It seems that daily I learn something new. The mystery of the message embedded in this sculpture in the lobby of the Museum was revealed to me by one of our loyal volunteers.
Let me digress a moment, using a pun from one of Sparky’s strips, and wax eloquent about our volunteers.
This Peanuts strip was originally published on September 27, 1974.
The museum has a wonderful crew of volunteers. Indeed, we could not operate without them. Often visitors go out of their way to tell us about some special experience they had with a volunteer which enhanced their visit. I know that our volunteers are good at their museum positions, but I am equally awed to discover other aspects of their lives and interests.
I was speaking to a group of volunteers recently and discovered that one of them, Martha, is a long time Geocacher. I sort of grasped what it was all about, a little like Letterboxing, which my relatives in the United Kingdom have described to me. However, Martha really piqued my interest when she told me that there were several Geocaches related to the Museum. That blew my mind. How could we not know, I thought? This required a follow up conversation, so I called Martha to learn more.
Martha became involved in Geocaching through a friend five or six years ago. What Martha loves about it is that she can pursue it wherever she travels. It takes her places she wouldn’t ordinarily go, and it can be done with a friend or alone. She simply goes online to find the coordinates of local Geocaches. Martha described some of the special caches she had found by exploring further afield than she would have if she were just visiting an area.
So back to the Museum. The online GPS coordinates for the “Suppertime” cache take you to the Museum lobby, and the Snoopy sculpture pictured above. Answering the questions on the cache page about the sculpture will lead you to the physical cache container located on a nearby creek trail.
The GPA coordinates for a second Cache “Good Grief, Sparky” will take you to the area of Snoopy’s Gallery and Gift shop.
Visiting the “signature” sidewalk outside the gift shop and then the second level of the gift shop will give you the all information you need to find the physical cache which is located nearby. In “traditional” caches the initial coordinates lead you directly to the cache location, but these two caches are multi-stage puzzle caches where the cacher has to locate and “apply” additional information in order to find the physical cache container.
Geocaching became possible after 2000 when GPS units were cheaply and easily available. What began as a game between friends 15 years ago now has 6 million players worldwide.
As the website says, because Geocaching is new, the rules are very simple. You should: 1) sign the logbook and 2) log the information online. A tradition of the game is: 1) take something from the cache and 2) leave something in the cache.
You can explore the world of Geocaching at their website, and you can learn how to find and, later, hide your own Geocache. When people do come to your cache, they generally log their visit and this is posted on the cache page. This way the Cache ‘owner’ can monitor his or her spot without going to it. If a cache is larger, say a small box, visitors are encouraged to take something and leave something (if the spirit moves them).
I hope this inspires some of you to take a look at this new game and discover the world of geocaching and meet new friends who are involved with it. Perhaps you’ll visit the Museum to explore our geocaches!