I am still visiting northwestern Washington spending some wonderful and cherished time with my very dear cousin and a new friend. Having a desire to experience a little adventure, we’ve attempted a few geocache hunts. My cousin uses a wheelchair and was not able to get close to our first geocache search area but, having a knack for being logical she was the first to determine where our search area would be. I had entered the longitude and latitude coordinates into my handheld GPS (Global Positioning System) unit which indeed led us to the area my cousin had already determined. At that point our friend and I trekked through the nearby woods seeking the elusively hidden cache. With everyone helping out, our first hunt was successful and this gave us all confidence to try it again.
Off we journeyed by foot and by wheelchair further away from home, to find another geocache located somewhere near a community college. It continued to be a beautiful and warm day; I marveled at the greenery, some wildflowers, and natural beauty around me. I had voiced my amazement a number of times about the numerous trees, shrubs, and other natural greenery in this small city. I felt sure that it is the greenest city I have ever visited.
I had already entered the needed coordinates and this led us to a sculpture of a globe. The globe was our first clue and indicated we were on the right trail. But, this second geocache was not going to be so easy. According to the directions on the geocaching.com website, we were supposed to calculate the next coordinates. I had hoped we wouldn’t need to do so. We had other clues about “Roe, Roe your boat” and “where a troll might hide.” So we all determined to look for a nearby bridge. I was also wondering about a fish hatchery when considering the word ‘roe’. My cousin went searching in a different area and called us over because she found flowing water. We rushed to comb that area in search of a bridge. No such luck as we only found a bubbling fountain and no bridge. We returned to the globe sculpture to reconsider our options. None of us knew the area well enough to continue the hunt. Deflated for now we gave up the search for that day. But we determined to return as we each were caught up the excitement of finding that hidden container. We all sensed the challenge to find it and did not want to admit defeat. To me, this is a fun and clever way to “hunt” without shooting anything. It was also a time of enjoying the beauty of nature.
As we headed home, my cousin reluctantly commented, “We may need to perform those calculations.”
I didn’t trust my math skills with determining multiple sets of coordinates and so I answered her, “maybe not yet; I have an idea but it will take some planning.” Yes indeed, we will be returning. We all had tasted a little success in our hunt and were eager to taste it again.
Back at my cousin’s home, I went to work on the computer. I brought up an Earth Google map to study our search area. In thinking about the clue “Roe” I was so sure there had to be a fish hatchery near. I studied various structures on the 3D map but found no such thing. I commented to my cousin, “What else could ‘Roe’ mean?
She thought about it, “It could be someone’s name.”
“Well, then there could be a unique building named after someone.”
I then searched on the internet to find a map of the nearby college. The first map I found was blurry. I squinted at it until I found something that said, ‘Roe Studio’ and showed this to my cousin. I also compared it to the Earth Google map. She became excited again, “I think there is a bridge near there.”
A few days later, I found a clear and colorful campus map which confirmed what I found and it also showed a small bridge. Our friend joined us and we show her the map, memorize the route, and set off once again. We found the globe sculpture and journeyed past it paying careful attention to the building names.
“There’s a bridge.”
“And there’s a sign for ‘Roe Studio’.”
This time due to paved paths, my cousin is able to get very close to our target area and watch us continue the search. She watched us and smiled in anticipation. While I searched along one side of the small wooden structure, our friend, searched on the other side. There really was no water but it was damp like a marsh. The grass is vividly green and we all comment on how pretty the campus was. At this point, the search does not take long as our friend called out, “I think I found it.” And sure enough, she had.
This time the cache container is a plastic baggie containing the log to sign as proof we found it and one little ‘treasure’. We signed the log using our geocache name. We also leave the treasure for the next geocache seeker. My cousin decided to add a little something to the ‘treasure’. It was another fun find adding a bit of excitement and adventure to our day.
I also learned that my cousin and friend are enjoying this so much that they start planning yet another day of geocaching and this time at another campus further away which required taking the city bus. They have been seriously bitten by the geocaching bug and were eager for more adventure and more success in finding the hidden caches. They instructed me where they want to go. They also gave me the task to research for hidden geocaches on the other campus and to input the new information into my GPS. Therefore this geocaching adventure will continue one more day.