Living in Indiana means you spend about eight months out of the year in miserable weather – it’s overcast all winter (depressing!) as well as the spring and fall (triple depressing!!). Oh, and don’t forget the road construction in the summer, which pretty much makes it a 12-month crap shoot to live here.
So when we get a 60 degree and sunny day we do everything we can to take advantage of it before our cabin-fever becomes permanent. Today was just such a day! We couldn’t wait to get out of the house and out in the open air where there was sun and warmth – at last! And we took full advantage by doing one of our favorite outdoor activities – GEOCACHING!
If you don’t know what this is (loser!) then you need to check out http://www.geocaching.com to learn everything you can. In a nutshell it’s a world-wide scavenger hunt with over two million geocaches and growing hidden so far. You can use a GPS device (we just purchased a Garmin eTrex 20 and LOVE it!) or you can utilize an app on your smartphone to help locate geocaches. There are several apps to choose from, we use a free one called c:geo and it’s fabulous. We can see maps, locate geocaches, log our finds, read the hints and logs of other geocachers, and other useful tools that make the experience so much fun.
Geocaching also has the benefit of getting the kids and I outside and going places we might normally just drive by without really seeing. We don’t even have to plan to geocache; many times we are simply running errands and decide to check the app for any nearby caches – bingo! We see there is one or several right by our location and we take a few extra minutes to scavenger hunt and log a quick (or sometimes difficult!) find. We’ve explored several nearby public parks in greater detail than we would have before, and we’ve parked in many parking lots and hoofed it into nearby wooded areas or around business buildings to find the elusive cache.
We’ve met many new and interesting people while geocaching. It’s a fabulous way to strike up a conversation with complete strangers and the number of interesting people and events that surround the geocaching community continues to grow. (Just beware of muggles!)
There are all kinds of different caches, too. I won’t get into them here so be sure to check out the geocaching.com website and learn what’s out there. Trust me, it’s a hobby that will make an impression!