Before we started our outing, Katie noted the information: longitude, latitude, clues and info about what sort of container we were looking for. (She's considering buying an app for her phone that would store all that for her.) Some caches were park and grab—close to the road, accessible even in a wheelchair. "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" was located, not surprisingly, at a small dam with a parking lot for canoers. Others required bushwhacking. After last summer's storm fallen trees made things, uh..., challenging. We programmed the coordinates into the GPS and drove as near as we could get. Then we carried the device into the woods, taking periodic readings until we knew we were close.
That was when the real search began, checking hollow logs, uprooted trees, the nest where several trunks rise together, behind a stump. We never did find one of the caches we were looking for despite two visits on separate days, coming from opposite directions. Maybe it’s not there any more, but according to the computer log it was found last October—after the storm.
Part of the fun is hiding caches in special places you would like to share with others. I found myself thinking more like a photographer than a geocacher, searching for good angles to shoot the scenery while Katie and the kids looked for the cache. (Hence the illustrations on this page.)
Katie has found a hundred and forty caches in seven states in the two months since she registered. Her best day was fourteen caches along a bike trail. This week she planted her own cache called "One if by land, two if by sea." It's near a boat landing, and she's eagerly watching for the first person to register finding it.
I'm not that ambitious, but I did sign up. It's an excuse to explore the Northwoods county where we live and take more pictures. I’m especially interested in solving the literary puzzles an English teacher posted to figure out the coordinates of the caches he hid a half hour north of here. The dozen caches contain clues to the location of the real cache. That is one creative teacher if you ask me. And this sure beats video games.
Have you tried geocaching? I'd love to hear from you if you have. For anyone who decides to try it as a result of this blog, a word to the wise: Take bug spray and check for ticks. And, oh yeah. Have fun.