By Mary Ann Carpenter (ScaryAnn) & Richard Washburn
What has beautiful scenery, awesome wildlife, and hidden objects? Geocaching on the Greenway has all of this and more! We have hidden quite a few geocaches on the Greenway. This is a wonderful way to get out and discover this wonderful trail. Being both hiders and seekers of geocaches, we have had some wonderful experiences. You never know where the cache will lead you until you get there.
What is Geocaching, you might ask? Some people consider it a game; some a hobby; and others will call it an obsession. I will explain what it is all about. We go online to www.geocaching.com to get coordinates. We put these coordinates into our hand held GPS receivers. We then go to wherever they take us. When we get to the area that the GPS tells us is the right spot we then look for hidden containers or more coordinates, which take us to another area. When (if) we find the container there will be a log book to sign our names in. Ammo cans are one of our favorite containers to find. But the container can be anything. We have hidden ammo cans, waterproof matchstick containers, and even an old pen. We then go back to www.geocaching.com and write about our experiences in finding the cache. Geocaches are found all around the world.
We have met some great people on the Greenway that were seeking out our caches (and other people’s too). Some people cache as a group and others by themselves. We’ve met families enjoying this hobby as well. Walking along the Greenway shows so many different sites to see. When we were setting up our hides we saw an immature Golden Eagle, a muskrat, and beaver. We have heard from people who have searched out our caches that they have seen red fox, turtles, a new born fawn (that they didn’t disturb), beaver, and other critters. Our little section of the trail (this is what we call the section that we have placed our caches on) is three and a quarter miles long. Every couple of hundred feet you are treated to a beaver dam. The trees form a canopy across the path in several places, creating a very tranquil feeling.
Many of the cachers, that we know, practice what we call C.I.T.O. (Cache In Trash Out). Often you will see a geocacher with a small bag full of trash; this will be anything that they have found in the cache area that should not have been left there by other people. It is very rare to see a cacher leaving the trash behind. Sometimes the trash is too large, or there is too much of it for one or two people to handle, so they will make an event of it. They will organize a day for all the area geocachers to get together and remove the trash. Sometimes these events are small and sometimes they can be large.
So if you enjoy hiking and looking for hidden objects, Geocaching may just be a hobby that you and your family can enjoy.
Mary Ann Carpenter & Richard Washburn