Joined July 4, 2005 . . . found a cache a few days later.
What was supposed to be just something to do on the side once in a while turned out to be my main hobby . . . really I only bought a GPsr for use while ATVing!
Change . . . hmmm . . . change happens . . . some good, some bad . . . some things are just change, neither good or bad.
Numbers: I still try not to be into the numbers, but I tend to notice there are a lot more cachers and caches these days (good in my opinion), but the caches are different from the "old days." There is still some friendly competition with numbers -- I'm not sure if the power trails are making things better or worse for folks. For me, it's never been about the numbers . . . sure I watch the numbers go up . . . but I still prefer to be brought to those scenic views and historical sites.
Caches: Honey, I shrunk the cache . . . there are a lot more micros out there. I remember when finding a nano was a rarity and these were considered positively evil since they were rarely seen. Nowadays micros and nanos are quite common. I think they have a place . . . but I really hate finding lots of micros in the woods . . . especially when you could easily hide a regular cache. The micros in the wood deal to me is partly about the frustration of trying to look for a very tiny micro in the woods . . . partly it's my belief that young kids like the trade aspect vs. the searching aspect of caching . . . and partly because I look at hiding a full size cache in the woods as an art form . . . anyone can skillfully hide a micro in the woods . . . but how well can you conceal a regular sized cache . . . hint: check out Laughing Terry's Right in Plain Sight caches and BrDad's Battle ship Final if you want to learn just how sneaky you can be.
Virtuals: I really miss the virtuals. I still maintain there is a place for them. I understand why they went away as folks were supposedly doing virtual fire hydrants, telephone poles, etc. . . . but that said . . . they had a place and I do in fact miss them.
Personal change: I've met many good friends thanks to geocaching . . . including one of my best friends (next to my wife) -- Hiram. I've also started going to some events, realizing that caching alone can be fun, but sometimes, oftentimes, sharing the adventure with others is more fun. I've also evolved from toting around reams of paper to using my Palm . . . and then there is the fact that if I were to buy a GPSr today I would give up my beloved Magellan for a Garmin Oregon.
Hides: Mixed feelings here . . . some hides are better hidden than when I first started. In the old days it seems like hides tended to fall into one of two types of hides: hidden under a pile of sticks or hidden under rocks. Nowadays some cache hides are quite clever. On the flip side you have the caches hanging in trees . . . and no I'm not talking about the power caches . . . I'm talking about "regular" caches.
Gut feeling . . . times change . . . caches change . . . the sport changes . . . it's the nature of the beast . . . some things are good, some things are bad . . .
"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."