Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Geocaching: An Addiction?

In the past I have made the call as to whether I am addicted to something or not by if I can't fall asleep because it is on my mind repeatedly. I am not quite at that point... but I may get there soon with this geocaching thing.
The first one we found was on the way back from a family reunion. It was a challenge. Luckily, there were some fellow geocachers who were also on the hunt and gave us a hand. They were more experienced and we were just digging through a pile of rocks. (If you've ever been to Frank Slide... no further explanation required).
If you don't know what geocaching is, it's a GPS-oriented "game" where other geocachers hide a "cache" (usually a camouflaged tupperware or hide-a-key) and log the coordinates online for others to find. Depending on the size of the cache, there are sometimes little trinkets to trade or geocoins to pass along to the next cache.
Since the first find, I have marked code down. Many a battery has been drained from my iPhone as the GPS and compass features have been utilized. Everywhere I go, they're around! In a way it's exciting, but at the same time overwhelming!
It also doesn't help that I'm not extremely good at it. Especially this last round at them, it was so frustrating. It didn't help that the entire province is under snow, but even some of the ones designated as winter friendly gave us a bit of trouble. Of the nine I have attempted since arriving in Calgary, I have found two. Never the less, they are fun and adventurous. I saw some country that I wouldn't have seen otherwise.
I will share one such adventure with you. On the way back to Calgary from our Christmasing, there was one just off Hwy 1 on the west side of Chestermere. We pulled over (in the dark) and walked along a snow covered road to an inch of wood sticking up. I thought it may be hidden underneath, so we started digging. Then I fell through the snow up to above my knees. We kept digging. Spencer fell through too. Keep in mind, it's dark and we're holding flashlights, digging at the snow along a highway. I'm sure people thought we were burring a body or something (that's the one thing I don't like about this sport when done in public- it makes you look suspicious, like you're making a drug trade or something). Eventually we gave up and got back in the warm car. When I got home, not only did I look up a picture of the location and realize that tree stump is the hight of a small child, but I realized there were two winter friendly caches just meters away. *Sigh* :) It just means I'll have to go back...
People also create ridiculous challenges that are so inspiring I think I may just try one. Like the Texas County Challenge. The goal is to find one cache in each of the 256 Texas counties. It will make for quite a road-trip, but that's what summer vacations are for. And years and years of caching. There are people out there with 3000+ finds though. They must have such good eyes, or an incredible amount of perseverance!

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

My brother does this. He's just gone out again with my dad and their friends. They're trying to do the 12 days of geocaching or something.

Is this the road trip you mentioned before?