Freeway Sign is Geocaching Clue

"Cute as a Button" is a clue in the world of geocaching.

The mystery behind the recent addition to the freeway sign at the corner of Avenue 57 and Via Marisol that has both perplexed and delighted Highland Park residents has been solved.

While the average commuter won't find much meaning in the phrase "Cute as a Button," it's an important clue for members of the geocaching community.

Geocaching is a worldwide scavenger hunt through which participants search for geocache boxes using GPS coordinates provided online.

According to Patch reader Steve, the phrase "Cute as a Button" is a clue that a geocache is nearby.

"'Cute as a Button' is a series of geocaches," Steve said. "I love clues like this. As a geocacher, we so enjoy to put clues up in the open that only a select handful will understand."


An email from a reader named Bob Kip informs us that the phrase Cute as a Button is not as widely used in the geocaching world as initially reported.

According to Kip, "yes, there are 10 Geocaches using that phrase ... out of 1,946,469 worldwide, but no it is not a phrase known or used by the typical geocacher."

Kip added, "generally, when caches are referred to as a "series" it indicates that they are all associated by some commonality (beyond simply the name)."

Kylie Walker November 26, 2012 at 04:10 AM
What's the GC code for the geocache in question?
Billy Morgan November 28, 2012 at 06:15 AM
If you don't know why the sign was put up, you really shouldn't manufacture journalism by writing a fake story about it being about a geocache. It simply is false. "Cute as a button" is not a phrase widely used in the activity either.
David Fonseca (Editor) November 28, 2012 at 08:35 AM
Billy, I never suggested that Cute as a Button was a widely used geocaching phrase. However, I was contacted by a geocacher who said that term was used within the community, as is noted in the story. A quick Google serach confirmed the term's usage. This was a quick news bit written up to shed some light on a development in Highland Park. Fake Story? Manufactured journalism? Not even remotely.
MR STRICKLAND November 28, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Lol@ Billy
Billy Morgan November 28, 2012 at 03:53 PM
From your story, "Cute as a Button' is a widely understood clue in the world of geocaching", but it's simply not true. With a few million geocaches online, a quick Google search will turn up plenty of geocaches associated with *any* common phrase. Is this sign referring to the geocache in Idaho? Or the series in Florida or Canada? Other geocachers have checked and found that there are no nearby associated caches, by doing an online search of 5 different sites, as well as looking at unpublished caches. They also will not knowingly post any geocache that defaces DOT signage without permission, and if any slip through they usually get reported and be removed. I just checked myself and discovered that it obviously refers to North Korea's Kim Jong Un being recently named Sexiest Man Alive, as reported in several online sources.
David Fonseca (Editor) November 28, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Billy, I appreciate your feedback. Geocaching, obviously, is a very specific world, full of people who are very knowledgeable about that world and its language. With this story, I stepped into that world and I seem to have misrepresented it. I should not have suggested that Cute as a Button is a popular geo-caching term. I was attempting to explain a new development in my community. A reader stepped forward to explain what the sign meant, and a followup search confirmed the terms usage in the geocache world. This story was not tailor written for an audience of savvy geocachers, it was written for a community who was wondering what the new sign in their neighborhood means.
Mulvaney November 28, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Since I have never heard "Cute as a Button" being used as a common caching phrase, I have to go with the theory that it refers to the Great Successor. Perhaps there is a Cute as a Button Gang similar to the Fork in the Road Gang that originally placed the Fork as a piece of guerrilla art.
skaterags December 06, 2012 at 01:47 AM
I heard about this story on a geocaching podcast. I cant find any caches that would point to this spot. I would love to be clued in if it is an actual cache. Will be in the area from out of state next month.
Anon December 06, 2012 at 10:02 PM
It is public art: http://rootingla.tumblr.com/
David Fonseca (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Ah, Anon. Thanks for that!
skaterags December 07, 2012 at 02:26 AM
I can appreciate that. Thanks for clearing it up


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something