5-10-13-Image---Official-Geocache-BoxBy Jeff Martin

I couldnít find the broadside of a barn with a tractor.

So, when I heard that Allegany State Park was hosting once again GeoBash, I have to admit that I wasnít too curious. Finding information about the event proved difficult (another sign that the event isnít for me), but eventually I did.

Scheduled from 8 a.m.ñ8 p.m. on May 18, this year marks the eighth time the popular event has been held at ASP.

Of course, Iíd heard about geocaching before. Up in Springville they hold an autumn ride that includes geocaching. One of the sponsors talked about motorists getting off their motorcycles and looking for clues on the roadside. The only time Iíve ever gotten out of a vehicle roadside was to relieve myself or to push up the floor beneath the driverís seat of an old, and deteriorating, vehicle.

So when I heard about ASPís event, I did a little investigating and discovered that as many as 200 permanent caches are placed throughout the park.

And whatís in these caches? Hidden treasures, you see.

I was able to reach one of the GeoBash participants who would identify himself via email only as Beastfinder. Obviously, those interested in geocaching are as elusive as the treasures they seek.

Beastfinder, whose residence is also a secret, said he attended the first event at ASP in 2006 after a friend invited him. They spent the afternoon wandering different areas as directed by the GPS device. When I asked what was in each cache, he refused to tell me. Evidently it must have been valuable ó why else be so reluctant to tell me?

ìItís common among treasure seekers to not share what they find with those who do not search,î Beastfinder wrote.

Now he had me. A quick internet search turned up information about the Cattaraugus County GeoTrail in Western New York. It seems 32 towns have caches of their own, and once you find them you receive a wooden nickel. If you find all 32, you receive a special commemorative Cattaraugus County GeoCoin, as a prize.

But something tells me this is more about the searching than it is the finding. We all search, we occasionally find. Often what we find doesnít live up to our expectations anyhow, so itís the searching that thrills us. And thatís what Beastfinder emphasized.

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