Geo-caching – the art of using technology to play a high tech game of seek and find. Unless you don’t know how to use the GPS device….and neither surprisingly does the tween and teen you are searching with. It was doomed from the start
A GPS was available for free from the local tourism center. Free – we like free in our family so of course we made the trek to pick one up. The imp and I picked up a new family friend (aka the teen) and set off on our adventure. Here is what I learned.
1. Have someone teach you how to use a GPS navigational unit. It sooo is not like the one in your car. We managed to calibrate it, (yes a new term I learned for geo-tracker people), we figured out how to Mark our coordinates, (literally putting in the coordinates), but we failed at Waypoints. The teen, the tween and I all stared at the GPS and the GPS book in confusion. We even went so far as to try and wikipedia it on the cell phones. Yeah…nothing…we were duped. We figured the arrow was pointing us in the right direction so we hit okay..
2. Which possibly might have been a mistake. From what I could gather researching this cache, (our seek and find mission of getting a little canister filled with signatures from whoever else found it), it was suppose to be by the watertower I parked by. For some reason we ended up in the car. I questioned this decision of ours, however the tween said she did read that sometimes you have to drive…. the teen had the GPS and called out from the back seat that the numbers were getting smaller so we had to be on the right track….
3. Which brings me to point number three. Always bring another adult with you when surrounded by tweens and teens. After driving 1.5 kms, we got out of the car. After again looking at the GPS in confusion, (why was the little flag going in circles around the compass?!?!?), we walked a few meters. To which I thought adult like, I should probably lock my car. I walked back, locked the car, picked up my cell which had fallen on the ground that I didn’t notice and my com-padres were way way infront…..Another adult will keep you company. Or at least cheer you on as you play keep away with the mosquito repellent. (Note to self…I really must find a girl friend in this new land we’ve ended up in….my two person conversations with myself are starting to freak the natives out).
4. Again, learn how to use a GPS. Our walkabout took us to a large fence to which our GPS stated we needed to climb. The teen and the tween thought this a grand idea until I pointed out the barbed wire at the top. I also stated to the teen, the parents of said teen would probably have issues if I had to call about hospitals, nerve ending damage and long distance drives to city hospitals. We saw over the fence, where the 500 left meters wanted us to go…which hurray for us we recognized the landmark 🙂 We were I have to admit truly proud of ourselves with this feat. Back in the car….I really did think this geo-caching was more outdoor physical recreation though….
5. Wear pants and lots and lots of mosquito repellent. Getting out of the car, we finally …possibly were on the right track. It was far from the watertower – 1.8km – but the GPS sorta made sense to us. So we walked…into a forest…in the prairies…where mosquitoes take steriods and are the size of humming birds..and I was wearing shorts. With something like 28 meters to go, it veered us off a beaten track into dense woods. I asked the teen and tween if they could see the line of trees of where it probably was. To which the teen deadpanned, “No, there’s a whole bunch of trees”……I think she’s as country as I am which isn’t saying much…. Wearing shorts I knew I wasn’t going into dense wood.
As we got attacked by the humming bird mosquitoes we decided to quit while we still had life and limb. We’ll go back in October when the mosquitoes are all dead. I did find out where the local Ducks Unlimited is, so I do count this as a productive trip.
On a positive note, I finally clued in that my brother and brother in law aren’t here to ban me from using equipment like GPS units, bench saws, jig saws and other powerful machinery. Something about ‘things tend to happen’ when I try to use them. Which is completely bogus … they only tend to happen about 90% of the time. The other 10% I get bored and don’t touch it anyway. (I’m actually impressed myself that I didn’t totally make us lost in the wilds of Saskatchewan. I’m thinking an award of some type should be coming to me) This could work out in my favour..I wonder who I can get to lend me their chainsaw – there’s a tree where I live I want to get rid of 🙂
PS. Go to the imps latest blog posting. I am so proud of her for this one. The tween I have is amazing 🙂