Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Great Geo Cache Adventure!: Putting the X in excitement

After JimmyEW and I had our marriage meltdown we were asked by our Sage what we did for fun. We stared at him blankly. I stammered. JimmyEW stuttered. The answer of watching TV and pretending to win the lottery were just really lame answers. But truthfully, it was all we had. We had nothin else. Nothing.

That really bothered us. So we canceled cable, began talking a heck of a lot more, read aloud to each other at night and even began writing together. It was wonderful. One day I mentioned to JimmyEW that I'd like to look into Geocaching.

Main Entry: geocaching
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a type of scavenger hunt for waterproof containers bearing treasure using the containers' exact geographic coordinates and Global Positioning System devices
Example: Geocaching can be a lot of work, especially in a remote urban areas

Above from and uh... isn't "remote urban" kind of an oxymoron?

You can go out looking for caches or go out hiding them. When you find it, sometimes its nothing more than a log book and sometimes its an ammo box filled with Treasure. If you take something, you leave something, its the rule.

It reeks of adventure and if there is one thing JimmyEW and I like, it's adventure. We also like photography and what a great way to find a new destination to shoot, while working to together to uncover treasure (if you call treasure lip gloss, nail polish, lighters, stickers and whatever else people throw in there treasure).

The best thing about Geocaching is that it refers to non-cachers as "Muggles" so you get an actual reason to be a non-Muggle and to refer as other people as Muggles. As in, "There were too many Muggles around for JimmyEW and I to find the cache in Lay Park." You must beware of Muggles, if they see you find the cache they may go back and loot it. Darned Muggles.

Like a lot of things, Geocaching was just an idea that I thought we'd get to one day, but then my totally awesome church challenged everyone to take a loan of $25 and see what we could make of it to bring back.

After much thinking, JimmyEW and I decided to make a Geocachers Calendar for our general area, taking pictures of 12 already cached locations and only putting the Waypoint names on the first day of that month so if someone wants to go there, they have to log into for the coordinates to find out where it is. From there they could just go and enjoy or they could get adventurous, by a devise and go on a hunt!

We only have 6 weeks to finish this gig, so we bought a GPS lickedy split and started doing some research. Then on Friday JimmyEW and I went on a cache hunt that took us through three counties, down two or three perilous seasonal roads in our
Chevy Aveo (ack! Off roading in an Aveo is scary!), and snooping around an old ancient 1866 Graveyard.

It took the entire day and we didn't find every cache but we had fun. We found some of the harder ones, but some of the easy ones we didn't find and are suspicious the Muggles got to them. But it didn't matter. What mattered was that we were joined in a great adventure together.

And that is what brings me to my real point. Yes, I have one. I just want you to think about what you do with your partner for fun? If your answer was as pathetic as ours, you might want to sit down and come up with some good ideas, because if there is one thing I know, if you don't work at it then you lose that connection and become strangers.

You see this a lot with empty nesters and new retirees who are sick to death of the stranger in their house. They've poured themselves into their job or children for so many years that they've lost touch and forgotten about each other. At least that is what I've read in Reader's Digest at the dentist office.

So let me ask you, what are some things you do to have fun with your spouse. If you're single, sorry this post didn't really apply, maybe just take notes for later.

For pictures of our adventure, scroll down. And for more tips for WFMW, go see Shannon!

JimmyEW and I at our first successful find... of course we just had to go into the visitors center and ask for it. We did take something, we found a Life is Good sticker and traded with a pretty cool lighter. I don't smoke but I thought anyone could find themselves in need of fire one day, and maybe my contribution would help.
This is JimmyEW at a looted site. Nothing there, and logging on later proved that Muggles, in fact, had gotten to this one first.
Below is near the site of the hardest cache we found.

And here are two of my favorite shots. One is while l
ost in a forest (but are we ever really lost?) near that graveyard. I laid on my back and took a picture looking up at the trees. I love it.

This other is very close to where I live, you have to go down some trails and then you find yourself here. I never knew it was there. Beautiful isn't it?
If you're interested in buying a calendar for $15 let me know, these four pictures are featured. Of course it wouldn't make much sense for you to buy one unless you happen to live in or visit Michigan.... but I happen to know some Michigan Geobloggers out there. ;)

What's that? You want to comment? Just click on the itty-bitty words below that say "Gimme Some Sugar". Can you see them? Good. We can't wait to chat with you.


saintseester said...

I lurve geocaching! Lurves it. I have 4 hides (one is a pretty tough puzzle cache). That reminds me, I need to go out and check on them to make sure they have not been muggled. My daughter and I are scouting some new locations for hides.

My daughter is really into the stealth. At least now she is. She'll duck and hide, when someone comes near. Of course when we started she usually stood about 20 feet from me yelling at the top of her lungs, "WHAT ARE THE COORDINATES AGAIN?" As if that would help her...

If you ever get to North 'Bama, there is a series of caches here called Jolly Green Giant. All of the hides are items on scale of a giant. He's lost several items in the woods such as a toothbrush, a watch, etc. The kids absolutely love them.

Valarie said...

This sounds absolutely awesome!! I would so love to do something like this. I need to see if Hubby would be interested. Mr. I love you but your a knot on a log sometimes, likes to stick close to home and does not want to drive alot. :)

I am gonna have to check onthe Jolly Green Giant thing Saintseester is talking about, seeing as I am in North 'Bama. :)

saintseester said...

Valarie, don't forget to wear tick spray. The woods here are covered in the little pests. :-(

Ashlee said...

I've never done this. I've heard of it though. It sounds fun. Maybe my fam should take it up. I'd love to use the word Muggles too! :0)

Beckie said...

I used to love Geocaching, until I got up to three kids, now not so much :) Really should get out and do it again! Thanks for the reminder...

Sister Sassy said...

Just popping in for a sec. Beckie, we did our first hunt with our boys yesterday. 2 and 4 yrs old. It went ok, some barbed wire and near water. If boogs wasn't so strong willed it would have been more fun. Take the kids!

Well Behaved Krissy said...

This is too funny! I LOVE your remote urban corner of our country. Its so remote, and yet so urban. :)

Sister Sassy said...

Hey Y'all-seester et al, maybe you'll feel like treking for a Sisters Geocache hunt. Wouldn't that be fun? I can run around and do a multi puzzle cache and sister HB can cross her eyes and then all you wonderful readers can come to Northern Mi for some R&R, sleep in HB's basement (because, lets face it, no one wants to stay at my house) and we can go on a great adventure.

Seester-i'll have to check out the giant if I go that way.

Val, I bet you guys will love it. Make sure you have a little map and the device and decide who's the hunter and who's the nav or there could be fighting lol

Krissy- :)

saintseester said...

I agree it can be difficult with younger kids. The trick with them is to just go to fun places and not try to find a ton. Their patience and attention span is just shorter. My girl started when she was around 6. She whined a lot on the trails, until the day she was the first in the group to spot one. Ever since then, she's the one who asks if we can go.

Little kids make great decoys when you are urban caching. Because no one thinks it's strange for a 4 year old to be picking up rocks and looking behind newspaper stands.

Sandy C. said...

I feel so out of touch. I've never heard of this before, but it sounds awesome! What fun! I would love to do something like this with my hubby. Sadly our time together is spent sleeping or eating. We totally need to get out more.

Sister Sassy said...

Sandy! I hear you! I don't even see JimmyEW every other weekend. What we did was instead of having dinner at home we packed a lunch and went caching with the boys and had a picnic.

Also, our adventure-we each took off a day at work. Its important for us to have alone time together. So they went to daycare and we drove all over.

Mrs. Pharris said...

I'll give ya some sugah baby! LOL
Loved your post. It really made me think. I'd gotten "kindof" into letterboxing before. Perhaps it's time to get into it again. DH likes to fly RC airplanes. (There are three circling overhead as I type - hung from the office ceiling, lol) We'll have to trade out!

Mrs. Pharris said...

I'll give ya some sugah baby! LOL
Loved your post. It really made me think. I'd gotten "kindof" into letterboxing before. Perhaps it's time to get into it again. DH likes to fly RC airplanes. (There are three circling overhead as I type - hung from the office ceiling, lol) We'll have to trade out!

Linds said...

This sounds so fun! And you make a great point about doing fun things with your spouse.

sarah said...

I have to say we have really enjoyed geocaching. Now that the weather is better, it is time to get back out there!

Have you done the travel bug thing yet? That is fun. We have one somwhere near Germany being tracked right now that we started here in Philly. The other two got lost somewhere in the world.

janethesane said...

We don't do anything for fun anymore. We need to work on this. Maybe we should try geocaching some time!

Wade Huntsinger said...

I ain't got no idea what the heck geocaching is and never heard of it before but, hey I love the pics of Northern Micigan

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Our family just got into geocaching and we're having a blast! In terms of what D and I like to do together:

contradancing - it's like square dancing but done in rows (the Virginia Reel is an example). That's how we met. We like going to concerts (when we can agree on whom to go to), reading the same books and talking about it, cooking and eating good food, walking in beautiful locations, mild hiking, looking in quirky stores (but we both hate shopping). Just plain talking is good, too.