Monday, December 28, 2009

A post-Christmas Adventure

For Christmas, I gave Dave a GPS... yes, we are one step closer to entering the current century, though we are still resisting texting on our phones... We decided to make our afternoon walk into a little adventure by seeing if we could find a local geocache as we walked. For those of you who are uninitiated, geocaching is a fast-growing pastime, with over 5,000 caches listed in New Mexico alone, and dozens right here in Los Alamos county. A geocache is a sort of treasure hunt: someone hides a container, and inside it is a log where you list your name or initials if you find it. Some are tiny, some are larger and contain things, either things that stay there, or you take something and add something. We saw one listed that has books in it, and you take a book and leave a new one. Anyway, many caches are listed here, and we chose one just about a mile from our home. It gave us the GPS coordinates and a few hints, and we set off. Below, Dave is setting the coordinates of the place we want to find.

We hiked to the end of a near-by street, and then onto the first part of a little path, and found we were close, and began looking. This was a "microcache", meaning it was tiny, and we followed the clues given, and lo and behold, we found it! And it was tiny: a little magnetic case with a tiny water-proof case inside, and a small scroll for penciling-in your initials.

After we signed it, we replaced it where we found it, and continued our walk. Then when we got home, we recorded that we have found it.

So, this may be a way to make your little walks more adventurous, Gentle Reader. It was really a lot of fun!


Cindy Marsch said...

Now that's fun! There are twenty of them within four miles of our zip code, and that's with a tiny local population! I bet there aren't 4,000 people within four miles of our zip code, except when Slippery Rock University is in session, and then the population goes up to about 15,000! :-)

Just don't rely on your GPS for driving directions--did you see that item in the news about a family or couple stranded in their SUV because the GPS told them to take a remote farm road in the snow? I saw for myself that my sister, eyes glued to her GPS, wasn't looking at actual landmarks when we were visiting my mom for her husband's funeral, and when the batteries were going low she was going to be stranded without knowing how to get back to the hotel. ;-)

Sheila said...

Hi Chris,
We did that a few years ago around Lake Red Rock. I think we found 3 of them - one of which we had to climb a shoulder high cliff to find. That, in addition to lugging Elijah up and down a *steep* hill! We also did it for one of Briana's Birthday parties - we hid treasures for each of the kids to find.

Mesa Mike said...

Well, "FinfamNM", welcome to geocaching. I've found it to be a lot of fun, and the kids especially like to find the treasure. We don't like microcaches, though. And, there are many in the local area that force you to get a bit of physical exercise -- some, a lot of physical exercise -- to get to. Physical exercise is always good, if you're able.