Loose Ends: The search continues

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Dolly Viscardi
For years, the search for buried treasure has been taking place right before our eyes. One never knew when you’d happen upon someone wielding a metal detector, combing over an abandoned or empty lot. This area was never known for precious metals, although a few residents moved here after living near abandoned silver or gold mines. The search for small metal objects, small change most likely, continued anyway.
Mining equipment strewn across the mountainsides of other small mountain towns give a glimpse back to the days back when the mountains were crawling with miners. Usually these residents got the bug to spend every minute of their spare time looking for metal objects in the most unusual places. Some years there would be regular sightings, other years hardly a soul. The trend seemed to fade out, but a couple of versions of hunting for “treasure” is gaining popularity.
Geocaching is a treasure hunting game that uses GPS devices to search for and hide containers. Using map coordinates to pin the locations, avid geocachers seem to delight in the search. Watching other people locate the places to hide their containers is said to be muggling, which sounds like it is straight out of the “Lord of The Rings” trilogy.
Letterboxing is another treasure hunt game that is becoming more and more popular, as rather than describing the location with numbers, narrative clues are written out. This type of hunt depends on clues that are shared online. Each box contains a rubber stamp with the letterboxer’s special symbol (unless they purchase ready made stamps)
The invention of such games isn’t new, as letterboxing is said to date back more than a hundred years.
The twist to the increased popularity of this type of activity is that the letterboxers and the geocachers are said to have turf wars. How there can be a lack of sportsmanship for such a benign activity? The only competition that is apparent would be against oneself, but as in most sports nowadays, people will find a way to compete somehow.
Anything that gets people outdoors and away from their computers and television sets is probably a good thing. And the search goes on.
— dolly@theheraldtimes.com