Today’s word of the day: Ripsnorter

\RIP-SNOR-ter\ noun: something extraordinary, humdinger
I spent the labor day long weekend in the city with my sister.  I was excited to have her come up, not only was it her birthday but the weather was beautiful and the city was a little more “mellow” than usual.  I had plenty on the “to do” list: Italian dinner at Novita followed by a rooftop bar crawl Friday, an afternoon Mets bar with a visit to Ed’s Lobster Bar on the way back, and a Sunday trip to the zoo or… geocaching.
What?
My sister received a GPS for Christmas, for the obvious reason that her sense of direction needed a bit of assistance.  And Mindy Garmin (I learned this weekend that the GPS has a name) introduced Cory to geocaching. 
According to Wikipedia: Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”) anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container (usually a tupperware or ammo box) containing a logbook. Larger containers can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value. Geocaching is most often described as a “game of high-tech hide and seek”, sharing many aspects with orienteering, treasure-hunting, and waymarking.  Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica.  As of September 2009, there are over 893,500 active geocaches over the world.
And while Geocaching isn’t an official word in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Geocaching.com (a ripsnorter of a website) certainly makes a great case for the hobby.  Cachers are required to sign-up, create a profile, keep a log of the caches you visit, etc.  Social networking for global trekkers anyone?
There are a few basic rules to abide by when caching:
1. Once you get close to the cache, act stealth.  Non-cachers can’t know what you’re up to, or the cache could be compromised.
2. Once you find the cache, take a trinket from the box and leave one of your own.  Think, take a penny, leave a penny. 
Well, because geocaching was very much like a spy mission (in my opinion), I was intrigued.  The website lists over 2100 cache locations within reasonable distance of my zipcode.  Since I was worried about going “off the beaten path in Central Park,” Cory and I set off to find a cache located of Chambers street in Tribeca on Sunday afternoon.  It was a kid’s cache, and Cory wanted to leave a travel bug which – without making too many references to money in this blog – was like those dollars bills you get that have “where’s George been” written all over it.  Cachers who find a travel bug, once again, log into the website and they are able to view where has been.  This particular bug was an airplane, had originated in Canada, and stayed dormant in Delaware for the past few months.  I think it may have also been to the Grand Canyon. 
We made our way to the park and as we neared the location, I was truthfully excited.  Mindy was chiming in to let us know that we had arrived at our destination, and were within 100 feet of the exact coordinates.  It so happened that three nomadic homeless men followed our path.  Instead of looking for the cache, they were searching the trash cans, but we didn’t feel that it was appropriate to disclose the location of the kids cache.  I was more worried that they’d get territorial.  
Sadly, we abandoned geocaching for a search for fried chicken and albeit difficult, we found a Popeye’s without Mindy’s help.