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Joy of Geocaching Uncorrected Manuscript

Joy of Geocaching Uncorrected Manuscript

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Published by Paul Gillin
This is the complete, uncorrected manuscript of the book The Joy of Geocaching, due to be published by Linden Press in late 2009 or early 2010.

Geocaching is a global treasure hunt that has exploded in popularity in recent years with the proliferation of inexpensive global positioning system devices. Geocaches are treasure troves that are hidden and found by geocaching hobbyists, who share their experiences on websites. Millions of people have become geocachers in the last three or four years, finding it to be an ideal way to make new friends, improve health and vitality and reconnect with the outdoors.

Geocaching is more than just a game. To the growing ranks of enthusiasts, it is a passion. In interviews with dozens of dedicated geocachers, Paul and Dana Gillin have unearthed a treasure trove of stories about how the pursuit of hidden treasure has helped people heal frayed marriages, establish new friendships and even save lives. The Joy of Geocaching is a how-to book with a human dimension. In addition to covering the technical aspects of the game, it describes in first-person detail the wonderful human stories that emerge from it.

This is the complete, uncorrected manuscript of the book The Joy of Geocaching, due to be published by Linden Press in late 2009 or early 2010.

Geocaching is a global treasure hunt that has exploded in popularity in recent years with the proliferation of inexpensive global positioning system devices. Geocaches are treasure troves that are hidden and found by geocaching hobbyists, who share their experiences on websites. Millions of people have become geocachers in the last three or four years, finding it to be an ideal way to make new friends, improve health and vitality and reconnect with the outdoors.

Geocaching is more than just a game. To the growing ranks of enthusiasts, it is a passion. In interviews with dozens of dedicated geocachers, Paul and Dana Gillin have unearthed a treasure trove of stories about how the pursuit of hidden treasure has helped people heal frayed marriages, establish new friendships and even save lives. The Joy of Geocaching is a how-to book with a human dimension. In addition to covering the technical aspects of the game, it describes in first-person detail the wonderful human stories that emerge from it.

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Published by: Paul Gillin on Sep 30, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/19/2014

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The Joy of Geocaching
Page 1 of 235
A note from Paul & Dana
You are reading a very preliminary version of
The Joy of Geocaching
. It includes text and basic placeholder graphics. However, it has not been copy edited, there are no chapter headings and illustrations are not of final quality. We welcome your comments and corrections at contact@joyofgeocaching.com. However, please don’t correct spelling or grammatical errors. Those will all be fixed by the time the book publishes in late 2009. Thanks!
 
The Joy of Geocaching
Page 2 of 235
Dedication
To Dana’s parents, who taught us by example to rejoice in lifelong learning
 
The Joy of Geocaching
Page 3 of 235
Introduction
 In early 2003 Ed Manley decided to kill himself. Life couldn’t have been much worse for the then-49-year-old veteran. A series of mishaps resulting in forty-two surgeries over almost thirty years featuring bone grafts, chronic bone infection, amputation and repeated prolonged recoveries had left him with one leg, an irreparable broken neck and in severe chronic pain that would never go away. Finally unable to work, he sold his business and began a long slide into depression. By 2003 Manley was nearly bedridden, in constant pain, addicted to massive amounts of the pain medicine Fentanyl and ashamed of himself and of the burden he believed he was to his family. "I saw no hope for a functional life. I wanted out of here." he says “Whatever is next has to be better than this.” Manley planned to go fishing, his favorite hobby. He would drive his pontoon boat to the center of Lay Lake near his Birmingham, AL home, where he would stage a realistic-looking fall from the boat. His empty boat would be found after he quietly slipped into the water. No more pain, and this plan would relieve his family of his care while leaving them with sufficient life insurance to carry on. As he was loading his boat on the chosen morning the postman arrived with a package. Inside was a Garmin eTrex global positioning satellite receiver. Manley had forgotten that he had ordered the gadget months earlier in a mail-order promotion. Even in his hour of darkness, the gadget freak in him was intrigued. What was the new toy good for? Manley stopped loading the boat and went to his computer, where Google led him to Geocaching.com, a website dedicated to a new kind of global treasure hunt. People pointed each other to hidden objects by sharing latitude-longitude coordinates. He saw that one of these so-called geocaches was near his old high school. The listing description for ‘The Mountie Cache’ mentioned a hole in the fence as a landmark. "I knew that hole very well, because we used to go there to smoke." he says “I wanted to see if this GPS thing could navigate me to that place.” Although wheelchair-bound and in what he terms “seriously sorry shape” Manley struggled out to find the treasure: an ammunition can full of toys. “Found it! Cool!” For the first time in years he was excited about something. And the website said geocaches were hidden all over! Arriving home exhausted Manley was faced with a decision: “Do I kill myself or get healthy? Killing myself really didn’t sound too appealing, so that left getting healthy” he says. Geocaching would be his road to recovery. The goal: “Higher Than A Hawk,” a cache placed at the top of a nearby mountain. Finding that cache would prove that he still had the power to recover. The first step was to get off drugs, so Manley threw away $1,600 worth of pain killers. Withdrawal was agonizing, but at least there was a goal.

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