Geocaching: 15th State
With a cache in Ottawa, Illinois, I have now found a geocache in 15 U.S. states. This cache was pretty darn easy. It was on the way to Starved Rock State Park right along the Illinois River. It didn’t take me long, which was good news. That allowed me just enough daylight to do some hiking in the park.
I learned a little bit about geocaching vocabulary this trip! At one point during our on-site visit, we had to solicit the aid of an I.T. employee. After his work was done, the fellow stuck around a while to talk about Harry Potter. Sadly, his audience was not ideal for the subject matter. Neither ZJ or I had read any of the books, so we could not articulate knowledgeably on the subject. BUT, that didn’t stop this guy from forging ahead with the conversation!
Did you ever see that Simpsons episode where Bart takes Santa’s Little Helper to dog training school? Near the end, Bart is talking to Santa’s Little Helper and they show the conversation from the dog’s perspective. Everything is gibberish and then suddenly a discernible word– “SIT”.
That’s what the Harry Potter conversation was like with me and the I.T. guy. He yammered on and none of it was making much sense to me until this familiar word hit my ear:
“What did you say?” I asked.
“Muggle,” he said and went on to explain what it meant.
“Weird,” I said, “There is a geocaching term called muggle.”
The I.T. guy looked at me for a second and continued on with his thought. I suspect “geocaching” was just as confusing to him as his musings were to me.
It turns out, the two words ARE related. From the geocaching glossary:
A non-geocacher. Based on “Muggle” from the Harry Potter series, which is a nonmagical person. Usually this term is used after a non geocacher looks puzzled at a geocacher making circles with their GPS receiver, or when a non-geocacher accidentally finds a cache. Geomuggles are mostly harmless.
I never questioned where the word came from. It’s pretty neat to stumble upon its etymology.