A favorite quote:

Make play a high priority in your life for if you die tomorrow no one can play for you, but someone can and will do your work for you!!!" Ken Beebe (Dr. Play)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Every day…

… that we go geo-caching is an amazing day.

I had a work appointment this morning across town and didn’t get back until 12:30, so we had to rush and get ready for the big Easter Egg party at the new Residence Assn. Building. Wow was that busy. It got started with an hour of crafts at some tables they set up in the gym. Andrew and Traci had fun decorating Easter baskets and making a paper bag bunny. It was crazy with kids running all over the place, but Andrew sat there for most of the time and enjoyed the craft making.  IMG_9081IMG_9093 IMG_9107

Andrew then spent some time warming up for the big Easter Egg hunt that was going to be outside in a few minutes… full speed wind sprints.IMG_9119

We got the call to head outside, so off we went. They had us in a holding pattern until the gun sounded and then it was every kid for themselves. The CRA did a really good job of this fun event and Andrew had a hoot searching for eggs. IMG_9130 IMG_9127

Andrew made out like a bandit getting a bucket full of chocolate eggs. The bigger kids pretty much cleaned up the park, but I kept taking eggs out of his bucket and dropping them where he would find them, so he found probably 30 eggs, but only had 5 in his bucket…LOL. The organizer lady came over and looked in his bucket and dumped a handful more in. (she was making sure the little kids got their share). Good start to the day!

We got home at 2:30ish and headed right back out the door for an afternoon of Geo-caching. Where to go? well, first to Tim Horton’s of course. Then where? North! That’s good enough for me, let’s go North. So we headed up the freeway, made an exit on Beddington and ended up out on Symons Valley Road. We pulled over on a little side road and opened the geo-caching app in my Palm Pre. The phone first locates itself, then all I have to do is tap ‘nearest’ and I get a list of the closest Geo-caches. WOW there were hundreds, but all were back toward the city. Well we certainly didn’t want to go back into the city, so we drove out into the country a little farther and then tapped ‘nearest’ again. Ok, that’s better, we have a list that shows the little arrows pointing out into the country now. Good.

We picked a close one and off we go, following the compass. It’s pretty fun to try to get to a point on the map, by trying to figure what roads to take. The compass obviously points as the crow flies, so sometimes you have to bypass your arrow location and then backtrack on some back roads, driveways and dirt roads.

We found the first one pretty easily, I just hopped out of the car, walked up to it, signed the log and then hit ‘nearest’ again. What the heck? the nearest is like 60 feet away! oh… wait… it’s the one we just found…haha. What’s next on the list. Uh… ok, it’s called Bills, bills bills. and it’s 4km away… straight across that farmers field. Well there must be another road over their, so we drive back to the main highway and then finally start heading toward the cache. Ok, we are getting close now. The compass tells us it is 756meters away, we are travelling at 84km/hr and the GPS accuracy is ~1meter. 524m… 377m… 210m… 87m… huh, what’s this? IMG_9204

A mailbox! yeah… the cache is named Bills, bills bills…

We park the cube right at the approach next to the mailbox and start searching. Traci looks around the mailbox, gets down on her belly an looks under the box and then we carry on looking around the rest of the area. We are defeated. no such luck on this one. Traci puts Andrew back in the car and just for S & G I get down on my belly and look under the mailbox. What the heck? there is a sticker on the bottom. I reach up and pull off the sticker. It’s not a sticker, but a magnet! It’s a geo-magnet. How cool. I take it back to the car and on the back the log is taped. We fill out the log and put it back for the next lucky geo-family to find. We learn new stuff every time we go out, like how to never rule anything out that may or may not be a cache. What a cool find.

Ok… press ‘nearest’

Dewitts Pond. Huh, never heard of it. Here we go. 5km that way. We are on a main road into Airdrie and the arrow suddenly shifts and points back the other way, so we find the nearest side road and follow the arrow to the coolest little trout pond. Where we park the car we are still 400m from the target, so that means a nice little hike is in order. After a quick pit stop for Andrew we meander our way along this great little spot. Apparently it is a very important rainbow trout fishery and a very popular spot for some shore fishing during the summer. It is less than 500m from the main road and unless you knew it was there, you’d drive right by it. Doesn’t look like much at first glance, but it is really pleasant once you get down there. IMG_9137

It’s a really pretty spot and has some great little trails for getting around the entire pond. It’s also a lot larger than what you first see. IMG_9195

This spot will forever bring fond memories as it was Andrews first Geo-cache find! IMG_9147*wootWoot* He saw it in the bush and went right over and picked it up! Yay for Andrew! We opened up the loot and gave him his choice of all the trinkets inside. IMG_9150IMG_9154  What does he choose? A shiny little marble. He was so proud of himself.  (His attire is the official uniform of 2 1/2 year old geo-cachers, by the way… )IMG_9171

We signed the log, stashed the box and headed back toward our geo-mobile. We took our time and got some nice photos of the pond and each other.  IMG_9166 IMG_9175 IMG_9184 IMG_9202IMG_9192

Ok… it’s getting close to suppertime, so… how about we do one more and then head into Airdrie and get some grub? Andrew says “Yeth, lets do next one, then lunch!’

‘nearest’ ok, 4 clicks north. Again, no road in that direction, so back we go, to find a new trail. We track down the next one off the main road, but only about 100 feet off the main road. We stop the cube and get out and start digging around in the ditch. Wow this ditch is full of thorn bushes, I don’t think it would be here, so we backtrack back onto the road and there is quite a pleasant group of poplar trees on the other side. We cross over there and start looking around. Nothing. We look in all the usual places, but to no avail. I am walking around like a goon and Traci says ‘THERE it is!’ I look over and she is pointing up above me. What the heck? would you loom at that! it’s up in the tree!IMG_9221IMG_9206

Seriously? I am not climbing  a tree. wait a minute. HAHAHA… too cool, there is an elaborate series of tiny pulleys and a camouflage string holding it up there and it ends up wound around a thick branch down here. I unwind the string off the branch and voila! the cache comes down! Awesome! this was the coolest cache yet! IMG_9222

Andrew and I took our time going through it. He still had his marble from the last cache, so I let him go through the loot in this one and he picked out a little maze game. I then told him to put the marble in the cache as a trade. He looked at me like I was nuts. Well then, you have to choose, you can keep the marble and put the game back, or you can trade the marble for the game. Well, he thought about it, thought about it some more. Looked at each item, then gently placed the maze game back in the cache. He seemed very pleased with his choice. I signed the log and put everything back together and hoisted the cache back into it’s lofty perch! Traci was really happy she found this once, as it redeemed her miss at the mailboxes. At the mailboxes, she thought it was weird that there was a sticker underneath the box, but never explored further, until I found it… So WAY TO GO sweetie! you made the best find today!IMG_9213IMG_9217 

4 for 4 today! Yippee, that’s the first time we batted 1.000! Tell you what, geo-caching works up and appetite. We headed into Airdrie for a nice supper at Boston Pizza, had a quick stop and the big Mal-mar (Wal-Mart in Andrew language) and then headed home!

This geo-caching sure is fun. Yep, never a bad day geo-caching…

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