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Monday, August 3, 2009

Goin on a treasure hunt and i'm going to bring....

All the toys I no longer play with.

"Son we are geocaching, not going to the Goodwill."

He didn't care, he had to bring it all. Including the Pokemon books he's already read. I did remove Kung Fu Panda. He is just so cute, I couldn't let him succumb to the geocache.

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online (Basically you get coordinates and plug them into your GPS. You search the area until you find the treasure. You then trade trinkets, kinda like the give a penny take a penny jars you see in 711 stores. When you pick which geocache you want to search for you, you read the site for clues about the location and what exactly you are searching for.) Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

Back story:

A few days ago we were out to dinner with our neighbors, and A got to telling us about how a co-worker of his went back to Carolina and during his vacation he went Geocaching. A was confused and asked him what is that. After being told of this worldwide treasure hunting game, A hopped on the computer to see if there were any hided treasures near our home. Sure enough there are. So on Sunday, we packed up our trinkets to trade and went a hunting.

Geocahe Location - Empire Mine Road

Hidden - 11/13/2008

Last Found - July 9, 2009

Clues - This is the sister cache to A Road of Urban Legends GC1GZ8Y. The cache is located in the Southern part of the city. Across the street from the cache is Empire Mine road, which the city closed in 2007, note the large boulders the city has put in place to keep people from driving in. Looking North of the cache you can see the Delta waters, this is a good reference of how much the city has grown in 150 years. The cache is a peanut butter jar which as been naturally camo'd to fit its environment. This is another easy cache, jar is big enough for lots of goodies. I have started it off with some great swag, log and pen.

Scene 1:

We are standing in front of a path that looks like it goes to no where. Across the street is Empire Mine Road, however the coordinates take us here. According to the clues we are in the right place. Garbage is strewn everywhere, including the parts to a TV and what looks like items belonging to a homeless person sleeping in the area. I'm surprised that just a few blocks from our house there is an area filled with tons of unwanted garbage and graffiti. This is not a path I would feel safe walking on at night. Sadness comes over me, for I wonder how such a beautiful place could so easily become a landfill.

ME: So what are we looking for exactly?

A: It's a peanut butter jar.

ME: Um, how are we supposed to find a peanut butter jar in this mess? Some homeless person probably stole it.

We all laugh.

A: The clue says that it's right off of the path.

ME: Okay

So A, D, the Boy and I head along the path searching for our unknown treasure. I feel a little weird being in a residential area snooping around. I almost feel like we are on the search for a missing person as we comb our way through the dry garbage filled brush.

D: Next time, wearing jeans and regular shoes are a must.

The terrain is full of dry sticker bushes and bumble bees. Our legs itch from walking through the dry brush just off the path. After searching and searching, re-entering the coordinates into the GPS several times we were about to give up.

ME: There is nothing here. There's no way with all this garbage around we are going to find it. What was the hint again?

A: The jar is just off the path.

ME: Okay we are too far lets go back to the path and re-evaluate.

So we walk back to the entrance of the path, poor Tink (A and D's dog) is panting so D picks her up to hold her. We double check our location on the GPS to make sure we are truly on the correct street and proper path. It's hot outside and the sun is burning my arms, literally, as it is already sun burnt from the birthday party yesterday. As we are standing at the entrance to the path we look around, wondering where the hell this Peanut Butter Jar could possibly be.

ME: Okay the only place with live bushes and green trees is right here to our right. It's the only place that It could be hidden without anyone stealing it. It's also just off the path.

So we all start looking through the green bushes, wishing we had brought gloves or some sort of stick to move the branch's around. The bees are everywhere and so are the cob webs. Again wishing we had worn proper clothing and had a stick or machete even to look through the brush.

ME: No way.

The Boy: What, What?

A: I found it.

D: Wow!

And there it was, camouflaged and in all it's glory. I couldn't believe it, this was real! This is the coolest thing I have ever seen. I couldn't believe how well it was camouflaged and all I wanted was to see what was inside.

The Boy:
Open it please, open it.

We squatted on the ground and A carefully opened the jar as to not disturb the camouflage decor. This is what we found inside. Reading the log was great and we couldn't wait to add our names to the list.

So the Boy left one of his toys and took a bag of dice that had previously been placed in the jar. A and D left a black double 3 domino and didn't take anything in return.
A: So do we want to try to find another one?

The Boy: Yeah lets go.

Scene 2 :

GeoCahe Location - A Road of Urban Legends

Hidden - 10/6/2008

Last Found - 7/18/2009

Clue - You are looking for a 50 Cal. Ammo with a natural cammo. At time of placing the cache I have FILLED this thing up with lots of cool swag. THE FIRST TO FIND SHOULD FIND A SMALL TREASURE CHEST WITH A 1924 SILVER PEACE DOLLAR!! Ground Zero is just a short walk from parking. No bush whacking no fence hopping, please replace cache and cammo as you found it...Do you have a personal story about the area??? Please post.. Please observe any No Trespassing Signs.

Urban Legends of the Area - Just a small farming road located in the Southern part of the city that connects Deer Valley Road to what is now a residential area. This one small road has been the center of much local folklore. For us local people we know the true meaning of what these areas were.......Or do we?? Here are Just a few Internet articles I found written about the road:

Gravity Hill - In the 1950's a school bus was driving kids home from a field trip. It skidded into a wash and all the kids drowned. If you go there, put your car in neutral around the turn, you get pushed up the hill. It's supposedly by the kids who died in the bus crash and they want to keep you from the same fate.

Slaughterhouse - An old slaughterhouse stands in the corner of the road after the first bend. It is haunted by an old man who walks the grounds and makes sure that everything is ok, and that no one gets hurt while there. Strange noises are heard inside the first building where they chopped up the meat. Clanking inside of the circle figured tubes towards the back of the property. Chains clank all around and you can hear footsteps behind you like someone is watching over you. Just remember to watch your step!

Rail Road Mine - Now torn down - At the end of Empire mine road, there is an old railroad track tunnel that is pretty spooky. There are bats inside, and you can hear voices at the end of the tunnel.

Now A hadn't told us anything about the clues or the Urban Legends, if I had know that while we were searching I probably would have been a bit freaked out, so would have the boy.

So after a slight detour to another part of the city, opps A put in the incorrect coordinates, we were off on our 2nd Journey. We arrive at our new destination and have to pull over and park on the side of the road. A bit dangerous as we are parked at the top of a blind turn on a fast two lane road.

We hop out of the car and again see another path with nothing but brush with stickers lining it and barbwire fencing on both sides. There are more bees here, hovering around the dried brush and flowers. It's even hotter here then at the first location and there is a weird smell.

Off to the side of the path is the remains of Dead cow. Okay creepy, this would have been even creepier if we had know about the legends. So here we go, searching all over again. This time we had a walking stick that A picked up while on our detour.

ME: 30 feet, 20 feet, 10 feet, it's got to be over. The GPS says I'm standing right on top of it. Is that a tunnel. Boy go down there and look in that pipe and tell me if you see anything.

The boy climbs down the slight ravine and pokes the stick inside the tube.

The Boy: There is nothing in there.

ME: It has to be the GPS says I'm standing right on top of it.

Frustrated we keep looking. I hand A the GPS to re-enter the coordinates just to make sure we are in the proper area.


ME: Not again, no way! He found it.

We all walk over to where A is standing. He is on the opposite side of the path where the Boy was looking at the pipe. A is standing over the other end of the pipe staring at our treasure.

A opens the box to find a slue of treasures. Including a notebook containing what looked like diary entries from the 60's. A daughters diary to her father about their journey to the United States. This box contained some really cool historical items. We leave some stuff and the Boy takes two rocks. We leave a dollar A had found along the path, so if you find this Cache, you'll find the dollar. While we were looking at the contents of the box a truck pulls up and two "country" looking men exit their vehicle and approach us. They question us as to why we are there as they own the ranch next to the path. We explain to them our quest and they are amazed and impressed as much as we were that such treasures exist. So besides the weirdness of feeling like we were searching for a dead body, this journey was really fun and enjoyable.

As we drove away I was just in awe about how great this treasure hunt was and the fact that the items really did exist. We had a blast and found that the treasure really isn't the items found inside the box, but more the back story about the Geocache itself.


Bring a garbage bag and pick up the trash you see around the geocache site. Lord knows my town is full of trash. I plan on doing this the next time we go out.

Have you ever GeoCached, if not do you want to now that you have read this?
Counting down the days till our next treasure hunt.


Multiple personalities.. said...

I've heard of Geocaching but I've never tried it. Some of families in our homeschool group does this, and we've been thinking of going along the next time they go. I would've loved to read that diary you found. I'm glad you all had fun! I can't wait to see pics of your next trip

Lisa Anne said...

It was a blast, you have to try it. It was such a great family activiy and it didn't cost us a dime.

Tricia McWhorter said...

I've heard of this too. How very cool you actually did it. Guess you shouldn't be allergic to bees if you're going to be a geocacher.

By the way, back to an earlier comment you left on my blog—I just finished Joyce Maynard's Labor Day. Don't know if it would be your cup of tea or not but I really enjoyed it. Wonderful characters in a beautifully drawn story.

Elizabeth Howard said...

Lisa, Hey from SITS! Thanks for your comments about our latest post and congrats on your geocaching, that is cool! If you would like to, you are welcome to reference our shopping local post on your blog too and see how many folks we can get to see it.

I am your follower now too!


Eva Gallant said...

Regarding Indie Chick Designs..she charges $20 to $50, depending on what you want. I tried to copy the button off my site and paste it here, but it didn't work. Go back to my site and on the left hand column you'll see a square that says Indie Chick Designs. Click on it and it will take you to her site. Let me know how it turns out.

Amy said...

Wow what a neat idea. This is what a fun idea. Hope you are having a great Monday...

natalee said...

this is one of my sisters favorite hobbies..great post!!!!! natalee http://totmama.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

We have done a bit of this and it is so much fun. Just the drive alone brings the family together. I recommend it for everyone!

Adry Viola said...

This is so cool! We had friends from Wisconsin over last weekend and they were talking about and I was like "huh?" After they explained I though "hmmm, sounds neat, but whatever" then I read your post with the pics and I'm totally physched. I want to do this!