Saturday, August 9, 2008

New Thing #211--Can You Find It?

When we were planning our trip to Georgia, Debbie asked me if she should bring her GPS system. She has recently taken up geocaching, and wanted to know if I would like to learn. It sounded great to me, so today I went geocaching.

According to Wikipedia, "Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world."

Before we left, I printed the coordinates--latitude and longitude--and cross streets for several caches that were close to Sydney's house, based on her zip code. After breakfast we started on our adventure.

The first cache we tried to find was somewhere at the football stadium for the local high school. My job was to program the coordinates into the GPS system. When we got as close to the area as we could in the car (thanks to Syd's directions) we got out and started walking. The GPS told us how many feet we were away from the cache (within a 15-20 foot margin of error). Debbie had explained that the caches are well hidden; this one was a "microcache" about the size of a 35mm film canister. I looked for about 5 minutes, using the GPS as my guide. I wasn't making any progress, so Debbie took over; she had no better luck. We broadened our search area, we looked in the trees, under rocks, in indentations in the stadium wall. Nothing, although it looked like there had been some recent landscaping, which may have disturbed things. After about 15 minutes we decided to try a different cache.

The second one was hidden in an alley behind a building in the town's downtown area, close to the courthouse. There was some confusion about the exact area to park, but once we got out of the car and started walking there was even more confusion. We were unable to locate the exact location of the cashe with the GPS; Debbie attributed it to reception problems related to building interference since we were in an alley. After about 15 minutes of walking back and forth, we came away empty handed again.

Despite not finding either of the caches we were looking for, geocaching was a lot of fun.

1 comment:

  1. I've never done that either, but it sounds like lots of fun!