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August 2023 - Trail Tunes


This item is password protected and available to members of The Geocoin Club only. If you are a member of The Geocoin Club, you will receive the month's password in club newsletter email.

Design By: Chris Mackey 

Dimensions 45 mm Wide

Thickness 3.5 mm

Finish Shiny Silver

Enameling IHE

Trackable? Yes

Has Icon Yes

August 2023 - Trail Tunes - Music Melts the Miles

Design notes from the artist:  Chris Mackey

A couple weeks ago, my son and I took our annual excursion to a geocaching Mega event, and he was officially in charge of music for our road trip.  He loaded up a smart phone from his favorite online apps, charged his wireless speaker and was ready to go.  As we headed down the road and he lamented my old pickup trucks lack of blue tooth, wifi or even aux cord input, I had to just laugh.  Explaining to him my experience with music was quite an eye opener for him and a stark reminder to me that I'm officially "over the hill" now.  He's never seen an 8-track much less knows how they work.  He knows we have a turntable, but has never used it.  Don't even get me started on cassette tapes.  At the ripe old age of 15, his introduction to music was an MP3 player the size of my thumb that held every single song I owned on less than half of its memory bank (and I was a proud member of the Columbia House record club).

As the miles rolled by, we discussed how music, in particular portable music, had changed over the years and how it affected hiking and camping for me.  I vividly remember camping in the Chugach and Cascade mountains with my father tuning in a tiny, palm-sized am radio to listen to some quiet classics while we sat watching the stars come out and the fire die down.  Later, camping with my brothers or friends, we'd listen to our Walkmans with a single earpiece or tiny foam headsets dangling around our necks so we could still hear our surroundings and we could trade cassettes as we trudged along wondering how long the batteries might hold out.  I recalled my first trip hiking up Tuckerman's Ravine of Mt. Washington to watch the daredevil skiers drop off the edge of the bowl while people drug bbq grills and Boombox radios behind them in sleds.  I'm pretty sure that while he listened attentively, my son was also wondering if I remembered the dinosaurs roaming, too.

People seem to fall on two sides of the discussion... people who abhor any and all non-nature sounds while hiking, and those who march to the beat of their favorite drums.  While I've been both depending on my mood, there's something great about a good tempo to help you roll along the miles without slowing down.  While thinking about this design, I wondered how long that's been a discussion.  Archaeologists believe that humans having been hiking along to music as far back as 70,000 BC and have found mammoth bone percussion instruments suggesting we're not that much different from the caveman in appreciating a good musical note to keep up the pace.  

Thanks to smartphones that carry coords, track satellites, and hold entire libraries of music, having a good beat to melt the miles has never been easier.  Our kids might laugh at our old school methods and my "Mega Bass" Walkman with auto-reverse, but I remember the hikes, the sunsets, the trail runs, the kayaking marathons, and the camp outs.  Through it all I remember the variety of music that makes up the playlist of my life.  Maybe I'll set one of these coins to travel the world with a mission to collect a collaborative playlist of cachers' favorite tunes guaranteed to melt away the miles.  Maybe I'll start it with mine.  So many possibilities.

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