Geocaching – a treasure hunt for adults – may have been the first sport created in the new millennium.
Jana Iannello, a retired San Antonio schoolteacher, got her first GPS unit and found her first cache in January 2002 after watching a TV news story featuring reporter Diane Sawyer climbing through a forest in search of a hidden box. Geocaching reminded Iannello of childhood games her mother used to create, with clues that led to coloring books and other surprises.
“When I found geocaching I said, ‘Oh, I can do treasure hunts again!’ ” Iannello said.
Iannello, however, quickly ran out of caches to look for. There were only three in San Antonio. She and a growing cadre of geocachers have remedied that by dreaming up hundreds of clever tricks and cryptic clues for new hiding places. They use a Web site on the Internet to post coordinates and commentaries and keep track of how many caches they have each hidden and found.
Iannello, an outgoing strawberry blonde whose geocaching moniker is “Cybercat,” has found more than 2,000 caches and hidden another 200 plus.
That puts her at No. 9 on the list of Texas geocachers. “It’s just a ton of fun,’ Iannello says. “The people who do geocaching are the neatest people in the world.”