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Monday, November 11, 2013
That's what happened when I combined two of my passions, liberating garden gnomes and giving them a break from their usual surroundings and tracking down surprising treasures in the pastime, geocaching.
First off I'm a geocacher. I have a GPS receiver permanently on me and when I'm driving around
GPS devices and GPS trackers have now been with us for years and years, I've utilized them for locating surprises when I'm geocaching, traveling around Derby, or around considerably of the UK.
Some of the a lot more touching factors I've located are a tiny Cabbage Patch doll with the story of its life written by its earlier owner, a worn-out Rolex watch with a photo of a Vietnam veteran and even the laminated photo of someone's mother - all stuff with fantastic sentimental products to their owners.
Before the advent of GPS I was a gnome liberator though. I'd hold an eye out for garden gnomes by the road, make a note of the address, and then send it on a planet trip.
The initial factor I would do would be to take a photo of the gnome in front of St Mary's Church in Derby before posting the picture to the original address and posting the gnome plus the address to one of my buddies in Dallas, Hamburg, Sydney or Xiamen.
They would send pictures to me and to the owner and it produced acquiring pictures genuinely exciting simply because there would be some thing new every two to three months.
I have liberated 20 gnomes in 15 years and managed to return all but three, and I consider the gnomes that came back have been broader, a lot more traveled and wiser.
The advent of email produced factors considerably simpler. All of a sudden we could get pictures back quickly and see an whole network of friendly men and women around the world who shared the very same interests that I did.
How cool would it be if we could add GPS tracking technologies 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 information and straightforward to stick to directions on how to function and charge the true time GPS tracker.
I then prepared a notebook along with a pencil (and pencil sharpener) for men and women to leave their thoughts on. Then I shopped around for a miniature garden gnome - one tiny sufficient to carry around with you - along with a tough flash drive. I printed out the standardized geocaching note that the internet site advisable. It's an easy note that tells men and women what they located, to 'trade' the contents of the geocache with some thing they brought and to create down their thoughts about the individual belongings they located and left in the geocache. I also modified it to consist of an email address I produced specifically for this endeavor involving car GPS units.
I asked the gnome's tour guides to take a photo of the gnome somewhere famous, to leave a copy of the picture in the flash drive and then to send a copy to my email address.
Since the gnome was tracked I was capable to keep track its movements in practically true time and it was fantastic enjoyable checking out the movements of the gnome.
I was also capable to acquire very a few 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's produced very a lot of excitement. I consider at least three other GPS devices have began planet travels given that then and I look forward to acquiring my own gnome back from his world trip.