The CoolRVers are actually a couple of retirees, Judy and Luke Rinehimer and our 5 year old German Shepherd Dog, Miss Shady Lady. We are "extended-time" travelers with a home in Cool, California. Thanks for following along with us as we travel North America in our "rolling condo", enjoying the RV lifestyle. Your comments are always welcomed.

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Geocaching 101 - Hosting the 2012 Rally


Okay, yes, this is a back-dated posting of our travels from late January and February, but I promise to get caught up!  Winking smile


3x3sticker_144A few years back I was introduced to the hobby of Geocaching – a “high tech” treasure hunt that uses GPS coordinates to locate items hidden by other geocachers.  It really is a fun activity to do while traveling around the country so I’ve become a pied piper among the Escapees RV Club to encourage “newbies” to learn this sport.  I may not be out to get the most caches, I do take the time to look for caches around North America.


When RVing friend Arlo Thomas approached the Escapees RV Club to see if there was a “Birds of a Feather” (BoF) group to promote geocaching, he was told there wasn’t one, but if he got enough members, he certainly could start a group.  Arlo was aware I had started “caching” so he asked me to spread the word to get members signed up for the free membership group.  I eagerly announced the formation of the Geocaching BoF to our SKP_GeoLogo - final - CopyBoomers group and enough members signed up.  So, the Geocaching BoF was off and running and has now grown to 267 members.  I’m proud that the club’s logo is based on my initial design and that it was chosen to be the club’s “signature” pathtag which members can share with other cachers. Window decals are now on order.

The www.geocaching.com website is where all cachers learn about the hidden items we hunt for, but our club’s communication is via a Yahoo Bulletin Board which best describes our group:

The Geocache BOF is a loose knit group with no officers...just SKP's who like to geocache and want to share information with each other.

While we don’t have “officers”, we do have an Administrative Team of 5 or 6 members who keep the group functioning. We have a coordinator, membership chairman, website administrator, and “mentors”.  I am a “mentor”  and for the last two years I have assisted with organizing our annual gathering in the Quartzsite desert.  (Truth be told, I had actually tried to resign this year because of my uncertain Valley Fever condition, but others on the admin team convinced me to stay.)


This years gathering was January 29-February 2 at a site off Plomosa Road in Quartzsite.  We had no idea how many would show up since pre-registration was not required, but our posted agenda was interesting enough to attract about 60 rigs.  Our goal for the rally was to provide instruction for “newbies” and to organize activities that would assist or challenge well-established “old pros”.  IMAG1054Our Administrative Team shared responsibilities for the four-day rally.  Sky Renfro organized an “event” on Geocaching.com and did a seminar on “pathtags”.  Barbara Westerfield and Sue Pace conducted small group learning sessions and Sue also organized caching games and trackable sharing sessions.  My role was doing announcements and organizing food events (happy hours, potlucks, get-away breakfast).  I also did one evening session where we used a live online computer demonstration that was projected on the outside of the Paces’ white-sided RV, commonly called “Paces Theatre”.

One nice thing about our geocaching club is that EVERYONE loves to help each other whether or not they are in a session, one-on-one, or out on a “geocaching run”.  Here are more photos from the BOF Rally.


You can’t hold an RVing rally and not talk about food and socializing.  Here are more scenes from our Happy Hours, Root Beer Float Social, and Potlucks.


Tuesday of rally week was designated as our GEOCACHING.COM EVENT (GC39VNE) date.  Sky Renfro posted an open invitation for other geocachers in the area to come for the day and participate in our rally.  Introduction games, geocaching travel bug sharing, onsite poker runs, and off-site caching kept everyone busy.  We had another 40 cachers sign-in for the day and we wrapped up the event with a dessert session.




After everyone said their good-byes after the Event, the Admin Team found time for a small group dinner at the Quartzsite Yacht Club.







Our final event of the rally was a get-away breakfast which meant ordering 6 dozen donuts and being at the Quartzsite Bakery before sunrise.



Overall, we think the rally was a success and we’ll do it all over again next year.


We hung around the rally site for a few days to get caught up on chores, fix a pesky hot water heater, do shopping, laundry, and have a BBQ lunch in nearby Parker. We then headed north on Highway 95 towards Cattail Cove State Park near Lake Havasu City and the Winter Blast.



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