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Monday, March 7, 2011

Sharing Geocaching With Someone You Know... Priceless.

It doesn't matter if you are going out with friends, family or acquaintances. Geocaching is a perfect excuse for some real time fun for everybody. Yesterday Geoness and I took out Mary and her son Morgan (TheHumanRevealer) plus Mary's good friend Jennifer and her two kids Taylor and Chase for some local geocaching. We only had a few hours so I decided to find a handful of geocaches in and around a botanical preserve which features a really nice two mile hike through a wooded area. It turned out to be a really good choice.

This geocache goes was hidden in August 2002
One of the first geocaches on the list was an oldie but a goody. It had been hidden in August of 2002 with permission of the land owners. As you can see the word 'Hidden' being a very loose based term. Note the padlock on the right side. You either had to retrieve the numeric answer for the padlock from the establishment nearby or look for a clue in the description itself and open the geocache. I don't know but I thought that would have made this a puzzle cache. Either way we quickly had it open and was signing the log book. The really neat thing as well was it had the original log book from 2002 inside and some of the logs were really a cool thing to read about it. They kept it in a separate baggie but completely accessible and worth a look see.  After everyone had a good gander and explanation of all the things inside we headed off to our next destination.

Even though Spring is in it's very early stage here in North Carolina (the daffodils are just starting to bloom) this wooded area within the botanical preserve featured an amazing two mile trail to explore. Our first of several geocaches here unfortunately turned out to be a DNF (Did Not Find). What we were looking for was a bison tube in a very specific area. One of those "It's in a BLANK and only BLANK feet from the BLANK". Now I am sure back in 2002 when this geocache was placed there were plenty of BLANKs but today there were only a couple of scrawny BLANKs and we did not see said any sign of the bison tube. Ah well you can't win them all. On to the next one.

Geoness (in black) looks on while THR signs the log
After walking about half a mile we came up to the next hide and everyone made quick work of it. The excitement was electrifying once the yelp of "Found IT!" was heard. Everybody scrambled around checking the contents of the geocache and patiently waiting to sign the log. There is something about the validation of putting your signature in a log book that makes one go "Ha - Told you I was there :)".

Geoness (in black)  explaining some geocaching insights
There was several things that I really enjoyed while out today with the group. It wasn't about the numbers because I knew we were going to take things really slow so everyone could fully experience geocaching as it was meant to be. To see the anticipation of the hunt and the excitement of the find in the faces of everyone is indeed priceless. The really cool part for me personally is that Mary and Jennifer are both 5th grade teachers. So not only did I get to see them with their geocaching hats on during the hunt but all the nuances of the trail were pointed out. Things like what mostly caused this particular river to meander in a certain direction or why the boulders in the area were the way they where positioned. Things that unless you had that type of knowledge you would most likely glance right over. Again another reason why geocaching is so much fun. Because there is so much that can be learned if one just stops for a moment to look. Priceless.

Everyone taking a quick break during the hike
With the sun slowly going down we continued our journey and found a few more geocaches en-route. Each presenting itself in a unique way and providing a challenge to our geocaching explorers. I was very proud of Geoness who led everyone via the trails and our handy dandy GPS unit. One of the things we had shown right when we started was the importance of marking where the car was and turning on tracking to see where we had been. Geoness used that to make sure we were going on the right trail and going in the right direction.

After our quest had been completed it was time for heading home and grilling some burgers, making potato salad, deviled eggs and all the fixings for a fantastic dinner. This by far was one of the most enjoyable days I have had in a long time. Great fun with family, friends and of course geocaching.

There be blue in those pine needles
I highly recommend that you plan a geocaching outing sometime in the near future as well. You will so be glad that you did.


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