On May 3, 2000, Dave Ulmer placed a 5-gallon bucket in the woods and then posted the coordinates to a GPS user's group. And in this way, the world's first geocache was born.Unfortunately, it was very short lived. The bucket, and nearly everything inside, was utterly destroyed by a lawnmower just a few weeks later.
Three years later, Ulmer and a handful of dedicated cachers returned to the site. Their intention was to place a plaque commemorating the spot. But as they were preparing to pour the concrete, they stumbled upon the only remaining trace of the original cache: a bent up, beat up, rusty can of beans.
It took Jeff Holliday (a.k.a.Team360) about three weeks to coax the twisted metal into a shape that resembled a can. He gave it some structure with some construction paper and treated it with rust stopper and polyurethane.
And Holliday was nothing if not thorough in ensuring that the can was authentic. He checked the stamps on the can and found out that that it's a Western Family brand of black eyed peas that dates to 1998 – verified by Dave Ulmer as the same brand and variety placed in the original stash.
It quickly came to be known as The O.C.B. (Original Can of Beans) and today Holliday acts as The O.C.B.'s unofficial caretaker, travelling with it to geocaching events."It doesn't belong to me. It's something that belongs to the community," he said. "I'll make it available to anyone who wants to see it."
With The O.C.B. safely protected in its own display case, he's traveled to Austria, France, Germany and Russia, as well as all over the U.S. And wherever it goes, people come to check out this piece of history. It even has its own trading cards and pathtag."I've even filed a copyright with the Library of Congress so it would be cemented in history," he said. "Just because it is so unique."
"It sometimes feels like a Presidential press conference," he said.
The O.C.B. couldn't ask for a better ambassador.