November 18th, 2014

gps

MEtroGAthering

This weekend, I was in North Jersey for MEtroGAthering, my first Mega-Event cache. A Mega-Event is a geocaching event with more than 500 attendees. The main event was on Saturday but since there was another event, the "Pre-Metro Gathering Mega Meet and Greet" at the Brundage Park pavilion in Randolph, on Friday evening, I decided to go up on Friday and stay overnight. Then I added another overnight to make it a full weekend mini-vacation.

One new thing that came along with the MEtroGAthering was a set of 10 lab caches. I got 9 of those on Friday but waited until Saturday for the 10th because it was available only at the event. The lab caches involve navigating to the given coordinates and finding a piece of info to enter at the lab cache website to log it. In my mind though, these are the same as virtual caches, except with automated verification, so perhaps Groundspeak should just reverse their decision not to publish any more virtual caches.

The mega-event itself was rather interesting. There were over 600 attendees, including a lot of geocachers I knew from Delaware, Pennsylvania (as far away as Reading), Central and North Jersey, and the NYC area. Despite the large number of people, it didn't seem all that crowded because we were pretty dispersed in an open area and Warinanco Park had lots of room to spare. There was a vendor village with various vendors, activities, and games operating throughout the event. Signal the Frog, the geocaching mascot, was there too. Of course, the best part was roaming around Warinanco Park in groups to find the 19 geocaches that were placed in the park for the event. I hiked out from the main event area with jbadger and over the course of the day, we ran into other groups of cachers at pretty much every cache site.

The caches...Collapse )