Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Start of a Family Hobby: Geocaching

Geocaching, or treasure hunting as Rachel called it, is something we've expressed a desire to do for a while now. My sister-in-law and her family have been doing it for years, and it always looks like so much fun. Last Christmas I priced different GPS units to purchase for Steven for Christmas. They are expensive! And with the recent purchase of Steven's iPhone, that comes with a GPS, I'm sure glad I didn't buy one last Christmas.

This evening after dinner, we set out to find a couple local caches. We had warned the girls up front, that the first one we found, we weren't going to take anything because we didn't have anything to leave in it's place. We searched for unused Happy Meal toys, or little trinkets, and came up with nothing. So we decided we'd find the cache and sign the log. And then next time we went out, we'd bring trinkets to exchange out with what we took.

The first one took us about half an hour. Mostly because we're still trying to figure out the whole GPS and compass thing on the iPhone. Once we found it, we were tuned it to really paying attention to the hint, as well as the name of the cache. This particular find was named Country Club Cache. And had we been paying attention, we would have figured the cache was hidden near the Country Club storage facility. But we started on the wrong side of the street. And then made our way to the right spot, and it wasn't until after we'd found it, that we put two and two together and realized the name of the facility of where the cache was hidden. DUH!

Heading in the right direction,
but later discovered the cache was across the street

After searching in the planter,
and having a little help from Daddy, we found it!
Once we opened up the cache, both Hannah and Rachel discovered something they wanted, a beaded bracelet and a little plastic elephant figure. Nothing big, but they sure wanted them! So we made our way to the nearest Dollar Tree (I love that store) and bought some small trinkets and prizes to put in a bag for geocaching. We had planned to go back and make the exchange, but first we stopped to try to find another cache.

This one was along a little river (we never knew there was a little river there!) near a new park by our house. Long story short, we searched for a while. Even had to resort to the encrypted clue that leads us over the fence onto the soccer fields. At this point, it's getting late for a school night, and then the soccer field lots were locked, so we decided to go exchange our loot for the loot the girls wanted at our first stop and call it a night.
The GPS coordinates pointed to across the little river.

So across they went, in search of treasure!

Back to the first cache to redeem their prizes
and replace them with something else.
We had a really fun time! The girls both enjoyed it, and we're looking forward to doing it again...soon!


Kim said...

Fun, huh? It's amazing how excited the kids get about used junk! My new threat is "If you can't keep it picked up, it's going into the swag (geocaching lingo for bag of trading items)!"

Kim said...

Oops, I forgot mention that I bought a bag at the dollar store of fun shaped erasers that I keep in our's cheap, small and lightweight. In a pinch, you can always use dimes, quarters, etc. to trade with too! Enjoy.