Saturday, May 1, 2010

Geocaching History and Lost & Found Events

Ten years ago, on May 2, 2000, selective availability was turned off. The next day, Dave Ulmer placed the first cache, The Original Stash by the side of a road in the woods near Beavercreek, OR. Then he posted the coordinates for the cache to an usenet group. The cache was found within 2 days. At that time it was called a "stash", a "GPS Stash Hunt", but after a little while, they decided to call it a Geocache because of the possible negative connotations towards the word "stash".

Unfortunately, within a few months, the container was damaged by roadside mowing crews. A cacher found the remains, and wanting to preserve the history, placed another cache within 100', safely up the hill. The Un-Original Stash is still active today.

In 2003, an effort was underway to create a memorial plaque and tribute cache at the site of the original cache. Here is a Geocaching forum thread discussing this: MEMORIAL AT THE ORIGINAL GEOCACHE SITE. The dedication was attended by several geocaching enthusiasts, including Dave Ulmer. The ORIGINAL STASH TRIBUTE PLAQUE © cache is also still active today. It is one of the most sought after cache finds around the world, over 3,000 finds as of this post. I'm sure that number will jump up around Geowoodstock time, when thousands of geocachers will be visiting the NW.

Here is a youtube video with Dave Ulmer showing and discussing his first hide, and then a video of them placing the plaque:

Here is the original Geocaching website, created by Mike Teague.

After becoming interested in Geocaching, Jeremy Irish created a new site in September 2000, with input from Mike Teague. Soon, Jeremy realized that the site would become larger than he could handle all by himself, and so he partnered with two co-workers, Bryan Roth and Elias Alvord. When Groundspeak first started, there were less than 100 caches worldwide. Now, almost 10 years later, there are over 1 million.

Here are some links that have more interesting information:

Geocaching History

A bookmark list of the first 100 caches

Today's Cacher article about Dave Ulmer

Early Gecaching Timeline

This year is full of events celebrating the 10 anniversary of Geocaching. The first Events are occuring around the world this weekend, all with some form of the name, "10 Years! (location)". Each Event celebrating this anniversary will be getting a special cache type icon. Here is my Event, which is being held tomorrow night: 10 Years! Wenatchee Valley, WA.

There are many new items being sold by Shop Groundspeak and other stores. Shop Groundspeak has geocoins, stickers (pictured at the top of this post), t-shirts, etc. with the 10 year logo. I wanted to post pictures of everything, but there's too many things, just go to the link provided.

Here's a pic of the geocoins from Shop Groundspeak:

Here is another version from

For the first time, the annual Mega Event, Geowoodstock, will be hosted by Washington State. This is great timing for the 10 year anniversary, so the theme around this event and others that weekend, is this anniversary. Groundspeak has decided to open up the grounds around their building, so that cachers can come and meet the lackeys and sign the Groundspeak Headquarters logbook. This Event will be held the day after Geowoodstock, and is called Lost & Found Celebration. This will help geocachers to complete "The (Geocaching) Trifecta", which is finding the top three desired northwest caches - Groundspeak Headquarters, ORIGINAL STASH TRIBUTE PLAQUE ©, and Mission 9: Tunnel of Light.

There is a link on the Geocaching homepage that discusses all of these "Lost & Found" Events: Lost and Found Tour.

Known Events (at this posting) revolving around Geowoodstock/Lost & Found in the summer:

July 1 –

On the Road to Geowoodstock VIII ~ Waterville Hwy2

On the Road to GeoWoodstock: Everett

July 2 –

COWWS Friday Meet & Greet and Luau

Going APE!

July 3 –

Geowoodstock VIII


Midnight Geocoin Madness II ~ MGM 2

July 4 -

Lost & Found Celebration

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