Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Monday, April 07, 2008

On The Hunt

We drove to within a quarter-mile of the spot. All four of us (my nephew came along for the adventure) peered out the windows to make sure no one was in the area. This mission required stealth. If anyone were to see us, we could jeopardize the entire network.

We hopped out of the car and quickly loaded up our gear. My son insisted it was his turn to carry the backpack full of supplies, so we let him, I slung a pair of binos around my neck, my nephew carried nothing but a smile, and my wife was armed with a handheld GPS system.

We quickly slipped away from the road and into the brush. Once sure we were properly concealed, I used the binos to sweep the area. The coast was clear. My wife took point, following the arrow on the GPS. We stayed right behind here, still looking over our shoulders as we beat a trail deep among the trees and patches of thorn bush.

There was movement from a trail up and on our left. I gave the signal and we all fell to a crouch amid the waist high foliage. A couple of hikers were out on a leisurely stroll. We kept quiet, four pairs of eyes watched them until they disappeared around the bend.

My wife pointed at the display on the GPS. We were getting close. We moved on. At last, the proximity alarm went off. We were within twenty feet. I gave the order to spread out. Look to the trees, the ground, it could be anywhere.

A section of brush was unusually dense near the base of a tree. Someone had rearranged it to be so. I dropped to one knee and spread the tiny limbs. Jackpot…we had found a cache.

Yes, my family and I are now obsessed with the wonderful world of geocaching.

Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for gps users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a gps unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache.

I first learned about geocaching by reading Mark Rainey’s blog. He’d mentioned it several times, but it wasn’t until he posted a link to geocaching.com that I decided to go check it out.

This is a fun game that can be enjoyed by the entire family. As most of you know, we spend a good deal of time outdoors as it is, but of the 15 caches we’ve found so far, at least 10 of them have brought us to places we normally wouldn’t have even noticed. It’s amazing how our minds just don’t register our surroundings until it is absolutely necessary.

So, have you ever heard of this game before? Are you a player or a muggle? Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, I suppose you may have to read the website to find out. :D

How did you spend your weekend?

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At 8:26 AM, Blogger ciara said...

when i first saw the word 'geocaching' i was like what is that? then when i read the description i'm like, 'oh yeah.., i've seen that on t.v.' i remember seeing some show where a family was doing that. so what's usually in the cache?

At 8:34 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

It really varies from site to site. In some you will find small trinkets like you would get out of one of those dispensers near the exits of most stores. In others you'll find hi tech goodies and even money. Some are just log books for you to sign. Some have tracking devices (either geo coins or travel bugs) that players put out to see where in the world it will go. It's really a very cool game. :D

At 8:36 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

oh, and if I were going to place one of your blogs in my blogroll, which one would you prefer?

At 9:09 AM, Blogger ciara said...

http://ciarasramblingsandwhatnot.blogspot.com is my main blog...i'm going to add you, too, if you don't mind :)

At 9:11 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

right on, add away. :D

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Carrie said...

One of my old blogger friends husband use to do it. I was so intrigued. Still am but I can't afford to by a gps.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

It is a lot of fun, Carrie. Maybe one of these weekends, you and Adam could come with us so you could get in on the action. :D

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Akelamalu said...

I've never heard of this before but it sounds like fun, especially as it's something you can do together as a family.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

oh, it is great fun and it's world wide. :D I bet if you snooped around the website, you would find some in your neck of the woods. :D

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Breazy said...

That sounds like something my family and I would enjoy because we to love to spend the day outdoors and we love hunting for things. I will certainly have to check in on this, we don't have a GPS but I was reading about how to play from a cell phone that is equipped with Navigator and it turns out that mine qualifies.

Hope you have a beautiful day!

At 12:39 PM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

That's cool, if you give it a go, you'll have to let me know if it worked well from the phone. :D

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Breazy said...

will do!

At 5:21 PM, Blogger jillie said...

That sounds like a GREAT time. It allows you to do things together as a family and work together and get you away from the tv. I've become glued to that damn thing. I may have to check into that. You should take some pictures and post your treasures ;o)

At 5:24 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

Oh, I'll try to do that sometime, Jillie. And yes...it is a great way to get away from the TV. :D

At 12:42 PM, Blogger lime said...

i have friends that have done this and my son has gone with them. i have yet to enjoy the game myself. it does sound like fun.

At 8:20 PM, Blogger snowelf said...

My friend (Tuxbaby) in Texas goes all the time and she LOVES it. She even travels all over the place and grabs finds. She's got her dad and her brother addicted too. I haven't braved it yet, but if it were to ever get "not winter" here, I want to eventually go now that my son is older.


At 4:35 AM, Blogger Bernita said...

A high tech scavanger hunt.
Sounds like tremendous fun.

At 5:25 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

Lime, you should totally tag along one day. :D

Oh, yeah we waited until it was warmer here. I don't do the cold very well, Snowelf. :D You'll have to be sure to let me know once you give it a go.

It definately is, Bernita. :D


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