top of page
Web Banner 010124b.png
Web Banner 010124b.png

Second annual “Feeling Lucky” Page Geocaching event

The City of Page Recreation Department and Page Public Library sponsored a geocaching event originating at the John C. Page Memorial Park in Page called “Feeling Lucky II” on March 16. The event, also marking St. Patrick’s Day, was publicized on social media, the city’s website, and on the geocaching.com website. Local and out-of-town geocachers (cachers) converged at the park before fanning out and looking for and finding a total of six geocaches. A total of 28 participants as far as Kanab, Utah and Chinle, Arizona joined local cachers to learn how to play the outdoor game and win prizes. Veteran cachers were on hand to help the newbies.



Left to right, photos by Phil Clark:

  • The group who participated in “Feeling Lucky II” pose for a group shot before venturing out in the Page area to find the seven caches chosen for the event.

  • Some cachers wave as they log their names, proving they found the cache.

  • Two players locate the caches on the phone app before looking for them in the field.


Geocaching is a sport made possible by the Global Positioning System, or satellite GPS system. The sport was invented when GPS was accessible to the public in the mid- 1990s. A person can search for geocaches by creating a free account on geocaching.com and entering a home or current location for a first search. The game can be played with a handheld GPS receiver or a smart phone with the Geocaching App. Once found, players log that they found the cache by writing the date and their screen name. Signing the log is proof that the person found it. The player then logs their ‘find’ at geocaching.com. The site keeps track of how many geocaches a player has found. Some of the larger cache containers have toys and other relatively inexpensive items for players to trade for. It is not cool to take something without leaving something in return.



The main organizers were Sheri Ptacek, from the City, Debbie Winlock from the library and Vivian Firlein, a long time and experienced local geocacher, who has hidden 130 geocaches of her own and found 8097 so far, since 2013. According to Winlock, “engaging in geocaching with your family offers enjoyable learning experiences suitable for all ages. It involves mastering navigation, honing critical thinking skills, and deciphering logs and hints. Most importantly, it’s about collectively venturing out and exploring the world around you.” For those who weren’t able to participate in the event, the public is invited to come to the Page Library and pick up one of the game cards and find the caches themselves.


The City of Page considered the event a success, and by the showing of participants, there was no doubt. Participants represented a mix of veteran geocachers and ‘newbies’. Children, and the children at heart, particularly enjoy the game because it’s like a ‘high tech treasure hunt’ and gets people outside. People who are not familiar with the game are referred to as “muggles” (non-geocaching folk).


Geocaches are containers that the ‘owner’ has hidden on land accessible to the public. Anyone can hide or look for a cache. There are few exceptions, where geocaching is not allowed, such as National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, Wilderness Areas, private land (without the owner’s permission), and Native American lands. The geocaching web site has rules on how caches are hidden, with the primary intent to respect the landowner, and protect the land from damage while also having fun.


At promptly 11:30 a.m., each team of geocachers was issued a card with seven squares. Each square had a geocache ID number where players logged into their account and could start looking for the GPS coordinates with which to start navigating. Geocachers started exploring the Page area and filling the squares on their playing cards. Once each cache was found, there was a rubber stamp and a pad of colored ink, each with a different design and color. To get credit for the event, each player stamped their card until all seven were stamped. According to Firlein, more than twenty participants found all seven caches and won prizes.


The Kanab and Page area, including the Grand Staircase, Vermilion Cliffs, Glen Canyon NRA and other public lands have a lot of caches, in a variety of container sizes. For the “Feeling Lucky II” event, some of the existing caches in Page were included in the game as well as a couple of new ones, created for the event, spread out over the Page area.


“I was surprised and gratified to see so many cachers from Page,” Firlein said. “We had at least two people who had never tried this before. We were so fortunate that the weather cooperated” When the event was over and everything was put away, the weather changed, bringing rain, snow and hail.


For more information about geocaching and how to get started with a free account, check out geocaching. com/play/search and enter your home town or GPS location. The website will list available nearby caches and their GPS coordinates and it’s time to go outside!

141 views

Comments


SUNEWS.NET FEATURES SEVEN STORIES FROM EACH WEEK'S ISSUE OF THE SOUTHERN UTAH NEWS. SUBSCRIBE TODAY FOR THE FULL SUN EXPERIENCE!

bottom of page