Friday, October 14, 2005

Geocaching

Pioneer Peak in Palmer Approximately one hour from where we live.
Hiking around and finding treasures, does that sound like fun? It does to me! I am not very athletic or the hiking type but after reading at this site and checking out the geocaches placed in our area, I see that there are some caches that are an easy walk to get to. The first time I heard about it my daughter Marie was telling me about her very good friend Sarah and her husband were finding caches down in North Carolina. "Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for gps users" explains Geocaching.com. "A GPS unit is a electronic device that can determine your approximate location (within around 6-20 feet) on the planet. Coordinates are normally given in Longitude and Latitude."
If you are like me you will ask, what is GPS? Global Positioning System. My family uses them when we go hunting to mark a spot we enjoyed being at or if they might want to return to it someday. Also to measure the miles we traveled on our 4-wheelers (ATV's).
I see there are a lot of caches in Alaska! Geocaching.com suggests that if you plan to set up a cache to put them somewhere that will be a cool place to end up at. Like a viewpoint, top of a mountain, awesome park, etc. It's the responsibility of the cache maker to check on it occasionally. Each cache is different. You can put different things into them and when you are visiting someone elses cache, you can take things but you are asked to leave something in return.
With my sense of direction (I don't really have any) I would need a guide to help me get to any of the caches. Sad to say, I can get turned around in our shopping mall, and it's SMALL!
Once a friend of the twins (Marie and Karla), Michelle VanderWeele suggested to Doug during hunting season that we come to their farm and hunt some cows (Doug had a cow permit that year). Michelle said the moose had been munching on their produce all summer.
So, Doug, Karla and myself went for a day hunt to the farm. The property we were going to hunt on was about a 4-acre plot of undeveloped woods that the VanderWeele's thought the moose probably were hanging out in during the day.
We drove there and after getting out of the car Doug begins to give us a few directions.
"You don't have to be quiet, just walk through the woods so the moose hear you if they are here, okay Karla? You just walk down the right side and keep going until you get to the end and come out on the open field."
"Okay," she says.
"Connie, you walk down the left side and do the same thing, come out at the end of the woods."
"Okay," I said.
He continued as he got his gun out, "Don't start walking until you see me wave from down at the other end of the woods."
We watched him walk quietly away, down past the woods and out on the open field, he turned around and then he waved. The great plan was we would stir up the resting moose and they would meander out of the woods to avoid us and Doug would have a clear shot.
I started walking and because I get turned around so easily, I began to make a slow circle instead of going straight! Karla walked just like she was told to do and after she got down to the end she joined Doug and they waited and waited for me.
I was coming, I thought so anyway. I found a scary place in the woods too. Looked like a foxes den. There even was little bones. I wondered if they could have been the remains of someones little dog or cat. I snooped around there and looked down into the hole but didn't see anything.
As I continued walking and climbing over fallen logs, I came across a heavily used trail and thought to myself, Wow! I wonder if Doug knows this is here? Finally, I stumbled out of the woods and didn't see Karla or Doug anywhere! Just houses! HOUSES? I turned back to look in the woods and see if I could figure how to get to the right end of the woods but by then I am thinking, which way is the right way? I decided I was on the wrong side of the FOREST, but I didn't even know what was the wrong side but where I was, definitely was not right.
I set my eyes on a bright side across the other side of the woods and headed that way. After I saw the farm field I walked out of the woods and looked down one end of the field (wrong way of course), then turned and looked down to the other end where I saw Doug! I was right back to just about the exact spot I started. I was not even a third of the way through the woods. I squinted down at Doug as he gave me the "what are you doing anyway?" body language sign.
That was just 4 acres, okay maybe it was more...?
The trail I found was the trail I was supposed to stay on but sort of got off of somehow. I made a big circle and came back to it. We didn't see any moose. I suspect that they probably saw us though.
My sense of direction is severely lacking. I have even tried to get a compass to point me in the right direction and it does not even work. It does not point North.... well not my idea of north!
If you are the follower type and you've lost your way, don't follow me... I am probably lost too.
I do know the Way to Heaven though and my Guide there won't ever get lost!

2 comments:

akeskileut said...

Lol...I think I remember you telling me this story..and remember when you went garage saling in Town..hehe! Did your hubby get you a GPS:-)

Kerri said...

I've heard of geocaching before. It sounds fun and interesting if you are in an area with a lot of cool hiding places (not a small rock such as this. hehe).

I enjoyed your story about moose hunting. :o) I have never tried hiking off the island, so don't know how good my sense of direction is. The places I hike are quite familiar to me because I grew up here.