I often get asked by friends and family “What’s so great about geocaching?” or “Why do you like geocaching so much?” The first few times that I was asked, I didn’t have a chance to think about it and I would say that it gets me outside more. While this is still true, there are so many other reasons to love geocaching.
Geocaching brings me to the most beautiful places.
One of the best parts of geocaching is the interesting places where you can find a cache. I’ve had the opportunity to see mountains with lake views, waterfalls, towering pine trees, stunning gorges and more. Earthcaches tend to be my favorite cache type for this exact reason. Since earthcaches are about geological features of the earth, you’re bound to find something interesting. I’ve been to a lot of stunning places because there was an earthcache there. One of my favorite places I’ve been because of geocaching is the Eternal Flame (“Eternal Flame Falls Earthcache” GC10VMY) located in Chestnut Ridge Park near Buffalo, New York. A small waterfall cascades over the shale creek bed, but that’s not even the best park. Underneath the waterfall, in a small grotto is a natural gas emission. When lit with a lighter the flame burns continuously. It is one of the most amazing natural phenomena I’ve ever seen.
Geocaching pushes me to do things I normally wouldn’t.
I wouldn’t consider myself in the best shape; I’m not a runner, swimmer or anything like that. Since I’ve started geocaching I’ve done many things I otherwise wouldn’t have done. I climbed two mountains in the Adirondacks because there were geocaches at the summit. I’ve gone kayaking to find geocaches, which is something I probably wouldn’t be interested in if I wasn’t going to get a smiley out of it. Last summer for the Geocaching Road Trip, I did something I never would have done before geocaching. I needed a cache for the 5-star terrain or difficulty souvenir. The cache I decided to do required a hike down into a gorge, a quarter mile hike along the rocky shore of the raging Genesee River toward a huge waterfall and into the back of a large, dark cave (“Over the Falls” GC2127R). There is a new cache that was placed in that cave, so I get to make the trek again, and I’m actually excited about it!
Geocaching has brought me out of my shell.
Normally, I tend to be a pretty shy person. I don’t normally find myself talking to people I’ve never met before. Geocaching has really changed that about me. I almost immediately latched onto geocaching events. I really enjoy getting together with other geocachers and having conversations about our great hobby. Talking with other cachers came so naturally to me; probably because it is something I am so passionate and excited about. I look forward to every geocaching event and make a large majority of my caching plans centered around events. Attending events has allowed me to meet so many great people that I wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to get to know. I’ve made great friends through geocaching.
To me geocaching is much more than just finding containers in the woods. It has pushed me to my limits, physically and mentally, it has allowed me to meet so many great people and it has brought me to so many amazing places. And that is what I love about geocaching.