Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: bike, friends, GeoCache

Okay, so I was biking with my friend Chris up to the Chicago Botanic Garden
again this afternoon. And as we were pedaling along, Chris was describing
GeoCaching. I had heard about i many years ago when you needed to purchase
a GPS unit to participate in the scavenger hunt fun. It never crossed my mind
that my iPhone could do it too… you know, there’s an App for that!

Basically, the idea of GeoCaching is that you use the GPS to find small little “treasures”
that people have hidden around the world. You find the coordinates of any “treasure”
located in your vicinity. They give you maps, directions and clues to help you find them.
So of course, we had to give it a try!

So Chris and I were pedaling along and with the GeoCaching App running on Chris’ phone.
We were watching the moving dots, the bleeping on the screen, until we were close to one.
We rode past it. We went back. Until we realized that we had to park our bikes and go for a
short hike – straight into the woods!!! Into the thick of things looking for who knows what?!
The dots overlapped on the GPS so we knew we were close. We started looking everywhere.
For what, we don’t know?! It seemed impossible.

But then I channeled my best Russell Hantz and questioned “What would I do on ‘Survivor’
to find the Hidden Immunity Idol?” So I started to deduce where it could be. It had to be in,
on, or around something. It would never be just sitting there on the ground, right?!
Touching. Reaching. Flipping. Searching… and coming up with nothing.

And then, I saw this odd tree stump just sitting there. And it moved when I kicked it.

So I picked it up and found that there was a hole drilled in the bottom of it.
And stuck into that hole was a small canister. I pulled it out and found a small scroll inside.
Apparently, you’re supposed to sign it, add the date, and put it back into the canister.
Then, you need to replace the canister so that the next person can find it in the same place.
Apparently, some of the “treasures” are things you actually get to keep?! We’ll see…

I must admit it was a lot more exciting than I expected. The pursuit. The adventure.
The thrill of finally finding it. Sadly, we didn’t have a pen with us so we couldn’t sign it?!
We plan to stop by the next time we’re riding up that way… because yes, we’re dorks!

So I’ve now downloaded the App to my iPhone too. And looking froward to getting started
to see where the next “treasure” might be. And of course, I immediately questioned how I
could possibly turn it into a marketing possibility for me?! I could make my own “treasure”
location for others to find… maybe in my studio?… at an art fair?… by the totem pole
in my front yard? Haven’t quite figured that out yet. But I’m still working on it.

Until then… back to be ing a dork and searching for more “treasures”!
For more information, click on


May 23rd, 2012

I’m a dork too. Love geocaching. Glad you’ve discovered the fun of searching for a little hidden treasure.

May 23rd, 2012

I was surprised how much fun it was. And I’m afraid it might be a slippery slope…


May 23rd, 2012

OH NO – this sounds like something I better stay away from. I already pretend I’m on the Amazing Race.

May 23rd, 2012

Oh the JOY!!!… the illumination… and wonder of being a dork. I call it embracing vulnerability. Being vulnerable brings you the best parts of life.. GeoCaching 🙂 LOVE IT.

May 23rd, 2012

Thanks Joanna… and I’m afraid it might be a slippery slope. Especially during some of our longer biking adventures?! When you’re out in the middle of nowhere with nothing to focus on but the endless rows of cornfields. Who knows what little “treasure” might be hiding out there?!


May 23rd, 2012

Now I know what the boys and i will do this weekend – brilliant!

Sam Brown

May 23rd, 2012

GeoCaching is big in Nevada, but most of us do it on 4-wheelers. It’s never ending fun, and we consider ourselves hunters, cowboys on wheels, engineers, anything but dorks for treasure hunting for little found objects 🙂 (really dorks in disguise)

May 23rd, 2012

I’ve accidently run across “prizes” all over the world! And even in my own neighborhood when climbing a tree. ENJOY and have FUN, Gary! Woo-hoo!


May 26th, 2012

How much fun Gary. Dorky? Not at all-I’d say adventurous! Now would I do it myself? Probably not, I’ll continue to live through your fun

Tracy W.

May 31st, 2012

I just installed the app on my iPhone. Let the hunt begin. I can probably even check in on FourSquare at the GeoCaching sites and earn badges!

May 31st, 2012

From one Dork to another… welcome aboard.

Leave a Comment