31 Days of Souvenirs

The idea: Find a Geocache every day for the entire month of August.

The reward: Souvenirs.

For some, it read as a challenge.  For others, it read like a gimmick.  For me…just another excuse (like I needed one) to go find some cache.

This year, I am already trying to tackle the 366 Day Challenge.  Starting with at least 90 days to fill I am now down to around 40.  I have every day of the calender filled up to August 31st.  This has been my most productive year since 2010!  Not only has 2013 had more finds than either 2011 or 2012, but I’ve almost filled in my Fizzy grid thanks to a hike & bike challenge trail in Nebraska that my geobuddy-in-crime CaptainMath and I did in June.  You might remember that I joined CaptainMath for some caching fun during his visit to KC in 2012.  That trail was very interesting merely for what it taught me about my own stats.

I had planned on taking it easy over the summer since I had my summer months filled in.  When I heard about the 31 Days challenge Groundspeak was putting together, I sort of blew it off at first.  The main “reward” of the challenge were souvenirs.  A souvenir every day of the month?  It came off a bit gimmicky to me.  And it seemed that was the consensus for a number of geocachers.  But as I thought about it, I came to the realization that while the souvenir’s would look nice (each one is hand drawn), I was just liking the idea of trying to find geocaches.  Why not bolster my numbers a bit while finding some more geocaches?  The souvenirs are just a nice flourish to the finds.

Here you can see a calender showing each souvenir that you can earn.  At one point, I thought it would be cool to find a geocache related to some of the images.  I felt that days 2, 3, 17, 25, 27, 28, & 30 might be a bit hard to do.  Day 17 would require a space flight to the ISS cache, while day 27 would require diving (and I am not certified to dive).  I might be able to ask a friend to give me a balloon ride to a cache for Day 3, but something tells me it might be a bit hard/expensive to pull off.  The others might require some trips I cannot afford, but would love to make.

So right now, it is August 11th.  I am going strong with 11 days in a row.  One cool thing is that I have found geocaches in three different states to help with the streak.  Days 10 and 11 gave me some Minnesota caches (and a new county), while day 9 got me North Dakota.  I’m planning to find a few caches on the way home so I can through South Dakota and some more Minnesota counties into my stats.  Iowa won’t be too hard as I live close to the boarder.  And if I’m lucky I will get Nebraska and Kansas while I’m at it.

I was able to hit my 4,000th find this summer while vacationing in Southern Missouri.  It was a fun hike that was recommended by my buddy Doug_HollyNKC recommended a year earlier.  My wife and I enjoyed both the hike and seeing Soldier’s Cave.  It was not until after the fact that I realized I had missed an opportunity.   My favorite milestone, #3000 – Project A.P.E., was met June 28th, 2010.  On June 28th, 2013, I was only six caches from hitting 4,000.  I like having caches that I deem worthy of a milestone for any major milestone.  I did not plan well enough to make my 4,000th be exactly three years from my 3,00oth.  Oh well.

With school starting back up for me next week, hitting all 31 days may seem a bit tougher.  Thankfully, lots of caches exist around home and work, and the space in between, for me to not only get the 31 days but also finish my 366.


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