A(nother) Walk in the Woods

Best Part About Geocaching With My Kids:  The total joy they exude upon finding a box full of total crap that, to them, is actual, for realsies treasure.

Worst Part About Geocaching With My Kids:  Everything else.

's like we're *trying* to get bitten by a snake.

For those who don't know, geocaching is this...sport?  Game?  I don't know.  It's a thing where someone hides a box of some sort, ranging in size from a film canister to an ammo box, out in the wilderness.  Or sometimes under a Dumpster.  Or behind the steps of an abandoned building.  Really, anywhere that you can be killed in total privacy and your body wouldn't be found for days.  In the box is usually at least a little notepad so other oblivious potential murder victims can sign in and see who's been to visit and when, etc.  Typically there are also little "treasures" -- Mardi Gras beads, plastic animals, stickers, etc., so you can take a wee thing from your find and leave a wee thing in return (we like to leave marbles).  You use GPS coordinates and an online log of geocache listings to go on the hunt and pray like hell you have cell service when you get in the general vicinity of your cache.  And...that's about it. 

For the rural caches, there's typically some hiking involved.  Care to guess who doesn't like to hike?

He calls it being "hard of walking".  He was hard of walking for about three miles round trip today and I heard alllllllll about it.  When dragging his feet didn't work, he tried falling to his knees, crawling, rolling around on the forest floor moaning about his batteries malfunctioning and how he literally (his new favorite word) could not take any more steps, and finally bellyflopping flat on his face, arms flung wide, in utter woe.

(This is the part where I feel legally obligated to tell you I'm a goal oriented person to the extreme.  Like, tunnel vision kind of oriented.  When we're geocaching, it is not about the beautiful views and the gorgeous weather and the butterflies surrounding us, it's about getting to the next cache site RIGHT NOW and by right now I mean YESTERDAY.  Which.  You know.  Doesn't really sync up well with a 4-year-old who is fully immersed in pretending to be a giant robot who doesn't talk and can only take one extremely slow step at a time.  I try.  I really do.  Well.  Okay, on non-geocache days I try.  I'm kind of a horrible person on geocache days and I have to get there right now why in the hell are you walking so slow I could just roll you down the mountain faster than this for the love of all that is good and holy.  I need to work on this.)

While the 4-year-old was putting on a one-man dramatic interpretation of the stages of death, the 6-year-old was fully on board, sprinting ahead, fantasizing about what he'd find in the box, skipping and singing to the woodland creatures.  He even found a tiny birds' nest that had fallen out of a tree and called it his Greatest Treasure Ever.

Can you tell I only brought my wide-angle lens today?

It truly was the Greatest Treasure Ever.  I can't imagine being 6 and finding something that friggin' awesome.  Which is why we spent half an hour looking for the damned thing after he dropped it "somewhere in the grass or maybe the dead leaves and branches".  So many tears, y'all.  So.  Many.  Tears.  In the end, he took a deep, shaky breath and decided it would be okay because a tiny mouse or maybe a bird that fell out of a tree could use it for a house and that would be best.  At least I think that's what he said, the words ran together and were very high pitched at the end there.  Poor kiddo.

So, yes, we found two of the three caches we were looking for (one was hanging off a rocky cliff and while I will do many questionable things to my kids, sending them off a ledge like lemmings is not one of them).  And, bonus, we came home with an FM radio scanner that the 4-year-old believes is some sort of device that can detect bad guys and a booklet of Snoopy stickers.  The downside is that in the process I used many...we'll call them non-maternal words in the direction of my preschooler for which I have yet to apologize, but really, really should, and had to promise to somehow make another nest for our next Make Something Monday that the 6-year-old truly believes will be used as a housing development by a bird (who apparently will have recently lost his house in the divorce and has extremely low standards). 

I'm hiding the next geocache in our basement and the only things in the box will be the ingredients for fudge brownies.  Or whatever that beachy drink was I had at the lake last week.  Or ear plugs.  Maybe all three.


  1. We did geocaching with Em when she was Charlie's age. I still remember her joy at finding them (a near-miraculous event considering the lack of accuracy of the gps system we used 17 years ago), and the deep consideration given to what treasure one should remove. We left anything grabbed from the junk drawer. So lots of Allen wrenches. Now I've perfected the art of taking a cocktail and leaving an empty glass. It's a much funner game.

  2. That sounds like fun! Where do you find these geocaching things? On line? Jeremy and I love Hiking (weird because nerds don't generally GO outside) and I'd love to just add to the boxes. And if I find one with Marbles I will know it's you ha h!
    What if you got the already made bird houses and have them paint it? Tell Charlie the bird needs and upgrade on housing to feel better about his bird life and maybe the new bird house will help the little bird find a forever mate. :)


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