On July 7, 2003, I left a travel bug in a geocache in the woods near Portland Oregon, where I was for the O’Reilly Open Source Convention. An identical travel bug, I gave to a fellow cacher who I met there at the conference.
The travel bugs were small hand painted fishies on golden strings.
About 8 months later, the first fish, named “My old Kentucky Home” arrived home, having traveled 5746 miles. (Some of that distance is kind of cheating, since it was activated in Kentucky, rather than in Oregon.)
Then, in February of this year, the other fish, named “Finding Sarah” arrived home, having travelled 3859 miles. It arrived just in time for Sarah’s birthday. So, rather than go straight out there and pick it up, I waited for Sarah’s birthday, and we went out there together.
When we arrived at the site of the geocache, we discovered that the park service had, the day before, cleared a lot of brush and trees, including the one in which the cache was hidden. There were bits of the cache laying about, showing that the cache, and its contents, had been destroyed. After waiting more than two and a half years, the fishy was history.
On Wednesday of this week, I received email from a cacher saying that he had retrieved the cache from the park maintenance crew who did the damage, and who had been hanging on to it since then. Perhaps they didn’t know quite what to make of it? I dunno. Anyways, yesterday he dropped of our little fishy in the new Bush Baby cache, and the journey was complete.
This morning I went out and retrieved it, rather than giving it another moment to potentially get muggled. And now both fishies hang together in my kitchen.
I think Sarah will be very pleased. I know I am 🙂
Travel Bugs are a *very* cool way to travel, vicariously, and get a tiny glimpse of the world. And they’re a great way to get kids interested in geography. After geocaching for about 5 years now, I find that I’m much more interested in travel bugs than in the caches themselves. Now that this one has come home, we’ll probably be sending out a LOT more of them, to see what happens. We’ve got 9 of them out in the wild now, and it’s always fun to get the reports of where they’ve gone.