This Fourth of July holiday was going to be a low-key day… simply meaning we had no plans to go or to have a cookout with guests. Many of the people we would normally gather with had plans of their own. That was fine with me, as I was looking forward to diving into Jenny Neves new book… Backpack Like You Mean It... and enjoying a day off from work with my husband. I figured we would cook on the grill in the afternoon and be in no rush to do anything. There was one slight problem with this picture, and that is I always feel a sense of guilt just sitting around, not accomplishing anything on a beautiful, sun-filled day.
That’s when the wheels in my head started turning.
I figured we would try our hand at Geocaching. Geocaching is when you walk or hike to a location you find using GPS Location coordinates with the final result of finding a hidden box. Once found, you sign your name in a logbook that is contained in the box, and if you brought any treasures, you can switch your treasure out for one you find inside the box. I downloaded the free version of an app that would locate the nearest Geocache to our house. There was one only .6 miles. Great I thought, we could walk there.
We are fortunate to be surrounded by 84 acres of land that was acquired by the town and has several hiking trails through out. We can navigate our way through them fairly easily, as we have trekked through them often. The one downfall I saw with this activity I would passively coerce my family into participating in, is that you only follow a compass to find the missing box. There are no written directions or clues. We decided to stay on the road until we arrived at a location where the compass pointed straight into the woods that lined the street.
Not having a trail to follow, we made our way through thick branches and over wet mucky ground. My family did not complain, they were fully on board with my adventure. We stopped momentarily to mist ourselves with bug spray and take a drink of water. My husband was nervous because there was no trail in sight, and wondered how we would make our way back. I assured him we would just turn around and go in the opposite direction. He seemed to think it wasn’t as easy as that, but I care to disagree.
Finally after branches narrowly missing our faces and bending and maneuvering among fallen and half rotten logs along with moss covered rocks, we came to a marked trail, to much relief of my husband. The compass had finally indicated we were at the place we would find our hidden box. With Geocaching, you are never fully aware of where the location of the box is, just its vicinity.
We searched a wide diameter of where the box should be hidden, but in the end could not find it. My son retorted, we should stick to Letterboxing. (You can read more about Letterboxing from my original post here.) I agreed because with Letterboxing you are given explicit directions to the location of the Letterbox.
We made our way home via the trail. Although we never did find the Geocache box, I enjoyed the time I spent with Daniel and my husband and finally knowing that Geocaching is not for me.
Have you ever gone Geocaching? What was your experience like?
Should I give it a second go? Or just stick with Letterboxing?
These images were taken after our Geocache Misadventure.
We followed the well known trail back to our house.
|This was a stone wall from long ago, when these woods were probably fields.|
|The well marked trail we followed home.|
|A slightly dried up water passageway.|
|That's the opening from the woods we came from.|
|We managed to get ourselves to the pipelines near our house.|
|Pipeline view in the direction we traveled.|
|Daniel leading the way. As soon as he found a tick on himself he hustled to get home.|
|Daniel had a great idea to place rocks in the mud so we could pass without sinking up to our ankles.|
|Back into the woods, on a trail that leads to our house.|
|Climb over it!|