Lodge Life

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Our Geocache - Improved!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Something had to be done. A geocache can be hidden underwater, or almost anywhere - but one on top of a hill, well above ground, shouldn't be permanently soaked. Or should have things in it besides water. But our memorial Geocache has been fixed, upgraded, enhanced. Thanks to all who found it and drained it over the past few years - your efforts were not in vain.

We've been geocaching here since before it was called that. I was using a government-issued GPS as part of my government job the day that the US military decided putting errors into the signal was a waste of time. A week later Geocaches (not called that, back then) started popping up on message boards*. In short order, the relative handful of people who had their own GPS units - I remember my trusty Eagle® was about the size, weight and price of a milk carton filled with pure selenium - started poking around in all sorts of out-of-the-way places, finding things hidden by others and leaving their own prizes.

Wave away these mists of time, and Geocaching™ has a long-established etiquette (not to say rulebook) and a de-facto governing body. Geocaches of highly variable quality pop up faster than mushrooms or roadside inukshuks, creatively following major highways with occasional gems tucked into truly wild spots. GPS units have followed Moore's law into nearly universal affordability. Now ubiquitous, I'd doubt most users, listening to directions as they drive, can say how they work or even what the terms UTM, Easting or Northing mean.

Not so for a Cache hunter. All but the greenest tyro knows what to do if I say that our new, improved, watertight cache is hidden at  17T E 721085 N 5030034, or that Hay Lake is at 17T E 720887 N 5029126, the best place to swim is our beach at 17 T E 720855 N 5030006, and the best fishing spot on the lake is 60H E 405025 S 5706188. Open up Google Earth and see what I mean - or get out your GPS and go see for yourself.

* Elegant relics of an older, more civilized internet.