receiver.

    Oh, and the knickname . . . my real name is Jason . . . but few people call me that. In high school I was "Oliver" named after a nerdy, do-gooder, klutz of an angel on one of those ABC After School Specials. In college I was known as "Psycho" . . . we won't go there as to why. When I started working at the Bangor FD one of the Assistant Chiefs started calling me Jake. Some firefighter told me that probationary firefighters in Boston are called "Jakes" . . . which is true. This is not true in Bangor, ME however. The knickname stuck before I learned that I was knicknamed after the Assistant Chief's bassett hound, Jakob . . . and ironically enough Jakob had a "girlfriend" named Heidi (my wife's name.)
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Litchfield, Maine
    Posts
    3,588

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    I bought our gps to help me on my snowmobile trips. I liked to explore some of the side trails but the problem with that was that some of those side trails would keep branching off and when you tried to come back the way you came it was hard to remember all the right and left turns you had to make. I bought the gps to help me with that. The other reason is I wanted to plot my trip so I could see where I had been when I came home after the trip. When snowmobiling you take a lot of logging road and you go to some around the way places to get to your final destination. You would be amazed at you actual route and I am still amazed when I plot some of them off the gps.

    One day I met a kayaking buddy and in there yahoo profile they listed geocaching as one of there interest. I asked them what it was and when they explained I thought it sounded interesting. So I did some research and found the GC web site and Tink and I tried one (Jims Puddle), we were not very successful the first time, but we went back the next day in a canoe this time and saw what we did wrong and could our first cache. Sine then we have been caching as a hobby or on weeks when we are not busing doing some of our other hobbies.
    Blazing Troll

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Gainesville, Georgia
    Posts
    3,875

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    I fell into geocaching quite by accident. One day while surfing the internet I came across an article about it. There was a reference about GC.com and I went to it and was a lurker there for about a month when I decided to do some more research into a good GPS'r. After a couple of months lurking and researching I decided to purchase a Garmin Vista off from Ebay. Right after that I purchased my first digital camera and they both complimented each other. I just loved going to places I had never been to before and found some absolutely beautiful spots where I could take pictures and even post them to the website.

    Oh and before I get too far ahead of myself while at the GC.com forums one day I happened to find out about Clayjars site. So I decided to inquire in there about anybody being from Maine that would be interested in showing me the ropes on this newfound activity.

    Well wouldn't you know it but a guy named Brdad was in there at that time and he piped up and said he would be willing to help me out. We set up a time and place to meet which was at the China Scool Forest cache on a Saturday morning when he would be available. We introduced ourselves to one another and he showed me how to use the GPS and I found my first cache there.

    The rest is history you could say. I did eventually have the opportunity to adopt the China School forest cache from the teacher and his students who originally put it there as it had some special significance to me being my first find and all. I refer to Brdad as my mentor now and we have become great friends, along with so many other people that I have met thanks to this great activity.

    The people that I have met and the friends that I have made has been probably the most positive thing that has come out of geocaching and I have seen more of this beautiful state of ours in the 3 plus years I have been caching than my whole life living here. I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my adult life geocaching and hopefully will be making many more friends along the way.
    Just smile it won't crack your face

    The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is
    suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best
    friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Auburn
    Posts
    2,112

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    I went on a mountain bike trip with a bunch of friends. We had a great time and I thought, wow!, I gotta come back here again. Well, the summer passed and after winter skiing, I remembered going to a really great little trail system; But what town was it in and where was the trail head? I bought a gps just to keep track of the cool places Iíve been.

    Then, one day, I was reading the posts on the KayakForum.com and read this post:

    http://www.kayakforum.com/cgi-bin/Bu...l?review=57393

    I found Ferry Beach Cache on 3Jan02 and the rest is a long sorted tail!

  8. #18

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    We had always been outdoors people... we had taken the kids on many hikes and camping trips and hit a lot of the natural features listed in the Delorme Gazetteer for ME & NH. So I guess it was serendipity when I read an article in the January 2003 issue of Discover magazine about geocaching. It seemed like the perfect activity for us: outdoors, plenty of small adventures, treasures for the kids and some hi-tech gadgets. I read up on it for a month or so as the snow melted and printed out a bunch of the pages. I 'borrowed' my dad's unused Garmin GPSIII and made our first attempt in March, but couldn't find the cache under the snow. Our next cache try was a multi which we couldn't finish because one of the hints was covered with ice! Finally in April we returned and found the multi and another traditional in that day. Found one the next weekend, then two after that, then 3, then 4... etc, etc. It has got more difficult lately as the kids are getting older (teenagers now) they would rather hang out with their friends than geocache. It has slowed things down a bit but Donna and I have gone out together a couple times which is fun. And, yes, the GPSIII is still going strong!

  9. #19

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    I've always treasured the friendship of the IT guys where I work. They are kind enough to call me "geek" and keep me pretty well updated on all the cool technology they think I might enjoy. Randy (RanMan22) showed me his GPSr one morning, told me about geocaching, and by the end of the day, I had my own and was ready to go hunting!

    It was Memorial Day weekend, 2003, and one of my stepsons and his wife were up visiting me. It was a special time for us, since their dad, my husband of 24 years, had just passed away the previous January. I was still a bit of an emotional wreck, and really needed something new to latch on to. Not wanting to curl up in the house and feel sorry for myself - I took up geocaching - what amazing therapy.

    That first weekend, we did the "Brady Cache" in Bangor and while we were hunting, we met EGSG on the trail. Sharon and I had worked together, many years before, though I had never met Ed. As they said much later at an event we atttended together, "We knew you were hooked from that first day!" And, it's true, I was, and am.

    I did about 60 caches with the kids, my cousin, my friends (some of them kicking and screaming), my sister (who would much rather golf) and by myself. Then I went to my first geo-event in Augusta, where I met the famous brdad and his son and we began caching together. Many caches later, I can't imagine life without geocaching or my geocoach, and I will be forever grateful for my geeky friend who said, "Hey, Lee, take a look at this!"

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Brewer,ME
    Posts
    2,573

    Smile Thanks

    I really liked reading how some of you got started in this great pastime. Now some more of you need to add your tales here as well.
    Happy Trails!
    Yeah it's a Jeep thing!


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