With over 10,000 finds, 200+ hides and a cache in his honour, Laurie Thornton, aka Bushfire, is a name well known across our geocaching community. Even though he is local to the Geelong area, his reputation is known across the land.
Initially Bushfire was introduced to geocaching through his daughter who had discovered this great game whilst travelling in Germany and he quickly embraced it himself. But in 2005, there was only 6 or 7 caches in the Geeolong area and greater distances had to be travelled to find caches beyond.
That being said, Bushfire loved chasing caches and has over 300 FTF to his name, cache finds in most states/territories around Australia and more than 20 countries on his list; Denmark, Laos, Monaco and Canada just to name a few. One of his most memorable finds is also his most highest altitude cache, which was a cache he found on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. In order to visit this cache, you need a 4-wheel drive vehicle, be over 16 years of age (a rule set up by the organizations that run the telescopes) and of good health (only 40% oxygen level). Cache is at 13,712 ft above sea-level. Wow what a feat!
But it isn’t just the caches that has kept Bushfire engaged, it is the many friends he has made within the community. Very early in his caching career he remembers being in Bendigo and meeting Roma and Max of Romax fame and a much younger Bushfire was very impressed by their hides and style. So from that point in time he started to not only place caches in the best scenic locations but also to be the best hider that he could be. Romax changed his whole outlook on caching. Bushfire also fondly remembers that in November 2008 he had the opportunity to adopt eight of the oldest caches in Geelong from GeoJo as she was called then as she decided to venture into other interests. All of these caches he adopted were placed between 2002 and 2005. These caches were:
- GC55D8 A Cunning Little Cache 2002
- GC5C68 Edward’s Point 2002
- GC5F49 The Banksias 2002
- GCGC7039 Sweet Serendipity 2002
- GCFD20 Common Ground 2003
- GCHFR4 Bay Views 2004
- GCHFR5 Panorama Heights 2004
- GCQGVC Botanic Snap 2005
Of course these were not the only caches that Bushfire adopted and there are many more stories within the community about his generosity, commadre and friendship. His fitness and his determination were often likened to that of a goat – he could climb those hills in his 70’s like he was a 20 year old. His sharp mind and creativity often made people stop and think, making them ponder and reflect on how to approach his multis and puzzles. But he is also known for his events – one of the more memorable events that he has hosted was his 80th birthday where he filled the Waurn Ponds Hotel function room and a great time was had by all.
With that in mind, Bushfire has decided to host another event and it would be great if you can attend and celebrate with him. It will be held on Saturday 2nd April in Geelong, If you haven’t yet met him, it’s a great opportunity to come along and listen to his stories. On the day he will be drawing a few special prizes as well. More details can be found here on the event page – GC8K04Z Do you have one of these?
Also with school holidays and Easter around the corner, there are lots of other events planned over the course of April, so make sure you check out our GVI event page.