A new era scavenger hunt: City adds Geocache to list of local events to partake in

HARLINGEN — The hunt is on.

GeoQuest came to Harlingen yesterday, drawing dozens of hard-core searchers, school kids and plenty of the merely curious to Pendleton Park.

The new initiative by the Parks and Recreation Department is the city’s first foray into what used to be known as orienteering. That was old-school, and the tools of the trade were a paper map and a compass.

The modern-day variation, called geocaching, uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) to precisely pinpoint the locations of hidden containers in a certain area. The challenge is to find the cache, log in your name, and head for the next one using clues provided at the website, geocaching.com.

“When I was a Boy Scout – I still am a Boy Scout – we used to do this with just a map and a compass,” said Mayor Chris Boswell, during a launch event yesterday morning. “Not a compass on your iPhone, but a real magnetic compass.”

But with the new technology, “this is great because you can do this with GPS with an application on your iPhone. So go online and learn about how to geocache in the City of Harlingen.”

Part of the rationale for creating GeoQuest was, city officials admit, because it didn’t cost much money.

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