Saturday, March 20, 2010

Great thing to do outdoors......

I just had my first experience with Geo-caching, and let me just say that it was a great experience for my family. I took T (5th grade) K (Pre K) and Tiny T (8 months) .This was the funnest thing we have done yet this school year. We learned that we make life what it is in our attitudes. We went into this as an experience.
We searched the Geo-Cache website by zipcode for one in ours. We found one that was by a rope swing, we thought was right up the street mountain from us. We programmed the coordinates into our GPS and well, we were wrong. It was a couple of miles down the road. We all loaded in the car and ended up driving there. We got as far as we could drive then we got out and began walking, still following our GPS. It said it was 0.2 miles from our car. I can totally do that carrying a baby in my arms and helping my 5 year old. Little did I know that we made a few mistakes;
1. We took the wrong trail.
2. It was 0.2 miles in a straight line from my car, that mileage estimate does not take into consideration the switchbacks, nor the slope.
3. We did not make a special bathroom break before we left. (We thought this would be quick)
4. We did have snacks and a drink, but we LEFT IT IN THE CAR.

Now I am sure that all of these mistakes would have normally made for one grumpy un-fun trip by all, but as I said we went into this as an experience. We were partially up the mountain trail when we spot a stripped rock.
We did really want to find the Geo-cache, but we were there for the hike. I was VERY unprepared for the challenge.
That was one of the clues on the website. We felt we were close, so we kept going. We really were wishing we had packed a snack. Look at this great picnic spot. That is the Great Salt Lake in the background.
We decided we had been out long enough and we had to go to the bathroom so we decided to give up head back. We see the other trail. The one we think we should have taken. So we decide to head back on that one, it has just got to be faster. We began hiking away from our car (which I could still see) thinking that we were headed to a switchback. We saw that it would need to go around this part of the mountain. So we press on. We keep getting farther from our car. We ended up in a neighborhood that is by a park we frequent. I decided to call my husband to come get us and drive us to our car. He was in the middle of some yard work (YEAH!), since it wasn't a complete emergency he said he needed 10 minutes until he could leave. I told him to just call us before he left, we might be back to the car by then. So we began walking through the neighborhood, toward our car, and it was a circle. The only way to get through is right through their yard. I did not feel comfortable with that. So I check my GPS on how to get back to my car. It tells me to go clear out and around this neighborhood (about 1 mile). I can see my car, approx 250 feet away. Remember that we still have to go to the bathroom. We see a "sort of" trail. We decided to try it. (yes, even after our previous short cuts were the long way) It was cutting behind the houses. Then we see a fence. Ughh, T hikes ahead and sees a path through the fence. So we forge on. My husband now calls and is ready to leave. I tell him to wait, we are so close, I will call him back. We keep hiking, and by now Tiny T, is hungry. What, another fence. T hikes up faster than us, and there is also a path. We hike down the rest of the trail for to the car. We made it. We hurry home and go to the bathroom. That took us about 2 hours. But the whole time we were laughing and making jokes and enjoying nature and each other.

We go pick up E (3rd grade) from her Girl Scout Cookie Booth. We decided not to give up, but that we were not prepared to do the harder one. So I programmed another one into our GPS at a park that I knew well. We begin searching the park (the GPS coordinates tell us exactly were to go). The website told us this was a hard one because it was small. We were searching where we thought it was, it was a very nice day, but getting cooler, and once again we were unprepared E was the only one with a jacket and she had shorts on. The rest of us had no coats. It was getting to cold for us. And we hadn't found it yet. We once again decided to head back. It was dinner time as well.
After dinner we decided we REALLY wanted to find one. So we check the website by zipcode and this time we chose easy level and easy terrain. Basically we just wanted the find by now. We program this one in our GPS and headout. We make it there in 3 minutes, and my GPS leads us right to it. Whoo hooo! The kids are so excited.
They had each brought an item to trade. We signed the log and put it back. What fun we had, and now they can't wait to go out and do more.

Note: This post is definitely not to discourage you from trying this. It was to show you that we had a great time and great attitudes through trying times. I am often known for biting off more than I can chew. I definitely recommend doing this is this spring weather. On the website notice the stars. Notice how difficult the find will be. Looking back, I actually couldn't have planned it any better. It taught us all many lessons; in preparedness, in how to deal with frustration, in when to swallow pride and ask for help, in giving up, but pressing on.

I have some amazing memories from this day, and will always remember it.


Anonymous said...

We've recently started geocaching too. It is great fun isn't it?

Susana said...

Hi Alyson!

You won my Silly Body Book giveaway!!

Please email me at, with your mailing address and I'll get it right out to you.

Thank you so very much too for all of the many sweet and sincere comments you leave for me. I appreciate them all and the time you take to read and comment.


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