Hi, my name is Sreya A. and I am in ninth grade. I am a freshman at Lake Travis High School. I was born in Portland, Oregon, but moved to Plano, Texas when I was two years old. I lived and grew up in Plano for eleven years and then moved to Austin at the beginning of eighth grade. I have traveled to many places around the world such as India, Mexico, Italy, Vatican City, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and many places in the United States. I love to travel and visit new places and hope to see many other countries when I get older. I understand and speak a little bit of Telugu and am currently learning Spanish at school.
I am reviewing Chapter 10, Overedge, of Ken Jennings’s Maphead, which is based on geocaching. Jennings begins the chapter by discussing the history of geocaching. Dave Ulmer created geocaching the night that selective availability was turned off and suddenly everyone’s GPS was ten times more accurate. He buried a bucket containing various items next to a hillside road and then posted the coordinates on the internet. After that, geocaching expanded globally and soon became a popular pastime all over the world. Jennings explains the various factors of geocaching, which captivated so many people. “Ulmer had tapped into something primal – not just the boredom of gadget gurus but some neglected part of our hunter- gatherer hindbrain that needs to look for elusive things and rarely gets a chance in a modern world”(189).
Jennings then goes on to show the various types of geocachers such as extreme cachers and puzzle cachers. Extreme cachers pride themselves in finding the most dangerous caches such as one at the bottom of the Great Salt Lake. Other geocachers like power cachers try and find as many caches as possible as fast as possible. Many geocachers revolve their lives around geocaching and obsess over finding the most caches or being the first to find a cache. “Some people are born with a genetic predisposition to addictions like alcoholism, but, like Lynn Black, I seem to have been born to geocache, and to geocache obsessively”(209). Jennings describes how he himself ended up not understanding the true beauty of geocaching and just did it for the sake of doing it. He later realizes that “geocaching is supposed to be an excuse to explore the world’s hidden beauty spots”(209).
I believe geocaching can be an exhilarating hobby and wonderful pastime. It allows you to discover nature’s natural beauty with a destination for you to reach at the end as an added incentive. However, just like anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. I thought that excessively geocaching could ruin your life. I love scavenger hunts and that is what geocaching is, it is a huge worldwide treasure hunt! I plan to definitely geocache in the future and I imagine that I will enjoy it. Geocaching is an adventure as long as you do it for the right reasons as Jennings mentioned, to not make “it from a means to an end”(209).