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Over the years a small group of us get together once a year for a hunt somewhere in the western States. It starts each year with a phone call or an email with one simple word borrowed from a movie that has been a rally cry for years. For us, it is an invitation for a few days in the field where great friends get together to catch up, make plans for future hunts and find some gold.
The word is “Gumball” and generally I make a call to the entire group around 5 am and most of the time by 6 am everyone knows the meeting place and time. I make arrangements a month in advance of the hunt to give everyone a chance to put affairs in order and to be at the meeting point with a clear head and ready to hunt.
It was getting close to the time that we normally have our hunt and I was out spending a day with another friend and fellow Geocacher checking some of his caches when it hit me that the upcoming hunt was going to be different.
Using a GPS mapping program on my computer, then downloading it to my GPS I picked a spot about 75 miles from the actual hunt site on the map and made the call, supplying everyone with only GPS coordinates and the meeting time.
Arriving a day early I started from the nugget patch that we were going to hunt and working back to the original meeting place burying 4 Altoids cans each with a slip of paper containing the coordinates to the next can. My only concern, would any of the gang think to break out a detector at the first location.
The next day everyone arrived at the first spot within a few minutes of each other. After the hellos were exchanged and a bit of catching up I walked to my truck and called back to the gang that I would see them in the nugget patch and drove off.
It was about 20 minutes when my cell phone rang and small barrage of expletives were tossed out. After the laughing had settled down Tim said he remembered that I geocached, so he pulled out a detector and started hunting. Within a few minutes they found the tin and were on their way. It took a few hours but we all met in the new area. We looked things over laughed and carried on about having to hunt cans on the side of roads and one behind a closed service station. I do give them a lot of credit on that one. It seems I buried the can where the shop used to throw out the old lead weights off of tires. Later in the weekend I found out that they brought a couple of dozen of them with them. I found this out because my friends (said with sarcasm) managed to get just about all of them under my coil. We walked the ground kicked rocks and made plans for an early start in the morning then headed back to town to get checked into the hotel and have some dinner.
We had a great weekend detecting, finding gold, sharing stories and planning the next trip. The evening talks around the dinner table were spent looking over our finds talking about the next day of hunting glad that we have the chance to hunt together then wondering where the next journey will take us.