JULIA ROBERTS GOAD
WILLIAMSON - A scavenger hunt on the stomping grounds of the Hatfields and McCoys is one of the latest events planned for the Tug Valley.
A geocaching event will take place in Mingo, Pike and Logan Counties Saturday, Sept. 1, Bill Richardson told the Mingo County Commission when he gave an update of tourism related events in the county.
Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world.
A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name.
The event on the Hatfield McCoy Geo Trail is designed to introduce not only geocachers, but adventure seekers, to the historic area associated with the famous Hatfield & McCoy feud.
The City of Williamson and the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce are hosting the event along with Mike and Wendy Baisden, owners of the Linkous House Bed and Breakfast.
With the national attention brought about by the recent airing of the History Channel Series,The Hatfields & McCoys the geocaching event grew quickly.
“Within an hour after I posted our event, we had booked up our Inn,” Wendy Baisden said. She said geocachers from 30 states have registered.
Wendy said she began geocaching in 2010, and was quickly hooked.
“It’s crazy fun,” she said. “People say its not about the numbers, it’s about the adventure. But I say it is about the numbers, the number of friends you make.”
The Hatfield McCoy Geo Trail will explore 15 historic locations around the Tug Valley with relevance to the Hatfield & McCoy feud.
Each geocache will contain a stamp that must be collected and entered on a brochure that will be provided the morning of the event.
In addition the Hatfield McCoy geocache event will include C.I.T.O event (cache in, trash out), an effort for those partaking in the event to give back to the community by collecting garbage on the trail.
The Baisdens will host a Stolen Pig Roast the night prior to the event, Friday August 31, from 6 until midnight.
“If you are new to geocaching don’t be frightened,” Wendy said. “It is very easy and a lot of fun. You will need a smart phone or a GPS. You can download a free app from itunes that will help you get started. A little hint when geocaching, just look for other people walking around in circles holding a GPS, they are much easier to find than the actual cache.”
The caches are all family friendly and not difficult to find or approach. They are designed to be accessible by the majority of people. However, because several of the sites involve stairs this series is not wheelchair accessible. There are many other geocaching opportunities located in the Tug Valley that are wheelchair accessible.
There will be a kick-off event 10:00 am on Saturday, September 1. A brief ceremony to introduce the trail will begin the festivities and then cachers will be given brochures as well as paper printouts of the cache descriptions. Volunteers will maintain a presence at the Coal House throughout the day so that when you finish the geotrail you may return to claim your trackable geocoin.
For more information, call Wendy at Linkous House at 304 235-3174, or visit geocaching.com or on Facebook at Hatfield McCoy Geo Trail.