|Image from http://landsharkz.ca/|
Over the years, I've been FTF on just over two-dozen caches. In fact, my only traditional cache find in 2010 was an FTF on a monstrously difficult puzzle cache that stayed unfound for well over two years - GC18N56. A couple of weeks ago, I saw another cache published about 20 miles from home and decided to be FTF on that one too since it was still unfound after several days.
However, neither of these recent FTF's were really true FTF hunts. Don't get me wrong, I was the first finder on both geocaches and signed a clean log book, but both caches were published online for several days (or years in the first example) before being found. This usually happens with out-of-town geocaches and difficult puzzles.
A true FTF hunt is different. A true FTF hunt usually occurs when a new geocache is published in the middle of a safe, suburban area and is sought after by numerous geocachers within hours of being published. True FTF hunters often have email and SMS alerts notifying them of such caches and are often ready to be FTF anytime day-or-night.
Although I don't have email or SMS alerts notifying me of new caches, I decided to go on one of these FTF hunts anyway last week. The cache was published in the early evening hours and was just 2 miles away in a very safe and easily accessible residential area. I knew when I saw the cache listed on the website that it would be popular that night, but I didn't realize exactly how popular until I checked Twitter and signed the geocache log as STF.
This is the Twitter dialog from that night. Both of the first two messages were posted at almost exactly the same time - 9:17pm. The last message was posted at 9:35pm.