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Saturday, November 02, 2013
That is what occurred when I combined two of my passions, liberating garden gnomes and providing them a break from their usual surroundings and tracking down surprising treasures in the pastime, geocaching.
First off I am a geocacher. I have a GPS receiver permanently on me and when I am driving around
GPS devices and GPS trackers have now been with us for years and years, I've employed them for locating surprises when I am geocaching, traveling around Derby, or around a lot of the UK.
Some of the much more touching factors I've located are a tiny Cabbage Patch doll with the story of its life written by its preceding owner, a worn-out Rolex watch with a photo of a Vietnam veteran and even the laminated photo of someone's mother - all things with wonderful sentimental products to their owners.
Just before the advent of GPS I was a gnome liberator even though. I'd keep an eye out for garden gnomes by the road, make a note of the address, and then send it on a world trip.
The first thing I would do would be to take a photo of the gnome in front of St Mary's Church in Derby prior to posting the picture to the original address and posting the gnome plus the address to one of my pals in Dallas, Hamburg, Sydney or Xiamen.
They would send pictures to me and to the owner and it made getting pictures actually exciting due to the fact there would be something new every two to 3 months.
I have liberated 20 gnomes in 15 years and managed to return all but 3, and I believe the gnomes that came back have been broader, much more traveled and wiser.
The advent of email made issues a lot less difficult. All of a sudden we could get pictures back instantaneously and see an entire network of friendly individuals around the world who shared the identical interests that I did.
How cool would it be if we could add GPS tracking technology to this.
About 12 months ago I figured out how to do that.
I got a GPS tracker and a hollow garden gnome. I also added a notepad, my contact specifics and simple to comply with guidelines on how to operate and charge the actual time GPS tracker.
I then prepared a notebook along with a pencil (and pencil sharpener) for individuals to leave their thoughts on. Then I shopped around for a miniature garden gnome - one small sufficient to carry around with you - along with a sturdy flash drive. I printed out the standardized geocaching note that the website advisable. It's a basic note that tells individuals what they located, to 'trade' the contents of the geocache with something they brought and to create down their thoughts about the individual belongings they located and left in the geocache. I also modified it to contain an email address I produced particularly for this endeavor involving GPS navigation device.
I asked the gnome's tour guides to take a photo of the gnome somewhere renowned, to leave a copy of the picture in the flash drive and then to send a copy to my email address.
Simply because the gnome was tracked I was capable to keep track its movements in nearly actual time and it was wonderful exciting checking out the movements of the gnome.
I was also capable to receive really a couple of pictures of my tiny garden gnome from all over the world, from France and Belgium to Egypt and Dubai.
I have shared all movements with all of my fellow gnome liberators and it is produced really a lot of excitement. I believe at least 3 other car GPS units have started world travels given that then and I look forward to getting my own gnome back from his world trip.