13 January 2014

Earthcaching - Celebrating the 10th anniversary

On the 10 January 2004, the very first Earthcache was placed in New South Wales, Australia. Geocaching.com now reports that there are over 17,000 Earthcaches around the world.

An Earthcache is a special breed of cache, they take us to places of geological interest - for example the cache we visited brought us to the location of 25,000 sarsen stones. 
Lockeridge Dene, Wiltshire
Lockeridge Dene, Wiltshire

As there is no cache container, an Earthcache must also explain and educate the cacher about why the Earth is the treasure at the cache location. We found out that these 25,000 sarsen stones are remnants of a sandstone deposit, which formed on the chalk over 30 million years ago. Known as Glacial Erratics these sarsen stones were dropped at this location by the retreat of the ice after the Last Glacial Maximum.

Excitingly for me, it was mentioned that root holes made by the plants that grew here when the deposit was still soft sand could still be seen.
Lockeridge Dene, Wiltshire
Root holes left by plants?
We couldn't make it to a cache on the 10th January, so we visited this one on the 11th in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of that first Earthcache. I think this is the first cache and dash Earthcache we've done - parking was within feet of the cache! If you'd like to learn more about that very first Earthcache, see this interview with the creator of Earthcaching.

This anniversary has prompted me to get in gear and go from a Silver Earthcache Master to a Gold Earthcache Master. This means I need to visit 2 more Earthcaches and create another one. I hope to do this in the next few months. If you fancy becoming an Earthcache Master, then follow this link to the Geological Society of America.

If you've never visited an Earthcache, then it's about time! Join 4 million others and find that first Earthcache - I bet it won't be your last!

Lockeridge Dene, Wiltshire
Not just a pretty stone, but a fantastic ecosystem!

Are you a fellow Geocacher? It would be great to hear from you in the comments. It would be fantastic if you'd join me by either clicking on the social media links, or by subscribing my posts by email in the box above this post.

4 comments:

  1. I've never heard of Earthcaches, but I do have a really good friend who is a Geochacher and he and his wife love finding and logging new caches. Since I'm doing a lot more traveling these days, this sounds like fun. An Earthcache Master? Do I have to bow when we finally meet? :)

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    1. hehe Earthcache Master sounds more impressive than it is. It's basically a digital badge for finding and placing Earthcaches - but saying that I'd be happy if everyone chose to bow to me!! ;)
      Geocaching is great fun. Lucy and myself really enjoy it. If you'd like to read some more of my posts about Geocaching, click this link: http://notesofnature.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Geocaching

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  2. I love this idea and the Rocky Mountains are a perfect location with all the geological wonders. I'm definitely looking into it. And it's another great reason to hike in the mountains and foothills!

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    1. That sounds amazing. I bet the landscape and scenery are breathtaking. Fingers crossed you do it and share the photos via your blog.

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