Saturday, October 08, 2016

Geocaching: Year 2002 Caches

On Friday, I found a virtual cache in Virginia that was placed in January 2002.
Not only did this bring me one month closer to finding a geocache placed in every month since geocaching started (the Jasmer challenge), for the first time there's a year where I've found a cache placed in every month.

Why 2002? Well, 2000 and 2001 were really early days of geocaching, and there aren't a ton of caches left from then. I have actually found four caches from 2001, but none from 2000 yet.

The other reason is that new "virtual caches" were banned about 11 years ago. Since there is no container to maintain, they tend to stick around, and they can be fun to find. Currently, there are 4,642 virtuals remaining, only seven of which date from after 2005. I think those seven are weird cases where the placement date has been changed over the years.

In fact, I found a virtual cache placed in every month from 2002. Of the 29 caches from 2002, 25 were virtual and 4 were traditional. Of the four traditionals, two are no longer available. Of the 25 virtuals, two are no longer available. How do virtuals go away, since there's no container to maintain? Well, generally you need to e-mail your answer to the cache owner, and if the e-mail address no longer works, the geocaching reviewers will archive the cache.

Looking at the list of 29 caches, I have found them in Virginia, California, England, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Germany, Maryland, Turkey, Georgia, DC, and Arizona, so geocaching had definitely spread far and wide by 2002.

So now I'm up to 108 months found, out of 198. Perhaps I should count down by saying I have 90 left to find, since the total number of months keeps going up. I'm only missing 2 months from each of 2006 and 2007 -- most of those I did when I started caching in 2007 and early 2008. So those may be the next years I finish.

Also, that January 2002 cache is now the fifth oldest I've found.

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