Geocaching was one of the items on my casual list of things to do before I turn 40. Since yesterday was my 1/2 birthday I thought it was time to start making a little dent in the list. I have no plans on achieving all the items on the list, that sounds WAY too overachiever for me. But it’s a good list, if I do say so myself, and using it as a guideline to have some fun was exactly why I created it.
I pitched geocaching to W as a way to explore our neighborhood. What he heard was, “we are going on The Amazing Race.” I didn’t find that out until we were almost done with our 1st cache and he was in a complete panic screaming at me to HURRY UP BEFORE THE OTHER TEAM SHOWS UP!
We started the geocaching process simply enough by downloading an app. Free! My favorite thing. It pulled up a spot pretty near our house and that seemed like a clear enough sign to get a move on. I packed up a snack, ice water, and asked W to bring a small trinket that we could swap in case the spot we found had items like that.
It took me a moment to figure out how to add GPS coordinates to our GPS gizmo. So thankful for YouTube to help clear that up! Not knowing where we were going was kind of exciting. We loved driving through a familiar part of our neighborhood and then suddenly turning down a street we had never turned down before.
“Hey! I see a park, Mama!”
Sure enough we were being lead to a neighborhood park. In OUR neighborhood. I had no idea it was there. We got out of the car and the geocaching app on my phone vibrated with a cool message to let us know we were close! So exciting!
I gave W the phone and we watched the compass on the app and walked towards the spot indicated on the map. As we got closer we got more and more giddy. Then I looked up and realized this was most likely not going to end well. The night before we embarked on this adventure a horrible storm had blown through and at least five trees had been knocked down in the park. As I realized we were heading towards a collection of trees I had a sinking feeling the box was not going to be able to be found.
We looked for twenty minutes and W got pretty frantic. This is when he revealed that he thought we were in an actual race. I would never put W in a task that involved a race as it can activate some big and swift anxiety. We decided to accept the storm had made finding the item impossible. In the car I asked W if he wanted to go look for another one, and he did.
I was certain we would have better luck with geocaching at our next stop. But we didn’t.
We had fun driving to an area of town we had never been to, but when the spot seemed to be buried under thick bushes and trash we both were disappointed. We still did a bit of searching, just in case we could find it. After several minutes we accepted defeat again.
W was angry marching back to the car and I started to feel like crap for throwing us into an activity that seemed like a set up for failure. But then I realized we didn’t fail at having an adventure. We just couldn’t find the hidden boxes. We had done pretty great at navigating and searching and knowing our limits. I explained to W that there are geocaches all over the world and some are harder to find than others. We were new at this and we would get better.
We also talked about how we could create a geocache for other families to find. W thought that was an awesome idea.
I need to do a bit of research/planning to see if I can find some kid friendly searches. Maybe there are some set up in the city. Being a newbie always has speed bumps.