What's So Special About
Geocaching in Hawaii?
The answer may seem obvious, but one of the things I love about geocaching is how different parts of the world have idiosyncrasies which give the game a unique local flair, adding to the challenge and fun. Here are this Hoale’s observations about geocaching in Hawaii.
By GCache Method
This trip wasn’t a vacation as I was travelling for work. But when jetlag wakes you at 3am there is plenty of time to geocache before the work day begins. I take a lot of ribbing about my “work trips to Hawaii” so feel free to groan along about the sacrifices of geocaching in the wee hours of the morning, in paradise. Here are some reflections about the places, and differences, that make geocaching in Hawaii unique.
The first thing I noticed about geocaching in Hawaii is that the Hawaiian Cache Owners have a different scale for “Difficulty” and “Terrain” ratings. Perhaps we have the aloha spirit of the islands to thank, but the local CO’s are very lenient in assigning difficulty ratings. I found many 3.5 and 4’s on this trip in a matter of minutes not hours. It is possible that these ratings account for the need to have patience and use extreme stealth because of the excessive tourist-muggle population. What’s more, even the most difficult hides provide substantial hints that help ensure a successful find. Mahalo to these cache owners for helping me add some difficult finds to my statistics.
When it comes to Terrain Ratings, the Hawaiian’s have an entirely different perception of terrain. Rating systems are relative and in Chicago a terrain rating under 3.0 is generally flatland. Not so in Hawaii. I set out to hike the Kapalama Ridge trail that appeared to be an easy power trail of 15 caches with hides every .1 of a mile. My research indicated that these caches had difficulty ratings between 1.5 and 2.0. I arrived at the trailhead excited to log some quick finds before the sun went down. I was in for a rude awakening and lesson. I was pleased to see that the trail was well maintained and marked. Some thoughtful hikers had even tied climbing ropes along the path to help guide the hikers or perhaps they were placed to keep hikers from falling off the trail ledge? Hmmm… I pushed on because the trail did provide magnificent views of Waikiki but after making my third find, for the hat trick, I decided that I should not be hiking this trail alone and headed back.
The next morning, I set out in search of some safer finds. I rented a Biki (bicycle sharing) and pedaled my way from cache to cache. I had been eyeing a set of four virtual caches that were located near the historic Iolani Palace and iconic State Capital. Although each of these virtual caches was highly educational, my favorite virtual was Trifecta of Influential Figures of Hawai’i (GC7B68E).
Here are some pictures from that virtual series:
From sunrise to sunset, the thing that makes geocaching in Hawaii special are the incredible views. Blue sky, white clouds, turquois water, and green mountains. The Diamondhead crater serves as the perfect backdrop for surfers, swimmers and geocachers. Here are four caches that get top billing for gorgeous locations and views:
Diamond Head View – Was the first cache of the morning. If there is a Geocaching award for best park bench cache, this is it. See picture below!
Take a load off and get your rocks off – This is one of those easy 3.0 difficulty caches that I mentioned early in this post. Interesting hide in a low wall that I sat on while signing the log and enjoying the awesome view.
Take a Selfie: Top billing also goes to this location and cache! If I could award multiple favorite points in the app, I would!
Under the Rainbow: This Cache is hidden at the base of the world famous Rainbow Tower Mosaic. I had a blast taking selfies with the Travel Bugs I had brought along.
Musketeers are Short – In full disclosure this cache made the list for being next to a beach bar with an exceptional Mai Tai. Time to take a break and update the logs!
Here are a few noteworthy finds from my week of Geocaching in Hawaii:
The Cache in Hawaii – This cache was close to my hotel so it was my first find on this trip. The Cache Lounge is a seedy karaoke bar that I am not exactly sure if it is still open. It is worth the visit for the geo-selfie though!
Cache At Your Own Risk- I logged an FTF here (Fourth to Find that is) at this cache. I really thought I might be first to get there as I arrived shortly after it was posted. I felt a little silly when I saw three names on the log.
In 44’s Footsteps: First Job – This cache is one in a series that take you to places where President Barack Obama spent time while growing up in Honolulu. Barack’s first job was scooping ice cream here!
My favorite memory from this week of geocaching in Hawaii was definitely the milestone I reached on my last day! My 900th find!
The clock was ticking and I had to catch a flight soon. Based upon the description and the number of favorite points, I know this had to be a special place. I was not disappointed!
Feed The Koi (GC6E07M) is a very special hide and a must do in Waikiki!
A BIG Shout Out to Cache_Lee a local Cache Owner responsible for Feed The Koi and many other great Waikiki caches!
Mahalo for the cache – GCache Method
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