Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our First Geocaching Trip

"Tell me again what we going to do.. and why?"  (for the 3rd time) The "why" was easy..."because I said so." Being the mom of 4 (3 teens), I know sometimes you have to pull out the 'big gun'.  This was one of those times. 
We needed to get out, take a break from the familiar. Okay, I needed a break. Everyone else wanted to stay with their computers, cell phones and ipods.  All week I'd been telling the husband that we need to do something, make some memories with our children.  When I started googling geocaching, it sounded like fun, a modern day treasure hunt. This is right up my alley-as an avid, second-hand shopper, I aready knew the thrill of the hunt. Here was a hunt that would only cost us gas (I packed sandwich fixings for a picnic lunch).
Still the natives were balking and though their looks were threatening, they finally piled into the car.

In my research, I wrote down the coordinates for about 50 geocaches. (Okay, looking back I was extremely over-optomistic)  We left the house 3 hours later than I had scheduled. I could knock off a few of the caches at the end of the list. They were mostly hikes and we'd probably be tired by then anyway.

Our first site was very familiar to us and 8 miles from the house.  I had noticed the old building before, but now thanks to I knew the history of the old building-a train station for a company that built wine barrels.  We spent about an hour here and never found the cache - a contact lens case. (have gone back since and still haven't found it).  Okay, we'll knock a few more sites off our list.  It was not a good start and the kids were already asking how many of these do we have to look for. I began to worry this would not turn into the kind of memory we were hoping to make.  Finally, unwillingly we left without our reward.
The next stop was listed as an easy PNG (Park and Grab).  Another familiar place, a roadside overlook, we had passed many times but never stopped at. The view was beautiful.  Just one problem--MUGGLES.!(Non-geocachers)  Fortunately after a few minutes they started packing up and left.  I already knew pretty much where the cache was, from the description on the website.  SUCCESS!!! It was only a key holder with a log, but you'd have thought we'd found a treasure chest.
We found this one in about 5 minutes but we spent about 40 minutes in the Rock Shop next door.  Still we made a new friend- the Rock Shop owner and bought a few items to remember our trip.

Next we visited the Drive-In theater we sometimes go to on weekend evenings.  Another Sucess! We found a traditional cache here- an ammo box with SWAG (tradeables).  We took a piece of film from an old movie that once played at the drive in and left a Superman glider. ( I raided our drawers and craft boxes for anything that would be a good tradeable the night before)

Now the kids are excited and its a good thing too, because the next two sites we find nothing accept photo opportunities.

We also found a 4-H friend who had graduated the year before.  His parents own a campground that was one of our cache sites.  Our trip also took us to a State Visitor Center near the State line where we picked up brochures for other places we'd like to visit.  We also visited 2 parks, 2 cemetaries and picked a cache along the highway.  We had a picnic at one of the parks, went swimming in the River not too far from our friend's campground and made it back in time to go to the drive-in.  A GREAT DAY!!! and some great memories.

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