Like everyone else in the geocaching world, we were incredibly excited when we heard about a second round of virtual rewards to be awarded by GCHQ. We didn’t waste any time registering for the lottery hoping our name would get pulled. We waited what seemed like months and then finally…the email arrived. We had been awarded one of the new virtuals. In true Mafia fashion, a victory dance did ensue right in the middle of my office at work.
The excitement of being awarded a virtual was quickly followed by the pressured feeling to do this right. If you are among one of the lucky ones that get to hide a new virtual, you should realize that such an award also comes with responsibility. Based on the regulations for this new round of virtual rewards, no cacher that received one on the first go around would be getting one on the second. I would suspect that this will remain true if they choose to run this promotion again. This means that unless you were active in the game before they killed off virtuals, you only get one shot at making your virtual epic. This is not the time for a throw away cache. This is your chance to do some research, really engage your creative side and leave your mark on the game by publishing something for which you can really be proud. Who knows? This cache may be around longer than you are.
Do you know where you are going to hide yours? Do you have a special place in mind that will bring people by the droves armed with favorite points just ready to be gifted to your hide? Don’t let the pressure of this awesome opportunity get to you. There are plenty of fantastic ideas out there. I, myself, had been kicking around an idea related to a law enforcement museum in Denver. Given my law enforcement experience, this one is special to me and honoring people who serve their community is always something wonderful. I have since moved on from this one in lieu of something even greater but I’m hoping someone still chooses to use that spot. Another idea I kicked around was related to our recent family vacation to Hawaii. How would I maintain a cache that is over 3,000 miles from home? I am glad you ask. Remember, virtual caches do not have to be hidden near your home so no need to worry about maintenance. I eventually abandoned the Hawaii idea as well because I have something even better than a tropical island.
If you don’t have a spot in mind, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources out there that might just help you pick the perfect place. A quick and easy online search can reveal a number of hits dedicated to wild and wacky places across the US and throughout the world. Check out Weird Roadside Attractions – Strangest Road Trip Sights for a bunch of great locations that would make for a great virtual such as the world’s largest brick in Alabama or a 13 foot Jimmy Carter peanut statue in Georgia. Yep, that’s weird.
How about giant horseshoe crab in Ohio or the (highly debated) world’s largest frying pan in Iowa? If you really want to get adventurous, check out the world’s only corn palace in South Dakota. By the way, I checked and none of these places currently have a virtual cache. Any would make a better virtual than the fabled “favorite seat in McDonalds” we have all heard about. If none of these get you going, check out Geocache Talk Episode 155 That Needs a Virtual where we talk about all things high-quality virtual.
Take your time, do your research and make this the one for which you will be known. Publish the virtual that people talk about and recommend to their cacher friends. Make it so good that it gets its own Geocache Talk episode. So where will I be hiding mine? I can’t tell you that but I can tell you that is going to be EPIC! Look for it sometime in 2020. Until then, it shall remain a mystery.