On June 6, 2009, Nana & I found our first geocache. It was a sneaky little devil right here in Suffolk Virginia just a few miles from our homestead. Although that cache is now archived, we will always remember that cache. Almost four years to that date, June 1, 2013 we found our 5000th cache and I can tell you now - we will remember that cache also.
It's funny how things work out sometimes. Several months ago we were informed by our #2 grand-daughter that she had been selected from all the students at her high school to attend a HOBY seminar (Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership) in Harrisonburg Virginia. She was asking us if we could transport her to and from Harrisonburg that particular weekend. Being as both Nana & I spend most weekends geocaching, we told her we would be more than happy to be her chauffeur. This would also give us a chance to color in some more counties for our Virginia County/Independent City challenge. Looking back on it now I don't think we were really planning on reaching 5000 that particular weekend but it worked out great!
I remember researching the area for available caches and realizing that just north of the area were some famous caches put out by a winner of the Geocacher of the Month Award, WVTim. My planning commenced and, as usual, I had a huge list of caches to try to find for the 3 day weekend. The plan encompassed not only Virginia, but also contained caches in West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Our main objective (at that point in the planning) was to try and log finds for as many WVTim caches as we could. It wasn't until two weeks before this trip that I realized that we had a chance of meeting and perhaps surpassing the 5000 mark.
After dropping our grand-daughter off at JMU Friday and making sure she was fine we cached in and around the Harrisonburg area till dark. Saturday we got up early and proceeded to a nice little quartet of caches called "4 states in 44 minutes" (see GC3NZEG). Although we did not make the 44 minute mark we did complete all 4 states in a respectable 47 minutes and our story was that there was quite a bit of traffic in the construction area. LOL!
Once we finished those 4 caches it was just a matter of heading back south and grabbing caches along the way back to Harrisonburg, coloring in those new counties we had yet to visit. Along the way we grabbed as many caches as we could but our favorites, by far, were the WVTim caches we stopped at. I will NOT go into details on the WVTim caches we found but take it from us: If you are ever in the area of the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, look for caches owned by WVTim. You will not forget them!!! Among those we found and loved were: GC41YC3 (23 favorite points), GC33NAZ (251 favorite points), GC44RDE (80 favorite points), GC2PPNV (57 favorite points), GC41BJV (98 favorite points) and GC2NGD9 (111 favorite points) which was our 5000th find!!!
As Nana & I logged find #5000, we stopped for a moment and Nana said to me: "Here's to the next 5000 finds!" What a fantastic - or should I say SNAP-tastic caching partner.
By the end of the weekend we had 5024 finds. Additionally, we had colored in 8 more counties and 3 more Delorme pages for Virginia. Hopefully by the end of this year we will qualify for not only the Virginia County challenge cache but also the Virginia Independent City challenge cache and the Virginia Delorme cache.
It was a great weekend, we surpassed a major milestone in geocaching, found some terrific caches and most of all, got to witness the closing ceremony for our grand-daughter who is now a HOBY alumni!!!!
Who wants to go caching - here's to the next 5000!!!
As always - Stay Safe & Keep Caching!!!
SNAP!!! - Suffolk Nana & Papa