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Friday, January 15, 2010
My Last Memory of Geocaching in the Snow...
My last memory of geocaching in the snow was at the same time my first experiences of geocaching during the winter. It was completely ad hoc. I was heading up to Michigan from Raleigh, NC to pick up my daughter. The drive was as expected and I even stopped
about ten times or so to pick up some well needed geocaches along the way. I have found that you need to balance the number times you stop to find a geocache with how long you expect to take to get to your destination and justify that by how often you simply need to stretch your legs during a trip. Anyways, I was just getting to the Michigan/Ohio border when it hit. A Nor'ester came down from Canada and dumped a foot of snow on my travels. I actually had to find a hotel for the night mainly due to a very close call with my cachemobile and an 18 wheeler. Nothing like driving down the highway and suddenly you, said big truck and four other cars start doing pirouettes all at the same time to make you pause and find shelter.
The next day the sun was out and I really wanted to do some geocaching in the area. Now mind
you I was completely unprepared for the Michigan weather. My heavy winter coat (for North Carolina) of which I was wearing was really my Michigan spring jacket. My boots consisted of my tennis shoes for which I was thankful I did not just have my sandles. Not a glove in sight so I was pretty much winging it.
Cold and trying my best to keep dry I ventured out to find some frozen geocaches. Lets just say that I found geocaching after a newly fallen snow to be quite the challenge. It's not like leaves that may or may not cover a given hide. When they say blanket of snow that is exactly what it is like. Everything is completely covered and with it being fresh snow, no tracks of which to help guide you. You are relying on the accuracy of your GPS and some possible helpful terrain to find your way. With the fifteen attempts at finding geocaches I managed to get ten. Not bad in my book but that did not include getting stuck at the bottom of an ice covered hill on the only single road out of a park and other hazardous winter driving conditions of which I had to contend with. Good Times, good times.
So yes geocaching in the winter can be a very enjoyable challenge as long as you are properly prepared for the conditions. Don't be like me and just go out into the frozen tundra all willy-nilly. It's not worth the personal injury. Instead plan your geocaching adventure ahead of time and enjoy your day in the cold. You will find it an exhilarating experience to be sure.