I caught the “Geocaching Bug” in June 2011, and boy did I get it bad.  I became an addict.  I geocached all the time so much so, my family almost did an intervention on me.  Then I discovered another part of the game – trackables!  I would squeal with delight when I found one in a cache, especially when it was not logged.  It was an opportunity to save it!  Somewhat like helping a lost dog find its owner.  I would research its mission and do everything I could to do my part in fulfilling its “dream.”  

Then, I started purchasing my own trackables with their own missions.  I would get them in the mail and show them to my family, who still had concerns about my sanity at this point, and ask them to help me create missions for them.  I went crazy.  I started buying trackables like there was no tomorrow.  Not the ones that were already a character, but the ones that just had a number on them. 

I would go to the secondhand store where they had a toy isle.  The bottom shelf was all kids’ meal toys.  Every Saturday I would go there and sit on the floor and just dig through them looking for ones I could attach to a trackable and give them a special goal to achieve.  Imagine what the workers of that store thought of me.  So then I would attach the toys to the trackable number, take a picture of it, create a trackable page for it, and send it out into the WILD! 

I would drop it into a cache and wait.  I quickly realized that I unfortunately do not live in an area where geocachers travel through very often.  Oh the agony I suffered waiting!  Then after dropping some while on vacation, I started seeing it!  They started moving!   So then I got me a United States map and put it on the wall and put a push pin where the trackable was located along with its name on a sticky note next to it.  Then came the yarn.  Oh yes, yarn.  I had it crisscrossing everywhere.  Oh no, one went out the United States!  Now what do I do?  I just have to put it on a spreadsheet and keep track of it that way. 

I was out of control.  Out of control you say – how out of control?  How about 258 trackables!  OH MY!  That is just trackables I sent out. That does not include the geocoins and pathtags I have collected.  One of trackables, “Archy Starchy” (A Mr. Potato Head toy), completed its mission to travel to the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot, Idaho and have its picture taken there and posted.  What a great day that was. 

Then reality happened.  You know what I am talking about.  They started going missing.  What?  How can that happen?  I started sending messages to the people who had them pleading for their release.

You know the story.  New people trying it out.  Never to be seen again.  Bottom of toy boxes, bottom of backpacks, in glove compartments, or lost on the trail of tears.  So you stay the path and keep up with the ones you have left.  You take solace in the fact that you have some still moving and occasionally, not as often as I would like, but occasionally they post a picture of your treasured trackable.  It melts my heart to see it there, to reminisce about humble beginnings. 

Then there is that one geocacher who has had one of my trackable for years.  Lots of adventures but no pictures.  So I message the cacher who has it.   I thanked the cacher for taking good care of it but could they post a picture every once in a while so I could enjoy?  I received a response back stating that with over 50 other geocachers trackables, it gets crazy to get them in their own photos.  What?  Isn’t that like trackable hoarders?  Sounds like a hostage situation.  But what do you do? 

So now in 2018, I’ve scaled way back.  To date, I have 204 trackables missing.  I miss them.  They were all special to me.  Every once in a while, a missing one appears and I take delight in their perseverance.  

Oh I’m still in the game, still helping trackables move along, all with thought that their owners are just like me.  Waiting on the next move.  

Are you an addict like me?  Do you have any tips that could help trackables move again? Share your most successful trackables on Twitter or Instagram and tag @GeocacheTalk.

Carla Young, aka Lilsprinkles 67, caches in and around West Texas. She’s found 1702 caches to-date and has hidden 115. She loves geocaching, NASCAR, and going on cruises. Carla has cached in Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, and Belize. Her own geocoin, “Pink Sprinkles Geocoin,” can be seen at TB5PE6K; it was released in May 2013. In 2017, she was on vacation 470 miles from home and found it in a cache, picked it up, and brought it back home. Her furthest traveling trackable is TB6HMDN. Find her on Twitter: @lilsprinkles67.

“Sprinkles make ordinary things special.”

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