Like the rest of the universe, I’m obsessed with Pokemon Go. This should not be a surprise to anyone that knows me. What not everyone knows is that I am (or used to be) a geocacher. Most of you don’t know what geocaching is, and that’s okay. But there might not be Pokemon Go without it.
Geocaching is basically treasure hunting with your gps. people lay out boxes (usually empty ammo cases) in places like the woods or historical sites. They upload the coordinates to a geocaching website, and the rest of us go looking for it. When you find it, you take a little reward from inside (like a sticker or small toy) put something inside, and mark your name in the log book that goes with it. It’s fun, it gets you out into the woods, and it takes you places that you might never have seen before.
I stopped geocaching after my third bout with poison ivy in a year. It wasn’t worth the suffering anymore. But I still like the woods, and I like the idea of treasure hunting. Pokemon Go has taken that to a new level.
Now it’s a phenomenon. It’s everywhere, and just like caching, you go to different places to search for “treasure” in rare pokemon. Just the other day I found an old house from the early 1800s that I forgot existed. Considering what a history buff I am, this was rather shocking. I also got to explore the former site of Treason House, where Benedict Arnold gave the plans to West Point to John Andre. For some reason, John Andre’s story resonates with me. Even though he was on the other side, he showed nothing but nobility and dedication to his cause, ultimately dying by hanging at what’s now The 76 House in Tappan, NY. It’s said that Alexander Hamilton wept at his hanging, such was the man’s charm.
Anyway, that’s a bit of a ramble. I’m sure I’ll write an article about Andre’s capture soon.
The point is that Pokemon Go is doing what geocaching did, but 1) on a larger scale, and 2) without fear of poison ivy or deer ticks. Yes, I still hunt pokemon in the woods, but I stay on the trails rather than clomping off into the brush.
My girlfriend is a geocacher, and we are already planner hikes where she hunts the geocache and I hunt the pokemon. It seems weird, but it works.
Go Pokehunt. Go geocache. Just get out of the freakin’ house. There’s so much out there to explore. Be a part of it.
Oh, and buy my novel! It’s got history and magic and all sorts of weird stuff.