Sparky and I are now Geocachers. What is Geocaching, you ask? Well, allow me to explain.
Geocaching is like an adventure game in your neighborhood. People hide caches, then post the latitude/longitude coordinates online, usually at the Geocaching website. A cache can be just about anything. In it’s simplest form, it’s a weatherproof container with a notebook and a pencil so people can log when they visited the cache. Most caches have little trinkets in them as well. You’re expected to leave something if you take something. The caches stay put so other people can find them and that’s how it works.
Last week, one of the schools I work at got GPS units. I borrowed one so I could see how it worked, and went to find my first geocache. The first one was easy, but the second one I looked for, just a few hundred yards from the first one, I couldn’t find. It was then that I realized how inaccurate GPS units can be if you’re looking for a small thing in an exact location. But I guess that’s all part of the fun.
The caches we found today I really had to work for. The first one we went hunting for was at the dog park (appropriately enough), and after I got within 20 feet of the location, it took me about 20 mintues to actually locate it. After we came home from the dog park, we went hunting for geocaches close to the house. There are three within about 3/4 of a mile of each other along Culebra Creek, over by our grocery store. It took us almost 2 hours to find all three, but we did it. One was a small film canister that was hanging from a tree, and I was lucky to look right at after only 5 minutes of looking. Another was really easy to find, since the hint left online pretty much told me where to look. The third was the hardest, not just because we had to walk through very tall weeds to get there, but because there was a lot of tree cover, which means the GPS doesn’t get as good of a signal from the satellites. I went one tree too far, and upon expanding the search, found it easily.
Now to complete my geekiness, I just need to leave a cache somewhere.