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Geocachers converge on McDuffie

The global positioning systems pointed to Thomson last week-end and brought in people of all ages from Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina and Georgia. The second annual Thomson Treasure Hunt Geocaching Event began Friday at the Depot and ended Sunday morning at Eubanks Park in Dearing.

Organizer Rhonda Hollimon said approximately 150 people attended this year's event.

"Everyone had a good time," she said. "We want to thank Thomson/McDuffie County for allowing us to take over for a weekend. A special thanks to Elizabeth Vance (CVB Director) for everything she did during the various events. We are already planning next year's event."

Geocaching (pronounced "gee-oh-cashing") is a high-tech hobby in which folks go on a scavenger hunt using GPS coordinates. In geocaching, individuals and organizations have set up caches all over the world and share the locations on the internet. GPS users then use the location coordinates to find the cache.

There are many permanent caches in McDuffie County. Caches can range from extremely small to very large, and can contain everything from custom-made coins to small toys. The only rule is, if something is taken, something must be left in its place. Some caches contain only a paper log for people to sign.

Last year, the local tourism board had special McDuffie County coins made for the Thomson Treasure Hunt with the date and a picture of the Depot on the front.

In addition to caching, this past week-end's events included fishing and a history lesson at the Public Fishing Area in Dearing, informational sessions at the Depot, a Poker Run, a geocoin poker tournament, a flash mob hosted by the Thomson Fire Department and a clean-up project at Eubanks Park in Dearing.

A flash mob is a 15-minute meeting that is filled with mini-events such as candy being thrown out and a group photo being taken. The Thomson Treasure Hunt flash mob was held at the Rotary Park on Main Street, with the fire department temporarily deputizing everyone and giving them plastic fire hats and badges, then sounding the sirens. The flash mob took place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, in coordination with the World Wide Flash Mob, in which others were taking place all over the world at the same time.

For more information on geocaching, visit To keep up with the Thomson event and next year's schedule, check in the upcoming months, or call Ms. Vance at 706-597-1000.

Web posted on Thursday, May 07, 2009

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