Saturday, June 21, 2008


Ever heard of Geocaching ( It's a very cool, very modern version of a scavenger hunt and we did it on Saturday with Margaret, a friend from church. I was telling a story earlier this week about how much McIver likes pirate treasure, etc. and Margaret said she would take us geocaching this weekend. The kids did love it... hijinks and all!

Margaret had to do a little bit of research before picking us up Saturday morning. She went to the geocaching website and found where some caches were hidden near us. Then, using a handheld GPS, we found the location and wandered around a bit looking for the caches. They are well-hidden, but there were clues (e.g. "Have a high time under the line.") to let us know where to look. You can tell from the picture that we weren't quite 'under the line' yet, but we were getting close.

We found the cache! It was about the size of a peanut butter jar and covered with camo duct tape. There were lots of 'treasures' inside - like this Travel Bug, a few quarters, some matchbox cars, a bag of pretty stones, etc. Olivia and McIver each picked a treasure to take away and then chose something from Margaret's stash to leave in the cache (yet another bit of prep-work on Margaret's behalf - she had a collection of little trinkets that we were able to leave in each of the caches that we found). The Travel Bug has a special dogtag on it with a tracking number. Whenever one is found, the finder is supposed to take it to a new cache - then log on to and let the owner know that it has been moved. It's all very techie and so fun!
McIver found the 2nd cache - you can see that it could be pretty hard to find, depending on where it's hidden. This one had lots of different kinds of stones in it. We left the TB (that's geocaching lingo for Travel Bug), in this one.
Here's Olivia putting a cache back in its hiding spot. Sorry not to have a picture of her face, but this is more to show you just how sneaky you have to be to hide/find the caches. There's a concern that folks who don't know about geocaching ("muggles") might find the treasure and not really know what to do about it so folks are very tricky with their hiding spots.
So, I mentioned some hijinks... After 3 successful finds, we headed to Memorial Park which is just covered with caches. We thought we had one that was pretty close to the road and wouldn't require too much traipsing through the woods. So, we parked Margaret's car on the side of a street with some very nice houses and began our trek. The kids were still into it at this point. Once we got to the point where we knew we were close, though, we had a hard time finding the cache - the clue said that it was covered with sticks and pine needles. This is where we were -

I mean, there were sticks and pine needles EVERYWHERE. So, after about 15 minutes or so of hunting, we decided to head back to the car and call it a day. Only when we got back to the car, Margaret realized that her keys had fallen out of her pocket at some point during the trek. Oops! Both of our pocketbooks/cellphones were locked in the car and, to top it all off, Olivia had to go to the bathroom (and not the kind you can do in the woods; I had already suggested that).

So, after Margaret's attempt to retrace her steps in search of the missing keys (she did have GPS after all!) and the kindness of 3 strangers, we made it back to Margaret's house so she could get her spare keys and retrieve her car. The kids and I stayed at Margaret's and played the Wii while she went to get the car - they were overjoyed!
This morning at church, Margaret found someone who loaned her a metal detector. She went back to Memorial Park, accompanied by several other church friends who were eager for an adventure, I guess, and FOUND THE KEYS AND THE CACHE!! I thought they were lost for good - shows what I know!

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