Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov,
(COUNCIL BLUFFS) – Modern-day treasure hunters are invited to “Geocache the Bluffs – Part Deux” Oct. 17-18, 2008, at the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs.
Registration and activities will be 4-7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 17, 2008, at WHTC, 3434 Richard Downing Avenue in Council Bluffs, followed by cookies and coffee. Registration and activities continue 9:30 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008, at WHTC and conclude with a wiener roast and a drawing for prizes at 4 p.m. at Dittmar’s Orchard. Call 712-366-4900 for more information. Caches at this year’s event have an Abraham Lincoln connection in honor of the president’s 200th birthday.
Geocaching, a new kind of global treasure hunt, has taken root at WHTC, home to the Lewis & Clark, Oregon, California and Mormon Pioneer trails. WHTC also has six geocaches.
WHTC Site Director KC Collins Hummel has compiled a sample geocaching route through western Iowa between the Missouri River and the Loess Hills and from the Missouri border to the South Dakota border. The 67 caches begin near Hamburg and can be found anywhere along the 136-mile route to Sioux City.
Geocaching (“geo-cashing”) is a game that asks players to set up caches all over the world and share the locations of each on the Internet. Players use global position systems (GPS) to find each cache, which may yield a wide variety of rewards.
A GPS is an electronic device that can determine a player’s approximate location – within about 6-20 feet – anywhere on the planet. Coordinates are normally given in longitude and latitude and players use the unit to navigate from location to location. Some units have maps, built-in electronic compasses and voice navigation.
A cache can be placed in any number of places – indoors, outdoors, rural spaces, urban areas – and they typically hold a log book in which players can write notes, document their journey or relay information about nearby attractions.
Other caches have been known to contain maps, books, software, hardware, CDs, travel mugs, videos, pictures, money, jewelry, tickets, antiques, tools, games and other items.
Courtesy rules call for players to leave an item for each item they take and always ask permission of the landowner before placing a cache. Visit www.geocaching.com or www.iowageocachers.org for more information.
The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa's past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.
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