There always seems to be a hot debate among geocachers about cemetery caches.
Some love ’em.
Some hate ’em.
Some are in the middle.
I’m one of those middle guys. I love the old, out-of-the-way cemeteries. You know, the ones that aren’t active (or not very active), on an old country road and have a boatload of history in them.
The active cemeteries, not so much as you never know when you’ll encounter a funeral, people pay respect etc. I’d rather avoid those.
But the old cemeteries… with all the history and everything else, they can be quite the interesting places to take people.
That being said, what seems to be a more recurring theme with cemetery hides is not telling me why I’m here. In my area and other areas I’ve traveled to and found these caches, I’ve noticed this theme. Though people seem to look around before hiding the cache, I’m left to wonder if it’s more than a cache hide.
I recently went on a cache outing with Peter and Judy — the Devil Duckies. We had a fun-filled afternoon of caching and we hit several cemetery caches. In each one, we spent a lot of time peeking around, looking at headstones and checking the historic significance of each place. In reality, the geocache was just an added bonus to the day.
However, the cache page didn’t mention the amazing things we found at two of the cemeteries — the burials of nearly 20 people who fought in the Revolutionary War. One of the cemeteries had more than a dozen buried in its hallowed grounds alone. This cemetery also had two World War I vets buried here and one from the Korean War.
In the other cemetery, there were six Revolutionary War vets buried there. They were spread out over the cemetery and it wasn’t easy to find them all. But they were there and I’m glad we walked around and looked at all the headstones. It really gave me an historic feel to the area.
This post, however, isn’t meant to call anyone out, so please don’t look at it that way. It’s not directed at anyone in particular, rather the who geocaching community when it comes to placing cemetery caches.
This is a trend I’ve seen throughout geocaching with cemetery caches I’ve visited. Often, the cache listing will note that the cache is near an old cemetery, it might point out something (such as old headstones) and will also stress that the cache is outside the boundaries of the cemetery (after all, caches aren’t supposed to be hidden in cemeteries).
Some people point out a few small things. Some people go in depth. Some people just mention the cache.
Old cemeteries usually house a lot of history. I don’t expect someone to look up details on the whole cemetery. But if you walk around the cemetery (as I hope most cache hiders would do), check things out. Find the relevant information. I would personally note if veterans from a war, such as the Revolutionary War, are buried in those grounds.
The Revolutionary War is a significant war in our history, seeing as, ya know, our country gained its freedom from it and all. So to know that these patriots are buried in these old, forgotten cemeteries is a great way to make sure people come not just to geocache, but to pay respects to our forefathers.
So this is a shout out to those who place and those who visit cemetery caches. Take the time to check everything out. And if there’s something significant, place it in the description or the log. Make those who come find the place realize where they are going. Remember, the game isn’t just about the numbers (though they are cool to have!), but about where the hider takes the finder. I appreciate places like this because it’s a walk through history. I just hope others take the same time to look around and realize where they are before zipping away for the next find.
You can see more of my photos from this day’s adventure at this Flickr set.
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com.