Friday, June 3, 2011

He's an addict

Our vacation wasn't just about seeing stuff.
And getting rained on.

It was Tanner's vacation too, so we did some of what HE likes to do... Geocaching. You may have heard of this hobby, it's a fairly new turn of events brought on by technology. A person will put out a cache hidden somewhere. It might be really easy to find, or incredibly difficult to find. It might be big, or it might be micro. Most of them are sneaky, like, hollowing out a bolt and hiding a geocache inside of it, then sticking it back in a hole in a fence.

ARGHHHH... frustration.
Pretty creative stuff which causes you to THINK. And you know how much I hate that there thinkin'.

Then, you use a global positioning system (hence: GPS) to locate the cache. Coordinates, clues, etc are shared on websites. The biggest being


We stopped at a rest stop on the way to MN, and Tanner found his first geocache on the trip. I followed along and was absolutely no use as usual. The best I can do is say "if it were me, I'd put it there." Once in a while, I'm right, but I still can't find it, even if I'm standing on top of it.

As you can see, they sneakily tried to camouflage an old peanut butter jar. Good old Skippy made it easier... rejecting the concept of spray paint on the lid.

What's inside a geocache? Well, sometimes there's just little "things" in there. Not necessarily anything worth anything. Just things to collect, for example, dice, stickers, a keychain, etc. Once in a while they'll be a travel bug. Those are the fun ones!

A travel bug will have a number on it, and the key is to get the bug to travel around the country (or world), everyone can follow it around to see where it's traveling to.


All geocaches have a log (or I think they do). This is usually just a little booklet or a scroll of paper where each person signs and dates it, then puts it back. I know, it sounds terribly underwhelming doesn't it? But really, many of the logs are years old, with hundreds of signatures.


Where would you find a geocache? Well, all over the place! If you go to a public park, you're almost guaranteed there'll be a geocache there. Which was frustrating for Tanner as we tend to fly by the seat of our pants while traveling. You have to plan ahead where you'll be going to download the coordinates.

It's much more frustrating for Tanner to be out, somewhere where he KNOWS there's going to be a geocache, and he can't get a signal on his laptop.

Sorry Tanner. I'm a mean mother.

He gets really frustrated when he can't find it, or worse, when you find one, and then can't get the dang thing open! In the end, all three of us worked hard on that one hidden i a sprinkler head.

At least I hope that was a fake sprinkler head.

I tend to get a little bored and distract myself with photos of pretty flowers:



Ohhh... flowers.

Once Tanner gets back to where he has a connection to the internet, he'll upload the information from his GPS to the website. The website will keep track of all his finds. While we were on vacation, he hit #50! Sounds impressive until you see that there are others that have thousands and thousands of finds.

They must coordinate their vacations around geocaching.


Sorry Tanner... I told you I was a mean mom.

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