Monday, October 8, 2012

Chasing Manatees - My Mistake

For those of you who don't know me, I live in the high desert, love to mountains and like to head there when the summer heat is getting on my nerves, but my true passion and love is for the beach.  Any chance I get, that is where I go.  No matter the weather or the month, I love the beach.
Can you imagine how excited I was when I read Geocaching and Manatee in the same sentence?  I instantly put on the big smile and started the happy dance!  And - began to read about this caching experience that I knew was going on my list of 'Do Soon' caches. 

It only took a few moments for me to realize that I was way off on this.  The smile drooped and the happy dance stopped as I read on.  The Taking Flight Geotour is located in Manatee County, Florida.  I have nothing against Florida; in fact I would love to do some caching there while visiting family; and maybe attend an event like Geowoodstock XI - but my heart was looking forward to a cache involving the those chunky cuties - the manatees.

I am not a total doom and gloom sort of person so I did read on.  Gotta tell you that it didn't take long for the smile to return and the feet get jittery - this is one remarkable GeoTour.  In fact, I have been learning about it for several weeks and just didn't know exactly how I could write about it.  There are so many amazing factors involved - my mind has just been swimming with all the info.

So - this is going to be a story done in stages.  And as I learn more and hear back from the cachers who have completed the tour, I will share their stories also.

Here goes - Taking Flight GeoTour - part one

Here's a bit of the info, taken directly from


Check out the new Taking Flight GeoTour on the official website!  It's just launched as an official Groundspeak GeoTour - THE FIRST IN FLORIDA!  Thank you to our sponsors Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Tampa Bay Estuary Program and Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program for helping to make the tour happen.

 And here is a little bit of info from their own site -

 Visit the sites along the Taking Flight GeoTour, hunt for and find geocaches, and learn about Manatee County's wild spaces and the amazing feathered friends that live in them.

About the Taking Flight GeoTour

Visit the sites along the Taking Flight GeoTour (TFGT) and learn about Manatee County's wild spaces and the amazing feathered friends that live in them. Along the way, you will be challenged to become a citizen scientist, a preserve ranger, a detective, a historian and of course an excellent geocacher in order to find all of the caches on the trail. Caches are located in birding "hot spots" throughout Manatee County's publicly accessible conservation preserves. Each one highlights a specific bird species or aspect of bird life providing you with opportunities to learn more about these creatures and what we can do to help them survive. Caches also focus on protecting the region's waterways, bays, and natural watersheds, and habitat areas for many of our area's feathered friends. The Taking Flight GeoTour will launch August 20, 2012 and includes 15 caches within Manatee County. A trackable geo tag will be awarded to the first 300 geocachers, while supplies last, for locating at least 12 TFGT caches. To be eligible for the tag, geocachers must download and print a passport (click link to download and print out your passport) or pick one up at the Manatee County Natural Resources Department office at 415 10th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34205, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Geocachers must log at least 12 finds, answer the question from each cache on their passport, and complete any additional requirements for specific caches (such as posting photos for earth caches).

After finding a minimum of 12 caches, participants can have their passports validated in person or via mail at the Manatee County Natural Resources Department office at 415 10th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34205, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tracking Tags will be available beginning September 1, 2012. Please check back to this website for news and availability of tracking tags.

There you have it.  Part one of this story.  As I do a little research , and look at the areas the caches are located, it has become obvious that this is so much more than an adventure in geocaching.  This is a learning experience for the entire family, a fantastic photography opportunity, and a chance to see unlimited wild life.  It is amazing.

I will put together more info from the caches and include them in a new post soon.  Please check back for the updates and a bit about what it  took to put this together.  That is a story all in itself.

1 comment:

  1. This IS a great geotour to introduce you to all the preserves in Manatee County. We completed the tour and we also volunteer at the welcome center at one of the preserves. While you are doing the tour you can enjoy the trails, great bird viewing and great kayaking. There are excellent kayaking brochures at the welcome centers or, if they are closed (Manned only by volunteers), at the downtown Natural Resources Office (one of the geotour cache stops). And by the way you can swim with the manatees one hour up the road at Homossassa and see them at the park. We have lived in Manatee County for 43 years and when we found the Anna Maria Island cache it took us to an previously unknown,quiet spot on the glorious beach. Hope you and many others come to Manatee to enjoy the geotour. Celticcachers