Geocaching has come a long way since the 3rd of may, 2000, when Dave Ulmer went out and placed the first 'stash' as a way to celebrate and explore the new higher accuracy rates the government allowed from the sattellites on May 2nd that year.
This 'stash' was the first of what would come to be known as Geocaches, spawning a hobby actively enjoyed by more than five million participants world wide. In a short thirteen years the technology, techniques and sheer inventiveness involved in geocaching has exploded.
On the 28th of feburary, 2013 the two millionth geocaching.com listed active cache was hidden in a remote location Austrailia and celebrated by millions of hardcore geocaching fans who stayed up into the wee hours of many timezones watching the live count of active caches in the header of the geocaching.com site.
These numbers reflect a large committed community of geocachers, but the real indicators of the widespread popularity of the high tech treasure hunt style game is in the acknowledgement from outside sources. last month Rand Mcnally provided some of that legitimization when it listed geocaching as one of the six categories for voting in it's 2013 Best of the Road search for the best small towns in America.
Best of the Road started in 2011, with an inhouse team traveling America and visiting small towns to evaluate them for the best small towns in a number of categories. The team visited towns, took pictures samples the local fare and interviewd the natives to make their judgement.
Teaming up, this year, with Good Sam and Geocaching.com, Rand McNally has taken their search digital and invited the whole internet to take part. Anyone can register and vote for their favorite American small town.
As of now, West City, IL and Manhattan, KS are battling it out for the title of the best small town in America for geocaching. I have my personal favorites of course, but no matter which of these towns wins this title this year, the big winners are geocachers who will gain more recognition of their past time and likely see more cities and towns taking an active interest in luring them in for great caching trip experiences.