The Hatfield McCoy GeoTrail Accidental MEGA event happened in 2012 when Sponge Bob Cache Pants and I got together to create a trail of caches that would take people to the historic sites of the Hatfield McCoy Feud.
We created the trail. Set out to build 15 custom-made, red birdhouses, and placed the Hatfield McCoy GeoTrail caches with love and care about the sites of the feud. It was not an easy task but was certainly a fun adventure that would soon turn into something larger than we could have ever imagined.
The History Channel released it’s mini-series on the Feud only two weeks prior to the release of our caches and the “will attend” logs started to roll in. I remember that people kept saying that it was going to be “Big” and that it could “go MEGA”. But all I wanted was for it to be a good size event so that the town was not angry at me because I had asked them to financially help support the release of the trail.
Then Mayor, Darrin, gave us $1000.00 and a local community supporter, Dave Hatfield, gave us money to buy the original coins. We started to get a little support but most people had never heard of geocaching in this area.
At the time I only knew of Bill Richardson. A WVU Professor and Mingo County Extension Agent who worked on all things Hatfield McCoy and developed tourism for Mingo and Pike Counties. Who could have guessed that three years later we would be married, right ?
Professor Richardson did an economic impact statement back at the end of the year and determined that the initial investment of about 2000.00 had turned into an economic impact for out community of more than a million dollars. Over the last three or four years we have had people come and do the original geotrail from around the world.
The day the HMGT EVENT happened we were shocked to find 518 cachers sign the logbook. I will never forget that day as long as I live. It was the most amazing thing to walk out into my yard and stand there talking to so many amazing geocachers who I had only heard about from all over the country.
Caching is one of those things where you are never alone. You may go out and physically find the cache without anyone else but the second you log the cache it becomes a social interaction with the cache owner. Over time, I learnt that logs were actually more than just a “found it” or “DNF”. It was my chance to send a note to the person who had gone out into the wild and hidden this thing for me to find.
That made me want to place better caches. It kills me when someone logs something bad about one of my caches. Drives me nuts when they log a “.” log on a find. LOL
If you are a cacher, you understand that. If you are new to caching then trust me, you wanna say something more in your logs.
The HMGT event was the most amazing day ever and we ended up having the pleasure of hosting it for three years before I gave it up. We often discuss having it again. Life has just been busy and we haven’t been able to get it together. Maybe a 5 year anniversary event is on the horizon ?
I think the greatest part of having the event was that Groundspeak was so gracious to allow us to have
Signal come and attend the event. I took about a million photos of him. Having him ride in the jeep just cracked me up. Who knew it was so much work to properly host a frog, huh ?!
I think the coolest thing that came from the event and accidentally hosting a MEGA was that the community suddenly knew who I was. I ended up getting nominated and won the Geocacher of the Month honors for August 2012. That came with a cool coin from Groundspeak and the coolest hat ever. The following month I nominated SpongeBob and he won for September. I also have the honor of displaying this cool image on my blog 🙂 Do you know a geocacher who deserves to be recognized for their hard work, creative caches or super cache community service of some type ? If so, you can go and nominate them at Groundspeaks Blog HERE.
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Blogs and Websites of friends who mentioned the Hatfield McCoy GeoTrail
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