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Enthusiasts 'cache in' at annual event

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  • | 4:00 a.m. April 2, 2014
Photos by Amanda Sebastiano Carol and Rick Ohlendorf have found 3,741 caches since they started geocaching in 2010.
Photos by Amanda Sebastiano Carol and Rick Ohlendorf have found 3,741 caches since they started geocaching in 2010.
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EAST COUNTY — Even after spending hundreds of hours creating 48 caches and hiding them throughout 549 acres, Carol and Rick Ohlendorf relish the days to come.

This weekend, the East County couple will share their love of geocaching — hiding caches, or objects that can only be found by their GPS coordinates, for other hunters to find — with fellow enthusiasts and members of the public.

“What’s not to like?” Rick Ohlendorf said. “It gets you outdoors, and you get to play detective; it’s like a high-tech treasure hunt.”

For the last year, the couple has worked to put together their third geocaching event, to be held April 4 through April 6, at Lake Manatee State Park. Event times vary by day, by activity.

This year’s event features television show and movie themes.

The hunt will feature “Ranco’s Trivia and Campfire” April 4 — an event in which participants will answer 100 questions based on films spanning 1950 to 1999.

Campers who stay overnight at the park, or attendees who return the following day, will participate in the main event, “Lake Manatee Geo-Event III.” Saturday, cachers will comb the park for the hidden caches, not for prizes, for but for bragging rights.

Once event-goers find a hidden item, they must find the cache log, on which they will record their names.
The final day of the event, participants will thank the park rangers for hosting the event during the Cache in Trash Out (CITO).

“It’s our turn to give back to the Park,” Carol Ohlendorf said. “Manny Perez, park manager, will have some different cleanups that need to be done and the geocachers will work from 9 a.m. for a couple of hours working on these chores.”

The Ohlendorfs bargained a day of community service from the geocachers to land the venue and to help remove debris left over from the previous days’ activities.

After the weekend festivities conclude, the Ohlendorfs plan to continue their geocaching efforts by traveling throughout the state to find one cache per day.

Since the Ohlendorfs first started geocaching in 2010, they have found 3,741 caches, and have traveled to Georgia, Jupiter and other parts of Florida for the joy of the hunt.

The Ohlendorfs already have plans to secure the park for the next two years.

“We like it for the fun, not the numbers,” Carol Ohlendorf said of geocaching. “You find a piece of Tupperware, and it’s like you found gold.”

Individuals interested in participating should call 322-9752, or 993-4755 to register.

Lake Manatee Geocaching event
When: 7 p.m. April 4 (campfire trivia); 8 a.m. April 5 (geocaching); 9 a.m. April 6 (cleanup)

Where: Lake Manatee State Park, 20007 State Road 64, Bradenton

Cost: Free, but attendees should bring food to share. An optional raffle will help cover the cost of the venue and the event.

Parking: Park rates apply and vary depending on the number of vehicle occupants.

Info: 322-9752, or

Geocacher speak
“Cache” — A hidden object that is located by its GPS coordinates.

“Cacher” — A person who frequently hunts for caches recreationally or at an event.

“Hanger” — Or username for geocachers communicating on

“Mega” — A geocaching event with more than 500 attendees.

“Muggle” — Someone who doesn’t know about, or is new to, geocaching.

“Nano” — The smallest sized cache.

“Swag” — Multiple small caches, or trinkets, found inside one container; geocachers who find “swag” must take an item from the container and replace it with something in their own pocket.

“Trackables” — Objects resembling military dog tags with tracking numbers that can be input online later to locate the item.

Contact Amanda Sebastiano at [email protected].



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