Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Game for Families

Do you have young children or grandchildren? Here’s a great game that involves beauty, exercise, nature, discovery and family time – Geocaching!

I have a cache hidden in Kelly Canyon near Flagstaff. The canister contains some inexpensive items. The latitude and longitude are posted on the Geocaching website and families (or anyone) can get the location and search for the cache using a GPS. Upon finding the cache an item can be taken and another item can be left. The real goal isn’t to find an inexpensive item but to get out in nature as a family.

Here are some comments that I received from some people who recently found my cache:

  • “We really did have fun this morning on this one. Thanks so much for the hike and the fun. We will be back again sometime when the water is flowing again.”

  • “Absolutely beautiful spot - nothing more to say. Be quiet and enjoy.”

  • “Geotoddler hiked almost the entire way to this hike and we all loved the location. Had a blast getting there.”

I have five grandsons living in Kentucky. Two years ago while visiting I took them to look for a cache. This one was a multi-cache. The website gave the coordinates of the first location where we would find a 35mm film canister that contained a note with the coordinates of the cache with the goodies. Each of my grandsons took a turn carrying the GPS while learning how to operate it. When we arrived at the location of the film canister we had to search likely hiding places. After they searched without success I suggested a spot or two and we found the canister. The six year old immediately looked at me with suspicion and a accused me of coming the night before and hiding the canister. That made me happy! It’s good to learn early in life to think and be a little skeptical!

Hiking and being out in nature is one of my greatest joys. I’m glad I could share that experience with my grandsons and I’m glad I maintain a cache that takes other families into beautiful, peaceful Kelly Canyon.


Blogger Bonita said...

I've seen geocaches, placed there for the pursuit, and have wondered about how the game is played. A lot of people enjoy this pastime, and, like you say, it offers a chance to explore interesting locations.

11/09/2005 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger George Breed said...

Paul, what a great game! Do you have a recommendation for a particular GPS? I might join in!

11/09/2005 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

George, I have a Garmin ETrex. It's the least expensive model but it's served me well. More expensive models will load topo maps and have other features but I'm not into technology that much and the basic model does it for me.

Quite often I will mark the location of the trailhead and this gives me an indication of how far I've hiked and when to turn back -- I don't wear a watch so time is always a guess. I've used it in remote areas to determine exactly where I am so I can decide or guess which fork of a dirt road to take when the road may not show on a map. In areas without trails I've used it to stretch hikes a little farther knowing that I can find my way back to the trailhead by another route.

I always carry a compass. It isn't a replacement for a compass but a handy addition.

If you're interested we can set a date soon and search for a cache togeter and you can try my GPS.

11/09/2005 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger George Breed said...

Yes! Let's do it. Perhaps between now and then, I'll get a GPS.

11/09/2005 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger BlazngScarlet said...

What a FANTASTIC idea!

I must say, I have never heard of it, but I am genuinely interested.
My son would LOVE this!

I must investigate further ....

Oh, I found my way here via Buffalo.
Great blog! :)

11/09/2005 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

We have a GPS and geocached once. I never meant to not do it anymore but have never made time for it since. I do want to do it agian someday though.

11/09/2005 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Sophia said...

Too bad I don't live in Arizona or I'd invite myself to come along with you and George!

I have a coworker who is into geocacheing and my mother has done it a few times. I've never done it but would like to. It would give hiking a new purpose.

11/10/2005 01:51:00 PM  

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