Kidd and Marshall have been geocaching
for a little over a year. Marshall first introduced Kidd to the
sport. They have been enjoying geocaching since that time.
So, besides being an adventure and
being fun, what is geocaching? You can begin your excursion into
geocaching by doing research on the geocaching website at
Geocaching is a sport that has rapidly grown in worldwide popularity
since May 3, 2000. That's when the first cache, a container of
goodies, was first hidden outside of Portland, Ore. As of March 28
this year there were 46,965 active caches in 165 countries.
Here is the technical part of
geocaching. There are 24 satellites 12,000 miles above the earth,
tracking latitudes and longitudes for the GPS (global positioning
system.) On May 1, 2000, the GPS was declassified by President
Clinton, giving everyone access to the system and the ability to
track geological coordinates. This opened up all kinds of new
technologies, such as the Northstar system now found on some cars,
and new techno-games such as geocaching. That is how geocaching
Geocaching as a game can be as simple
or as difficult as you want. There are two things that you need to
participate in geocaching. You need access to the Internet, and you
need a GPS device.
"The GPS can be found at sporting good
stores or department stores," Kidd said. "They range from $100 to
$500 dollars, but you do not need the most expensive one to enjoy
the game." The ones used by Kidd and Marshall are in the lower-mid
"There are a few rules that you need to
follow when doing geocaching," Kidd said. "When hiding a cache you
do not disturb the earth by burying the cache or by beating down or
making new paths to your hiding place. You never put food items,
matches, or pornographic materials in a
cache. You always ask permission before placing a cache anywhere.
You never hide a cache for profit or to attract people to your place
If you have the equipment you need and
follow these rules, you are ready to start geocaching. You are ready
to have fun. Go to the Internet to
www.geocaching.com and type
in your ZIP code or the ZIP code for the area that you are
interested in. You will learn how many caches are in that area.
"There are 204 caches within 100 miles
of Lincoln and 103 caches within 50 miles of Lincoln," Kidd said. On
a recent Sunday they visited four caches in and around Lincoln.
There are at least three caches within
a three-block radius of downtown Lincoln, beginning at Scully Park
and moving to the Lincoln Public Library. These caches are driven
by, walked past and used every day by people who never notice them.
One of these, Marshall said, is called "in plain sight." He said, "I
would not have found it myself, and it was right in front of my
eyes. My 11-year-old daughter, Shelby, discovered it after we had
followed all of the clues and coordinates on the GPS to where the
cache was hidden. I still didn't see it but Shelby did."
Kidd says his daughter Stephanie often
joins him when he goes to look for caches. This is a very
To hide a cache you will usually want
to use a small container, no larger than a 1-gallon metal or ammo
container. You put a log book in the container so that when people
find it they can log in. "The log book keeps people honest about how
many caches they have found," both Kidd and Marshall stated.
People involved in geocaching often
compete with each other to see who can find the most caches. Kidd
and Marshall are currently in a tight race with each other. Marshall
claims to have 61 finds, while Kidd has 60.
People use the geocaching website to
tell stories about their finds; however, if they do not sign the log
book, their find is not recognized as official.
Another thing that is good to put in
your cache is a note explaining what geocaching is so that people
who stumble upon the cache accidentally will not disturb it.
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There are many variations on the kinds
of caches; these include virtual caches, offset caches, microcaches,
puzzle caches, multistage caches and traditional caches, or you can
develop your own variation. "New ones crop up every day," a
participant said. Once you have developed your cache and hidden it,
you enter the coordinates using the GPS, a description and clues on
the geocaching website.
On a Sunday outing, Kidd and Marshall
visited several neat and interesting cache sites. One of the sites
had a book theme. The cache was in a larger container and could be
seen as you approached it. This cache contained books -- many good
paperbacks. The idea behind this book cache is to take some books
from it that you would like to read and replace them with other
books. Many caches are filled with little toys or things kids would
Another cache they visited was a
multistage cache. This cache was called the Abe in Lincoln cache.
The cache was partially a puzzle with clues that led them to various
Lincoln attractions. At each attraction another part of the puzzle
was revealed. Eventually the puzzle led them to Madigan State Park
where they hiked through the fields and woods until they were near
Salt Creek, where they looked for and found the cache that contained
Lincoln items and Lincoln tourism items.
There was one other item that was found
in the Abe in Lincoln cache. This was a travel bug. Travel bugs are
dog tags with serial numbers on them. People place travel bugs in a
cache, and the person who finds it takes the travel bug and places
it in another cache. In the forum on the website, they then log the
number of miles the travel bug has traveled.
"Some travel bugs have traveled over
10,000 miles," Rick said. "One flew on a fighter jet in Bosnia. This
is just one other fascinating part of geocaching. I mailed one
travel bug to Australia, where it would begin its journey."
Kidd and Marshall said that they had
just visited the Jesus cache. This is one of their favorite caches.
The Jesus cache is along the Mississippi River near Hannibal, Mo. To
begin the trip to this cache, you first travel on a winding trail,
but the cache is placed on a 500-foot cliff that can be reached only
by using ropes and climbing. The scenery was beautiful, the terrain
was rough. Only about two others have reached this cache and signed
the log book.
Caches are rated on the website at 1-5
for degree of difficulty. They can be double rated for physical
challenge and for mental challenge. Kidd and Marshall rated the
Jesus cache at 4.5. "Five-point caches often need special equipment
such as canoes or scuba gear, depending upon where they are hidden"
A 14-person panel judges a cache's
degree of difficulty before entering it on the website. This
information helps people when they are choosing caches to look for.
The panel also determines if a new cache meets all of the geocaching
As you can see, geocaching has many
facets. It is family-oriented, it can be great physical exercise,
and it is educational. Geocaching provides you with an opportunity
to do things with your kids or to meet new people. It is a way to
get up off the couch on a Sunday afternoon and spend some time doing
something interesting. It is an opportunity to visit scenic and
beautiful places. You can leave something for people to find or you
can find hidden treasures. You can add geocaching to vacations and
trips, stopping to stretch your legs along the way to find caches.
You can also travel all over just to find caches. You can clean up
the environment while you are hiding or looking for caches. "Cache
in, trash out," is a popular part of geocaching.
Doesn't geocaching sound like fun?
Now, whenever you walk down a street in
Lincoln, hike through a park or drive down a road, you may find
yourself wondering if there is something more there than meets the
eye. Geocaching can open new worlds for you. It can lead you to look
for treasures, adventure and ways to solve puzzles in the world
today just as when you were young.
If you would
like to find out more about geocaching, visit
Individuals auditioning for a role in
one of this summer's musical productions should have a song
prepared. An accompanist will be available. Individuals trying out
should also be prepared to learn a few basic dance steps at the
audition. Those auditioning for non-singing roles will be required
to do cold readings from the script.
Scripts may be viewed at the Lincoln
Public Library two weeks prior to each audition. Library scripts may
not be removed from the building.
All auditions will be conducted at St.
John United Church of Christ, 204 Seventh St. in Lincoln.
-- a musical comedy from the "Nunsense" series of plays
Magnolias" -- an all-female lighthearted drama
- Directed by Paul Cary from
- Performance dates: July 11-19
- Audition: Friday, May 16, at 6
p.m. or Saturday, May 17, at 10 a.m.; possible callbacks on
Sunday, May 18, at 2 p.m.
- Roles are available for six women
(ages 18-70), with several parts for "mature" actresses as well as
one woman in her 20s.
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-- a history-based musical
Questions regarding auditions may be
directed to Marlene Perry, audition chairman, at (217) 732-2640.
tickets are still available for this season. Send check or money
order ($20 adults, $12 children through eighth grade) to LCT, Box
374, Lincoln, IL 62656. Additional information regarding LCT's
upcoming season is available at
[Lincoln Community Theatre
Productions for this season begin in
June with the hysterical musical "Nuncrackers," a continuation of
the well-loved "Nunsense" series offered by LCT in previous seasons.
This selection centers around the sisters' holiday program and
includes dueling Sugar Plum Fairies, dear Sister Amnesia and
audience participation. The July production, "Steel Magnolias," is a
familiar, bittersweet story that mixes laughter and tears as the
audience becomes acquainted with the eccentric and lovable
characters of a small Southern community. Closing the 2003 season on
a patriotic note, LCT will offer the musical "1776." Humor abounds
with the fast-paced wit of our founding fathers as they deal with
revolutionary problems and joys.
Performances Tuesday through Saturday
will be at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees will be offered at 2 p.m. All
productions will be presented at the Johnston Center for the
Performing Arts, 300 Keokuk St.
Season ticket holders may make their
reservations as soon as the box office opens on June 2 and are
assured a seat for each performance on the night of their choice up
to the date tickets become available to the general public. After
that point, season ticket holders may still make reservations, but
tickets are then reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
Season ticket holders may also purchase additional general admission
tickets when making reservations during season ticket week and do
not have to wait for general admission sales to open.
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General admission tickets to each
production are available to the public one week before each show's
opening, at the cost of $9 per adult and $6 per student through
eighth grade. Individuals or businesses wishing to further support
live theater in Lincoln may purchase memberships at increasing
levels and be recognized in each program during the summer season.
Those memberships are as follows: Friends of LCT at $30 (includes
one membership), Sponsors at $50 (with two memberships), Angels at
$100 (four memberships), Grand Patrons at $250 (eight memberships)
and Sustaining Members at $500 (12 memberships).
To renew or
purchase a season membership, send check or money order to LCT, Box
374, Lincoln, IL 62656. For further information, contact LCT's
membership committee at (217) 732-7542. Additional information
regarding LCT's upcoming season is also available at
[Judy Rader, Lincoln Community