Soon after the so-called “big blue switch” was thrown in May 2000, ending selective availability and making Global Positioning System (GPS) signals public, Dave Ulmer hid a five gallon bucket of stuff in the woods near Portland, Oregon, posted its GPS coordinates on a BBS forum, and invited users to find the bucket. Thus geocaching was born, and hordes of people began hunting Tupperware in the woods using multi-billion dollar military hardware (sic.)

My wife NMFireHorse and I have been participating in this game/sport/hobby since 2004. She was gifted an Garmin III GPSr(eceiver) by a retiring employer, and we went in search of what we might do with it. A friend suggested geocaching. We were at first confounded by the GPSr being set to the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) system, but with the Plugge family’s help, got it set on the more standard World Geodetic System (WGS-84), and we were on our way with another fun tool to help our common geodetic geas (an exploration compulsion) along.

We love maps, maps, and more maps, and think they may be one of humanity’s greatest ever-evolving inventions. Fascinating in what they portray of a cartographer’s (or publisher’s) paradigm, they are ever so helpful (or not!) when you are well down the road to nowhere at all, and have hopes of getting to somewhere magnificent, or perhaps just an escape from being lost, and home.