Finally – A Gorgeous Geocaching Day!

It’s almost the middle of April and we FINALLY got a spring day! We’ve had two close ones so far but today was just perfect – 74 degrees and sunny all day (I got a sunburn!!), minimal wind (this character has hindered the other two sunny days) and not a bite of chill in the air (another meanie of our first two days).
See? Spring!

My daughter was with me all weekend so I told her to dress for adventure – we were NOT going home after church. I was not going to waste our first real spring day doing anything at home; we were going to get out and about! After the service we usually hang around and chat with some friends for a bit, but today we said just a quick “Hi” & “Goodbye” and we were off!

Every spring I usually take a solo loop through parts of southern Indiana, hitting various wineries and visiting my alma mater – IU – for the day. A large part of this trip includes walking around the beautiful town of Nashville, IN. There are tons of cute little shops, several wineries, various types of art galleries, eclectic artisans (glass blowers!), and great places to find all kinds of food from awesome burgers to fudge and ice cream. Since my daughter was with me today we skipped the wineries. (Which means I get another chance for my solo trip real soon!) 😉

We decided to combine our adventure with some geocaching. With her GPS in hand my daughter and I headed south. While waiting in line at the ATM I checked for any geocaches nearby – bingo! – right next to us! We hopped out and quickly scanned the area, but no luck. In more populated geocache spots you tend to feel a bit like a trespasser when snooping around places, looking under bushes, behind trees, etc., but we especially felt like thieves right next to this high-traffic-area ATM. We decided to try again later and headed out of town.

My daughter and I managed to be among the first tourists to Nashville today. We scored a premimum parking spot for $3.00 and headed into the heart of the shops in town (after a quick bathroom break, of course). After window shopping for a bit we targeted our first geocache and headed over to find it. This one appeared to be behind the building somewhere and with a parking attendant watching we started poking around the brush. After a few minutes of searching the attendant called over to us, “I think it’s on the other side!” Aha! Someone who already knows what we are doing. Shedding our feelings of snooping around where we don’t belong we continued searching. He called out again when we started heading too far away, saying he had never seen it but everyone else seemed to find it “over that way”. No luck; after about 20 minutes we decided to move on. The attendant came over to us on our way out and asked us to e-mail him if it was discovered the cache is no longer here so he could let others know. I took his card and said I would definitely let him know. Here is someone who apparently is not a geocacher but is willing to help cachers out. Awesome person!! 🙂

We moved on to our next spot and quickly zeroed in on it’s location. When the GPS said we were right on top of it I looked up and – whoa! – is this what I think it is? Yep! Clever spot! We signed the log and headed on to the next one.

Pull the string to get a surprise...

Pull the string to get a surprise…

We didn’t find the next one we searched for and by this time we were getting hungry. We hit The Sandwich Place for a bite to eat – and if you are an IU/Bobby Knight fan you’ve found Nirvana – and then headed out to window shop some more and then back towards our car. We decided we had room for ice cream and stopped off to grab a cup of gelato. They also had various gourmet popcorns and once I saw the Bacon Cheddar I had to grab a bag – mmmmmm, bacon!

Tastes like salty cheddar popcorn - but anything with bacon is always good, right?

Tastes like salty cheddar popcorn – but anything with bacon is always good, right?

We headed home and made one more quick stop at my favorite place along 37 – Oliver Winery! They have beautiful landscaping in front of the winery and a large patio and hillside surrounding a pond filled with very large koi fish; a perfect setting for picnics with wine and cheese on a gorgeous day, and many people where taking advantage of this opportunity.

Damn muggles ruined my shot!

Damn muggles ruined my shot!

This geocache seemed to be taking us into forbidden territory and with so many muggles about we decided to skip it and head home – we were tired and hot from our adventuring anyway, and besides, this gives me a chance to come back soon! We headed out and made it to her dad’s house where I dropped her off and picked up my son. Since it was still fairly early in the late afternoon/evening, I asked him if he wanted to hit a few nearby caches we’ve never been able to make it to in time. Some caches are in spots that have hours of availability at their locations so we’ve always missed them before. He grabbed the GPS, fired it up, and we were off!

T-Bone and I had a lot more success with our caches, finding 5 out of the 6 we targeted before heading home. Our first two were at a local cemetary that closes at 6pm. Since we were finally going by it before closing time we turned in, parked the car, and jumped out to search. I let T-Bone take the lead and he soon wandered behind a tree and then quickly yelled out, “Oh my gosh, I found it!” He couldn’t believe it when he accidently grabbed it, thinking he was just moving an annoying stick out of the way. We logged our find and moved on to the next one in the cemetary, an easy one we quickly found, logged and put back.

Whoa - I didn't know it was a fishing pole!  Look what I caught...

Whoa – I didn’t know it was a fishing pole! Look what I caught…

A quick find, with some treasures inside!

A quick find, with some treasures inside!

We found a travel bug in two of our caches, one of which requested it stay in the little town we were caching in. We placed it in the container of another cache we found afterward and kept the second bug to place another day.

Travel bugs get around.

Travel bugs get around.

We finished up and headed home to log all of our finds that didn’t upload while in the field. What a great way to spend our first gorgeous day of spring!!

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