Three featured road trips from USA, Germany, and New Zealand
By this time, you're probably aware that we are celebrating 15 years of geocaching this summer. We're using the theme of road trips to make it fun for everyone. You have the opportunity to complete five geocaching quests, each of which will earn you a souvenir for your geocaching profile. Complete all five and you'll earn a sixth, extra special souvenir.
Today, we highlight a three phenomenal road trips to take in three very different parts of the earth: Route 66 in the United States, a north to south bike tour of Germany, and a “New Zealand's greatest hits” series of caches inspired by The Lord of the Rings saga.
United States of America – U.S. Route 66
150 miles stretch of Route 66 from Barstow, CA to Needles, AZ
U.S. Route 66 (US 66 or Route 66) originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, California, covering over 2,400 miles (3,862 km). In the 150 miles stretch between Barstow, California towards Needles, Arizona lies a power trail of 800 geocaches. A power trail is path with a large number of caches placed within close proximity to each other (though no closer than .1 miles apart). All the caches in this series are on the same side of the road; therefore, this series should be done heading eastbound.
GC2J17A – 001-Route 66. The first of 800 caches along the Route 66 power trail from Barstow,CA to Needles, AZ.
GC2K087 – 400-Route 66 is a adorned with piles of rocks (SPR?) used to spell out where ‘cachers are from, and the number “400”.
GC2K6TW – 800-Route 66 is the final stop for this power trail, but unfortunately temporarily disabled due to repair work being done to the road due to damage from the flash floods of September 2014.
A few caches along the route are not part of the series, such as GC1K592 – Kick up your feet! There lies an dead tree covering in old shoes. So, if the power trail wears yours out, you could always swap for an older, dirtier, more busted pair.
GC1K592 – Kick up your feet! is not part of the Route 66 power trail, but definitely a quirky stop along the route.
Germany – Deutschland-Tour
GC3JH5D Deutschland-Tour runs from north to south Germany and is meant to be completed on bicycles
GC3JH5D Deutschland-Tour is a 26 stage (with one alternate) Multi-Cache that runs from the north of Germany to the South, covering over 1,600 kilometers (994 miles). This is not a road trip for the weak, as it's meant to be done by bicycle. The geocache listing page describes it best (German to English translation):
Es geht also um eine Radtour über 1600km durch 7 Bundesländer vom nördlichsten Punkt Deutschlands bis zum Südlichsten. Ja, richtig gelesen, die Dose liegt in der Nähe von Oberstdorf im Allgäu.
Ja, das ist völlig ernst gemeint und: ja, es ist sehr weit. Aber die Belohnung sind unendlich viele neue Eindrücke und das unglaubliche Gefühl, einmal aus eigener Kraft das ganze Land durchquert zu haben.
This is a bike ride of over 1600km through seven of Germany's states, from the northernmost point to the southernmost. Yes, you read correctly, the cache is near Oberstdorf in the Allgäu region. Yes, that's meant entirely seriously and, yes, it's very far. But payoffs are new experiences and the incredible feeling of having travelled across an entire country under one's own power.
GC3JH5D Station 1 at the north end of Germany says, “Of course, we begin our tour at the northernmost point of Germany and let the solitude of the place affect us. Only the constant blowing wind, the sound of the waves and the cries of sea birds break the silence.”
GC3JH5D Just a typical day of beauty
GC3JH5D Rainbows and lush valleys are a big visual payoff when your thighs are begging for mercy
GC3JH5D The Final stage has a beautiful spot for reflecting on this life-changing journey
Middle-earth (aka New Zealand) – The Lord of the Rings
Focusing on New Zealand's North Island, there are a few of the Lord of the Rings inspired geocaches
There are so many great geocaches related to The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy throughout out the world, but let's just focus on New Zealand's North Island. The dramatic landscapes and large uninhabited areas make it easy to understand why all of the movies were filmed here. I'm sure many geocachers could add a dozen more great spots to cache onto this list – and please do! But here's some of the top geocaches dedicated to this story:
GC1HCXK Hobbiton (Waikato) is a “popular tourist destination, and earned the esteemed honor of “Geocache of the Week”. It's so popular that it's actually getting “biggified”.
GC3VBMT There And Back Again is a simple multi is placed near the location of the filming of scenes in The Shire from both The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.
GC24VXZ Ngauruhoe – Mt Doom (Central Plateau) is an Earthcache featuring the youngest of three volcanoes and is only 2,500 years old!
GC4B4AR “The Shire” – Rangitikei packs a powerful punch despite its hobbity size
EarthCache GC19NVM Putangirua Pinnacles was featured as the fictional Dimholt Road, Approach to Paths of the Dead in “The Return of the King”
Keep in mind if you plan it right, since New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, you could geocache all summer long, twice a year! There are countless journeys to take while geocaching. Have you taken a geocaching road trip? What would be your ultimate geocaching road trip? Tell us in the comments below!