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GeoCaching and Pickleball -- by Ken and Sue Hayes


First came Geocaching…

In early 2007 we came across an article about a new sport/hobby called geocaching that incorporates GPS technology.  It's basically a worldwide scavenger hunt using multi-million dollar satellite technology to hunt for hidden waterproof containers in the woods or cities. We had a GPS model that we used when hiking and bike riding, so this seemed like a great way to get more use from it while still enjoying our traveling.  We found our first geocache and we were hooked.  We love the whole process of the hunt, reading about the cache, trying to figure out the clues, following the GPS directions, searching the area for the cache and being rewarded by finding it. Caches come in all different sizes from nano's (1/4" x 1/4" container) to large military ammo cans.  Caches can be in the city, country, rural areas, the woods, and popular tourist destinations.  We love the mystery of what we will find as a cache, as well as, where the hunt will take us.  Since caches need occasional maintenance, owners tend to hide them in very interesting locations that they want to show other cachers.  We have seen parks, wildlife, nature settings, and other amazing sites that were never listed in the tourist books, because the cache owners are proud of their surroundings and want to share these sites with their "caching families". 

 

Then came Pickleball…

At the beginning of 2009, we were introduced to Pickleball by our local ambassadors, Isaac & Debra Patty.   We have become passionate about it and play as often as possible.  Our paddles travel with us when we go on geocaching trips to find caches or attend events, since we only need a tennis court to start up a game.  By now, you must be asking what geocaching and pickleball have to do with each other, besides sharing our free time.  It turns out that we play pickleball regularly at our local city park.  It also happened to be void of a cache, so we just had to place one nearby.  Our geocache is titled "Pickleball Anyone?" and is hidden just a few feet from the courts where we play.  On the cache page we explain what Pickleball is and invite anyone visiting the area to join us.  We have had many questions and inquiries.  Maybe as the weather warms, we will have geocachers join us. 

 

Another aspect of geocaching is travel bugs.   These are items with a personal identification number that travel from cache to cache, usually with a goal in mind.  We just had to make a Pickleball Travel bug.  It consists of a miniature whiffle ball with "pickleball" written on it, a pickleball brochure with website information, and a page of pickleball rules.  This travel bug will hopefully travel the world and spread the word about the sport that is sweeping the nation.

Click to enlarge

We love combining our two passions and can't wait to share details about either when anyone asks.  Like in Pickleball, we have geocaching friends that we get together with at caching events.  We hope to meet you on the courts or on the caching trail.

Reference the Wikipedia website at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocaching for more detailed information on Geocaching. 

 

Ed Note:

You can also learn more about the “traveling pickleball” at the following internet address:  D & I's Mascot

See additional geocache pictures by clicking here:  

Geocaching Slideshow


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