Monday, July 09, 2012


My son Jon asked us if we wanted to go geocaching with him.  I had heard about this, but I couldn't figure it out exactly.  I knew Jon had some handheld GPS device and that he searched for hidden treasure in the woods.  It sounded like a good opportunity to be outdoors with him and my granddaughter and daughter-in-law.  So we headed to the river trail on a hot, sultry day and Jon taught us how to find treasure.

From his device, Jon located the first cache.  At least we knew it was in the general vicinity of where we were standing. You can go to a website and find all kinds of hints.  We were on a little sandy beach, and that matched up with one of the clues.  We knew it was a tiny treasure, so that meant it would be hard to find.  We all searched around in the trash left behind by maybe teenagers partying on this beach. We couldn't find it.  Okay, on to the next one.  We walked down a narrow path, me trying hard to avoid the knee-high poison ivy and the girls stopping to watch a little turtle sunning himself in a pond and a multitude of butterflies fluttering around us.  The next cache was supposedly dangling from a tree above the river.  That we figured out from the hints.  We stood on the bank of the river looking down.  We were high above it.  Jon first climbed out on a tree branch hanging over the river and then decided to slide down the steep embankment.  Mother instinct took over.  I said, "Jon, get back up here!"  It looked too dangerous.  But Jon didn't listen to me, of course, nor to the admonitions of his wife to be careful.  My son is very persistent.  It really bugged him that he couldn't find this cache either.  We left to find the next one.

We were standing in front of it.  This we knew.  But the woods were dense and overgrown.  A big tree stood before us, and Jon seemed to know that it was the most likely place for the cache.  He fearlessly tore through the brush and leaves (and snakes, surely) and scrambled around in the foliage.  This was supposed to be a large cache.  Chrissy and the girls and I stood safely on the path.  I tend to get poison ivy just by looking at it, so no way was I going into the weeds.  Poor Jon.  This didn't seem like much of a sport if he was doing all the work. Finally, finally!  He found it!  He brought over a large metal ammo box and opened it.  The treasure!  The idea is, you take a treasure and leave behind a treasure for the next person.  This box had an odd assortment of a little stuffed animal, cassette tapes, balls, a sticker book, and a shark tooth.  Lana grabbed the little animal as her mother cringed.  (Who knows who touched it?)  Jon left behind marbles. Okay, now I see why this could be  fun.  You never know what you will find.  Encouraged by success, we went back to the sandy beach and finally found that first one.  All this cache contained was a teeny slip of paper rolled into a very small canister hidden in a minuscule hole in a tree.  The paper was simply a log of those who had come before.  Jon signed his name.  

On to the last one.  We were on a sunny bridge over a little stream of water flowing into the river.  We all searched with our eyes to find the cache, but no luck.  Jon once again trampled into the weeds, lifting rocks and boldly putting his hand into small, dark openings.  He searched a long time while the rest of us began to melt in the heat.  Lana's face was flushed red and I was getting dizzy.  We retreated to some shade.  Jon could not find this one.  To him, this was a bad geocaching day.  But for the rest of us, it was a fun day in the park.  I enjoyed sharing an adventure with family, and we're all up for trying again on a cooler day.

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