Monday, June 22, 2009
How to get a geek into the woods, or Geocaching
Last year, after our wedding, we hauled ourselves up to Duluth to get away for a day or two. On our jaunt, I wanted pie and had heard of Betty's Pies, which is on the way to Two Harbors. So, we get pie, but have time to kill, so we stumble into Gooseberry Falls State Park. At the visitors center, there are displays of stuffed animals in the area, birch canoes, etc. But, there are also brightly colored signs advertising Geocaching at the State Parks (sponsored by Best Buy.)
We wander over to the info desk, check out a Garmin eTrex GPS, received a sheet with instructions for the GPS and headed out of the door.
We did get lost, but wandering around a state park isn't boring, even if you are lost. We eventually followed the right path to lead us to the "cache." We hiked on well established trails to an outhouse which overlooked Lake Superior. It was a great view and something we wouldn't have found on our own.
We were hooked. When we came back home, I plugged in coordinates to a few caches in Como Park and one that was stuck in a train on Energy Park into my car's GPS. We had no luck finding anything and stopped looking. We started up again about a month ago, because our friends, Crystal and Vic, started Geocaching. They were actually finding things like Geocoins, and Travel Bugs. It sounded really interesting, so we headed out with the Mio DigiWalker c310x. We didn't find anything.
We found a Garmin eTrex Venture HC for about $85 refurbished to up our game a bit. Still, the caches we tried to find were elusive. It looks like the Como area is more difficult then we would like and was probably a bad place to start out.
Since then, we have crawled over Central Park and Villa Park in Roseville, Crosby Park in Saint Paul and Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. We have left a bunch of Travel Bugs we purchased to leave in caches, a handful of geocoins, and some trinkets. It's been fun, even if we've both been soaked, exhaused, muddied, pricked, bit and frusturated.
For more information on Geocaching, visit www.geocaching.com.