Sunshine for the Geocache

We had a whole entire day of sunshine today! I was beginning to fear we’d never see it again. Someone called the local BBC radio station this morning to report he’d seen some ‘strange, huge orange ball in the sky’—and wanted to know if anyone knew what it was. See—it’s not just me feeling awful from the lack of sunshine! So we got out and enjoyed the day.

We did our first Geocache today. Actually-we did our first four. If you remember I had bought Michael a GPS tracker in May so that we could try this. As always-it takes us a while to decide on when to do most new things.

We hadn’t explained what it was to the kids until this morning—and after we chatted about it they were raring to go. Michael and I finally decided on which ones to hunt for-and we all set out after an early lunch. The walk we choose was along Wayfarers walk-where you are guaranteed beautiful views from every angle. We hadn’t been there for over two years-so we thought we’d start in a place that was ‘new’ to the kids-and a place where we didn’t think there’d be many people around.

The walk had four caches en-route to find. We decided to walk to the last one first, and then work our way backwards. The kids were so excited, especially over the ‘secrecy’ aspects of the walk. I think they liked making sure no one was about more than anything! I spotted an obvious place for the 2nd to last cache to be hiding in-so we had a look around. Sure enough, it was there. Have to say—we were all excited. After we checked it out-we headed along to find the one at the end of the walk.

We found it fairly easy enough, and then took it down the lane a bit just in case anyone came by. (As I said—we played up the secrecy bit!) Actually—it was a beautiful spot to have a look through the cache and read the journal entries, and of course to have a snack. This consisted mostly of the blackberries from the hedgerow. Hazel spotted two Red Kites while we were having our snack.

After the kids and Michael smuggled the cache back into it’s hiding place, we headed back along the route to find the last two. Michael, ever the map man, decided to leave the main trail and cut across the fields and woods to find the third cache. We ended up crossing a wheat field that had recently been harvested. Hazel realized there was wheat on the ground and decided on bringing some home to make bread with. I think we managed to bring enough for a small batch of cheesy stars. Then we headed into the woods—and that’s when I really wished I had some jeans on—ouch! The nettles and the gorse bush got me. As to the cache—I’d never have figured that one out—Michael found it. I think he did it more from his amazing sense of directions than the GPS! I’m there for the clues-he’s there for the navigation. Ah—we do make a good pair! This was the interesting cache-as we found a geocoin in the cache. I was surprised to find one on our 1st outing.

We had another sit down after that find—purely to enjoy the views.

When we were all refreshed, we decided to head off to find the last cache. This one was mainly left to the end as we knew it was in/near a gorse bush. When we located the gorse bush-we sent the kids into it to find the cache. No we aren’t cruel; they had plenty of room to move about. Hazel was the lucky finder-and Michael said the look of joy on her face was priceless. When we were done logging the find, we heard voices so we headed off quickly. We enjoyed the walk back to the car.

I have to say-what a wonderful way to make a lovely walk even more fun! We had a great time and are all looking forward to the next. I can see how it can become addictive.

The other fun bit about the whole geocahing for the kids was the use of aliases. They hadn’t realized that we’d do that-and had fun coming up with their own names for the logbooks. Michael had come up with a group name for all of us-based on Hazel’s bird spotting passion. Needless to say-that was the inspiration for all of our code names. I think the ‘secrecy’ and aliases was Kieran’s favourite bit! This was his camouflage outfit for the day.

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