Mini Geocaching Milestones 2020 Pandemic

Mini Geocaching Milestones

Do you celebrate mini geocaching milestones? I recently celebrated several mini geocaching milestones which were both motivated and hindered, by the COVID-19 pandemic.

GeoCache Method

By Jim Donovan

Mini Geocaching milestone – COVID Streaking

On March 12, 2020 our high school made the decision close and send everyone home for the safety of the students and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. That evening, my caching buddy (DonnyJGD) and I decided to capitalize on this opportunity to grab a couple of geocaches to kick off the weekend. The following Monday we were wrapping up our work and school days and decided we should grab a cache or two.  So armed with latex gloves, hand sanitizer and face masks we ventured out of the house to log a few finds.

This soon became a nice routine and helped get us out of the house to get some exercise and have some fun early in the pandemic.  Most importantly, these daily quests were a great way to spend this time together.  Soon we set our eyes on reaching our current streaking record of 42 consecutive days.  When we hit 42 straight days,  I figured we would call it quits at 50. But when that day came Donny looked at me and said “I thought we could go for 100.” I figured, heck if he wants to go for it, I am game too.

As our streak continued, it became harder to preserve even one find per day.  We had cleaned up most of the caches in our surrounding area and were now driving 6-7 miles one way to make a grab. If I had known we were going to get serious about this streaking thing, I would have approached it much differently at the start.  We became very strategic and planned our caches days in advance. 

Then there was a geocaching miracle!  After a lengthy drought with no new caches being placed due to COVID, a few new ones started to get published in our area. Next a couple of Adventure Labs came to our rescue  and provided a week of caches when completed one location per day.  We had some cushion now.

Spring turned to summer and school was out for the year.  Our daily excursions probably did not fully align with our state and county COVID-19 guidelines but we remained vigilant with gloves, masks and hand washining.

Then we reached 100! A new geocaching milestone for us! At this point there was no question we would keep going as long as we could. Month, month, month.

“When you enjoy the process your goal becomes a milestone not a finish line”

Unfortunately, summer break was coming to an end and a new remote learning  school year was upon us. We decided we would need to soon call it quits and agreed that the half year mark was a good place to take a break.  We had managed to streak for 183 straight days. It has given us a new respect for cachers who have streaks running for years.

Geocaching milestone – 1000 caches in Illinois
I love the statistics and metrics that the geocaching account brings to the game and this streaking phase had me checking my account frequently.  One day I noticed that I was approaching 1000 caches in my home state of Illinois. I thought this was a geocaching milestone which deserved a highly memorable geocache. And I had one specific caching in mind Archies Challenge.

Archie’s Challenge is one of the older caches in the area, published in September 2005. In full disclosure, we had attempted this one previously and found ourselves parked on the wrong side of the river. The cache had 40 favorite points, and lots of banter in the activity log, so it seemed like Archie fit the bill perfectly.

archies Geocaching Milestone

Before leaving home we researched ground zero and identified a parking solution.  We also knew this cache was a water challenge so armed with a gallon jug of water we set out to meet this challenge.  Even though we were well prepared, we soon learned why Archie has such a protracted reputation.  After soon head-scratching and good laughs, we successfully signed the log.

Geocaching Milestone News

And in state leaderboard news…. Michigan surpassed Hawaii and California and currently sits in third place on the podium in my state leaderboard.

 I made weekend trips to Michigan and Wisconsin and racked up some numbers in both state. Michigan moved from fifth place into third overall, passing California and Hawaii for the third spot on the podium

Let’s make the best of the hand we have been dealt.  Stay safe and happy caching milestones!

Geocaching Route 66

Geocache Method asks…

What is your next milestone?

Geocache Method

Geocache Method is dedicated to inspiring you to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors through the adventure games of Geocaching and Adventure Labs.

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