We’ve recently started Geocaching, and like to take a few hours on Saturdays to ‘Treasure Hunt’. There are a variety of hunts, so we like to throw a ‘hike’ type cache in so the kids get some good exercise and we get to really see some nature. This week we attempted a cache out near Pigeon Creek. This was our first ‘multi-cache’, which means the GPS coordinates lead you to the first way point, then you get new coordinates there to the next way point, and so on until you reach the final cache. We brought lunch with us, plenty of water, our camera, along with various gear and headed out. Problems began immediately:
#1 Right off the bat, kids start complaining about having to carry their own water…seriously? I’m carrying a backpack loaded with all our stuff, Big Puppy is often toting Froggy on his shoulders, and they’re whiny about a water bottle.
#2 We misinterpreted the instructions of where to begin, so ended up hiking off trail all the way to the first way point.
At the first way point, we took a water break, took some pics, wrote the new coordinates down, and headed to way point #2…on the trail. Along our route, we ran into a man looking for his lost dog. We took down his information in case we ran across her, and continued on. We now had kids occasionally whining about their water bottles and whistling/yelling out ‘Ruuuuuubyyyy!’ (We did not come across the dog.)
#3 Since I’m one of those crazy people who want to do things efficiently ALL the time, we kept going off trail to take a straighter route to the way point (since I am unfamiliar with the trails, I wasn’t sure if it would come back around)…problem because of ticks, icky spiderwebs, thorns, etc.
We located way point #2 fairly easily, took another water break/rest/photo op, and headed on to way point #3.
This is where the real problems began. We searched the area for about 45 minutes, and did not find the 3rd way point. We had a really good idea what we were looking for, and where it should be, but were unsuccessful. Kids took their whiny-ness to a new level, now complaining about being hungry. We decided to continue on the trail since we knew based on previous cache logs that there was a bench with a beautiful view along the trail where we could enjoy our lunch, and it was in the direction of the truck. Along the way, Pickle began to sag and lag behind like she was dying, Princess2T in her typical dramatic flair clutches a small tree and cries out ‘I can’t go on!’, Froggy argues with Chubbs about who gets to walk behind me, and Big Puppy brings up the rear so we don’t lose anyone. To try to keep everyone together, I ask Big Puppy to call cadence…I thought the kids would get a kick out of it, but it was I who ended up doing it. The only one I could really remember was the Lady Leatherneck song, so I felt like a weirdo singing about my Drill Instructors from over 13 years ago. The kids loved it though, and were amazed that I remembered the song from boot camp. We finally reach the bench, and dish out the food…you’d think they hadn’t eaten in weeks.
I pull up the geocache logs on my phone & see if I can get a clue as to where the final cache is, since I know it’s near the bench at which my children are sprawled stuffing their faces. They began getting a second wind, and exploring the nearby rock ledges (not near any edges…I’m a little over protective).
#4 I start looking around and under rocks until I come across this:
You’ve never seen me move so fast…I HATE SNAKES…and pretty much all wildlife in general if I’m not viewing from a distance. I resigned from the position of under rock peeker, and promoted Big Puppy. He discovered…scorpions. No cache. We took some pictures of our view, and headed back to the truck. This is when we realized our initial mistake, and discovered how hard we made this hunt. After our 3 hour hike…yes, I said 3 hours…we made it back to the truck empty handed. The kids said they had fun and would like to try to find the cache again sometime…WHAT?! All that whining & they wanted to try again? Wow…they are full of surprises. We started home, and decided to do a few P&G’s (Park & Grab) on our way home. We ended up completing 3 caches that were in a series…one that we had tried before & couldn’t locate. Once we knew what we were looking for, it was much easier.
Overall, it was tough, but the kids had a good time. We got some good exercise, and were able to log 3 finds. They ask nearly everyday if we can go ‘Treasure Hunting’, so I’m sure this will be a recurring post theme. If you are a fellow geocacher, please add us as a friend on geocaching.com! Our user name is Life@30ish.