Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Geocaching 101

Over the weekend, we were lucky enough to have my sister, Emily, visit!  She currently lives in Ohio, but that might as well be Abu-Dhabi...It's just too far away for our liking!
Anyway, she loves to spend time with her nieces and nephews, so a new adventure was in order.  I've heard the "big kids" at school talking about geocaching.  Geocaching is a up-and-coming hobby where you use GPS coordinates to find hidden treasure!  I signed up at a geocaching website, downloaded the app to my phone, and off we went. 

Here's how you geocache:
Step 1:  Find a cache in your area (through the app).
Step 2:  Get to the general vicinity.  (We drove to a parking lot of a church near a nature trail where the app told us 3 caches were hidden.) 
Step 3:  Pull up the app and turn on the compass (touch the screen to make the little cache thingy turn into coordinates).
Step 4:  Follow the compass and be on the look out for something out-of-the-ordinary!

We didn't find the first cache.

The second cache was hidden exactly where the GPS coordinates told us. It was under a tree but off the path, so we had to do a little work to find it!  The cache was an Igloo Thermos filled with stickers, little capsules, and other random stuff, as well as a log book, where we signed our name and dated it.  The cache had already been found once earlier in the day and once the day before.  I think we were the 7th people to find it.

The third cache was about a half of a mile further down the path.  It took some work for us to find it...   The boys found the spot first when they noticed that the weeds were trampled down.  We searched and searched and searched, but we couldn't find the cache.  We were ready to give up, but oldest son had cockle-burrs stuck to his socks, so he put one foot up on a log to pick them out of his sock.    The log was rotten and gave way under his foot, and LOW AND BEHOLD!!! THE CACHE!!!! This cache was an old ammunition box, filled with similar items.  We took a couple of stickers, signed our names and were generally on cloud nine because we were now 2 for 3 caches!! We were becoming real pros!!!

The fourth cache we went in search of was at the fair grounds.  (The girls were getting a little antsy by this point, so I took the girls to the play ground outside the fair grounds, and the boys and Aunt Em went in search of the cache.  They didn't find it, but after talking about it with one of my geocaching students, we think it may have been "muggled" after the most recent flea market.  (Muggled means thrown away by non-geocachers!)

If you are interested learning more about or trying geocaching, check out this link:  http://www.geocaching.com/Geocaching:

We had a LOT of fun geocaching and look forward to going to other towns and locations.  It's fun, exercise, and a learning experience for the whole family!

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