I have cached snippets of memory since I was born, and photos as quickly as my parents put their cameras in my hands, but it wasn’t until (the) Global Positioning System (GPS, est’d. 1978 and launched in 1993, cf. NAVSTAR, Honeywell) was declassified and released by the U.S.A.F. for public use — the end of “Selective Availability” in May, 2000 — that GPS receivers (GPSrs) hit the market and David Ulmer started geocaching when he hid a 5-gal. bucket of swag in the woods near Portland, Oregon, and posted the coordinates on BBS, challenging members to use their new
toys GPSrs to find it. And heh, a(nother) Seattle empire born from ABQ/LA, NM.
NMFireHorse (my better half, who worked here on that very GPS project) once had a sweet job with an architect/designer pair; when they retired, they gave her the present, a Garmin III. It was set to UTM, so we struggled for a bit until we happened upon more experienced cachers who helped get it onto WGS-84. We were hooked by the concept. We already loved maps, and exploring obscure roads, trails, and paths, so it fit right in and provided some great additional waypoints — not to mention bringing to our attention quite the number of extraordinary and photogenic locations we weren’t theretofore aware of, or had cause to visit.
A map of my finds