The recent podcast of Caching In The Northwest: Episode 457 Navigating the Triad focused on three of the more famous geocaches in the Geocaching Community. Geocaching Headquarters (GCK35B), Mission 9: Tunnel of Light (GC1169) and Original Stash Tribute Plaque (GCGV0P) comprise the GC “Triad”.
Once these three are found, you can qualify for the Challenge Cache called Sherlik’s Center of the Triad (GC1WYHN)
As I was listening to the podcast post-broadcast, I was brimming with pride. I have found ALL 4 of those geocaches! You can imagine, I have a story associated to each unique find.
The following is my third and final find: Original Stash Tribute Plaque (GCGV0P) …
The First Geocache
This is where it all began. On May 3, 2000, a five-gallon bucket was placed at this very spot by Dave Ulmer. In the bucket Dave placed a Delorme Topo USA, 2 CD Roms, a cassette recorder, a “George of the Jungle” VHS tape, a Ross Perot book, four $1 bills, a slingshot handle and the now notorious, original can of beans (now the O.C.B. trackable). The coordinates were then listed on the internet and modern-day geocaching was born. The first one to find the cache was Mike Teague who took the money and left some cigarettes, a cassette tape and a pen.
That original bucket was severely damaged by an Oregon road crew mower and no longer exists. TEAM 360 and other concerned geocachers recognized the importance of this spot and created the Original Stash Tribute Plaque, dedicated to geocachers everywhere. You can read more about the history of geocaching.
January 2018. I was still dating Deana, a hiking enthusiast and country line dancer with 3 school-aged children.
My geocaching resurgence has now focused on the geocoins – one in particular was the trifecta or rather Triad. And I was only ‘missing’ one: The Original Stash Tribute Plaque.
Somehow I convinced her into a long road trip to Oregon to find this geocache. Granted I positioned it as a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and a picturesque road trip through Washington and Oregon.
I searched for the closest town or city to the target geocache. If I didn’t find that one specifically, I would consider the trip a failure. If memory serves me, I reserved only one night at an AirBnb. We arrived late on Friday after stopping a few times for food, gas and breaks from driving.
Day of reckoning – I was so amped that I really didn’t sleep well with my girlfriend. With sleepy eyes, we loaded up and departed for the Ground Zero [GZ].
My research didn’t yield a ton of useful information, such as I could literally park within 20 feet of it. Instead I parked on a windy, 2-lane road in an Oregon forest. My GPSr was my iPhone. The canopy of trees was playing haywire with my coordinates.
I led my girlfriend and myself through a wayward journey that was completely unnecessary. In concluded in a very anti-climatic fashion again.
I smiled though, because the triad was complete: GC HQ, Ape, and the Original. Now … return home triumphantly.
I would continue to geocache, of course. However, the next cache I found in the series was Sherlik’s Center of the Triad (GC1WYHN) . And I wouldn’t find it until years later.
Let’s get out there!