Pocahontas County CVB issues the Mad Gab Geo-cache Challenge
The Pocahontas County CVB’s Mad Gab Geo-cache Challenge kicked off on the first of May. Participants in the challenge will use GPS coordinates to locate clues stashed around Pocahontas County. Sarah Irvine is the group and event coordinator at the CVB and she helps organize the challenge every year.
“It’s an opportunity for people to be able to kind of do a fun treasure hunt,” explains Irvine. “Basically you go to geochaching.com, and you can download some GPS coordinates, and those coordinates will take you to a location. You’ll find either an actual physical box or a little log that you can fill out, and it’s a treasure hunt. In our case, we’ve designed ours to where it’s a challenge. So once you’ve completed the caches that we’ve set up for the challenge, you can then get a coin that we’ve designed and put together. A lot of areas do challenges, and at the end of that, they collect those coins.”
Irvine said this year’s challenge coins are especially significant, they were made right here in Pocahontas County.
“Some staff at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory has been experimenting there on location in Green Bank,” says Irvine. “And we worked with them and they’ve actually created the coin for this year for us. So we’re really excited about that. We think people are going to really enjoy that.”
This marks the third year the CVB has organized a geo-cache challenge.
“I think that people like to just go out individually and just kind of look for just individual caches, as well, not so much have be a part of a challenge, but the challenge makes it fun. We’ve kind of set it up where each year they might be going to somewhere a little bit different throughout the county, but places that we definitely want people to be able to visit. This year we have, I think, some good spots to go to.”
Irvine said this year’s challenge is going to be a little different than in years past.
“We’ve put an extra little twist in on our challenge this year just to make it more fun and interesting. The game Mad Gab is a game that probably a lot of people are really familiar with. They’re given a phrase that when you first look at it, it doesn’t make much sense, but as you kind of repeat what the phrase is or says, it kind of starts to kind of make sense to your ears. So these phrases we have are county related I think, and they’ll go to find these phrases, they’ll decode them, pretty much, and they can bring them back into the office here. That’s how they get their coin.”
The CVB’s geo-cache challenge started on May 1, and it’ll run through the end of October, but Irvine said they already had their first competitor complete the challenge.
“She came in yesterday. She’s a local. Her name is Julia Williams. So she’s already completed the challenge and she got our first finder gift and she’s already collected her coin. So it’s already off to a really good start.”
The Mad Gab Geo-Cache Challenge won’t cost you anything, but Irvine said you’ll definitely need a GPS unit to participate, and you’ll want to register with geocaching.com. It won’t cost you anything to register with the website, but that’s where you’ll find all the coordinates for the challenge.
Irvine was even willing to give AMR listeners a hint or two.
“To help you through this challenge, we have told people that they might need to use a magnifying glass and also binoculars. Once they’re at these locations, they might want to use either of those two things just to kind of make sure they can get what we’ve put out there for them.”
Aside from getting people active and outdoors, Irvine said the Mad Gab Challenge gives participants a chance to really get to know the area.
“Each year we try to put it in different parts of the county. Maybe in spots that people wouldn’t regularly go, or know to go, or that we know people enjoy going to. So it’s a good way to explore the county.”
For more information on the Mad Gab Geo-cache Challenge, contact the Pocahontas County CVB.
“They can call us here, or stop into our office in Marlinton, or they can go to our website pocahontascountywv.com and go to our geo-caching section and get some more information, and it’s all set up on geocaching.com and you just have to search Pocahontas County Mad Gab.