Innocently answering a question posed on UK Cache Mag's post about who would be attending a flash mob this afternoon with an "I will", I appear to have been enticed into writing a few words about the event, so I thought I may as well blog about it at the same time...
The "World Wide Flash Mob" has been running since 2007, to begin with a twice yearly event but just once a year since 2010. This was the 9th event. It has grown from a mere 20 events in 2 countries to what appears to be 312 in 31 this year, the UK hosting 24. There were 9940 logs last year, surely this year the 10,000 barrier will be smashed.
The concept is simple, people turn up for a synchronized time, the UK's was 18:00. You get there early and look as inconspicuous as possible (not particularly possible in our case!). At the stroke of 18:00, everyone approaches ground zero, places a named card in a bucket, poses for a picture, has a brief chat and 15 minutes later disperse. Any onlookers are left scratching their head as to what had just happened!
We planned to attend the event at Kilburn's White Horse, near Thirsk in North Yorkshire
Picking up RebekahMarie73, we made our way the forty miles or so north, through some pretty ominous looking dark clouds. Never mind we said, it looks a lot brighter where we were going. We were even optimistic after driving through a huge flood on the A168 where it looked like the River Swale had burst it's banks.
We parked up at the Sutton Bank visitor centre, about a mile away from our final destination. There is an earth cache, and a multi that I wanted to try and get on the way there, which along with a traditional cache virtually where the event was taking place, had given me an idea for a bit later on...
In the time it took for me to put my boots on and get my lad out of the car, some clouds came right in, giving us a lovely mist to walk through. The multi I wanted was very close to the car park and didn't take long at all to solve and grab. As we approached GZ we could see quite a few cars parked, sensibly, in the car park much closer than we were as the rain had really started to come down now. We gave them a knowing nod and a wink as we passed them, grabbing the nearby traditional cache as we were a little early. I didn't know any of the faces, we had come a little way out of our normal patch but Rebekah recognised a couple from a recent event. What is lovely about the geocaching community though is the diversity of the participants and the openness there is with relative strangers.
As the clock turned 18:00, out of the mist appeared Dave of Micky n Dave fame, holding a bucket. He reiterated what we had become a part of and gave us the log book to sign. Up we all queued to scribble our names...
This was followed by the usual geochat, who has seen what, who needs help with which etc but then Dave had a great surprise for us. Somehow, the planets had aligned (or perhaps it was just arranged with the reviewer...) for Dalesman to publish a cache very close by for us all to claim joint FTF on. What a great idea!
Afterwards we all dispersed, back to our cars, bumping back into people doing close by drive bys and a semi planned drink in the local. Well, every good caching day ends in a pub and very nice it was too!
And my plan from earlier? Well, knowing of an easy virtual and a solved but not bagged puzzle on my route home, I finished the day with 6 different cache types (a new record for me) and a First To Find. All in all a cracking day, roll on WWFM X!
(this photo was kindly supplied by "Muggle" Andrew Benson)