Friday, June 24, 2011

The Adventures of Mike Row

Today we set up a geocache and released two travel bugs. What is a travel bug you ask? You may even be asking what is a geocache... Well here is the story.

A few months ago I attended a Texas Parks and Wildlife class about geocaching. I was at my second BOW retreat (becoming and outdoors woman) and it was one of the offered class. I had heard of geocaching, but when I walked into the classroom I had no idea what to expect... I had no idea that this would become a new obsession for me and my family.

What I found out was that geocaching is outdoor treasure hunting using a GPS device. It is done on a very large scale. People from all over the world hide containers, small and large, all over the place and then log the coordinates online for other people to find. You probably walk right by geocaches every day and have no idea that they are there.

A travel bug is an item, any item, that you attach a special tag to that allows you to track it's progress (using a tracking number). You place it in a geocache and send it out into world with a mission. The missions vary: some travel bugs simply want to travel as much as possible, some want to be photographed in exotic locations, some hope to increase awareness for a cause. There are countless reasons a person might send out one of these bugs. One of the travel bugs I'm releasing is a finger puppet shaped like a film canister.

Why a film canister? Well that is simple... Many of the micro caches are film canisters. They are hidden in holes in trees or tucked away in a little hiding spot on the side of the road. They are easy to hide and have become kind of an icon for the sport. I named my puppet Mike Row because of his small size and his love of geocaching. In the spirit of the travel gnome, Mike's mission is to travel between caches and to be photographed in as many beautiful and exotic places as possible. Mike can be photographed in a newly discovered spot... or near a cache from the past. I hope to keep Mike moving from hand to hand/cache to cache.

I'll have to see what happens and keep you posted.

The other travel bug I'm releasing is tiny measuring spoon that I will be tracking on my other blog Worth a Fig. Stop by and read it's story if you are interested.

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