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Geocaching July 2, 2009

Posted by dreamom in family, Happiness, Life.

I have been curious about geocaching for quite some time now.  It was something out of my reach as we had nothing that resembled a GPS.  With my husband having received a GPS (Garmin Nuvi 550) for his birthday/Father’s Day, my interest was peaked.  It has a geocaching feature which always popped up the message that you needed to log onto www.geocaching.com to make use of the feature.  I was certain that it would require a fee, and never looked into it.  With the visit of my urban loving, high-tech, self acclaimed  computer nerd brother I was driven to research the possibility in an effort to properly occupy him, and make his visit enjoyable.

To my surprise, although you can pay for a “Premium Membership”, you can quite effectively geocache with the free account that is also offered.  After logging on and finding out that there were about 100+ geocaches in my immediate area, we did a test geocache trip in the evening of June 30th.  After the caches “No Parking”, and “ELKS” resulted in us running from the vicinity in an effort to outrun Manitoba’s unofficial bird (the mosquito) – we were feeling a little down, and frustrated.  We decided that we would try one more, and pack it in, as the kids were needing bedtime.  We attempted the site called “Friends Always”.  Not too surprisingly it is near the Morden Friendship Centre.  This one we poked around, a little puzzled, and then we found it!  Kevin spotted it first – a ‘hiding in plain sight’ kinda thing, in the end.  At this point I was anxious to do more – but the hubby and kids both needed their beds (Kevin had a 6:30am start on Wednesday) so we headed home.

Jon and I procured Kevin’s GPS to combine a walk around Morden to take pictures of the sites, and to continue our geocaching adventure.  After Kevin had left for work I was surfing around, making sure the local cache sites were loaded into the GPS, and realized that – Yes.  There is an app for that!  I swiftly downloaded the geocache app for my iPhone.  Now I am set to go, anytime.  No loading to the GPS – just grab the phone, and check for local sites!  🙂  By late morning Jon and I were on our way – I had my phone, he had the GPS, and the kids were in the stroller.  We set off for the one that is literally within sight of our house, in Livingston Nature park.  Although we did find it, dutifully signed the log, and traded a small toy for a spare pen (we had forgotten to grab one), we tore out of there having only lost a pint of blood to the ‘squiters…  From there we left for “Morden Park”, then “Dead Horse” (creek, that is.)  We were on a roll – but the kids were hungry, and the idea of being on a treasure hunt was losing it’s appeal.  We paused for a break and a snack at Dairy Queen, and headed off for “Info”.  This one got us.  It is described as a micro cache (one of the trickier ones to locate), and the coordinates place it in or near the Porta-Potty.  Since said Porta-Potty is in a parking lot the near is ruled out fairly easily.  The in was not to thoroughly investigated as it was in the words of another cacher – ‘odourific’.  Strike one.

We pushed on, and headed for the east side of town towards “Hot Stuff” Hot Stuff– that was found in very short order, and provided a good chuckle.  After this we headed South for “The Place” and after a few puzzling moments in the middle of a parking lot – found it.  We went slightly south-west to “Tiger, Tiger”, and found one of the best hiding spots of the day – another ‘plain site’ one – and a good one at that.  During this stop we took a break – I rested while the kids slept (since our “Hot Stuff” stop), had some water, and gave my aching muscles a break, while Jon took some pictures of our rail yard and the surroundings.  During the stop Jordan awoke, and was in desperate need of a diaper change, which after some battling I managed to do.  Once this was done we were ready to go.  We headed off for “Suncatcher” via Stephen St. so that Jon could take some pictures of our bustling down-town (albeit less bustling due to Canada Day).  At the Suncatch were once again bested.  Nestled among trees and buildings made our GPS readings jump around, and after searching as much as we could while my stamina was quickly fading, and Jordan was now running around, it was logged as our second DNF of the day.  We headed on to Milne park, and snapped up that cache fairly quickly with a little looking around.  Took another little break, and headed for “Hockey Boy”.  Due to the fact that it is a small town, and no location is a huge mystery – and the path on the GPS gave away the fact that “Hockey Boy” had a drive-thru, we figured out pretty quickly that it was at Tim Horton’s.  With renewed energy we headed that way, and searched for what was described as an “Ultra-Micro cache” until Kevin came to get us after getting home from work.  By this time Libby had woken up, and was assisting in the ‘treasure hunt’.  Sadly we left with that being the last DNF of the day.

Once home I forced myself to make hamburger patties and cook them up on our brand new $12 Charcoal BBQ.  It did a great job, and I was surprised that I liked cooking with charcoal – although I have to do some more learning about it.  $12 seemed like a reasonable test – since a disposable one was $8.

Once supper was done, I was DONE.  I walked well over 5kms, pushing a stroller most of the way, and carrying a pack with the camera, iPhone, water, etc.  That added to the fact that I am 22 weeks pregnant, and not typically too active – I was beyond exhausted.  That doesn’t explain why I have been awake since 5am – but I am hoping to go back to bed when I am done this post…



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