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We are known as PaWingers or just The Wingers by our Geocaching friends. When we found our first cache we had to come up with a name to log the find. We came up with this name simply because of residing in Pa. and because one of our many passions is cruising this beautiful country on our Honda Goldwing. Aside from geocaching we are passionate about most anything outdoors including hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling and biking. We are blessed beyond words with a wonderful son and daughter in law. We're also blessed with some terriffic family and friends. We consider ourselves very fortunate due to the fact that after being married over 40 years we still enjoy these things together.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Backpack Jack returns home

Okay, so now and again I make an entry that may be questionable as to it's worthiness to be part of this Blog.  I guess since it's my Blog I can get away with it.  Maybe though once you read it you will agree it's a legitimate entry.  I think I've proven in the past that I can turn most anything into a Whoda' Thunk, it just takes a little imagination and my wife claims mine is quite vivid.  I think that is the word she used, or was it warped.  Oh well, it doesn't matter so let's continue.

First and foremost let me explain what this is all about.  Some of you may have never heard of Geocaching.  It's a high tech treasure hunt using Global Positioning Systems or GPS's.  People hide things all over the world and the game is to use the given coords and description and go out and find it.  Some are easy while some can be quite difficult.  A common container for a hidden cache is an ammo box because they are very water tight.  Geocaching has several twists and one is called Trackables or Travel Bugs.  These are things that travel from cache to cache and their travels are tracked and logged  by those that find them.  People will take the Travel Bug from one cache and place it in  another and so on and so forth.

Back in 2003 we placed a travel Bug named Backpack Jack in a cache in the Quehanna Wild Area. Where we hid him was quite remote but definitely an amazing place.  Backpack Jack had a mission and that was to see the Rockies by traveling from cache to cache and then return home.  His journey was quite long and lasted over 8 years.  He traveled way over 10,000 miles and made many stops.  At one point he spent 6 months buried in a snow drift in Colorado before someone dug him out and got him moving.  He did see the Rockies but he didn't return home just then.  Instead he headed to the west coast and traveled from San Diego to San Francisco and back to San Diego again.  He then went to Las Vegas and traveled around the Rockies again and actually at one point got real close to home.  Unfortunately someone didn't understand his mission and he headed west again and did many more miles.

As his travels continued he was in the hands of many nice people that kept him moving.  At one point he ended up hidden in a closet until he was discovered by the person that took him.  Fortunately he got moving again.  Over the years, he would go into hiding and at times we had worried he was gone forever but suddenly he would show up again.  Just recently we got an e-mail from some nice folks that had Jack and wanted to meet us at the place where he began his journey.  We couldn't wait and agreed immediately to meet them.  Whoda' Thunk after 8 years and over 10,000 miles that we would finally have Backpack Jack back in our hands.  Our thanks to the nice people that made this happen.  His journey has finally ended and he's back home with us.

This is a map showing Backpack Jack's travels.

This is Backpack Jack, but you probably guessed that.

This is an interesting story in itself.  This is miles from anywhere and you would never expect to see a monument like this out in the boonies.   Hmmm, Whoda' thunk!

These are the nice folks that returned Backpack Jack to us.


Peggi said...

Love the story! How amazing.

Coy said...

What a great story! Kinda reminds me of the Dorothy story, a school teacher in Kansas started it as a class project and had her go from person to person to return in six months. She first went to Florida, then Pa, on to England, then traveled Europe finally returning to Kansas on time with a complete photo album of her journey. Really kool stuff!

Willard said...

This is amazing!