Geocachers Unite

September 26, 2009 9:27:04 PM PDT
A relatively new outdoor activity is gaining momentum among sports enthusiasts and techies alike. It's called 'Geocaching.' And as Action News reporter John-Thomas Kobos learned, it's a high tech scavenger hunt that can boost the local economy."We'll get a signal then all of a sudden our G.P.S. signal dies. But I think we're on the right way. 340 feet," said Church Heuring of Clovis.

Heuring is trying to create a new favorite past time for him and his 8-year old son, Grant, called geocaching. Heuring has a quick explanation of what that is: "It's like an Easter egg hunt with technology."

Every geocacher has a list with coordinates they plug into their global positioning satellite or smart phone. "It's gonna have a little compass and a little arrow showing us the direction," said Heuring.

Once the location is made?the hunt is on.

Heuring: "Once we get closer and closer it will show it's a marked gps spot."

Others are on the look out too so it pays to be the first to find the "treasure chest." Grant found one in a tree up against a fence.

"Can you get it down," asked his dad.

"Got it," said Grant.

"Alright," said an excited father.

Inside were pens, toy trucks, even army soliders. There is also a unique stamp for every geocacher to mark their book. And later record online. "It's a pirate. Look Grant. The stamp is a pirate," said Heuring.

Chances are you haven't heard of geocaching and if you have, you're not quite certain how it works. Well, the city of Clovis is hoping this event really catches on and next time lures out even more people.

Shawn Miller: "There are some huge events for geocachers, very similar to this that bring in thousands and thousands of people. There's a thing called 'geo-Woodstock.'"

Saturday more than 200 people showed up in Clovis. Shawn Miller with the economic development team said that's a good start.

"It brings people to town. People tend to spend money, fill up their cars with gas," said Miller.

But mostly this is an opportunity for anyone to get out of the house and do something different?together.

"You get bored sitting at home watching movies," said Josh Leroy of Fresno.

Kristina Price of Clovis said, "Using our equipment that we use for camping and hiking and getting to use it around the city too. It's kinda fun."

And these scavengers prove they can put a new twist on an old fashioned game.

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