Monday, November 19, 2012

The Geocaching Grandpa and Grandma – Thanks Clifford Lindsay

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The Geocaching Grandpa and Grandma – Thanks Clifford Lindsay
My wife Alida, with a big grin on her face, declared on her first Geocache experience, this is just like the old “Treasure Hunt” that we used to do.  I had to agree… except that this is somewhat easier using a GPS.

The problem would be for our grandsons and granddaughter – they have no idea what we mean about a “Treasure Hunt”. People our age would remember but the memories of getting outside and then following a series of clues to find the treasure is almost impossible now. They can’t do it any longer.

Setting up a “Treasure Hunt” took a lot of effort and time.  The results were a onetime thing that usually was over in an afternoon… or a day. It likely was set up at a Summer Camp and a great experience for younger kids.

Clifford, our oldest grandson, didn’t realize what he did when he started me on the Geocache experience.  This is way too much fun… and for two older people, Murray and Alida, we started remembering the wonderful old days when we were much younger.  In fact the memories took both of us back to when we were kids at Summer Camps doing this kind of thing – and then later when we were our Grandson’s age, leading kids to experience the fun of a “Treasure Hunt” as counselors.

As Alida and I walked through the bush following the ‘clues’ she said, “Can you smell that?” I could smell the wonder of the fall season and the millions of leaves lying on the ground around us.  We were walking through underbrush with big and small trees on every side.  The sun was shining above us and there was a light breeze outside the trees… but complete stillness inside the brush.

I think that walking in this brush and taking the time together to find a Geocache hidden by another family took us back again to about 50 years ago on a date together. We had gone on a hike and were walking through the beautiful back country of our home province Saskatchewan. I had taken Alida to see where my friends and I used to go hunting together. She was my brand new in my life and I couldn’t wait to show her what I had enjoyed so much.

Now after that initial 5 years of dating, and 45 years of marriage, two daughters and two son-in-laws, plus one granddaughter and five grandsons, we are still able to walk in the bush together.

However on Sunday afternoon, November 18, 2012, I discovered a distinct problem in my being… neither Grandpa Murray, nor Grandma Alida, can keep up to our Grandson Clifford. At 17 years old he can really move along any trail at top speed when he is excited and on the trail of a Geocache.

My pace is slower than it was 50 years ago, but I still can get to the places like this with some ease. And the fun that we had together, first me with Clifford and then me with Grandma, is hard to relate in this post. Some of the photos will help you to see perhaps what we felt.

So far I have referred to Geocache a number of times and many of you who have only some idea of what a “Treasure Hunt” is all about… are saying “Huh? What are you talking about and how does Geocaching work?”

Well how do I sum it up simply? Hmm?

An individual or a family begin the Geocache by registering with the Geocache people.  Then with some care they plan making a Geocache.  Inside the cache they place a small scroll of paper where all that come to visit and find the cache can write their names and date to tell the Geocache-r that they have found it.

Now I use the word “small” here because that is the size we were looking for. The cache-s that we found were 35 mm film containers that were wrapped in camouflage duct tape and hidden in the different spots.  There are actually four sizes of Geocache containers that people use… from the 35 mm film containers – or pill bottles up to something like a larger garbage bin where many things can be stored.  In some of the cache containers you leave your name.  In the larger ones you can take something that someone else has left but you must then replace it with something you are willing to give them – or others in return.

One of the neat things that I have read about is the possibility of placing a “special prize” with a recorded number on it.  This cache item is then possibly retrieved from the spot that you placed it and then transported to another cache, placed there and then picked up by still another Geocache-r… where it can travel to other places in the world.

Through the use of a computer and the registration and reporting of what you do at each place there is a permanent record of what you have done. In the case of the cache item with the registration number on it that you placed… you follow this thing all over the world apparently.

Nope I haven’t done this one yet but rather did the grandfather thing and read about it.

So you might like to read more about this Geocaching – here are the links that I have looked at. – where in Canada I have found 35,500 sites possible so far in Ontario. In Saskatchewan there are about 5700 to date. And BC has 29,000 – Alberta has 16,000 – and so on.
Oddly enough… New York State just south of us, has about 26,000.

But every country in the world has participants in Geocaching looking for things.

There are 702 in Hong Kong, 466 in China, 79 in Kenya, 7725 in South Africa… and so on.

Summing this long post up today… I need to say a big “Thank You” to Clifford and his teachers that got two old people out on a trail and an adventure that started 50 years ago but was laid aside – but started again.

We looked for seven geocache sites yesterday and found three.  Oh boy this is fun.

~ Murray Lincoln ~
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1 comment:

Nichola said...

I first read about it a few months ago and have been itching to give it a try ever since. You've given me a nudge! I'm absolutely grabbing the family and doing this soon :)