That almost sounds illegal!
A few months ago, my wife was going through a magazine looking for low/no cost things to do, and what did she find? Geo-caching. So what is “Geo-caching? It is a treasure hunt adventure if you will. People from all around the world participate in this fun filled event by hiding and finding caches with a sign-in log, and in some cases coins. These coins can be taken out to be placed in other caches you may find. You log the coin in and tell its tale.
So last night, the VB fam plotted their adventure. We started off by signing up for a basic account at www.geocaching.com. Once there, we watched the following short Youtube video about what geo-caching is about.
Feeling confident that we had a good grasp of the subject, we went straight to “Hide and Seek a Cache” page to set out our treasure adventure. The “Hide and Seek” page is rather self explanatory and easy to use. One of the search options is to use your zip code, we put in 43015 for Delaware and a 2 mile radius. Whalla, we had several choices of adventures to go find. We chose what we thought was 3 easy ones…
The 1st set took us to Grace United Methodist Church on the East side of Delaware. As excited as we were thinking of the riches we would encounter, we put the
coordinates in to my GPS Android mobile phone ap, and started walking around. We found the “spot” we were suppose to be at (near the cannon) and started looking. We looked high, we looked low, we looked in all sorts of nooks and crannies., we even looked in some shrubs. To our dismay, we did not find any thing that looked like a “cache.” Dismayed, we decided to move on to cache number 2, near the Meijer parking lot.
Once again, GPS in hand, and thoughts of adventure and treasure galore going through our minds we drove the Meijer parking log trying to match up the coordinates to the GPS app. We found the spot, but again… no cache. Again we walked the lot, looked high, looked low, and even looked in a trash can, all to no avail. We were heart broken. Not a single cache to be found.
On the Geo-caching site, the Meijer cache does warn you to look out for the “muggles.” These are passer-by’s who have no idea about your geo-cache treasure hunt and could report you to store security. I can only IMAGINE what some people were thinking as I climbed a light pole to look in a trash can. Egad, “Well officer, I was…).
So with that, we packed up our son, the dog, and headed home forgoing our 3rd choice. The conversation on the way home was filled with how we failed. The consensus? Our failure was attributed to the facet we are “newbies” to the geo-caching world and this was our first time out. To negate this in the future, we need to “bone up” on our knowledge base. Reach out to other geo-cachers, and find more website’s with tips and tricks. Oh yeah, and maybe find a better GPS app for Android.
Other than the let down of not finding anything, I can not say this was a complete was of time. We did get to spend good quality time together as a family and go on a low cost adventure. We were outside on a wonderful evening, did some walking, held hands with my wife, and tried something new. Are we done geo-caching? Not at all, however next time we are going to invite friends of ours along who have experience with geo-caching. Hopefully our next adventure will have stories we will be telling our grandkids (oh wait, our first one IS one of those stories!).
What are your thoughts on geo-caching? Have any tips on how to find them? Anyone geo-cache in Delaware yet?
Note: This story originally posted on May 26, 2010 on the original DelawareO.com site.