Memorial Day (and GW) weekend in the USA

Memorial Day weekend is coming up in The USA, where OpenCaching North America is based. Since we have many readers (and even users) from outside the USA, our “Memorial Day” is celebrated the last Monday in May of each year, and is for honoring the Men and Women who died while in the service of our armed forces. Please, if you’re an American take some time to remember and honor these Men and Women in some way of your own choosing during the long holiday weekend. You can read about the long history of our Memorial Day (once known as Decoration day) in this Wikipedia article.

There is no denying that Memorial Day weekend has, over the years, increasingly become known as the traditional start of the Summer vacation season here. And for the relatively new hobby of Geocaching, it has become one of two weekends designated for the holding of the American phenomenon known as GeoWoodstock, an annual Geocaching (Mega) event. It can also be held the nearest weekend to our July 4th Holiday, known as Independence day. The choice of which weekend is up to the organizers of the event. The Florida Geocaching Association, host of this years event, has chosen Memorial Day weekend, as have the majority of the hosting organizations over the years.

We won’t get into the history of GeoWoodstock too much here, because who knows, we could think about it a few weeks out next year, and actually have an interview with it’s founder! And yes, it was founded by one guy, who held the first one June 21st, 2003, at a Boy Scout Camp in Louisville, Kentucky.
 

Geocachers Unlimited logo

All these years later, GeoWoodstock XI (that would be the 11th edition, if you’re not into Roman Numerals), is being held Saturday, May 25th, 2013 at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, Florida. Now for some shameless self-promotion! Geocachers Unlimited is a loose organization of Geocachers who use alternative Geocaching websites in addition to Geocaching.com. They can be found on Google+ and Facebook. They will be hosting the event Geocachers Unlimited Meetup @ The Mega listed on our website, as well as on Gpsgames.org, Terracaching.com and Navicache.com. This is usually a short event (the Blogger himself attended one at GeoWoodstock IX), but there is nothing “flash mob” about it. Just a meetup, as the name suggests. You can expect to see some moving caches loggable on our website passed around, as well as meeting site admin Dudley Grunt. The time of this event is 12:00 Noon.

Are you one of the thousands of Geocachers from all over the world attending GeoWoodstock XI in Lakeland, Florida, USA this weekend? If so, feel free to comment to this blog post, and share your experiences!    

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    A Blog begins…

    Welcome to the first blog post of the Opencaching North America blog! You can read the introduction about who we are to the right of this post. We are a free, volunteer run and volunteer funded Geocaching listing site. So as you can see, this blog is a standard free Google Blogspot blog. We will eventually host it on our own server, although we have to do some domain name ownership shuffling amongst the Admins first. Then we may move to WordPress, or other such dedicated blogging software.

    I am Mr.Yuck, the primary author of the blog. But you can call me Jim (last name undisclosed). I am from the Buffalo, N.Y. area, and have been Geocaching since August, 2003. There are very few pictures on the Internet documenting my existence, but I managed to dig this one up in someone else’s Geocaching log (taken July, 2012); this is me enjoying a 24 ounce can of Labatts Blue after a 1.2 mile hike to a .50 Cal ammo box. That’s the lower Niagara River rapids (i.e. below the Falls) in the background.

    I joined Opencaching North America (then Opencaching.us) on the day of it’s official launch, August 18th, 2010. I guess you can say I’ve always been an alternative Geocaching website kind of guy. I blame this on the oldest alternative site, www.navicache.com originally being started in Rochester, N.Y. about 90 miles from where I live. Many of the early 2001-2003 caches in my area were cross-listed on that site, and many of those cache owners knew the owner of that site personally from Geocaching events. So I just went with the flow, and cross-listed my caches there. I later joined www.terracaching.com (founded in late 2004), and www.gpsgames.org (founded in 2002, but didn’t start listing Geocaches until 2005), and of course Opencaching.us when it came along. I should note that I’ve always used www.Geocaching.com and have been a premium member since February, 2004. How can you not use Geocaching.com? I just feel it’s a good thing that there are alternatives out there, and I use them. Oh yeah, another thing,  I’ve been playing Munzee since July 2012, and have captured about 130, and deployed about 20 there. Not too much of a fanatic for that game yet.

    About this blog: Ideally, I would like this to be a “Geocaching in the news”, and general interest Geocaching blog, along the lines of the great www.notaboutthenumbers.com blog. I would like people to read it even if they don’t create an account, or visit our website. But we want you to, obviously. I say ideally, because I’d be lying if I didn’t say a decent portion of the posts will be about “us”, or our fellow alternative Geocaching websites. You can expect to see posts about Geocaching in the news (say for example, a major bomb scare incident), interviews with “famous” or interesting Geocachers, as well as “Sporadically featured OpencachingNA members” (as opposed to a regular cacher of the week or month) and “Sporadically featured OpencachingNA caches”, again not a regularly scheduled feature. I will also pursue many subject matter experts to write guest blog posts in their area of expertise. Oh yeah, and I plan on giving stuff away!! Being the blog for a Geocaching listing service, although admittedly a small one, does carry some weight. Once we get some decent readership numbers, I can see sponsors donating prizes to give away, also like the notaboutthenumbers blog.

    We are excited to be the first U.S. based alternative Geocaching website to launch their own blog. Thanks for reading, and please come back again!

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