It was definitely time for some adventuring. I’ve been stretched to my limit lately with my father who’s out of his element and quasi helpless for the time being. Between that and the Keystone Cops care operation he’s surrounded by the last few days, my little one has been missing out and has been tossed around more the last few weeks than she has been in two years. It’s the end of the school year and we are both overwhelmed with respective deadlines and end of year events. I haven’t been home a lot, day or night, with nursing home visits and, well, babysitting him and when I started to notice my daughter asking for WAY more ‘Alone Time’ than usual, I figured it was a good time to devote the day to her. We both needed a major break. It was borderline chilly, sunny and windy as hell. I reinstalled our Geocaching App and off we went.
This is something I’ve done for years and I have great stashes of stuff retrieved from caches around the U.S. A few years ago the phone app stopped being very accurate and the handheld Garmin I bought in its place just wasn’t user friendly enough (it hated me). The kids and I had a few mostly failed attempts and gave up. I noticed recently that they’ve upgraded to a pay locator in order to make sure everyone playing is in it for the good of the game. So I figured maybe they had debugged the bugs. We only had accuracy of + or – 15 feet but we were all in all very successful!
For anyone unfamiliar, there are thousands and thousands of these hidden in the world and, most likely, nearby wherever you may be. Ranging from large boxes full of trinkets down to so miniscule you can’t spot them. I’ll get to that in a minute. They’re placed officially with permission from whoever owns the grounds based on given coordinates to help you locate them. And, technically, the finds should be done in secret so that ‘outsiders’ do not abuse or remove the caches. Ideally you sign the logbook and if you take something, you should leave something. We always have a Ziploc bag of junk to help refill caches that are fairly empty.
The first in line led us to a very small cemetery that was in poor care. Due to humungous spiders and overgrowth we didn’t find this one but it’s marked to try again if they should ever weed whip these poor stones. Here are some pictures of the grounds and if you zoom in, some interesting info about the history of the plots.
The next one was somewhere in another tiny cemetery, this one very well kept. It was a small match container and there was only enough room inside for a rolled logbook. No treasure but we left some gold rings to spice it up. This size would be considered a ‘Nano’.
Next, a ‘Medium’…can you see the container hidden in the crook of the tree?
This next one would be considered a ‘Small’ was found in a park on a golf course. Along with some treasure it had the original logbook! Exciting!
And just so I can illustrate why I don’t usually hunt less than Small containers…this was a ‘Micro’ stuck behind a guardrail on a desolate back road. The idea here is simply to sign your name. She was so pleased with herself to have found this successfully.
This was the favorite of the day. Placed by the owners on their own property, they had their cache hidden in a birdhouse rigged with a pretty elaborate pulley system to retrieve it! This one had a Travel Bug from New York but we didn’t take it because we probably won’t be going too far in the next few months to help further it’s journey.
There were apparently two Mystery Sized caches nearby on these but since we didn’t know what we were looking for…we didn’t look too hard.
One of my favorite things about caching is that it leads you to find natural areas and landmarks that you’d otherwise probably never know about. It’s a game to get you outdoors and also to appreciate and care for your surroundings. They will never be hidden anywhere where you are made to destroy so much as a weed or walk where you aren’t already supposed to…which is why this next one caused me some confusion.
We found it with no problem but couldn’t figure out how to get to it unless one of us dropped down below the deck and walked through the weeds. My daughter said, “Okay, who’s gonna take the sacrifice!?” You’re lookin’ at him. I went down alongside the boardwalk and through the brush where I instantly started feeling like razors and fire were cutting at my legs. I thought I’d been bitten but apparently I’d dropped down into a ginormous thicket of Stinging Nettle. I climbed four feet back up over the deck to avoid going back through the Horror Patch. It was only when she was picking from the box that the long wire attached to raise and lower it became ridiculously obvious. Long story short, here came the white welts, the cursing began and I smeared myself with Neosporin back at the car. Treasures were had, we both got a much needed break and bonding time, we walked a total of seven miles together on a beautiful day and we live to cache again another day!