Travel Tips & Adventures

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Geocaching adventures

One adventure that almost anyone can have anywhere in the world is “geocaching.” To the uninitiated, geocaching is using a Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate coordinates and find where someone has left a “treasure.” But, really, the fun is in the hunt.A recent geocache hunt with an experienced geocacher reminded me why movies like National Treasure and pirate movies are popular.  Within 20 miles of my home, we found an interesting historical building and were the first ones to locate a new cache.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself…

My guide for the hunt was Councilmember Carl Diedrich from the City of Maricopa, Arizona.  Using his computer, he first searched for possible geocaches in our area in Arizona.  Once we located one that sounded interesting – “Santa’s gonna come in a stagecoach” – we entered the coordinates in his GPS, copied the other clues and headed out.  The clue referenced the fact that the destination used to be an old stagecoach stop.

Starting with 16 miles to reach the coordinates of our destination, we eventually left the local highway, headed south.  After several miles of travel, we hit a dirt road, as the directions predicted.  We were in the middle of the desert with just brush and cacti for company. Then, suddenly, we saw a gate.  Miraculously in the middle of nowhere, the sign for 99th Avenue appeared, also on our list.

Continuing a little further as the miles narrowed to our destination, we saw a small, old stone building in the distance.  Arriving at the building, now it was time to find the cache.

Old stone stagecoach stop - our destination

Old stone stagecoach stop - our destination

My host, his son and I began our search.  The person who hid the geocache was witty.  Another clue was an old Hollies song, “Look through any window, yeah, what do you see?”  We looked through all four windows.  We didn’t find anything.

We poked around, trying not to have any critters find us, and thought we’d looked everywhere.  Suddenly, Carl noticed that some rocks didn’t “look quite right.” Under a heap of rocks was the geocache.

Carl and Nate search for the treasure

Carl and Nate search for the treasure

Hurrah!  He was the “FTF” – first to find – the geocache.  In the metal box was a $5 bill, a small spiral pad to record the find with a pen, a travel bug (a token that has a number for recording online and tracking) and some children’s trinkets. The $5 was Carl’s reward for being FTF.  Carl left behind his own team coin, stamped the pad with his team insignia, took the travel bug to record it and move it along, sealed everything up and we were on our way.

Carls the first to find this cache

Carl's the first to find this cache

The old stone building was an old stagecoach stop from the 1870s – a true historical site that we didn’t know existed only 16 miles away!

Anyone can go online and find locations anywhere in the world to spend a few minutes – or hours – in a geocache adventure.  Those who hide the treasures can be wily and resourceful.  It all comes down to using your wits and a GPS.

And, when you get good, you, too, can leave some treasures for others to find.

See to learn more about this adventure that has thousands looking for modern treasures.

Later this week…Whale watching adventures!

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