Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tag for Dad

Tag for Dad Travel Bug
We started in geocaching in August of 2010 and it wasn’t long before the caching bug spread through four generations of our family.  Although we all love geocaching, we all keep talking about how another member of our family would have really loved this sport:  Dad.  Dad was an outdoor enthusiast and he loved puzzles and gadgets…a perfect combination for geocaching.  Sadly, he passed in 2009, before any of us had starting caching.

My sister, 5-Bears, wanted to include Dad in geocaching somehow, someway. She ended up creating a Travel Bug in his honor and named it “Tag for Dad”.  5-Bears wanted me to be the FTF (First to Find) for this Bug so she created a special cache just for me and sent me the coordinates specifying that I had to find it at night.  Turns out the cache was hidden in a cemetery…in fact, the cemetery where Dad is resting.   This was definitely a spooky place for a cache, but I made the find, in a flower urn on Dad’s stone.  Creepy, but Dad would have loved it!

In case you didn't know....a Travel Bug is a geocaching item that has a unique identification number and it's taken from cache to cache by geocachers.  Usually, it's a small item that can easily fit into caches and it has a tag keychained to it with its ID number or it has the ID number stamped on it.  Most often, the Travel Bug's owner specifies where the bug would like to travel.  However, in this case 5-Bears didn't specify a preferred destination.  

WES37 (Geouncle) Making the Find
I asked 5-Bears if she wanted me to keep the Bug or release it into the wild.  She answered, “Let’s see where Dad goes.”  Soon after, I took Tag for Dad to Missouri and dropped him in Out of the Loop (GC2178Y) to get him started on his journey.  It wasn’t long before “Dad” visited southern Illinois, quite possibly his favorite place in the world.  This was where he spent many weekends fishing, 4-wheeling and exploring the Shawnee National Forest.  Everyone in the family thought this was so cool that the Travel Bug landed here!

“Dad” continued his journeys, visiting Kentucky and Massachusetts, but it wasn’t long before he made his way to Florida, another of Dad’s favorite places.  Florida is where Dad loved to take us for family vacations, looking for alligators, shelling and enjoying incredible sunsets.  Wow, what a coincidence that “Dad” visited two of his favorite places in just a short time!

"Dad" and 5-Bears in the Glass Box!
Now, “Dad” traveled north, making his way to Minnesota and finally to Chicago, Illinois.  Dad lived here for several years and loved Chicago.  He especially loved the Sears Tower (now named the Willis Tower) and wonder of wonders….the cache was near there!  This was too much for 5-Bears!  She had always hoped “Dad” would find his way back home and now it was time!  She enlisted the help of our geo-uncle WES37 and together they drove to Chicago and found “Dad” in Corporate Soup (GC2R5TX).  “Dad” was back with the family again!

5-Bears and WES37 celebrated the reunion by visiting the top of Willis Tower, where 5-Bears took “Dad” out into one of the glass boxes hanging off the side of the building.  This was quite a feat for 5-Bears as she has a fear of heights, but she wanted to do it in Dad’s honor.  Dad would have been so proud!

"Dad's" Travels
Our family is still amazed at where “Dad” visited.  What a coincidence that in just a year and a half this travel bug was taken to three of Dad’s favorite places in the world, even though none of them was mentioned in his goal!  Or maybe…just maybe, Dad really got to go geocaching after all! 

P.S.  “Tag for Dad” has now been moved to 5-Bears’ collection, so no more traveling for “Dad.”  But who knows, maybe he’ll be put out into the wild again someday to revisit a few more of his favorite places!


  1. Great story. It took a lot of cachers to make this happen as they picked this travel bug up and took it from place to place...cache to cache. It could have ended up across the world. I am glad that it traveled central and eastern US. Chicago was the right place for it to end and be brought back home. An amazing trip for this travel bug and a cool story for the family.