Local pair find themselves caught up in ‘geocaching’
By DONNA B. STINNETT, Features editor
October 5, 2003
Sometimes they find the "treasure." Sometimes the "treasure" comes to them.
Since July, uncle and nephew have participated in the hobby of geocaching, which is basically an adventure game for global positioning system users.
Basically, individuals and organizations in 180 countries have set up their caches — little "treasure chests" of such trinkets as small toys, coins, stamps, trading cards, miniature games and other
inexpensive items — and share the location coordinates on an Internet site.
GPS users then use the coordinates to find a cache, take something and leave something (if they want) and sign a log book
that’s put in the cache.
All the details about both locating and establishing a cache can be found at www.geocaching.com.
Nibby and River set up their own cache in downtown Henderson at the first of July, and two days later the first geocachers located it and left a message.
Since then, nine other treasure hunters have stopped by to sign the log book, including some visitors from New Mexico, who left a plastic roadrunner in the box for good measure.
River, a first-grader at Holy Name School, said it’s a lot of fun to see what messages the people leave and what items are added to their box of goodies.
"He checks it just about every day," Nibby said. Their cache isn’t the only one in Henderson. The geocaching Web site lists two others — one in Newman Park and one in Atkinson Park. Two others that had been listed in Audubon State Park have been removed because the park has been declared off limits to geocaching by the Kentucky Department of Parks.
Park officials are fearful that off-trail activity can damage habitat in state nature preserves. Nibby said geocachers are encouraged to take a plastic bag with them when they’re out hunting to clean up trash while they’re at it.
"Cache in, trash out," he said, quoting the advice. "People who are doing this hobby are educated and environmentally conscious," he added. "They are the type people we want
to attract as tourists."
Plus, he said, it’s a good activity for his young nephew. "It’s a great hobby for kids," he said. "It gets you outside and you have to use your brain to find the cache. You get exercise while you’re doing it and you see things you wouldn’t normally see."