2011-10-11

Prospecting For Geocaches

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in Canada and since we had already done Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws on Saturday (leftovers on Sunday) we took Monday for just family time.

The offspring slept in a little bit, so we got to sleep in a little bit for the first time in a long time.  We had the whole with nothing to do so the night before we had planned to go geocaching at a local park.  We would get as many caches as we could in the park before the little one needed to a break and then we'd stop and have a picnic.

So I loaded up a dozen or so caches in my iPod Touch and GPSr and we headed off to Prospect Park.  It's a local park with an indoor gymnasium, 2 baseball diamonds, a splashpad, tennis courts, a leash park, and the site of the Acton Fall Fair all on a peninsula that juts out into a small lake.  the terrain to & from each cache was fairly tame and mostly a gravel path.  But there was still some adventure.  All in all we wound up being 3 for 3 for the day.

Prospect Park during the Acton Fall Fair
Incredible Acton - Prospect Park (GC32VB9) was the first find of the day.  Up until now all my finds have been micro/small urban caches.  This cache actually offered little bit of a challenge terrain-wise.  While searching at ground zero I had to be careful not fall off the sloping hill into the water.  The log container was a little chincy but the cache itself was well hid.  Once I read the hint I saw it right away.

Interesting Acton 1 (GC2T8D8) was the second find of the day.  As the name suggests this cache is part of a series of places in Acton (my hometown) the cache owners find interesting.  Again it was very easy to get to.  I just had to hop back on the trail and keep walking.  As I approached GZ I was fairly certain I knew where the cache was but as I got closer I started to doubt myself.  I check the hint on my iPod and my initial instincts were right.  As I filled out the log and carefully replaced the cache in it's hiding spot my wife checked on the youngin' who was passed out in the stroller.  SWEET!  I can keep pushing on for the 3rd cache in this park before breaking for lunch.

Interesting Acton 2 (GC2TCP1) was the third and final find of the day.  The crazy thing is that despite being the lowest terrain & difficulty level of all 3 caches it proved to require the most effort to find.  It was easy enough to get to the cache but we had about half a kilometer of backtracking to get to GZ.  Then, despite being in a relatively open field with on 2 or 3 trees that stood 3 metres high my GPSr started jumping all over the place.  Ugh!  So I give it a minute and try walking in a straight line hoping it will even out to no avail.  Stumped again I resorted to reading the hint.  It still meant checking 3 spots about 20 feet from each other.  On the way back to the 3rd spot my GPSr evened out again and declared THIS spot to be the winner.  But I had already searched here.  Or so I thought.  Because I stick my hand into the hiding spot again to find my fingers to come across a well hidden micro.

We then found a nice picnic table in the shade of a tree beside the splash pad and sat down to have lunch: PB & J sandwiches, chunks of honeydew melon & pineapple, with Dr Pepper to drink.  While the wife packed up the containers I logged the finds with my iPhone thanking the owners for a day of "'prospectin' for caches".  Before leaving we got some cute pictures of us with the little one in a Bumbo Chair and a few on the ground in the leaves.

A Bumbo Chair helps a baby sit up straight without falling over
I learnt a few things on this caching trip:
1. I think I have a better idea of how people hide caches.
2. I also learnt that I need to be patient and trust my gut.  I think my first (non-urban micro) cache find without using a hint will feel good.
3. I'm also excited about finding caches in more natural settings.
4. I forgot the level of awesomeness that is a PB & J sandwich.
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