|#14 was tucked under a log|
The bug bit us to geocache again in February. The weather was mild and we were sad we hadn't done more of it last year. So, we started thinking about where we could go as a family and walk around outdoors to cache for an afternoon. On February 12, 2012, we got ourselves packed up with pencils, the camera, the toy/trinket exchange bag and bundled up to head out.
Upon investigation, there appeared to be a dozen or more caches in the preserve, so we decided there would be plenty to keep us busy until some or all of us had had enough of being out in the cold. When I say the weather was mild, I mean it was probably just under 50 degrees Farenheit and not terribly windy. It was by no means warm, so we were dependent on moving enough to keep warm.
|These boardwalks were amazing|
|Fungus among us!|
|Happy puppy, walking|
It was an overcast day, so we weren't at risk of winter sunburn so much, which added both to the enjoyment level, and the need to keep moving to stay warm. It was such a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.
Here are a few shots to show how pretty a place like this can be, even in winter.
|Another gorgeous view|
|Snack/rest time on the trail|
|#16 was tucked away in a place best|
retrieved by a little body
Clever containers and clever camouflage make geocaching such a great way to use your brain while spending time outdoors with your family. Find #15 for us was nicely camouflaged and hung in a tree with a dog leash.
The story behind it was that the family dog loved to walk the trails in the marsh and so they placed some caches along her favorite trails. Sometimes the stories behind the hides can be as much fun and as interesting as the hunt. This one was an apparently home made container, but it was water proof and solid! We thought this one was very cool!
We went prepared with snacks, knowing that we would be out there a while and that we may very well work up a hunger. There were benches periodically placed along the trails, so we made use of one (Bitsy too) to sit for a spell and have a snack and rehydrate.
Find #17 for us was retrieved by Shane. It was hidden well off trail and there was a lot of brush and such in the way. Lexi and I stayed on the trail with the dog and waited while he "bushwacked" his way in. It was cleverly hidden.
Sometimes caches are obvious and out in the open (taking some of the fun out of it), other times, they are right in plain sight, but you have to be really looking for them to see them and recognize them for what they are. We looked for quite some time for this one, and were a little embarrassed by having missed it when it was right out in the open. That's the fun of the hunt, though!
|#18 was tough to spot|
After #18, we could tell we were losing Lexi's attention and even the dog had slowed down from the walking. We decided it was time to head back out to the car. There was just one issue, we had not picked up trail maps. Oops! Thankfully, the app we have on our phones also provides satellite imagery, so we were able to navigate the trails back to the parking area utilizing that feature.
It was a breathtaking walk.
There is an extensive boardwalk system that meanders over the open water portion of the marsh.
There is even a screened in pavilion complete with tables for having lunch or entertaining a group. Although not well maintained, the charm of the building really captured us.
After spending the better part of an afternoon outdoors, we were ready for lunch. We were looking for someplace with homestyle, stick to your ribs type food to re-energize after our walk. Cracker Barrel fit the bill. After taking time to rest and refuel, we decided to try for another find or two on the way home.
|#19, our first virtual cache|
After the virtual cache, we struck out on a couple hunts and started to doubt our hunting skills. We noticed a cache nearby in a cemetery and thought we may have better luck there.
|ending the day with find #20|
It was a fantastic day, well spent with family. We saw lots of places we had never been before and would never have otherwise had occasion to go. This day was just the beginning for this year! Stay tuned, there are lots more hunts and finds to come!