S1E14: Signal the Frog Geocaching Mascot

Did you know that geocaching has a mascot? He’s cute, he loves geocaching, and he’s a frog. Signal the Frog is the lovable mascot of geocaching.com. But where did he come from, what is his history, and why does he have an antenna in his head? This episode I look into his origins and discover that he’s, not only a trackable, but for a limited time, he’s also a locationless cache.

Places and Things Mentioned
Signal the Frog Trackable Page
Pecan Legacy Park

Sources
Signal the Frog, geocaching.com
“Find Signal the Frog in 2020”, geocaching.com

Cache Highlight: “Ole Pecan

Transcript

Signal the Frog, the little green guy with the antenna on his head, is the official mascot of geocaching.com.  He was developed during the early days of the website as a way to represent the combination of technology and nature that the game provides.  Now he can be found on gear and trackables at geoaching.com and “in-person” at Mega- and Giga-Events.  He even has a trackable code so you can see he’s been and log his as “discovered” if you see him at an event.  There will be a link to his trackable page in the show notes.

To help celebrate the past 20 years of geocaching and its future, for all of 2020 and 2021, Signal is also a locationless cache.  A location cache is a cache type that does not require you to go to an exact location but rather provides instructions on finding something anywhere in the world and posting a picture of yourself with it.  The example given by geocaching.com is quote, “for example, find a drawbridge and take a photo while it was open.”  In 2005, it was decided that locationless caches didn’t really fit the game and where archived.  However, for a limited time, you can log Signal the Frog as one.

To qualify for this special locationless cache, you must see Signal the Frog or the official 20th anniversary Signal the Frog banner in person and log a photo of yourself with Signal or the banner on the locationless caches page, GC8FR0G.  The cache will be locked on sent to archive on January 1, 2022.  So as of the date this episode was recorded there is a little less than a year and 3 months left to find Signal and log the locationless cache.  If you see him after the January 1, 2022, you will not be able to log the cache but you will still be able to log him as discovered on his trackable page.

The cache was called “Ole Pecan”

Cache ID GC73RBB

Difficulty rating 2, Terrain rating 1.5

The description read:

Stop to enjoy a few minutes at this nice half-acre green space in Chesterfield Valley.  It is a nice spot to take a break from Chesterfield Valley’s shopping, outlet malls, eating establishments, and sporting venues.

Located in the new Pecan Legacy Park, which preserves a Monach Pecan tree planted in the 1890’s.  

The cache should be an easy, quick grab, and is not located on or within 25 feet of the large pecan tree.  The park area is only open during daylight hours.  Have fun! 

Hint: Have a seat and enjoy the trees.  It is good to take an occasional rest.

I had been looking at geocaches in the area and found a couple that were at sites we hadn’t know about so we set out as a family to explore the new areas and so my son and I could pick up a couple of caches.  One of those caches was Ole Pecan which took us to Pecan Legacy Park.  The park was dedicated on October 27, 2016 and is a half acer park.  It was created in order to preserve a pecan tree that was planted in 1892, making it 128 years old as of the release of this podcast.  Along with the enormous old tree there is a sculter called the “Pioneer Farm” that is dedicated to quote “The pioneer spirit and courage of all farm families in America”.  There are also four other pecan trees threes, all smaller than the great  tree that is the center piece of the park.  The three larger of those threes are off spring from the great pecan tree.  The much smaller tree was planted when the park was dedicated in 2016.  It’s a small peaceful park with a geocache secrete.

When we got to park, we checked out the sculptor and read the plaques that talked about it and the trees.  After exploring the little park, we followed the GPS to cache coordinates.  They took us to the top of some stars at edge of the path that goes around the park.  I read hint to my husband and son.  It had mentioned taking a seat but there were no benches as ground zero or in the park area so I decided it had to mean a rest on the steps.  “Where would it be hidden?” my muggle husband wondered out loud since there was no bench for a magnetic box.  I told him to give me a minute to think.  And sat down on the step while my husband and son wondered around the on the path around the tree.  There were some large rocks placed along the edge of the stairs as part of the landscaping.  I looked over the the edges of the rock and saw a small white cap along the edge.  I reached down and pulled out a preformed tube with a log.  I hollered that I had found it and my son came running over to see.  My husband came too and asked where I found it.  I signed the log and showed him while I tucked the tub back under the rock, making sure not to leave it sticking out too far, with just the cap sticking out the way I had found it.  “See,” I said, “no one will notice it if they’re not looking for it.”  He nodded but I doubt he was as amused by it as I was, but our son thought it was “sneaky”.  My husband did enjoy the discovery of the little park though.  We all did.  That’s one of the things I love about geocaching, discovering new places and things we never new about, especially in the area that we live.

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