Tuesday, February 19, 2013

48 in 12

We retired on 1/1/12 and quickly set a goal for our first year; to geocache in all of the 48 contiguous states.  When we set the goal we were both skeptical…after all, that’s a lot of miles to cover in one year.

We began our quest in late February by driving from Illinois to California.  Our first new state was Oklahoma where we found Sleepytime In the Western World (GC2YFR9).  We were on our way!   On this trip we picked up nine states and saw some incredible sights including the Grand Canyon, cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde and alien exhibits in Roswell.  We even got to see our first Major League spring training ballgame!

That first trip was followed by five more driving trips and flights to Vegas and San Francisco.  In all, we traveled over 35,000 miles in 2012 finding over 1200 caches in 48 states and two Canadian provinces.  We saw many more sights, including Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Atlantic City and incredible New England fall foliage.

As always, geocaching took us to places we might have otherwise missed.  Just like Oregon Trail One (GC1DPYY) which took us to see the wagon wheel tracks from the 1800s. Another good example was  It’s a Long Reach Down (GC1R76F) which not only gave us a spectacular view of the Long Reach, but also took us along an enchanted trail with hundreds of tiny little fairy houses scattered throughout the forest.

And of course, Earthcaches really helped us learn more about the world around us.  One of our favorites was Hell’s Half Acre (GC15FHV) where we learned about Idaho’s volcanic past.  Another was Buffalo Pie – Badlands National Park (GC10RRP) which taught us how The Badlands were formed.  Not only that, but shortly after finding the cache we came across a prairie dog village and a herd of wild buffalo!

Another of our favorite caches was in Key West, Florida.  USA, all the way South (GC2C32) is located very near the southern-most point in the continental United States.  It is one of several caches that you can find while walking around Key West.  If you cache here you have to watch out for the chickens that roam the streets!

New York proved to be our toughest state to get.  Our first visit was brief and all we got was a DNF in Queens before we ran out of time.  After a few days in Maine and in Vermont we swung back through New York to see Ft. Ticonderoga.  Near there we found You Deserve a Break Today (GC2WJ3B) and accomplished our goal of 48 in 12!   

Of course we didn’t stop geocaching just because we hit our goal.  We kept traveling and caching, seeing more sights and making more friends.  Now, it’s 2013 and we can’t wait to see where geocaching takes us this year!

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