Laurie (Known as "Clown Shoes", in geocaching circles) and I are heading to Utah tomorrow for a week. Amongst the many activities that we have planned is to visit a few of that area's EarthCaches.
Up till now, we have only visited geocaches. Places where there are physical items to find and a log within you sign. But this is not the only kind of geocache. As a matter of fact, my favorite kind of geocache is a special kind called an EarthCache (this is the preferred spelling according to the folks at Geoaware/ the folks responsible for EarthCaches).
The definition of an EarthCache is as follows...
"An EarthCache is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature of our Earth. EarthCache pages include a set of educational notes along with cache coordinates. Visitors to EarthCaches can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage its resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth."
Our part of NE Iowa has some of the greatest EarthCache sites that I have ever visited, Whether it be Coldwater Springs (pictured above) near Bluffton. The Ice Cave near Luther College in Decorah. And no EarthCaching experience would be complete without visiting hawkeyetob's EarthCache at Dutton's Cave near West Union.
To experience an EarthCache is to learn about the forces that created our earth. The EarthCache's description will teach you something, then it will ask you to apply what you have learned.
Since there is no log to sign (as we do at regular geocaches), to prove that you actually visited this area (and maybe learned a little something) you will need to e-mail the EarthCache's owner and answer a few questions.
pH, length, width, height...the questions aren't that hard.
Next week, I'll escort you to Coldwater Springs' EarthCache - GC1AW1M and show you why I love EarthCaches as much as I do.
So till then...Cache On!