A hobby I’ve taken up since moving to Austin is geocaching. It’s a pretty entertaining pastime. People have hidden little treasure caches just about everywhere you go, and they leave clues that you can follow using a gps-equipped phone. Some of the caches contain little toys and keepsakes, so you can take a souvenir (provided you leave something for the next geocacher, of course). Many of them are very cleverly hidden, with arcane clues that make you do a bit of detective work. It’s lots of fun, and finding a hard one makes you feel like quite the clever sleuth.
But there’s also a lesser-known cousin of geocaching, run by the same outfit, called waymarking. Waymarking is not set up as cleverly as geocaching and it isn’t as well-visited or maintained, but it’s still a pretty fine way of feeling like a part of your surroundings. The waymarking website has all sorts of local features registered on it: natural landmarks, historic markers, unique signs, public works of art, etc. The way you do it is to look up a landmark on the waymarking website, then travel to it and check in online to show that you were there. I added a bit of my own personal style when I tried it (see below the photo).
So here’s my first entry in the waymarking hobby. It’s a big muscled arm sticking out of the wall on Guadalupe in Austin, calling attention to a business called Hyde Park Gym. My visit log is below the photo.
I logged it with the following description:
This amazing natural landmark was carved out by nature over millions of years by geological actions such as erosion and zoning ordinances. The natives believe it was placed there by Garallep, the god of plaster, to show his might.