Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Geowoodstock Weekend

Zeke and I at the Geowoodstock sign.
This weekend we found ourselves at one of the largest gatherings of Geocachers in the world:  Geowoodstock X in Sellersburg Indiana (right across the river from Louisville KY)

Thousands of geocachers from around the world travel to Geowoodstock every year to swap stories, share tricks, and have a great deal of fun.

This is the second Geowoodstock, and aside from a few logistical issues, it was essentially the same as last year.  So in effort to not be repetitive, I will refer you to last years post to get a feel for what a Geowoodstock event is like.

Obviously an event like this has its social elements, but what was memorable this year for me was how social the weekend outside of the event ended up being.  Most folks tend to geocaching alone, or in the same group of people, and one can go weeks or months without seeing other geocachers out on the trail.  Last weekend was the exact opposite of this as there was a rare moment when I didn't run into other cachers.

Abigail getting her hippie on.
To give you an idea of what I am talking about, let me recount some of the more memorable events of the weekend:

On Friday we went for a hike in the woods.  As we left the first cache, we ran into a cacher coming over the ridge.  A few moments later I was on the banks of the Ohio river doing an earth cache, and I ran into a couple who was also attempting that cache.

After lunch I was attempting a cache at the Louisville water tower.  I ran into two other cachers also making the attempt.  The cache ended up being damaged and hard to locate, but between us we managed to hunt down the clues of the missing cache, make some repairs and place it back.  That cache has since been found over 30 more times.

That evening we attended Miles of Smiles, a pre-Geowoodstock registration event.  A steady stream of cachers came and went over the course of several hours.  It was there that we got re-acquainted with some cacher friends from Massachusetts that I hang out with online, and met last year, and some of my Band Of Cachers friends.

After the event I went to find the closest cache, and ended up hanging out with about 20 cachers waiting to sign the log.

The family with Signal, the Groundspeak mascot.
On Saturday we had breakfast with several cachers that I hang out with online, many of who I met for the first time in person.

We then headed to Geowoodstock, and hung out for the day. After the event we went caching and every cache we did we ended up meeting new and different groups of cachers.

On Sunday we headed down to the banks of the Ohio River to attend a flash mob event.  The event was to take a group photo at the site of the original Geowoodstock 10 years ago.   While waiting for the event I ran into a cacher duo from Sweden, and another duo from Massachusetts. We ended up finding a couple caches together.

During the flash mob photo we hung out on a park lawn with several hundred cachers.

As you can imagine this weekend was the most social geocaching weekend I've ever had.  If you ever feel like hanging out with a large group of really fun people with a penchant for locating tupperware in the woods, might I suggest you make plans to attend Geowoodstock XI in Lakeland Florida next Memorial Day weekend.

I will leave you with several group photos from the events we attended.

The group photo at Geowoodstock X. We are at the very back under the W.

The group photo from the Flash Mob event on Sunday. We are to the left of the tree in the middle.

The group of cachers I chat with on a regular basis. From left to right: ShadowDC, DeviousDragen, leftyfb, jwubrownie, Clayjar, Tonka Tyke, yours truly, faurenlink, verygeeky.