Hello friends! I hope things have been going well for you and yours. I do have to say, things have been going pretty well from my neck of the woods. Spring has come, school is almost out for the children, and the weather (for the most part) has been bearable. Recently, my girl K and I have discovered geocaching. It’s been around for a while, but it wasn’t anything I was familiar with. In a nutshell, it’s hide and seek (with objects). People place caches of various sizes in places in the outside world. Your job is to use a GPS (I use my phone) and find said objects. You can sign a log book, if there are items you can take one (but you have to leave one too). If interested, I would recommend geocaching.com, or download the app (it’s free!).
So, K and I decided we are taking this on. We usually don’t have the same days off, or I will have J with me (we tried this with J, but it wasn’t very pretty). What we do now is pretty much the nights I don’t have J, when I get home from work, we venture off to find some near our house. There is a bunch around, so finding one to track isn’t a problem. It usually gives us a good mile+ walk and I am finding this to be a much better use of my time than playing a video game until I go to bed (I still will get a Diablo run in for now, but it is really relaxing to come home and then be outside).
The first time we ran out, it was raining. I didn’t have a poncho, or an umbrella, so I did what any sane person would do:
I donned a trash bag and we headed out. Classy!
I wish I could say that we fared well that day, but alas, we did not find a single cache. We did find a family of geese. There was like 13 babies, three adults, and they were all huddled around where I needed to be. That was enough to stop me, but not K. She was on a mission, and geese or no geese, we were getting to that spot.
No, baby geese.
Even though we may have walked away empty handed, it was still the most amusing of times. It also ended up being an awesome stress reliever for after work.
Today, since no children were in the house, we decided we were going to make a morning of it. We found a spot a few towns over that had bunches of them along a trail. I woke up this morning, one eye opened, saw her and said, “You ready?” I decided we could get coffee on the way as I wanted to get started as early as possible.
Seriously, this is how I looked getting into the car this morning.
So, now I will regale you with some pictures of our adventure along Hop River trail.
K has a cache!
Look! It’s a dinosaur in a rock! This one was called Jurassic Park.
I was only slightly uncomfortable with where the cache was.
We probably were knee deep in poison ivy. It’s cool.
This was taped to some artificial flowers and planted next to a tree. Tricky!
Here was one that was taped to some pussy willows. Best thing about this one was that I was standing in front of it for about 4 minutes telling K I thought it mat be in a pussy willow bush and we had to keep searching for a pussy willow bush. I failed to see the fake ones right at my feet.
Here is one we found from today. This one was full of so much goodies.
Not from today, but we discovered this, less than a half mile from my house. I had no idea this even existed.
Sometimes you have to make the climb to get the prize.
My hair was still pretty awesome. The bugs thought so as well.
Which now brings me to things I have learned about geocaching, while geocaching:
1) Camo really works. I have only seen it used as a fashion statement, and I am still trying to figure out where you would be camouflaged where hot pink is needed, but out in the forest? Yeah, the regular camo coloring works really well.
2) Just because the GPS says you are 3 feet in front of it doesn’t mean it is 3 feet in front of you. Or see number 1.
3) Bug spray. One day I will remember.
4) I learned that you really need to be incognito while geocaching. That or people stare at you really funny when you are walking around in a circle holding your phone out in front of you. Plus, you don’t want to give the spot away. Really though, I think it is so people don’t think you are a maniac. I tend to just not make eye contact which maybe also makes me look shady combined with the hair.
5) Trails will throw out some benches here and there because I think they knew I am not that outdoorsy, and I may need a place to sit. Thanks, nature. I appreciate your benches.
6) It does not however, have docking stations for your cell phones. When using your iPhone as a GPS, it tends to suck batteries down pretty quickly.
7) Nature has an answer for that too, and will usually color coat their trees so I have some help. Good looking out again, trees.
8) Bring like 5 pens. You will lose them all.
9) Remind yourself to bring 5 pencils instead since the one pen you have left may run out of ink on the last cache.
10) Enjoy yourself. We spent a lot of time on our one way walk to the caches, but put the phones down when we were done and took in our surroundings. It’s gorgeous out there and one should get out and reconnect with it every once in a while.
So, all in all, I can solidly say I have an amazing new hobby. If you are reading this and in my area, hit me up and I am sure K and I would be happy to show you the beginner ropes that we are still working with. We try to go out a few times a week, either when I get out of work, or one of the weekend days. If you go on your own, pocket a couple of small trading items (in case you find a cache with items, take one and leave one sort of thing) and something to write with.
Happy caching, friends! Get out there and find something someone hid for you to uncover!