I have mentioned before on other blog posts that I have been working with Pend Oreille County in Washington for the last several months on a geocache tour. After months of preparedness the the time for it to become a reality has come. The kick off event for the geocache challenge was on July 18th at Pend Oreille County Park. The park is about 30 miles north of Spokane Washington along highway 2. It is a great park with lots of trails to hike. We would camp in the day use area with special permission. Camping there made it a lot easier for us to set up for the event on Saturday. So after work on Thursday we made our way to the park and got set up. That gave us all day on Friday to slowly get pop up tents set up and banners displayed without rushing things.
entrance to the park
event and camp area
It was a nice relaxing time to spend in the park. I walked a little bit of the trails and placed a temporary trail sign too. The trails are great but they really need help on being marked. The county is working on that and they gave me the temporary sign to place. After we got some things set up we relaxed the day away. Tomorrow the event would be here.
max getting a bit of attention from me
Event day! Soon enough there was a bunch of geocachers arriving to this location. Along with county representatives, 4H club kids and parents, representatives from Porta (river trail group) and geocache friends that own a geocache store. Along with all of them was a reporter from the regional newspaper and the County Commissioner. The geocache challenge for this event (and it is on going) was to find 25 specific caches throughout the county. I had placed with help from the county all 25 caches a while ago. There would be keywords written on the inside lids or a stamp was placed in the cache. Once a cacher found that cache they would have to mark their passport to prove they were there. The caches were spread out over long distances and it would take people two days to complete the challenge. The event was a kick off for that challenge. At 10:30 am the caches would go live and people started the journey.
Geocaching is another fun family hobby and a great tool to bring in tourism for the area. That is why the county was involved in this project. They were very excited about this event and showing people what the county has to offer.
the log signed by cachers who attended the event
geocache 101 class
the geocache store tent
myself and others getting ready to load the caches into cachers gps devices
I did not get many pictures as I was pretty busy. I guess I should have had someone dedicated for that job. Oh well, you know how those things happen.
The event went great. The 4H club had breakfast type of food for donations, the PORTA representatives answered questions and had handouts, Cache Advance had several geocache items for sale and people had a good time. Once the caches went live they were off to start the challenge. That left a few of us who worked the event to relax back at the event and our camp area. It was a lot of fun and a relief to have the challenge started after many months of working on it. As I type this up the challenge is still on going.
Oh, what do you get for finishing the challenge beside the fun and pride of doing so? A coin. A limited custom coin. There are 50 coins that were available to the first people who finish the challenge, one per household.
Everyone has enjoyed the challenge and I would say it was and is a big success. As the days go by I will collect information on how it did for tourism in the county. The county has already showed a bit of interest to do another one next year. Oh boy, what did I get myself into? I don’t mind really, I enjoy setting these kind of things up.
pend oreille county geocache challenge 7/16 – 7/19 2015