A new kind of treasure hunt going on at the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village in fact is similar in many ways to a game called "letterboxing" played around the time the first settlers came to Sanibel.
It's called "geocaching" and was first played in May 2000. Participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "caches," anywhere in the world. There is no such thing as a "typical cache" as they may contain a logbook for the finder to write something, or plastic containers with toys or trinkets. The game's ancestor, letterboxing, used clues and references to landmarks embedded in stores.
Last week, museum visitors Ken Reiskyti of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Hope DeHaan of River Forest, Ill., arrived independent of each other at the cache located in the village. DeHaan, a geocacher for one year, was hoping for some clues from Reiskyti, a much more experienced geocacher. But clues, apparently, are not allowed.
Ken Reiskyti and Hope DeHaan found the Historical Village’s hidden treasure using GPS in an outdoor recreational activity called geocaching. Museum Docent Blair Wyatt assisted.
"I guess we will have to meet our cache now, as its location has become obvious," said museum manager Emilie Alfino. "While we strive to make the village a fun place for visitors rather than a frustrating one, I think the geocachers would like a little bit more of a challenge."
The Sanibel Historical Museum & Village is currently open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Full guided tours take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day throughout the month of April. Beginning Wednesday, May 1, the village will switch to off-season hours, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The museum closes after Aug. 3 and reopens Nov. 6.
Admission is $5 for adults over 18; members are free. For more information, call 472-4648 or visit www.sanibelmuseum.org.