Saturday, November 20, 2010

Trip to Zanpa and a New Geocoin

We loaded up the car this morning and took a trip to the Awase area, where I found four caches, including a previous DNF (Did Not Find).  We then trekked over to Chatan to grab some curry from CoCo Ichibanya.  Yum.

Next, it was north to Zanpa Point.  I walked all over that park trying to find the letterbox hybrid cache there, but no luck.  There was a great view from the point, so it was certainly worth the trip.

I also am the proud new owner of a couple of new geocoins.  These are unactivated, trackable, commemorative coins that were minted in celebration of Okinawa having 500 active geocaches.  I got two each in gold, silver, and antique nickel. 

The family and I had a nice Saturday out and about.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spoiled Geocachers and Regional Quality

What is the geocaching environment like where you live?  A ton of micros?  An endless supply of rural ammo cans?  I've said a few times that I believe I'm spoiled here on Okinawa.  I've cached a couple of times in Southern California and was disappointed both times.  Is there such a thing as regional quality when it comes to geocaching?  I believe so.

Here in the tropical paradise of Okinawa, the majority of the caches are placed at various points of interest.  In addition, most of the caches have trackables in them (geocoins and travel bugs).  The folks over here are very generous with their coins, and we have pretty good luck with them staying in circulation.  There are a couple of suspect geocachers over here, and most of us know who they are, but the rest seem very reliable about logging and moving trackables.

Stateside caches that I've found have not had any trackables in them.  When I did a couple of pocket queries (downloading of geocache listings for a particular area), I was amazed at the lack of geocoins that are out there.  Many folks that leave here talk about how most geocoins get stolen in America, so most cachers don't put them out, or only place them in caches with very high difficulty ratings.  I have a couple of coins that have made their way to The States and (searching for some wood to knock on...) those coins have done pretty well so far.  Are they the exception to the rule?

In addition to the lack of trackables to enjoy, stateside caches seem to be placed in some of the most mundane locations.  I like finding hidden caches, but shopping center parking lots?  Are you serious with that?  Urban micros have their uses, and it's neat to be able to go grab a quick geocache if you're short on time, but some of those lamp post skirt hides are just plain silly.  I must admit though, lamp post hides in hotel parking lots are cool because you can check into your room, and grab a cache two minutes later!

Those of you that have cached extensively in The States may have seen enough areas to weigh in on this; are there regions that are more "lame" than others when it comes to the quality of the geocaches?  What's it like in your neck of the woods?

Herein lies one of the coolest features of this hobby:  I don't have to go search for those geocaches that I don't like!  If a cacher wants to hide a leaky film canister under a lamp post in a supermarket parking lot, they are free to do so and somebody, somewhere, will get some enjoyment from that.  I would never point at a geocacher and say they are somehow inferior because I don't like their particular style of geocache.  Personal taste is exactly that, but have any of you noticed trends in particular areas?

What say you?