Numbers

Another day, another cache. I’m still managing to maintain a streak (the above makes 682 days) even in the time of cholera. But, I had noticed something weird… I assume many of you use Project-GC (and if you don’t, you should if you have any interest in stats, numbers, maps, or anything data related). Both the Geocaching main page and Project-GC registered me as having 682 straight days of caching. BUT when I would pull up a list of the longest streaks in Texas, it would show me as having a finished streak at 451? Weird, so I put the question to the local community and someone (coincidentally someone in the top 10 in the state and still going) looked at my logs before I had a chance to and found that I was missing a day in August 2019. I looked myself and saw that I had none for one day, but I had two for the next day. I looked closely and figured it out: I had gotten a cache late at night (chasing it to complete Chasing Kansas no less), but before midnight, but my log didn’t post until after midnight. Because I hadn’t logged by midnight CST (local time), I didn’t show as having one on that day for the database that the Project-GC tool scrapes, but because the servers for Geocaching are on Pacific time, they registered me as having one on that day because I had logged it before midnight PST. Or at least I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. I’ve run into weird time issues like that before. If memory serves, I didn’t originally get the Leap Day souvenir because my first cache of the day was a little after midnight local, meaning it wasn’t Leap Day for the servers yet. Or something like that. If it turns out that I’m lying to you and something completely different happened or I explained it badly, I promise I’ll let you know. Either way, I fixed my date and soon the database should scrape to say that I have 682+ days and still going. It’s not enough to rival the big ones (the top in Texas has 3900+, in the USA has 4800+), but at least it shows where I really am in that regard.

So yeah, I think about numbers. I find data to be interesting in the first place, but caching numbers? I can guarantee you that if I’ve met you in a geocaching context, I have looked at your numbers at some point. I find it interesting how people choose to have their experience with the game and looking at their stats is a good way to see what they value. I know at least one cacher who has done over 1000 in a day. The first time I heard a theory on how that could be done, I didn’t think it should count, but now that I’ve heard another theory, I find it a bit distasteful to my sensibilities but totally legitimate. I know another who has 30 complete loops and I’ve also met a few with more, and the world leader with 270+. I’ve met people who pick up states and others who pick up counties (which is what I think I’m becoming). Others focus on cache types or certain terrains. So many ways, so many perspectives. Is that what keeps bringing us back? I don’t know. But I do know that each one of us has a thing that puts the fire in our bellies. I can’t wait until I can stoke mine again.

4 thoughts on “Numbers

  1. One couple who came to an event I host monthly (except in this time of cholera) said they’d find a cache when they traveled every time they crossed into a new county. They’d see the sign for the new county and looked up where the nearest geocache was off an exit. They showed me their profile which showed the counties they found going north from Texas into the Dakotas then east and into New England. You could see the whole route they took on the trip just on the map of counties where they found a cache. Things like that are fun, I think

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  2. Stats are an interesting thing. I am always fascinated by which stat people are chasing (most finds, most hides, events attended, even most photos uploaded). At times I have looked at all of the stats in one way or another. I find myself getting sucked into them because of my competitive nature. Interestingly enough, during the time of Corona, oops I mean Cholera, I have taken a step back to reassess what I want to go after when the gates are opened again. While I still haven’t finalized my new goals I know they will be just that – new. It’s like New Years Resolutions but slightly larger.

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    1. Oh, I am so ready… I have a preliminary list of counties in Oklahoma, have tentatively planned a road trip to New Mexico with someone, and am already thinking about flying into Phoenix, on top of Mingo and Washington State. I’m not going anywhere for a while still obviously, but the second I think it’s safe-ish, I’m off like a light switch… I’m hoping to finish the year with 100 more counties and at least two more entire states…

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