Front page news
- This is a copy of a front page story in the Centralia, WA
newspaper "The Chronicle"
GEOCACHING HOBBY FINDS LOCAL INTEREST
Geocachers Roger and Sharon Voss consider themselves to be modern day
treasure hunters, although the bounty they seek has little monetary
it's junk," said Roger, a Chehalis resident, as he searched
feverishly for a cache on
Galvin Road in Centralia on Wednesday. "We are really in it for the
thrill of the
The Vosses are just two of the thousands of hobbyist across the world
themselves Geocachers (pro-nounced geo-cachers).
It all Started March 2000 after the Clinton administration lifted a
ban on super
accurate global positioning technology for nonmilitary uses.
According to Geocaching.com, David Ulmer was the first to hide a
he did so near Portland, Ore., posted the coordinates on a bulletin
board of Global
Positioning System users, and challenged them to find it.
Within a short period of time a basic outline for Geocaching had
person, or group of people, create a geocache by putting a logbook as
well as some
small trinkets in a water-tight container which they then hide in a
usually a park or wilderness area.
The cache creator then publishes the location's Coordinates on a Web
other GPS users can enter the coordinate. into their own devices and
try to track the
Occasionally the person who placed the cache will also leave clues.
sometimes he has to track down multiple coordinates through a series
of codes or
"Things like that just make the game more interesting," he said.
After it is found, the finder will remove a trinket and replace it
with one of their
own, then state his/her and business on the book log. Most Geocachers
report their finding on the Web site.
"its kind of centered around the site," said Roger of the Web
site. "you can type
in your zip code and know where all the area's geocaches are as well
as who been
"The growth has been phenomenal," said Jeremy Irish of the
site. "Every year we have to update our hardware, to make sure the
As of Wednesday evening. the site was listing 134,789 caches in 212
new logs had been posted in the past seven days.
"its really getting to be a big thing," said Voss. "Its
modern day treasure
hunting. I imagine people try it once and get hooked just like we
The Vosses cite excise as well as :the thrill of the hunt" as
the most appealing
features of there favorite hobby.
"Its a great sport for people like my wife and I," said
Roger. "We're diabetics
and this is another way to get the exercise we need."
While usually the Vosses must wait until the weekend to do
they were able to do some hunting Wednesday. The duo started off the
three sets of coordinates, although they were not able to locate the
cache located on
"This particular one is a micro-cache," said Roger "I
remember a time I had
to find a magnetic box on the underside of a drain.
He is quick to point out that sometimes they must accept
"There have been times when we couldn't find it," Roger
said. "There are also
times when I have to come back three or four times."
The two have been geocaching for almost a year and Roger
eagle eyes for many of there finds.
"Sometimes I will get so caught up with the coordinates," he
said "Then she
will just say "oh there it is' and spot it out of nowhere."
After one failed attempt, the Vosses finally located a cache
at the Chehalis
"When we find one, it it's a great feeling," Roger said as he
the small round container filled with everything from a plastic
lizard and a toy truck
to an Easter egg, ironically. "It's kind of like a year-round Easter
Sharon flipped through the notebook log, and was uninterested
to find it had
signatures of Geocachers from Eugene, Ore., and Missoula, Mont., as
another husband and wife duo that have hunted with them in the past.
"See," she said pointing to the page. :It shows how many
people are into
The Voss took a toy truck and left a travel bug."
"It has a number on it," Roger said pointing to the bagged
item resembling a
military tag. "If you post that number on the Web site you can be
able to find
everywhere it has been."
Roger 58, and Sharon 59 have no plans of slowing down.
"Were planning a geocaching cruise," he said
Ulmer, the founder of the hobby, is expected to accompany the
couple on the
cruise this September.
"We're taking the cruise to Alaska," said Roger. "It will be
neat to have him
(Ulmer). I think quite a few people will be interested in coming
For people interested in geocaching, more affordable GPS
devices are now
filtering onto the market.
"They range from $100 to a lot more then that," Roger
said. "The good thing
about it is that a GPS is all you need. It makes a great adventure."
Since no names are used on the Web site, Roger said there is
no telling how
many people are geocaching.
"All I can tell you is that it is very popular," he said.