Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Our First Geocaching Adventure! (Massachusetts)
We went to the cemetery once and thought that we were close. But, it turns out that even though our car GPS says that it can be hand held, it really won't work for Geocaching. Our GPS, TomTom One snaps you back to the real road when you are in the woods. Since I am usually driving and not usually in the woods, I am happy to use this GPS for driving only.
I talked with my Geocaching friend about her GPS and her Geocaching friend's GPS (did ya follow that?). After all that we decided to go with the Garmin eTrex Venture HC. The price was right and it did everything that I need it to do. This hand held GPS should not be used for traveling in the car as it only has major highways.
When we left the cemetery the first time without having located the Geocache, we immediately went by another cemetery! We pulled in and checked it out. It seemed like we could get to the Geocache through this cemetery, too. Now, I was thoroughly confused - which cemetery was the correct cemetery?
We went home and checked the Geocache coordinates on Google Maps. If you haven't used this awesome site yet, you are missing out! I use it at least once a week. From the aerial shots on Google Maps, we realized that either cemetery would work but that it was easiest from the first cemetery. Since I am a bit of a hobby-hopper, I REALLY didn't want to spend the $ to buy a hand held GPS. So, on another day we went back to cemetery #1. All 4 of us were there for the first 2 attempts. We got within 85 feet of the cashe and then... TomTom snapped us back to the main road. We decided to get hand held GPS after all.
In order to fund this hand held GPS purchase I looked through the house for some junk to sell. Read more about this here. In ended up only costing us about $30 out of pocket for this adventure device.
The hand held GPS arrived on a Friday. I added batteries and then I turned it on and let it sync up. The online review's on Amazon said that it took a long time to find satellites. We must live in a satellite dense area as it didn't take long at all to find 33 satellites. The next day happened to be date night at our house. So, after the babysitter arrived, we packed up the hand held GPS and went back to cemetery #1.
We quickly found the correct area in the woods. Now, we had to find the Geocache! We found Lock & Lock container attached to the bottom of a log. I really wish that I had the camera, but, since we were heading to dinner and a concert, I didn't want to leave our camera in the car. One day I am going to get another point & shoot camera. I miss being able to stick the camera in my pocket. Anyway, back to the story: the log was cut away to make room for the Lock&Lock container. The container fit inside the log and the log would still sit flush on the ground. What a great design! We were sad that the kiddos missed this first Geocashe. But, it was worth the trip while we had the baby sitter to make sure we knew what we were doing.
And, because everyone always asks - what did we leave and what did we take? For us, this was a TNLN (Take Nothing, Leave Nothing). There were some cars and stuff in the cache but, we don't need anything like that. When the children are older, we won't have that luxury, for sure!