This is the hardest letter for me. Last year I wrote about the x-ray Crash needed when he was 2ish. Turns out he didn’t need it because his foot was okay. It just hurt like hell.
This year I thought I’d go with a simple X. As in X marks the spot. We enjoy treasure hunting. Not the pirate booty kind with an ancient map with a wandering trail of dashes that ultimately end at big red X. Nor the kind our favorite Goonies were in search of back in the 80’s.
This is more technologically advanced. It uses man-made satellites orbiting miles and miles above the Earth. Unfortunately, the treasure we find isn’t of the gold and riches kind either. It’s usually sealed away in a small Tupperware container. Or perhaps a film canister – those small black cylinders film negatives used to be kept in prior to the digital age. Or perhaps it’s 5 gallon bucket with 200 yellow, plastic eggs and you’ll need to open them all just to find the log book.
I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I speak of Geocaching. We’ve been caching since 2004 when my parents gave me a rudimentary GPS for Christmas and one day I stumbled (before the days of StumbleUpon) across a website to find stuff others had hidden using a GPS.
Some of these caches – there are millions of them worldwide – are very clever and will involve some detective work. A quick Google search of “Clever Geocaches” will supply you some idea of clever they can get. Some are super easy that you can just park and grab and go. Don’t take it with you, though. Just sign the log book, put it back for others to find and then log your find on-line. To date, we have 152 finds and have hidden 5 ourselves.
I use it as an excuse get the kids outside and into the woods. Now, you would think that using a GPS, where’s the challenge? You simply go to the coordinates and viola, there it is. A GPS is only so accurate. The best mine can do is get you to within 3 feet. This means it could be 3 feet to my left, 3 feet to my right or in front or behind. This would create a circle 9 feet in diameter. That is IF the GPS is that accurate. If there are trees it won’t be that easy. Numerous times I’ve gone looking for caches with the kids only return home empty handed with a DNF (did not find). We’d enlist the help of DW and she would find it for us.
We haven’t been for a while because we’ve found all the ones near our house. To find more we’ll need to travel a bit. I look up caches in the areas and along routes we travel and grab them along the way. Time for more adventures!