Monday, February 27, 2012

Eleven years of geocaching

Today is the 11th anniversary of my first geocache find. I have previously written about that day so I won't go into details here again. However, it is interesting to note how much geocaching continues to change from year to year. This past weekend I made a last-minute decision to attend a geocaching event because I saw the names of a few old timers who posted their "will attend" logs. It was fun to catch up and talk about the good old days of geocaching. I'm not one of those people who think that just because something is different than how it used to be, it has necessarily changed for the worse. On the contrary, I think it's pretty amazing to see how far geocaching has come since I hid what is now the oldest geocache in Wisconsin (Pike Powder Hike) and one of the first geocaches in Iowa: Grandpa Kettleson's Farm, an archived cache that I placed on land where my grandfather grew up. Groundspeak continues to lead the way and introduce new aspects to the game every year. Many of those innovations are inspired and requested by geocachers. New people come into the hobby every day. Some play for only a few months. Others, like me, seem to hang in there year after year. I used to think that for me it was all about the hike and getting out into nature. But over the years I've come to realize it's also about the long-lasting friendships I've made along the way. Geocaching attracts quite a melting pot of people who enjoy this activity, from old to young, from couch potatoes to marathoners, and from thrill seekers to nature lovers. It's fascinating getting to know all the different types and hearing about why they geocache.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

What about requesting a specific date and time to publish a cache?

I wrote about this topic back in November, but I want to revisit it because it came up again in a request from a geocacher this week. While it is possible for reviewers to set a large group of caches for publishing on a certain date in conjunction with an upcoming geocaching event, it requires the reviewer to take a number of steps using the online tools that Groundspeak makes available to reviewers, so here's what I have decided to do. I will set up specific dates and times to publish, but only for "mass" publishing of a number of caches, that is, when event organizers have requested a large number of geocaches to be published on the same date. Additionally, I've found that requesting a specific time is often a hit-or-miss proposition because the system doesn't always publish them exactly when I specify. For those reasons, I can't honor requests for specified publication dates and times for individual geocaches because -- given the online system available to me right now -- it would take up a lot more of my time and it would likely frustrate some geocachers if their caches didn't get published at a specific time after they were led to believe that it would. I hope this helps clarify the situation.