Saturday, September 14, 2013


My daughter and I had an adventurous day.  One of our new favorite "hobbies" is Geocaching.  There are hidden items all over the region, all over the country, all over the world, really, with clues to finding them.  It's sort of like a scavenger hunt.  A GPS unit is generally required in order to find the items, but they can really be anywhere.  Google it for more information.  It really is a lot of fun.

It's also very challenging, much harder than I first realized when I read about it.  We've only been able to successfully find a Geocache twice, even though we've attempted dozens.  Some are just hidden too well.  But it's still fun, and the fact that we've had a little success is enough to keep us in the hunt.

Our plan for the day was to get up early, go to Denny's for a nice breakfast, then go hunting.  But, as is typical lately, I just wasn't able to get out of bed when the alarm went off at 7:30 a.m., and my daughter and I both woke up right around 9:30.  We decided to eat breakfast at home, then get ready and go out.

It was a beautiful day!  The weather was in the low 70s, no humidity, just a slight chill in the air.  We put the top down on the car and headed out.  A friend of ours was having a yard sale, so we decided we'd run by there before going Geocaching.  It was a multi-family yard sale, and when we didn't see our friends or any familiar faces, our introvertedness took over and we just kept going.  Yard sales are such personal affairs and I don't like to stop at them unless I actually know the people having them.

We stopped next at REI to check on prices for hand-held GPS units.  I had been wanting to find one that's better than the GPS unit we used in the car for traveling, and for Geocaching, the GPS units are better than my iPhone.  But REI didn't have anything under $200, from what I could see.  I'll probably keep shopping online for a better deal.

We found another Geocache nearby than claimed not to be too difficult, but did require a little hiking, stream-crossing, and bushwhacking.  We found the parking area in an apartment complex, then headed down the paved pathway into the woods.  The iPhone directed us to an area in the woods that required us to cross a little stream.  That proved difficult when my daughter reminded me she forgot to wear sneakers.  She was wearing flip-flops.  I hadn't noticed.  Well, she was willing to brave possibly getting her feet wet, and wanting to press on, I decided that was good enough.  So we crossed the stream at a narrow area with plenty of stepping stones, then I went into the wooded area next to the stream, telling my daughter to wait for me.  I followed the iPhone fairly deep through the trees, thinking I was getting closer and looking for anything resembling what is used to hold the Geocache.  I lost sight of my daughter, and she was starting to panic.  She called me to come back, and, not having any luck anyway, I backtracked to her location.  I was a little bit frustrated that I wasn't able to find it, but I also didn't like leaving my daughter alone, so we decided to head back to the car and try another.  We did find a handful of golf balls in the woods, so that was a nice souvenir of our trip.

When we got near the parking area, a group of 5 or 6 young teens were approaching my car.  I assumed we wouldn't be gone long to necessitate putting the top back up, and there really wasn't anything in the car worth stealing anyway, but it was clear the boys were up to some mischief.  Even though we were headed right for the car, it wasn't enough to scare them away.  One young kid went so far as to put his hands on the door as if to check to see if the door was open.  The windows were up, making it difficult for someone who wasn't very tall to actually reach the locks.  They were talking amongst themselves about the car, wondering about the make, and I very loudly and confidently stated it was my car.  They acted like they were in a hurry at that point to go somewhere else, and they started moving away from us and the car, and my daughter and I hurriedly jumped in and got ready to leave.  There was no incident of any kind, fortunately, but I was concerned.  One of the boys shouted to me just before we started to pull away and asked what kind of car it was.  I shouted back to him, "A Mazda!"  He turned to one of his buddies and said, "Told you...that's a lot faster than an Audi!"  I smiled.  Then we headed out of the neighborhood.

We tried another Geocache located just off Rt. 108 in a sleepy little neighborhood that I didn't know existed.  We found the paved path that the directions listed and headed down.  It was about a quarter of a mile and led to a little play area, with swings, a jungle gym, and benches.  We found the Geocache on the underside of a metal bench, logged in the date and user name, and then logged it in to the Geocaching site on my iPhone.  We were pretty proud of ourselves for finding it so easily, but I was still frustrated at how easy some are to find, and how others can be so hard.  Anyway, we decided to celebrate with lunch at Bertucci's, which was nearby.

Following lunch, we went to our favorite bookstore, Daedalus, off of Snowden River Parkway, and browsed.  I always give me daughter a limit of five books, which, given the great prices of the books, is usually less than $20.  Then we went home.  It really was a fun day.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.  Have a wonderful evening, everybody!

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