This is the last of three posts about our weekend trip to Maryland for GeoWoodstock. The first two parts can be found by clicking the following links.
Seeking and Finding
Seeking and Finding, Continued
We got up on Saturday morning excited about GeoWoodstock. After a quick breakfast, we loaded all our gear for the day into the van, locked the doors and started walking across the parking lot. What? Haha -- there was a geocache hidden just a few feet away from where we were parked and we'd been too tired to look for it on Thursday night, forgot about it on Friday morning, and too tired again Friday night. I'd seen a fairly steady procession of geocachers casually wandering around a particular spot, so I was pretty sure we could find the cache even without my GPS. Most parking lot caches are micros (only enough room for a small, folded or rolled slip of paper to sign), but this cache was regular sized, which is a medium cache large enough for quite a bit of swag (trading items). It's also listed as a TB Hotel and I'd carried a couple of Travel Bugs with me from Michigan and wanted to leave them in a TB Hotel instead of checking them into GeoWoodstock.
With the Travel Bugs taken care of, we were ready to head out to the Washington County Agricultural Education Center near Boonsboro, Maryland. It was a fabulous venue for Geowoodstock, with ample parking near the action, pre-existing buildings and pole barns for vendors and other uses, the Rural Heritage Museum, and a recreation of an early pioneer village. Brett changed into his Waldo costume and we walked up to the satellite dishes that were the hub of activity. Waldo was immediately mobbed by people wanting their photo taken with him. I convinced them to all gather up for a group photo.
Warning: lots of Waldo photos ahead!
The activity around the satellite dishes was threefold. The paper log book was located on a table next to the largest satellite dish. The paper log is so organizers can get an idea of the number of people present. There were also several Sharpies on the table for signing the large satellite dish, which was the official GeoWoodstock XIII log. There were four or five smaller satellite dishes set up around the big one and people were milling around them. We found out later that they were part of one of the LAB Caches. Murisopsis and Old Dog Sparky soon found us and we strolled through the vendor area admiring at some stuff and shaking our heads at others. I wish I'd gotten one of the cache containers we saw, but by the time I decided to do it, they were sold out. I stopped often to take photos of people with Waldo or trade pathtags with other collectors.
At a little after 10 AM, we followed the crowds gathering on a nearby slope for the group photo. There was a wait as the GeoWoodstock letters were placed, the photographer was raised in a bucket truck and everyone was asked to scoot a little to the left. We thought we would be at the edge of the photo, but there were a LOT of people there and we ended up pretty far in from the edge. This is a low resolution photo from the GeoWoodstock XIII Facebook page. The four of us are at the top of the slope above the "K". I'm waiting for the high resolution photo to come out to see if I can spot us.
Waldo was so popular, he began deliberately hanging back from us so we could take more than three steps at a time. Val and I found a lady from Canada walking through the vendor area and got the last squares in our Bingo cards filled and turned them in for the door prize drawing later in the afternoon. We started working on the LAB caches and I continued to trade pathtags with people. At some point the crowd around the large satellite dish thinned out enough for me to sign it for myself and Brett with our geocaching names - saintvi and waldowalking. Meanwhile, Waldo was still getting stopped for photos.
When we were ready for lunch, Brett took off the Waldo shirt and we got our ice chests and food bags out of our respective vehicles, found some picnic tables and enjoyed a lunch filled with laughter. Since skipping the gadget cache the day before because of all the geocachers grouped around it, Brett had been trying to think of a word for a group of geocachers. You know, like a herd of cows, a pack of dogs, a murder of crows, etc. During lunch, Val said something about people being in collusion and I looked at Brett and said, "A collusion of cachers!" So that is our contribution to geocaching lingo, if only I knew how to make it widely known. We also learned a new vocabulary word from Val: Wenis - the skin on the outside of the elbow. Brett had us (okay, mainly me) howling, snorting, and crying with laughter as he started describing his wenis. It's been a while since I laughed that hard!
After lunch we continued working on the LAB Caches and Waldo kept getting stopped for photos and I kept trading pathtags. Here are a few of Waldo's celebrity encounters.
Emmet & Waldo
Stoner dudes, Sparky & Waldo
Little Heiskell & Waldo (and photobomber). Little Heiskell was actually one of the LAB caches.
Waldo and Max B. (a celebrity in geocaching circles)
Secret Agent Matthew and Waldo (Waldo's favorite celebrity encounter of the day).
Waldo, Signal the Frog, The Blooming Idiot, and The Jester
We call this a Collision of Characters.
As you can tell, we had a really fun day. In spite of applying sunscreen in the morning and reapplying after lunch, I got sunburned, mostly in odd little places I missed with the sunscreen. I've been rubbing Noxzema on it and the itch and sting are already gone. We stayed for the closing ceremony and the announcement that next year's GeoWoodstock will be held in Denver, Colorado on July 3rd. That causes a conundrum for us, as it would be our 25th annual 3rd of July Party. We'll decide what to do eventually.
After leaving the Agricultural Center grounds, we made our way over two of the scary, one-lane, humpback bridges that seem to be on all the back roads in that area, to a pub in Boonsboro for dinner.
The next morning, Brett and I packed up the van and left Maryland. We made a quick stop at the rest area in West Virginia and got that gadget cache. By the time the cache was opened, there was a collusion of cachers gathered around it. We got home around 9:00 that night and I was finally able to take a look at my pathtag score from GeoWoodstock.
My personal pathtag did not lie; I had a blast at GeoWoodstock!