Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Original - Part 2

Prior to the GPS Stash Hunt website that I mentioned in my previous post, there existed one single defining event in the history of geocaching - the first cache! On May 3, 2000, Dave Ulmer (photo below from cache page) posted a message on the sci.geo.satellite-nav USENET newsgroup announcing to the world that he had just hidden the "first stash hunt stash" in the woods outside of Portland, Oregon. With a single message, Dave Ulmer began the sport of Geocaching that has grown to include over 240,000 active caches in 220 countries!

From: Dave (
Subject: GPS Stash Hunt... Stash #1 is there!
Newsgroups: sci.geo.satellite-nav
Date: 2000/05/03

Well, I did it, created the first stash hunt stash and here are the coordinates:

N 45 17.460
W122 24.800

Lots of goodies for the finders. Look for a black plastic bucket buried most of the way in the ground. Take some stuff, leave some stuff! Record it all in the log book. Have Fun!

Stash contians: Delorme Topo USA software, videos, books, food, money, and a slingshot!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Original - Part 1

No, no, I'm not talking about the famous Scholtzsky's sandwich; I'm talking about the original Geocaching website created back in May 2000 shortly after the end of Selective Availability.

Thanks to the miracles of the Wayback Machine's web archiving abilities, it is possible to go back-in-time to visit old websites that are no longer in existence or previous versions of current websites. Using the Wayback Machine, it is possible to visit Mike Teague's original GPS Stash Hunt website which listed the rules of geocaching, provided the coordinates for all caches in the 11 states with caches, and provides links to Dave Ulmer's document entitled, "Introduction to Recreational Geocaching."

The following is a short excerpt from this original guide to Geocaching. The original can be viewed on the Wayback Machine.

Geocaching is a new 21st century recreation that came about as a result of the improving accuracy of electronic Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. With improved positional accuracy on the order of three meters, GPS's now allow unskilled users the ability to find geographic locations with precision and repeatability. With this new ability, people can now place geocaches in interesting places so that others can enjoy the challenge of finding them. This is called Recreational Geocaching.

Geocache and Geocaching are new words developed to easily communicate the act of placing an object at a geographical location and recording its position. Geocache can be used as a noun or a verb. A geocache is an item or group of items located at a recorded geographical position. To geocache, is to place the object and record its position. Geocaching, the act of placing or locating geocaches. Geocaching is also used to describe the sport or recreation of geocaching. A geocacher is a person involved in geocaching.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bastrop State Park

As part of our 5th anniversay, I took my wife to stay at one of the historic C.C.C. cabins in Bastrop State Park. These were created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.), the first New Deal recovery program started after his inauguration on March 4, 1933. While here, we did a little geocaching too.

On the second night of our trip, we drove in to Austin to eat at a fancy restuarant and view the stars through the Painter Hall Observatory on the University of Texas campus.

The 9-inch telescope has a long history with the University. The lens in the telescope is actually older than the tube, mount and dome and was ground a little before the turn of the 20th century by the John A. Brashear company -- one of the finest lens makers of the time. The tube and mount were made by the Warner and Swasey Company of Cleveland and was placed in Painter Hall when the building was constructed in the early 1930s. The dome appears green from the outside because of its high copper content, which oxidizes to a patina similar the color seen on the Statue of Liberty. The inside has been painted but in areas where the paint has chipped, the brilliant original copper can be glimpsed. Unlike most modern telescopes, no electricity is required to operate the clock drive on the telescope. Instead, the drive is wound up to raise a weight which will drop throughout the evening and turn the drive gears.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Gunsight Ghost Town

This weekend, my wife travelled with her family to an old Texas ghost town called Gunsight where a family plot exists in the historic cemetary. In honor of their trip, I packed an ammo can and had them place a cache there called Gunsight Ghost Town.

GUNSIGHT, TEXAS. Gunsight, in southern Stephens County, was named for the nearby Gunsight Mountains. It was settled in the late 1800's and gained a post office in 1880 at J. W. Shepard's store. The community's population was fifty in 1890 and grew to 150 in 1920 because of the oil boom and the town's location near the Wichita Falls and Southern Railway. During the 1920s Gunsight lost its railroad station and post office. Its population was reported as six in 1980 and 1990.

As early as 1858, Gunsight was on a wagon road from Fort Griffin in Shackelford County to Stephenville in Erath County. The road continued through the Gunsight mountains across Colony Creek in Eastland County toward Ranger. Settlers started coming after the Civil War in 1865. The loan Methodist church building was relocated to its present site across the road, north of the cemetery in 1978. Here now are the three remaining vestiges of a once thriving community; the well kept cemetery, the old school building, and the vacant church. The Gunsight Cemetery marks the final resting place for over 450 people. Many graves are unmarked and there are at least 40 graves of war veterans. To date, there are three known Civil War veterans of the Confederate States, two Spanish American War veterans, twelve of World War I, twenty-one veterans of World War II, and two Korean veterans.