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Friday, March 8, 2013

Hobbies - Geocaching - interlude

Last year I reviewed The Joy of Geocaching. Geocaching is a kind-of worldwide scavenger hunt. While reading the book, I remembered how much I enjoyed doing scavenger hunts and puzzles as a child, so I decided to go take a look at Geocaching.com. A search of my area code revealed tons of caches just within a 10 mile radius of my home. I signed up for the service, but had forgotten about it while I focused on getting back to the gym.

My account sat untouched for quite a while until a couple of weeks ago. As an alien enthusiast, I've always wanted to go out to Area 51; however, I couldn't find anybody to go with me. Recently, I finally managed to find a few friends who were as enthusiastic to do a night watch as I was. We stopped to take photos at the regular stops, like the "Extraterrestrial Highway" sign and the "Black" Mailbox. We also stopped by Little A'Le'Inn for a bite to eat and a drink before we headed back out for the night. This is where I unexpectedly found my first Geocache!

I signed the log, retrieved a "trackable", and excitedly noted the name of the Geocache so I could log it later. After getting home, I decided to get with a couple of friends who lived nearby and visit a few caches in our neighborhood. This time, though, I downloaded a Geocache application to my phone so I'd know where to look for sure. Each one we visited was so cleverly hidden that I found my eyes sliding right past the treasure multiple times before finally identifying it.

Having now experienced the excitement of the hunt, I can understand why so many enjoy this hobby. Although, I did feel a bit silly as regular folks stared at us as we searched. I recommend this as both an individual and a group activity. It can be a great bonding experience as you come together to achieve a shared goal.

If you were wondering: Yes, we did see some strange things on our night watch...but that may have been due to drinking a popular shot called "alien blood" before heading out. ;)

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