2005-09-19

Geocaching Update

Thursday evening, my eldest son decided he wanted to make a Geocache of our own. We had been working up to it for a little while now. We had small notebooks for logbooks. I had saved a couple of 3 pound plastic picnic salad containers. We had some pirate themed accessories to go with our geocache nickname of 'WitzAbout Pirates'. My eldest son was really enthused about making the geocache that evening. He collected up a whole bunch of toys - older, but in good condition. So I printed out the geocache introduction sheet and gathered up the pieces needed. We headed down to a park about a mile away from our house. We parked in the lot, near the playground, and looked around for places to hide the cache. From my point of view, there were not a lot of choices. It was a pretty busy area, with a playground, 2 different ball fields - softball and soccer - and at the intersection of two pretty busy streets. I did not see any place near the playground that seemed good for the cache - short of the rocks in the middle of the parking lot. All the trees near the parking lot had branches that were high, and mown grass up to the trunks. I had spied some bushes and trees a the corner of the park when we were driving in. That seemed like our best bet. I found a spot to hide the cache - ironically right near where both roads meet. It seemed like a pretty high traffic area. I felt bad that I would be making fellow cachers look a bit suspicion when going after this cache. But my son really wanted to place it in the park. I wanted it someplace that would not likely be spotted and picked apart by non-cachers. So we placed it is a shallow hole hidden in the bushes/trees area (you don't want me to give away all the secrets, in case a cacher reads my blog for hints! ;-) )
We went home, and registered the cache online. My son helped me fill out the form and write up the description. He was so excited, he decided he would check the cache each week. He put a note up on the calendar for each Saturday. He was willing to walk the mile each way to check this cache. It was looking like geocaching might just get him out more often, beside dragging him to find geocaches.
Friday morning I checked my email. It turns out the cache didn't qualify because it was burred. I was tempted to debate the issue, but instead, I decided to change it. I went back down on my way to work. I got some rocks to build up a little hiding place for the cache. I think it came out pretty well. It should look pretty obvious to a cacher, but should hopefully be well hidden from causal observation. The cache was also not far from a high school too, so I knew it couldn't be too noticeable. So I updated the notes on the geocache site. Checked Saturday, no update. Then I noticed in a different color that I needed to send a special message to the admin so they knew to recheck the listing. Doh!
The admin listed it at 1:15am. Sunday morning I saw it was approved! A little later we noticed the first find! Wow! They said they were going to put in a travelbug, but could not fit it. I guess we filled it a bit too well! :)
By the end of the day, we had 4 visitors - cool!
We decided we wanted to hide another cache. I didn't think we had enough good stuff to fill another cache, so we went to the dollar store and stocked up on stuff for both creating a cache and for trading at caches in general.
After shopping, we tried to find a new, 2-stage cache. The first piece was a micro-cache that leads to the main cache. We spent about a half hour or so looking and looking for the micro. We have had very bad luck finding micro-caches. Maybe there is some secret that we are missing. I know that with regular caches, I'm starting to have a good eye for seeing manually placed items that indicate a cache. I'm wondering if I just have to work my way up to being able to see the same kind of clues for micro caches.
We went off to hide the new cache in a different part of town. This time along a hiking trail. Against a pretty busy place, so I hope the cachers will forgive us for making it a bit out in the open.
This time I had taken along my laptop. I had pre-loaded the data needed to continue geocaching without needing to be online. So we drove a bit down the road to another cache I'd been wanting to find for a while. It was next to a small lake. The lake was a bit hidden and a bit higher than you might expect. It was a cute lake, a nice place for a geocache. One of the great side-effects of geocaching is finding all sorts of places I didn't really know about before.

View our profile2005-09-19 1:00pm - just checked the geocache site again - our second cache was approved!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fun stuff! Some day I'll get out and geocache.

Lisa said...

That was me. :p

Stef said...

Sounds like a high tech scavenger hunt... what exactly is a geocache? It is nice that your oldest is really getting into it. Now that's a father/son activity if there ever was one! :D

Anonymous said...

This is a lovely story of father-son time.

There were a few terms that made it a little hard to follow what was happening tho...What does it mean that your cache was burred? And why do you need notebooks and logbooks? What is a travelbug (ah...found definition after scrolling down the page some)? And did you name it what you did to remind people to "keep their WitzAbout them"...? LOL

Other than those couple of things, I really enjoyed reading this!
Jube