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What’s In A Milestone? – The Evolution of a Geocacher | The Geocaching Junkie

I recently found my 2,000th cache (huzzah!) and upon glancing at my milestones statistics on geocaching.com, I was reminded of various caches that Groundspeak consider to be milestones. For me at least, the first milestones (1, 5, 10 etc) meant nothing at the time. I didn’t even know that milestones were a ‘thing’. It was a simpler time really. But I digress. Looking back now at the caches listed as milestones (seventeen of them to date), I started reminiscing about all the caches that are marked as significant in my geocaching history and how the way I geocache has evolved since my first find.

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Although some may not stick out in my memory, there’s no doubt they show my evolution as a geocacher – from how I wrote my logs to what caches I did as milestones, and even what photos I uploaded!

1. Raheenaclig Chapel by griftorifto2 (Traditional Cache – GC2MG37) – Found It! 25th Aug 2013

This wasn’t even really my first ever cache. The obsession with logging caches in the exact order they were found didn’t come until long after. I did, however, find this cache on my first day of geocaching.

First photo Raheenaclig Chapel geocaching
The first ever photo I uploaded to geocaching.com, taken from Raheenaclig Chapel

I was reluctantly brought along with family visiting from England to find some of these ‘G-O-cash’ thingies in the local area. As soon as I found my first one (which was really “The Bray Heads” Cache (GC3G6G7), I was hooked! That cache was archived a few months later, so I hid a tribute cache of sorts in its place: #4 – A History of Bray: The Bray Head Inn (GC507RH)

5. The Old Eagle’s Nest by Fjon (Letterbox Hybrid – GC33A7B) – Found it! 25th Aug 2013

Again, I’m not sure if the order of caches was correct on this day and I had no idea that we had done a letterbox hybrid cache, or indeed that there were even different types of caches.

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The first geocoin I ever found

I do recall I found a geocoin on my first day and I ended up bringing it with me to Chicago about 6 weeks later and placing it there! I was lucky I had the guidance of family members when I started out. I’m sure geocaching must be a bit of a mystery if you start out without a mentor of any kind.

10. Shanganagh Park by Whoolson (Traditional Cache – GC4M50Z) – Found it! 30th Aug 2013

I found this one just five days after I started geocaching. The_Mother and I went for a walk in a park I had only seen a small part of before, but now I own at least 5 caches in there! We spent ages looking for this one, and it was getting dark when we left but we weren’t giving up until we found it!

25. BRPT-30 Apartments with a View by Doug.G (Traditional Cache – GC47WNG) – Found it! 8th Sep 2013

By number 25, the geocaching obsession was seriously ramping up and I did quite a few caches along the Blackrock Power Trail on this day. I think this was around the time I really started honing my geosense and this trail offers a great variety of hides so I saw lots of different container types. I still couldn’t spell ‘muggle’ though 😉 (refer log below…)

geocaching log

50. Mystery of The Tree VI by Hubal71 (Traditional Cache – GC40F4Z) – Found it! 29th Sep 2013

We found seven caches that day, which was quite a feat – or at least it felt like it then. This cache was particularly brilliant and the first of its type I’d found. Finding something I hadn’t seen before was, of course, quite a frequent occurrence in the early days. Every now and again, I still find something new though it’s undoubtedly more rare.

75. Tymon Park – Thumbelina by Hubal71 (Traditional Cache – GC407JR) – Found it! 27th Oct 2013

This was found on a second visit to the park that I found number 50 in. A glance at the log now makes me cringe: “Easy find TFTC”. As a cache owner, I don’t particularly like those logs, especially when it was meant to be easy (D1/T1 anyone?). Thinking about it now, the cache was hidden near a lovely wooden carving of Thumbelina. Why didn’t I mention that? Ah hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

100. A Day at the Races – 1st Place by Doug.G (Traditional Cache – GC4DA4R) – Found it! 1st Dec 2013

I don’t remember much about this particular cache but I did enjoy this series. My log tells me I was aware this was my 100th cache but I didn’t choose it especially to be my 100th. That planning didn’t kick in until find number 200….

200. Love Love… Geocaching [Dublin] by 100espinhos (Event Cache – GC4VD8C) – Found it! 16th Feb 2014

My 200th cache was the first time I actually planned a milestone. It was a great night! One of my first events and I got to meet some new people who I can now call friends. I was still nervous going in as I only knew a few people and even those I’d only met once or twice. Everyone was very welcoming though and to date, I have been to 79 event caches, so it’s safe to say I wasn’t scared off that day.

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Chocolate at the Love Love… event

300. Forest Find-4.Millie’s Maze by Run Around (Traditional Cache – GC3Z1TG) – Found it! 11th Apr 2014 

This cache was not really planned – I did want to get my 300th milestone in the UK so in that sense, it fit the bill. It wasn’t a particularly memorable cache but it was nice to do a milestone with the English rellies who had gotten me into geocaching in the first place.

400. Dodder Valley CITO by GoldCircle (CITO Event Cache – GC4Z5ER) – Found it! 27th Apr 2014

That was a relatively quick 100! I had been geocaching in London in between so that boosted my numbers and I wanted this, my first CITO event, to be my milestone so I made sure I got the caches I needed in the lead up. This event was great fun too and I have hosted many CITO events since, so it obviously made an impression.

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All the rubbish at my first CITO

Looking back at my milestones up to this point, I’m disappointed I didn’t upload more photos – I’m sure I took them but I have no clue where I’ve saved them!

500. The Giant’s Causeway Earthcache by Beefy4605 (Earthcache – GCPCPX) – Found it! 31st May 2014

With my 30th birthday coming up, I decided I wanted to visit the Giant’s Causeway for the weekend in question so The_Mother, Olly the geohound and I headed up to the North Antrim Coast for the weekend.

giants causeway earthcache
The_Mother, Olly and I at the Giant’s Causeway

I planned this cache to be my 500th and it really was very special. I have been back to the Giant’s Causeway again and hopefully it won’t be my last visit as it really is a magical place.

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My 500 milestone geocoin at the Giant’s Causeway

I really came prepared this time, bringing my first ever milestone geocoin with me to photograph!

600. Christ Church Cathedral by Mr. Bean 7 (Earthcache – GC567K4) – Found it! 5th Jul 2014

I was seriously in to planning milestones at this stage and THE_Chris suggested I do earthcaches for all my milestones up until 1,000. Why not? I do love earthcaches! This one was difficult but fun and in a great location. I’m still a bit perplexed why I didn’t upload any photos to the cache page.

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Christ Church Cathedral

700. Wicklow Gap by Wolf64 (Earthcache – GC1T5EA) – Found it! 16th Aug 2014

Another scramble for an earthcache as a milestone. This one was relatively close to home but somewhere I hadn’t been before. Oh, did I mention it was windy?

me
A windswept selfie at Wicklow Gap

800. Babraham Chalk Exposure by Cassandy – (Earthcache – GC2H3XN) – Found it! 2nd Sep 2014

Another milestone while visiting Saffron Walden. Earthcaches were thin on the ground and it was imperative I got one as my 800th to continue my earthcache-as-a-milestone streak!

Babraham Chalk Exposure geocaching
My GPSr at Babraham Chalk Exposure

900. North Bull Island by AbbeyAckbar (Earthcache – GC1J3MC) – Found it! 21st Sep 2013

This is a beautiful part of Dublin, right near where I work. I’m not sure I ever would have visited if not for this cache and the others there (I still have a few to find too so a return visit is definitely on the cards!)

North Bull Island earthcache
Sunset on the beach at North Bull Island

1000. Il marmo di Candoglia by Lord Yoruno (Earthcache – GC5D4J0) – Found it! 13th Oct 2014

Now this one was really special! I wanted to do my big 1k milestone while on holiday in France and Italy and, of course, it had to be an earthcache.

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Milan Cathedral

I had various ones picked out. I had also read up on Milan Cathedral and knew it was made of a particular marble and thought to myself, “this place deserves an earthcache.” So I did more research and planned to do my onsite work while I was there before submitting for publication. Mere weeks before we travelled, this cache was published! It was fate – this was to be my 1,000th geocache and what a great one it was too!

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At Milan Cathedral – Cache 1k

 2000. Ashover Rock by Madcaravener (Earthcache – GC5EG30) – Found it! 14th Nov 2015

I had forgotten about the earthcache-as-a-milestone thing at this stage but I wanted to have a somewhat special cache for number 2000 and this cache looked like the one I would enjoy most while visiting family in Derbyshire. An earthcache and a view – two of my favourite things 🙂

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At Ashover Rock – I even remembered to bring some paper with my milestone number on it for once!

We had the place to ourselves and we even got a break in the rain so we could really enjoy it. There’s an old bunker here (locked up though) and a triangulation point (I had never seen one of them before), as well as the impressive rock, so it was very worthy of my 2k milestone.

Now that I’ve done earthcaches for the last seven milestones, I wonder will I feel obliged to do the same at 3000? Time will tell!

Have a look at the logs on your milestone caches – have your logs changed since the first one? Do you plan your milestones? Let me know in the comments!

Happy caching!

Sarah

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7 thoughts on “What’s In A Milestone? – The Evolution of a Geocacher | The Geocaching Junkie

  1. 1,5 and 10 were all magnetic urban caches. I had no idea they were milestones at the time. 25 Was not an urban but still passed me by. 50 Was mention in my log as a milestone and the cache had made me laugh but it was still an unplanned magnetic trad. 75 Was on a lovely walk in Norfolk wiht my family but still an unplanned trad. 100 was the first one I ever planned and made special. It was a D5 puzzle that involved braille which was obviously easy for me to solve, being blind! I made a big song and dance about it in my log… I also happened to be the one to actually find the container at GZ 🙂 200, 300 and 400 were all trads again… I was acknowledging the milestones in my logs but not planning them in advance. 500 was planned to be a multi and it turned out to be pretty cool with a combination padlock to open the container. 600, 700, 800 and 900 were all unplanned trads again… we were finding caches quite quickly at this point and so they passed in the blink of an eye comparatively. 1000 was an event on PI day this year which means we now have 4 different types for our milestones. Now that the gaps between milestones are A LOT bigger I expect we will plan something special for each one. Thanks for the interesting article, I enjoyed it very much.

  2. I wasn’t aware of milestones when I started. My first few were traditionals , and some were more memorable than others. I had a trip to Belfast planned when #400 was coming up, so I slowed down my find rate to be sure of getting one there. I got a Wherigo! So since then, I’ve looked for different icons. I have an event, a webcam and an earthcache (one of Sarah’s!) Sarah has a CITO on Sunday, so I’ve that earmarked for #800.
    I’ve no plans yet for #900, but I might try A Grand Cache for #1000. It’s a multi, and I have the final coords, after a long drive to Stage 2 last Sunday ?

  3. Very interesting observations! I’ve never really planned for a milestone, just taken them as they fall (although I was aware when I had a significant number coming up).

    Milestones are very few and far between for me now – to get from 2000 to 3000 will take me about 3 years.

  4. Milestones can be fun and since 1000 we have tried to make them special. This past week we were able to achieve our 5000 milestone. For this we made a trip to Texas from Colorado. The cache was special as it also was the cache we needed to finish out the Jasmer challenge. Milestones can be fun if you build the excitement for the family and create anticipation. I love the fact that you have settled on doing earthcache a for your milestones. That is very cool.

    1. Congrats on your 5k – definitely a special one finishing the Jasmer grid. I’m not sure if 3k will be an EarthCache, I’m going to a mega soon and am thinking timing-wise that will be my next milestone, but I’m happy with that 🙂

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