Geocaching Tour ready to launch
October 5, 2012
Do you speak “geocache?”
The term describes real-world, outdoor treasure hunting using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
Adventure seekers will soon have a new way to explore the local region, as Travel Lane County prepares to launch a new attraction along the McKenzie River. It will be the first official Geocaching.com GeoTour on the West Coast - and one of only eight nationwide.
While geocaching has been around since 2000, GeoTours are now being created as a way to guide sightseers to special scenic landscapes, attractions, historic sites and other points of interest located within a specific destination or territory.
Launching October 20
Stretching from Springfield to the crest of the Cascades, Travel Lane County’s first GeoTour is focused on the McKenzie River region. It will officially launch on Saturday, October 20th. More than 30 geocaching sites have been selected and prepped for the new tour, officially named the Eugene, Cascades & Coast GeoTour – McKenzie River Edition. The tour will lead searchers to everything from trailheads to waterfalls.
Armed with smartphones, or dedicated GPS (Global Positioning System) devices, both expert and novice geocachers can hunt for the hidden caches. The caches, which are typically small, waterproof containers or canisters, are filled with treasures and trinkets, along with an official logbook that cachers sign and date.
Travel Lane County is challenging people to complete the tour’s accompanying passport, which will require treasure hunters to find a minimum number of hidden caches in order to earn one of the 200 limited-edition trackable geocaching coins. Coins, as they are called among cachers, serve as trophies, collectibles, souvenirs or trading objects. Travel Lane County’s locally designed and produced wooden geocoin will be one of a two-part series. Those cachers who complete the passport will be entered to win a free McKenzie River getaway.
Travel Lane County will host Geocaching 101 workshops to teach people how to embark on a geocaching adventure. A local geocaching expert will conduct the free sessions and GPS units will be available for people see and try during the event. A geocaching scavenger hunt will be part of the Geocaching 101 activities to provide a real, hands-on experience.
A free “Geocaching 101” training session has been scheduled for Thursday, October 18th, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the McKenzie River Nursery, 38698 Camp Creek Road. Samara Phelps of Travel Lane County and a local geocaching expert will set up caches and provide loaner GPS’s. After a brief training - attendees will be sent out to find the caches through and around the nursery green houses.
For more information, contact Travel Lane County at (541) 484-5307 or visit http://www.eugenecascadescoast.org/geocaching.
McKenzie River Reflections