A modern day treasure hunt is one way to describe the hobby of geocaching. Using coordinates and GPS, participants hunt and try to find a geocache, usually a present or prize of some sorts, hidden by other participants in different locations around the world. Local Castle Rock resident, Joe Welby, became a fan of geocaching because he traveled a lot for his job and found this international “treasure hunt” was a fun way to pass time and build community.
“I ran into geocaching and it’s basically like a digital treasure hunt where you can download the app on your phone, press the “find the cache” and it will usually tell you within 3-10 feet of where it is but not what it is. A lot of time it takes a lot of skill to find out what it is hidden under or in and it takes you to a lot of places you would never see, even in your own town,” Welby describes.
Because of his appreciation for geocaching, Joe recently started a Facebook group named Castle Rock Geocaching. One of the rules of the game is that the caches must be within 1/10 of a mile away from each other. In Castle Rock alone, there are probably around 300 caches according to Joe’s guess. Caches can come in all sizes, ranging from the size of a fingernail up to almost the size of a five-gallon bucket. “It’s a family activity, so people will leave toys and trinkets. The basic rule is if you get to a big cache, if you take something, you leave something,” Welby said.
As far as Castle Rock, Joe Welby hopes that the geocaching community will become a source of building friendships and community. There is also a community service aspect of geocaching called “CITO” which stands for cache in, trash out. This allows participants to have fun while also cleaning up their community.
If you are interested in geocaching, join the Facebook Group: Castle Rock Geocaching. Happy Hunting!