I’m Sydney but in the geocaching community I’m known as Sherminator18. I started geocaching in August 2014 when looking for things to do while on a camping trip. I usually go geocaching with my boyfriend, McDoogins and our over excited and somewhat crazy dog, Rogue. I’m sure you are all wondering how I decided on my Geocaching name. American Pie? Terminator? No, no… Who here has seen the movie Finding Nemo? Do you remember the address where Nemo was taken? “P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.” One of my coworkers decided to give me the nickname “Sherms,” so I decided to adapt it for my geocaching name. It’s a bit of a stretch, but hey, I’m not the one who came up with it.
Many of you know that I enjoy finding earthcaches. The main reason is not because I’m a geology buff, but more so because earthcaches tend to take you to some really interesting and beautiful locations. The best example of this that I’ve come across would be the Eternal Flame Falls (GC10VMY). Located south of Buffalo, NY, is a cascade waterfall about 30 feet in total height, but what makes it special is that a grotto (small cave) behind the waterfall emits natural gas, which after lit with a flame, continuously burns. It is one of the most fascinating natural things I’ve ever seen. Sights like these are why I enjoy finding earthcaches. I agree with many of you that some earthcaches are a little extreme, tedious and in some instances quite frustrating. I believe that earthcaches should be more about the location and not so much about forcing you to learn some very particular piece of geological information. I do enjoy learning about new things, especially about the world that we call our game board, but I don’t want to struggle to find the answers to tedious questions just for a smiley. I strongly believe that earthcaches should be simple and straight forward and be more focused on a extraordinary or dazzling location than the actual geology lesson.
I also really enjoy traveling, and geocaching makes for a great activity while visiting new places. I have found many unique, out of the way places because there was a geocache there. I’m sure you’ve all experienced this; you go find a geocache and realize that you would have never found this cool, out of the way place, if someone had not placed a cache there. There are two ways to combine geocaching with traveling. The first would be traveling somewhere for the main purpose of geocaching. I have had the opportunity to do this on a few occasions so far; the biggest one being our trip to Denver in 2016 for GeoWoodstock. We drove there from New York and was able to fulfill or put a good dent in many geocaching related goals. We found caches in 9 new states including the oldest in Ohio, Indiana, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas, which everyone knows is Mingo! But the best part of the trip was getting to meet so many people that I had gotten to know on Twitter or YouTube who I now consider very good friends, including Gary and Jesse!
Another fun way to combine travel and geocaching is to supplement a trip you’re making for another reason, with finding geocaches! The best experience I’ve had in this regard was when I traveled to Arizona in 2014 for a family reunion. We were able to get away for a few hours and hike through the desert to the oldest cache in Arizona. Also, since it was CITO weekend, we managed to attend our first CITO event in Arizona and earn our souvenir.