betterME Day 8 : Something Old

So the challenge today was to do something I enjoyed in the past and haven’t done in a long time. The activity I picked I haven’t done in over 3 years but used to do it most every weekend for a while.  The activity ?  GeoCaching.

If you’re thinking WTF or WTH? Read on.

In May of 2000 a man in Oregon hid a small container that held small trinkets.  He posted the GPS coordinates on a website and asked whoever found it to log on and note the find.  The “GeoCache” took hold and today there are over 1.4 millions GeoCache’s hidden in over 200 countries.

The idea is to logon to the website, or use a mobile app (iPhone, Android, etc) to locate the ones near you.  The GPS gets you pretty close and then you just have to look around to find the container.  Once found you take something but if you take, you have to replace it with something else and you sign the log.  Items are usually fairly small and inexpensive but could be things like gift cards, coins, toys, small books, and even DVDs and CDs.  Some caches are very small (35mm film canister or magnetic key holder) and are more difficult to find.  The site contains hints and notes from others to help out.

So today I went GeoCaching for the first time in three years using only my Droid.  My Geo-senses were a little off so I only found 3 of the 6 I looked for.  Despite the heat, I liked getting back to it, got a little more exercise (I ran 2.5 miles this morning), drank a Frappuccino while I did it, saw some interesting things, had a good time, and enjoyed some relaxing, chilling “ME” time 🙂  And I did it just for me so I could have some fun.  Though I will say GeoCaching is also fun with a friend (and perhaps a bit easier).

If you’re still  thinking WTF or WTH GeoCaching is cool because:

  • It’s an outdoor activity!  What’s better than that?
  • All the walking around is good for you.  You can usually park in an area that has concentrated GeoCaches and walk to several of them (like in a park, urban area, or neighborhood).
  • It lets you find and discover new areas.  For instance did you know that in the Atlanta city limits there is a wildlife preserve complete with a boardwalk over a marsh/swap?  Yep there’s a GeoCache there.  There are GeoCache’s in historical places so if you’re into history you can learn more about the area you’re in.  I’ve been to parks, trails, PATH, the beltline, and many other places.

If you just like to hunt and find things, like solving puzzles based on slim clues then you’d like GeoCaching.  You can learn more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocache and http://www.geocaching.com

And an update on the weekly challenge to smile and say hi to those I pass.  I’ve done this for two days now and I have a few observations :

  • It seems most people just don’t want to smile or prefer walking around with an empty blank expression on their face.
  • When you say smile at  someone in passing most people aren’t expecting it and don’t know what to do or say and will continue on their way.
  • You’ll get stranger looks if you say “hi” to someone in passing.  The verbal connection seems to at least get more reactions.  Some people will do the head nod as an acknowledge but a few have replied back, though most is something they mutter under their breath
  • I tried a few “How’s it going?” in passing and got no responses. LOL
  • Walking around with a perpetual smile, smiling at everyone, and greeting everyone has to put you in a good mood.  It did me.

I’ll keep this up for the rest of this week and see if I can get more than some ignores and a few head nods.  This is slowly working it’s way into the Social Skydiving challenge from earlier in the week that gave me some trouble.

Today I also left two more notes in random places.

Since today’s challenge was to do something old, tomorrow’s challenge is :

* to do/learn something new

OK folks, time for you to step up.  Send me some challenges that will betterME! — something that will force me out of my comfort zone, provide ways for me to grow as a person, or possibly even change a bad habit. I’d love for this weekend to include another challenge for the internet domain.  Happy Tuesday!

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