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The Game of Hide and Seek

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  • | 4:00 a.m. August 15, 2012
Geocaching enthusiast Scott Veix said he always is looking for creative places in which to hide a new cache. "I like taking somebody to a place they don’t know is there," he said.
Geocaching enthusiast Scott Veix said he always is looking for creative places in which to hide a new cache. "I like taking somebody to a place they don’t know is there," he said.
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EAST COUNTY — Braden Woods resident Scott Veix admits he likes hiding a bit more than seeking, but either way, he has fun.

A veteran in the world of geocaching, Veix has found a countless number of caches, or hidden containers located by their GPS coordinates. Moreover, he has about 350 of his own caches stashed throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties for other geocaching enthusiasts to find.

“It’s very simple, but there’s a lot of different aspects to it,” said Veix, a mechanical engineer. “This gave me an outlet for my creative side.”

Veix has now lent his expertise to Manatee County, helping its Natural Resources Department with a new Taking Flight GeoTour through the county’s preserve systems. Caches in the GeoTour go live Monday, Aug. 20.

Participants can use their GPS devices or smartphones to locate hidden the geocaches, which are bird-themed and have an educational focus.

The GeoTour is free, and participants can obtain a free Taking Flight GeoTour Passport at the department’s office at 415 10th St. W., Bradenton or online at After participants find 12 of 15 caches and complete questions in their passports, they can turn their passport in for a trackable tag, which can be placed in another cache and tracked as it travels around the world.

Natural Resources Volunteer and Education Division Manager Melissa Nell said the geotour is a way for the county to educate geocachers about Manatee’s sensitive lands and restrictions on placing geocaches in certain areas, while also building enthusiasm for geocaching in general, and for exploring the county’s preserves.

Tags, like the one being offered by the county through the program, showcase the aspect of geocaching that got Veix hooked on the hobby about eight years ago.

Through genealogical research, Veix had discovered a lost relative, with whom he connected, in New Zealand. Both he and his relative had sons named Mitch, although the children were about 16 years apart in age.

When Veix learned about the Groundspeak Travel Bug, a trackable tag you attach to an item, he purchased one and attached it to his son’s old bicycle tag. Soon, the tags were on a mission to reach Veix’s lost relatives, at the hands of fellow geocachers.

“Within a couple of weeks it had been picked up in Tampa and taken to Colorado,” Veix said. “The person who took it there had a business associate in Australia. They knew someone in New Zealand. They had someone take it to the other Mitch. When that happened, I was totally addicted.”

Since then, Veix has continued his journey finding caches while on trips, as well, but most enjoys finding clever ways to disguise and place caches of his own.

“I get a lot of pleasure out of reading the logs (for my caches),” he said. “I like making it fun for everyone. I like the creative side of creating hides.”

The hobby of geocaching, he said, also is great for families to do together, because it encourages families to spend time together outside and individuals of any age can participate.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

Camo Caches
Caches can be virtually anything, and can be hidden almost anywhere. They can be anything from an eraser-sized container that magnetically connects to metal framing, to 5-gallon buckets.

Some geocachers even disguise their caches by making them part of something else, or decorating them a certain way. They can be an old cow bone, a fake orange hanging from a tree, a frog or a squirrel, for example.

Groundspeak’s is the go-to place for information about geocaching. Members of the website have access to a database of geocaches throughout the country and world, and can use it to track their finds, offer feedback on caches and share other information.



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