And now for something completely different, and extremely nerdy, to boot.
What the heck is a geocache, you ask? It’s a treasure somebody hides for somebody else to find. Sometimes it’s an ammo box full of goodies like little toys for the kiddos, sometimes it’s a container smaller than a thimble. When a “cacher” hides a treasure, they make note of the geographic coordinates and post them online. If you have a smartphone, or a computer and a handheld GPS, you can navigate your way to the “cache.” Depending on the size of the container, there might be trinkets inside for trading along with a notebook for you to sign, or perhaps only a tiny rolled-up piece of paper. When you find the secret stash, you sign your name on the log provided, and post your find on Geocaching’s website. (They’ve even made a cute little instructional video; check it out here.)
(Our early days of geocaching. Making a find was super-exciting.)
We started geocacing about six years ago, and found lots of treasures. We even hid a few. After a couple of years the boys got bored with it, but I didn’t. Eventually I took it up on my own, and since there are treasures hidden almost everywhere you turn in my neck of the woods, this summer it’s become almost an obsession. It’s more fun when you have someone to hunt for treasure with, but I’ve enjoyed my solo hunts, too. It’s kind of like having a little mini-adventure nearly every day.
(Sometimes I can talk Curly into helping me search for a geocache.)
Sooooo…. allow me to geek you out by sharing five of the geocaches I found this summer:
“TB” stands for “Travel Bug,” an object that can be tracked from cache to cache. It’s fun to see where it goes. We had one make it to Singapore before it disappeared. Some caches are designated as dropoff locations for travel bugs, although you can leave one in any cache you want, as long as it fits.
Anyhow, I took a friend on a hunt for this cache when we went camping, near Natural Bridge, Virginia. This was a fun find because we found it hiding underneath this old pink cadillac.
Nearby is a pink motel and diner, and this ugly statue (I’ve showed you twice already. My apologies, haha)
And, of course, finding it with my friend. That was the best part.
I found this on vacation in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. This was my favorite that week because I got to enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way.
In our little town there is a walking/jogging/cycling trail that runs along the river. There are a number of geocaches placed along the trail, most of which are still waiting for me to find. Some cachers like to camouflage their containers to make it look like part of the surrounding area. This one was a doozie to find, and I probably would have overlooked it if the owner (the person who hid the cache) hadn’t left detailed instructions on how to find it.
This hunt took me to an old abandoned barn. What made it more interesting was the HUGE buzzard that was watching me as I searched for the cache. I wished I’d brough my good camera with me. When he flew up to the tin roof of the barn and started scritch-scratching around up there I’ll admit it freaked me out just a little bit. I was ready to get out of there in a hurry, but not before snapping a photo with my phone:
(You can just see the buzzard at the peak of the roof.)
Many caches are what some call “Park and Grabs.” Typically, theyre the easiest and quickest ones to find, because you can park your car right next to them. They also tend to be the least interesting ones, because they’re often located in parking lots, or (worse) behind gas stations and shopping centers. If your GPS leads you to a light pole, chances are the cache is underneath the boxy cover that hides the bolts that attach the post to the concrete piling. Not very original, but they can be fun when you’re out and about. This one was in the parking lot of a Home Depot store, hidden (you guessed it) under a light pole cover. What made it great was that when I lifted the cover I found this:
How do you hide a log sheet inside a tape measure? Easy.
That one made me laugh.
Today I found a geocache unlike any I’ve ever seen. I guess I’ll have to tell you about that one in another post. If you’re interested…
For more favorites, check out Hallie’s Five Favorites linkup at Moxie Wife!