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Just slap a big “L” on my forehead

Written By: Jodi on May 30, 2008 One Comment

So today I read my email from the geocaching site and noticed there was a cache pretty close to our house. I decided we should try and find it for a fun little diversion. I’ve known about geocaching and have been registered on the site for a long time, but I’ve never actually gone out and searched for a cache. I located our GPS unit, discovered why it wasn’t working (no batteries in it, ha!), figured out how to download the coordinates file and get it onto my GPS, grabbed a pen and a swag item to swap if we wanted to, and off we went!

First mistake – taking the dog. He hasn’t been on a walk in a LONG time and he’s forgotten how to walk on a leash. It only took him most of the time we were gone to figure out that if he runs too far ahead of me, he gets choked. Also, he mortified my by doing his ‘thing’ in somebody’s yard when I had neglected to bring a bag along, if you catch my drift. Ugh! I’m very sorry to whoever’s yard that was! I’m normally not so thoughtless.

So we all trot up to the location where the GPS took us and where I thought it would be based on a photo somebody had posted. The area was very freshly mulched with a thick layer of fresh grass clippings. It was also planted with prickly evergreen bushes and those red-leaved prickly bushes. Uh huh. We looked for at least 15 minutes and couldn’t find the thing. Much to my children’s disgust I decided we should give up and try another time.

After we returned home, I was determined to make it right for the boys. So I found some other caches on the website that were in easy walking distance, all at the same park nearby. Surely with 3 more to look for we’d get lucky! Well, my computer wouldn’t find my GPS unit to load the information on it. I rebooted, tried all different combinations of plugging in and turning on and went through the whole deal. Nothing. So I decided I’d check the connection to the computer. I pulled the CPU out and disconnected the cord. I then followed the cord back to get to the GPS and found that I had the car power adapter plugged into the GPS unit instead of the computer connection cord. Well, that explains a lot, doesn’t it? Amazingly, once I connected the unit with the correct cord, it was found by my computer quite easily!  Imagine that.

Finally, we were off once again. We headed to the park and followed the GPS directions to the general vicinity of the first cache. My GPS thinks it’s funny and decided to tell us it was in the middle of the road. We searched on both sides of the road, near fences, posts, trees, in bird houses…nothing. So we moved on to the next one. This one was by a wooded area on the edge of the park near a little creek. It has rained here a LOT lately. It was a mess in that area. We searched and searched, but again couldn’t find anything. So we moved on to the final one, our last chance at redemption. This one took us to a heavily wooded area on another edge of the park near the bike trail. This one made me nervous. I wouldn’t be able to identify poison ivy or oak if it was put right in front of me, and there was a mention of possible snakes on the cache entry. I wandered around in circles on the edge of the trail, trying to get my GPS unit to give up its secrets, but we were foiled once again.

o for 4 on our first cache hunt! The sheer humiliation of it all! I really wanted to get the boys excited about it so maybe we’d get outside on a more frequent basis. My older son is still wanting to do more, but my younger son was begging me to take him home. My older son and I were still wanting to search a bit longer, but we had to listen to the plaintive cry of, “I miss my home, please let’s go home. STRAIGHT home.”

Oh well. We’ll try again. I’m hoping after my disappointments today somebody will give me more clues as to the whereabouts of the caches we couldn’t find. I’ll also try to find some ‘easier’ ones that we might have a better chance of finding. I know once we find one, we’ll have a better idea of what we’re looking for and how they are hidden. I suspect a find will get my younger son more interested, also.

Until then, I think I’ll peruse Geocaching 101 and work on washing this “L” off my forehead. At least with the GPS unit I’m only a Loser and not technically “Lost”.

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One Response to “Just slap a big “L” on my forehead”

  1. Gina says on: 31 May 2008 at 11:41 pm

    Well I am proud of you for trying something new and adventurous! Aaron has read about geocaching, but we too have never actually gone out and tried it. Maybe we could try it together sometime:)

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