I was within earshot of a soon-to-be colleague when I first heard the term ‘Geocache’ used. Should I assume Geocaching is some kind of fancy fix-it thing that programmers do when your computer goes haywire? Maybe it’s like finding a five-dollar bill while out walking your dog. Heck, as far as I was concerned, Geocache was Johnny’s ‘other’ cousin – George Cash.
So what the heck is Geocaching anyway? After reaching out to my good buddy Google, I now understand that Geocaching is simply like a modern version of a treasure hunt or a real world game of hide and seek, without the ‘hide’. First, Geocachers, the folks who participate in the Geocache activity should download the official Geocaching App by Groundspeak, Inc. Or if they’re not quite as tech savvy, they may use an old-school Garmin or other GPS-enabled device to begin their adventure. It seems sort of like the Pokemon Go! game that had folks wondering aimlessly around Sundance Square last Spring trying to catch a virtual bat or other critter.
The outdoor activity uses GPS-enabled devices (your smartphone) to navigate a specific set of coordinates or directions, where you then try to find the geocache. Which leads me to question#2. So, if in fact Geocache isn’t Johnny’s cousin, what is it? Well, GEO means Earth and CACHE means hidden object or item. Put them together like a Sesame Street compound word lesson and you get geocache, which is typically a hidden container similar to a Tupperware-like box that must be both weatherproof and waterproof. Sometimes a cache is camouflaged in its natural surroundings or is in plain sight, such as a birdhouse or pine cone that holds hidden items (log book, pencil and possibly surprises) at that location.Whenever a geocache is found, the ‘cacher’ records the find in the App on their phone, as well as the log book inside the cache. The game gets even more intricate with terms such as ‘dipping’ and ‘trackables’. There are even ways to earn patches and coins, but let’s stick to the basics for now.
Tarrant Regional Water District has their very own version of Geocaching called the TRWD Trinity Trails Geocaching Adventure. TRWD’s Geocaching Adventure takes you on a journey throughout the entire Trinity Trails system to discover hidden gems, historically significant locations and some of the most popular spots along the trails. It’s perfect for families, newbies and seasoned ‘cachers’ too. There are 30 geocaches hidden along the Trinity Trails. If you are clever enough to find all 30, as well as answer the question located inside each one, you will earn a Geocaching Adventure patch. We loves patches – we need patches!
While on your adventure, you’ll be inreview at the 70+ miles of scenic beauty Fort Worth’s Trinity Trails have to offer. On any given geocache quest, you are likely to see runners, walkers,cyclists, families or even an occasional horse sharing the trail with you – maybe you’ll even see ole George.