Saturday was National Geocaching Day. It's OK; I wouldn't have known that either if I wasn't married to a geocacher. It's not exactly a day on Hallmark's radar, is it...at least not yet. My favorite cacher went out early before it got hot to gather in a few finds and earn a special special badge for participating in National Geocaching Day 2012.
The caches he located today were just run-of-the-mill hides, not like the one he was telling me about the other day. That one was a Travel Bug, a cache hidden with the idea that the next person to find it will move it to a new location. In putting the Travel Bug out, the owner states a goal for it...like reaching a given destination and coming home again and it has a number assigned to it so the owner and anyone else for that matter can see where it's been and who moved it there. We frequently have Travel Bugs with us when we hit the road with Wayne looking for a cache big enough and active enough to leave it for its next leg of the journey.
This particular Travel Bug was called Uncle Elwyn. Well....it really was Uncle Elwyn, not just a title dreamed up by the owner. The cache, in this case, was a mason jar that contained the ashes of the owner's Uncle Elwyn. The goal was to get Uncle Elwyn to all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. He'd been there before when he was all in one piece and could chose for himself what part of each of those fifty he could visit; now his nephew was calling on the generosity of strangers to let him make a farewell lap around the good ol' U.S.ofA.
Getting him to each state was just the start, however; a portion of Uncle Elwyn was to be left there. And to be sure that there was enough of Uncle Elwyn to go around, cachers were asked to use the small spoon provided with the jar. Those cachers...they think of everything.
Uncle Elwyn has been on the road for ten years now and he only has four states (Alaska, Hawaii, Georgia and Delaware) plus D.C. to go. I suppose time isn't an issue at this point for Uncle Elwyn but I wonder how TSA will feel about him hitching a ride on an airplane to get to Hawaii. Maybe he'll be snugly packed in a suitcase for that excursion.
I didn't know Uncle Elwyn but I'll bet he's enjoying this from wherever he's watching. Apparently he was an outdoorsman and had asked that his remains be scattered in the wilderness. I can relate; I've already told Wayne to scatter my ashes in some of the pretty places we've been.You know, a little here and a little there, a farewell tour, of sorts. Assuming, of course, that he's around to do the scattering. I don't think I want to be part of a cache, however.
Those who've left a piece of Uncle Elwyn in a new state probably thought it was a clever cache...and it is. And those who were creeped out by the idea probably skipped that opportunity. There's a quote...something about never leaving a person or place you love because you always leave a piece of yourself behind. For Uncle Elwyn that would be true...literally.
If you're interested, you can read the details about Uncle Elwyn here.