Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tagging Cachemobiles

I was just out walking around the morning of Geowoodstock VIII, wasting some time before Firefly03 got up, and spotted a Jeep Wrangler in the hotel parking lot with a plastic praying mantis on the hood. Well I figured that it had to be a Geocacher since that's just a little too funny for most "normal" people to try. So I wandered around to the back to discover a travel bug tag. Of course they're cachers! That deserved a coin for sure. So I came back with a stack of our personal 2006 mini-coins (yup, we still had a couple dozen left in reserve) and left one of Firefly03's coins in the grubby little paws of that bug before grabbing the tracking number off the back. That tripped off the mission to tag any car I spotted in the parking lot with any identifiable geocacher markings. In all there were nine cars with a total of ten trackable magnets or stickers, then another four with other markings from decals to flags. Most of those got a DarrylW4 2006 mini-coin with a note written on the activation sticker "See you on the farm" (as in Remlinger Farms where the event is being held). My hope was that many of them would come look for me during Geowoodstock for some cool encounters. Once I returned to the room to log the ten numbers and build my list of cachers to watch out for myself, I discovered that a few of them were cachers I'd wanted to connect with that day anyhow. This will be interesting.

Well it ended up a much busier day than I'd expected. We arrived early and I headed straight for the first tent, a vendor with whom I wanted to connect before the event opened to get some time with their new device. By the time it opened I was headed a little further down the vendor tents stopping several times talking with listeners of the podcasts and/or followers of my Twitter stream. Three hours later I'd only made it about half-way through the vendors but picked up TheBadCop and LittleCopper. By that point it was time for lunch and the crowds at the booth were pretty intense. As of then, none of those I tagged in the parking lot had appeared (but I'd finally connected with several of the others I'd wanted to run into for a minute or two along the way.) By the time I'd made it to the panel discussion on Social Media by LookoutLisa of Cache Advance, with Sonny of Podcacher, TheBadCop, Eric from Groundspeak, and I, there hadn't been enough available vendor time to get much more than a cursory look through their booths. I had though spent time at the Podcacher tent and met with many more listeners, Twitter followers, and finally at least two of the folks I tagged. More came out of the woodwork though at the CITO following Geowoodstock VIII, and at the Geocoin event after that. Most of the time that last event was underway I had been out with TheBadCop again recording an interview for his show "Caching in the Northwest" about how a Midwest USA cacher found the Pacific Northwest's caching. Still I made short trips into the hotel ballroom and people passed us doing several of the caches in the area. I lost count of the people who thanked me for the coins on their cars, but I'd guess it was at least a third. We really had fun with it and I hope to do it again at the next mega-event we attend.

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