MASON CITY, Iowa - Mary and Terry Balek have created a geocaching challenge. The clues on the map draw the picture of Mr. Toot, the trombone-playing mascot of Mason City.
Terry Balek said, "I like to see people come to town and whatnot. To visit here. Mason City has a lot to offer and I wanted to be part of it, and that's how we did it."
Their efforts have brought geocachers from around the country, including New York and Connecticut. Terry says any extra tourism generated by this will be good for the local economy.
"I've been in contact with a group of people from Florida that are coming up to do it. They're not just going to do that and leave, they're doing other things."
The couple picked up the hobby in 2008. They have four grown-up daughters who are also hooked on the interactive outdoor activity. Mary says geocaching is an activity that just about everyone can do.
"People of all ages are able to do it. For us, it's rebonding. We're empty nesters and being able to go and do things together again. Young families, it's great for them to get out."
If you would like to learn more about geocaching or to take part in the Balek's Mason City challenge, visit https://www.geocaching.com.