This activity combines diverse elements like hiking, hide-and-seek, and scavenger hunting with a liberal sprinkling of the latest electronic gizmo, namely the GPS device, to create the sport of Geocaching...aka Treasure Hunting Goes Hi Tech.
Simply put, Geocaching consists of hiding something, usually a weather-proof container holding a log book and possibly a trinket or two.
Emulating a good pirate a la' Captain Kidd, the Geocacher leaves clues to his "treasure" via coordinates posted on the website www.geocaching.com.
Other Geocachers log on to retrieve the coordinates and with their trusty GPS in hand, go searching over hill and dale for the hidden "cache."
This elusive cache might be stashed away anywhere. It might be hidden in a hard to reach wilderness area or smack dab in the middle of a bright lights metropolis.
If and when the spot is discovered, (often, it's in plain sight,) the cache is opened and a notation with the finder's name is entered. Often, a trinket is exchanged for one left by a previous discoverer.
The cache is then replaced in it's hiding spot and left for the next Geocacher coming down the pike.
The popularity of Geocaching has really been snowballing with a bevy of new Geocachers logging on and participating every day.
Rural Cherokee resident Bill Larsen, who has been involved in Geocaching events for several years, said that there is an estimated 800,000 Geocaches hidden in spots in just about every country in the world, including several in the vicinity of the South Pole.
"Geocachers are inveterate stashers," Larsen said. "There's even a Geocache somewhere on the International Space Station."
As a side note of interest, it should be mentioned that over the past five years, Larsen has located 1,600 caches as well as hidden many new ones of his own.
If you are one of those outdoorsy-types who enjoys hoofing it down the information highway or just an average person looking for something different to do on weekends and other freetime hours, you are in luck.
On May 16, a convocation of neophyte Geocachers will be converging on the Big Barn at the Silver Sioux County Park for a free Geocaching class for beginners.
The event, which is sponsored by the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, will help anyone interested learn the ins and outs of Geocaching.
The class, which will be led by local Geocachers Tony Morris and Bill Larsen, will cover what you need to know to get started in the new sport.
The Geocaching 101 Class will be carried out from 10 a.m. till at least noon and will include some on site hunts in the wilds of Silver Sioux...so be sure to dress accordingly and bring your GPS device if you have one.
Who knows? You might even really get into the game and become the next Geocacher to find one of the 200-plus caches stashed in the environs of Cherokee County.