Thanks to my little sister, I have a new hobby this week: geocaching. In the past three days, I have hunted for 13 geocaches and found nine, which I think is a fairly decent batting average.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, geocaching is a game in which you use a GPS device to hunt for hidden “treasure.” The treasure consists of a (hopefully) watertight container in which you will find, at a minimum, a piece of paper for logging your visit. More elaborate caches contain a logbook, a pen or pencil, and a collection of small objects for trading purposes.
Cache locations are posted online at Geocaching.com, where you can search by ZIP code to find caches in your area, along with GPS coordinates and clues to help you find them.
When someone posts a new cache on the site, it’s considered kind of a big deal if you are the first to find it. I figured it would take a long time for me to score an “FTF,” but someone posted a new cache in my area the other day, so after calculus this afternoon, I fought my way through trees and brambles and spiderwebs and barbed wire and copious amounts of poison ivy to find it.
Being new to geocaching, I’m not entirely sure what to expect from each terrain rating, but I figured something rated four out of five stars for difficulty would take a little effort. As it turns out, I could have approached the cache location from the opposite direction and had a much easier time getting to it (I think my route took me through some five-star terrain), but that’s OK. The woods were pretty, I was well-equipped with sturdy boots and a cap, and my efforts were rewarded with an FTF and a cute little green plastic dinosaur — not to mention a chance to burn off about 400 calories without really thinking about it — so I really can’t complain.
Hope you had fun today, wherever you were.