When correspondent Julie Henning takes her family on vacation, they always hunt for treasures. But instead of a treasure map and a compass, she uses a handheld GPS device and a website to find geocaches—containers of all shapes and sizes hidden around the world. Since she started geocaching in 2010, Henning has been to 29 states and four countries and geocaching has be come a major influence on how she sees the world. When she learned Helena was a hot spot for geocaching, the Montana state capital quickly jumped to the top of Henning’s travel bucket list. Recently selected by Rand McNally as the best place for geocaching in the United States, the showcases the best Helena has to offer by taking high-tech treasure hunters to 38 truly unique destinations located in greater Lewis and Clark County.While the ultimate goal of a GeoTour is tourism and drawing out-of-towners in to see a city, one positive side effect of a GeoTour is that local geocachers become more aware of the history and significance of unique places within their own community. And it just so happens, the earliest settlers of Helena came to the area were looking for their own treasure—gold. Join Henning as she geocaches with her family at the Montana State Capitol Building, Manlove Homestead (the site of the first settlers in the Prickly Pear Valley), and at a historic cemetery Elkhorn, a ghost town once bustling with prosperity as residents made their fortunes. She also connects with the Capitol City Cachers, the local geocaching community instrumental in establishing and maintaining the . Over breakfast the conversation ranges from how geocachers are perceived to notorious hiding spots, and the group laughs at some of the adventures and mishaps that make for great tall tales.
For more information on the Helena Montana GeoTour, visit http://www.helenamt.com/content/geotour/. Anyone can create a Geocaching account (it’s free) at http://www.geocaching.com