Moist and hiking in flip flops

We like to try out new activities we can do together as a family that involve getting some fresh air and exercise. Bike riding has been one of our recent favorites during the 100 degree sauna of summer. Mostly because you at least get a breeze if you ride fast. 

A couple weeks ago, when the weather decided to be less sauna-ish for the day, we decided to try out geocaching. It's basically a treasure hunt using GPS minus the actual "treasure."  On paper, I was thinking we could walk to the hidden caches. I'm pretty sure I had visions of hiking, a picnic lunch and pretending to be rugged and outdoorsy. We're not. We're also lazy. So we rode our bikes instead. We also sort of forgot that the reason it felt less sauna-ish was because it was raining.

Yup. We geocached in the rain. Pretty sure we looked like idiots. Pretty sure it's not the first time and won't be the last. We're not made of sugar. And it was a light sprinkle anyway. So whatever.

My brother joined us. The crazy gene must run in the family because dude didn't even balk when we headed out. He just started pedaling.
On the brightside, the rain kept it nice and cool.  On the downside, the bike tires sent water flying up our backs.  We all had wet backs.   No need to worry though.  There was no one else hanging out in the park in the rain to see the strange wet spots on our backs.

First up was a tree not far from our house. We're pretty convinced it's up there. Up there eluding us even after I convinced my husband to climb the tree in flip flops. Twice. What's that? Why did we wear flip flops to geocache? I would think the answer to that is obvious. Because we're the ding dongs geocaching in the rain and had no plan.  Duh.

I wish I had a photo of the 5 of us staring up into that tree. I also wish I had video of our lengthy discussion while staring up into that tree. My husband immediately concluded it's not there anymore and someone must have moved it.  No other possible explanation.  My son wanted his father to plow ahead with a death wish and keep climbing up higher. My daughter wanted to point out that she was getting wet. I said maybe we could wait until the leaves fall and then we'd be able to see better. And my brother wanted to know some crap about how many satellites the phone navigating us to the cache was connected to. Chaos.

We finally broke free of the gravitational pull of the tree and headed to a big park near our house. We started in the parking lot.

The clue mentioned light so naturally we circled like 15 light posts before we realized that the extra hint "skirt" meant that we should life the little bottom park of the pole.

I'm 39 years old and I'm here to tell you I never knew any of the parts on light posts move. Well. They do. And apparently they are riddled with geocaches. Who knew? Once we mastered that trick we successfully tracked down 4 others. It was almost too easy. We lost interest and officially retired from light post geocaching.
So we moved on to full on outdoorsy. The clue made no sense to us but we followed the GPS onto a little footpath through a wooded area in the park. We could tell from the hints it wasn't up in a tree though. That was important because we're also officially retired from "up in the tree" geocaching.

At this point we're moist, off roading in a small forest in flip flops and wandering in circles because the GPS location was give or take 15 feet.  Off the beaten track in the forest and my son naturally decides he needs to use the bathroom. He was trying to convince me to take him. I was trying to explain to him that he pees in our backyard just to annoy me while simultaneously entertaining his father but suddenly by ourselves in the forest he needs me to walk him a mile to the park restroom. I won the debate. We'll leave it at that.
Did I mention we left our bike helmets on while wandering in a our flip flops?  Safety first!
It quickly became apparent that this one was somewhere in the ground and that the ground was covered with leaves. But none of the delicate flowers in our crew wanted to touch the leaves to move them. That includes with their hand or flip flop feet.  So there was a lot of shoving piles of stuff with sticks.

My favorite was when we thought we'd found a new area to check sure that we'd finally found the right spot. Except it wasn't a new area because we were going in a circle and everything looked the same. We did that like 4 times and it never got old.  I also called my husband on his phone at one point when we lost sight of him in the forest. Pretty sure there's nothing roughing it outdoorsy about that.
What's a girl got to do to get decent shot of the forest chaos?  Would it kill people to pretend their normal and just smile?
Just as we were giving up and debating what flavor Sonic milkshakes to reward ourselves with, we start walking back to our bikes and something on the ground looked smooth and slightly shiny.
And that was it. Boom. We are geocache rock stars. Other than the one in the tree that shall not be named.
If you wear a camouflage hat, you are officially in charge of sticking your hand in the hole to pull the box out.
We headed out for some victory FroYo to celebrate. We'd earned it. Next time we're in the mood for more Fro Yo, we'll probably try earning some more. Although maybe minus the rain. Or not. It was a fun way to burn a some daylight as a family.
Post FroYo sugar rush.  Dry but still just as crazy.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Despite the rain and flip flops, or maybe because of them, that sounds like a great way to spend the day! Your kids will remember it and it sounds like some fantastic family time. Although, it sounds like anytime with your family is pretty fun. Way to get those kiddos out, get active, and spend time together!

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