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Monday, September 29, 2008

Geo Caching 1

We haven't been geocaching for ages. Bet you're scratching your head and wondering what the heck I'm talking about, and others just sat straight up in their chairs because they know exactly what I meant. Geo caching simply put is like going on a treasure hunt. You visit the geocaching site (the link is on the left column of my blog, scroll down a little way) plug in your postal code, and up pops a listing of geo caches in your area. You will have to register, but you can do that for free, and if you enjoy it, you can buy a yearly membership. This is a great activity for one or many. Take the kids around, there are kid oriented caches, you just need to go through the listings on the site to find those. If you go to that site, you can read all about it.

You need a GPS unit to do this (Global Positioning System). You can find sources of these units online and links from the main Geo Caching website that are geared toward geo caching. If you want to head out to look at some gps units, here is a link to one that has the best prices we've found so far. GPS Central, it is a Canadian site.

We did a 5 stage one on the weekend. We went to Dean Park, one of our favourite places, and it's all through the park. Before we actually got going I spotted these beautiful fungus growing all over the place. I love these and watch for them every fall. They grow in these dense forested areas and as soon as the damp weather starts, they grow like crazy. I managed to get a fantastic picture of these ones, with the morning dew hanging on them.

geofungus1web

So once the busy parking lot cleared of people, we were able to start our first cache. It was right there, so we had to wait. You don't want people to see what you're doing because caches sometimes go missing due to people who don't know what they are, so they take them away. There isn't anything of value in them, it's the hunt for them that is priceless. So here is the first one we found.

geodpcache1web

Here's stage 2 of 5. It's very satisfying when you find them and when it's the first time, you get kind of a rush. Like I said there is nothing of value in these boxes, but I guess it brings out the kid in all of us. Generally if it's a cache big enough to add to, you can put in anything from a penny to some silly trinket or whatever you want. There are notebooks in them and you just add a quick note to say you were there, the date and what if anything you took or added to the cache.

geodpcache2web

This is stage 3 of 5 and the last one we did that day. Sadly, we could not find the cache. We were definitely in the right place, we got good gps signals but following the clue to the letter and moving rocks, branches and grass just didn't unearth the cache. I have written to the originator of the cache to ask them to check to see if it was just us or if it is gone. We did one a long time ago and couldn't find the cache and the owner checked it and in fact it was gone. We couldn't go any further with this for now, because each step of the way there are clues inside the caches for the next stage of this one.

The stump in this case was quite something. I walked over some of the decomposed wood and it was really slippery and you sink into it. It's almost like a lava flow the way it's coming apart. I have never seen a stump that has decomposed like this before. It doesn't appear that way in the picture, but it really is weird. You have to walk around it or almost fall trying to walk through it. ;o~

geodpcache3web

We spent almost 4 hours around the park today, and after not finding this 3rd cache, we called it a day. Good thing we brought some lunch and water with us. On the way down, I kept seeing so many of those fungus and took another picture. This one and many many others, were growing up this old tree, which is just a stump actually, several feet high, but no branches. The mosses are starting to take root on it as well, just beautiful this time of year to see all that happens in a forest.

geofungus2web

If you want to understand Geo Caching better, this is a great book from the creators of the GeoCaching Site.... Have fun and let me know if you take on the challenge, would love to hear how it went..

geocachingbookweb

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Ro! Very interesting....I'd never heard of geo-caching before until you mentioned it some time ago. It looks to be a lot of fun. I enjoyed the pics and, I agree, a wonderful shot of the fungus. Be sure to let us know if the cache had been removed.

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