Geocaching with the Emmis Interactive Design Team

Around 3:00 PM, a bunch of us at work headed out as a group to take a break, and to pick up some smoothies. About nine of us walked down Michigan to Osaka for their wonderful fruit smoothies.

While we were there, I fired up my Geocaching iPhone app and spotted a nearby cache. Walt had been talking with Jane and Utopia earlier in the day, explaining how geocaching works and the various finds he’s participated in.

Waiting around for our drinks, I saw that there was a cache just up the street, near State . It was entitled Read a Book, as it was hidden somewhere across the street from the Harold Washington library.

When we got to the corner, we spread out and started looking all over the place: light posts, street signs, moving in and out of the bus stop. I know we got a ton of weird looks, as we probably came off as a group of mental patients who were really interested in that corner for some reason.

Using my iPhone app, I wasn’t able to pin down the location very accurately. I got us close, but I never seemed to be able to get closer than 60 feet away. We walked around the intersection, and spent maybe 10 minutes looking in vain.

A few folks peeled away and headed back to the office. But a few of us stuck around and kept looking a little more, wandering up and down Van Buren a bit. I remembered that, accompanying the description of each cache… there usually is a “hint” of some kind.

In the past, the hints I’ve seen more or less give the location away. But this one pointed us in the right direction via a Seinfeld quote. Soon after, we tracked down the cache!

The EI Design team, looking around at State and Van Buren.

Found it!

Signed and official!

And here’s a little video that Utopia shot, right when we found the cache:

When we went back to the office and told Walt, he mentioned that the GPS signals were notoriously bad downtown. You had to rely almost exclusively on the hints, according to him. Good thing to know for next time, and I’ll make sure I read up on the cache a bit more before setting out to find it.

The Reverse Geocache Puzzle: Locked Box That Only Opens at a Specific Location
Geocaching for the First Time: Logan Square
Mysterious Lights at the Harold Washington Library
One Book, One Chicago

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