GeoCoinFest 2022

The last time I was at a GeoCoinFest, I stumbled upon it by accident. If I’m out on the road and just happen to be in town the same day as a Mega-Event, I’m going to attend! This time, though, it had been on my radar for a while. How would I not go to a Mega in my backyard? Well, it’s not exactly my backyard, being San Antonio and all, but I think that’s close enough. I consider anything between there and Waco, Fredericksburg, and Brenham to be in my neighborhood for such things. I drove down super early on Friday morning to make it in time for the morning Event, a flash mob at the Alamo. On a personal level, it’s a little disappointing how many people don’t seem to know more than the first verse to “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” but that’s neither here nor there. A couple of Adventure Lab Series along the Riverwalk also dropped, and I made a short walk to grab one with a group that broke away after the Event, but they went on their way, and I went on my own. Labs, while nice, were not on my mind. I went off to grab a couple of caches on my own and accomplish one of my goals for the weekend: completing my seventh D/T loop. Soon after, one of my caching buddies, Razorbackgirl, hit town, and we went and grabbed some more caches before grabbing dinner at a registration Event. I wasn’t even sure if I had registered or not (I hadn’t), so I wasn’t sure if I would have surprise swag waiting for me like at GeoWoodstock. I chatted over food with local friends, took a bit of time with M. Gary Slinkard, and met a small contingent of Georgia cachers, recent attendees of Going Caching. Once the hour started getting late, I headed off to my hotel for a hot shower, a warm bed, and well-deserved rest in anticipation of the next day.

Full disclosure: GeoCoinFest in Kansas City definitely had one thing on this one. The venue was definitely more stunning. But it’s what’s inside that counts, no?

To say there were coins is an understatement. There were coins of every shape and type, newly minted and of ancient pedigree. I myself picked up a newly made Texas County Challenge coin (the old ones are incredibly hard to come by). I also got to discover an entire book of coins made by Moun10bike himself. Have you ever seen coins with two- or three-digit codes? Well, I have now. I spent most of my time working. As a representative of the TXGA, I, along with Carrot Killer, operated a booth selling coins and touting the merits of the organization. At least I got to hang out next to the trackable table …

… staffed by our own Bigguy In Texas! Her status as trackable master is well known and documented, so it was only mete and proper that she be there. My one real regret, though …

… is that I didn’t get to attend Bouncebounce’s gadget cache booth. Yes, people got to build, solder, and power their own electronic caches. That was awesome! I did, however …

… get to meet Jessica, the visiting Lackey, JRan333. Once all of our Mega-Event duties were done, the two of us went to grab lunch with a bunch of fellow cachers, and then Razorbackgirl, UncleRojelio, JRann, and I went out to grab some caches!

Of course, when you’re caching around a Mega-Event, you’re going to run into other cachers. All over the place, we joined and were joined by other cachers, all of us searching out our communal quarries. We grabbed Labs and their bonus caches, Virtuals, and a couple of Letterboxes and Traditionals. We, of course, had to find an EarthCache since it was International EarthCache Day. Unfortunately, it’d been an especially hot and dry summer. It’s hard to describe the flow of a spring when it has no water in it. But we didn’t let that stop us. We cached and cached (and got ice cream) and kept caching until the sun started getting low. We made our way back to the hall to catch a little of the Geopoker game and then parted ways again to get rest for the morrow. I got less than intended because I got roped into getting drinks that resulted in watching a football game (I’m not known for my enthusiasm regarding sportsball, though I really used to love me some hockey) and almost having to DNF a D2.0/T1.5 in a bush (the CO responded to provide the essential clue). But yes, eventually I slept.

The next morning began with donuts and went on to a bittersweet Community Celebration Event. A recently passed local cacher, JMCz, was a devotee of Jeep trackables and had collected lots of their tags with the intention of putting them back out into the world. In honor of him, a bunch of cachers got a bunch of little Jeeps, and a whole bunch of us put his tags on those Jeeps so they could go with us to the corners of the earth. What a fitting way to remember him and a nice way to finish the weekend. We all told stories and grabbed final caches. Others went off to grab caches in the park, but I had to start making my way back to Austin. Not before learning that GeoCoinFest will be in Daytona Beach, Florida, next year. I guess I’m going to have to watch out for next year to see if I can go!

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