I’m always up for a treasure hunt. As a child I remember a small version of one, let’s call it a trinket hunt, when I was visiting my grandma. All the neighbor kids got together and were rummaging through my grandma’s and her next door neighbor’s yards, looking in trees, digging up containers with costume jewelry and matchbox cars, all while following a list of clues we would find in each location. The final prize was a jar full of coins, enough for everyone involved to go a few blocks away and get ice cream at the local shop. It kept all of us kids busy for hours and out of trouble.
This past Easter weekend, three generations, including my two daughters and me, my parents and my brother, headed out of town to visit my sister and her family. Most Easter weekends with our family tend to include egg hunts, candy and a visit from the Easter Bunny. While our trip included all of those, my dad and brother wanted to make it extra special by adding a new tradition, a geocaching Easter candy hunt. This hunt included having to follow along using a battery-operated global positioning system with a list of coordinates pointing us in the direction we needed to locate the Easter cache. My brother had pre-programmed four destination points. Those original sites were where clues were hidden. The gps would say approaching within 16 feet and then they would have to search high and low. We helped my daughters and my two nieces follow the directions on the gps to find the clues. Each clue stated a compass heading and number of paces in the right direction to find each prize. Imagine the looks on the girls’ faces after following all the steps to find their gold.
Geocaching is the modern-day search for buried treasures using gps-enabled devices. There are more than two million active geocaches and more than six million geocachers worldwide. For more information, visit www.geocaching.com.
A friend of mine, who has found almost 150 treasures, told me there is a phone app you can download in addition to the website. This app shows you locations and coordinates where caches are hidden, the level of difficulty and their sizes. It also shows you the nearest caches to your current location. Once you find one of these caches, there is a logbook for you to sign. Some of these caches even have trinkets and treasures for you to swap out and keep for yourself. If you did not find the cache, the owner can email you hints so you can return a second time and keep looking.
I think everyone likes to find a prize, whether you’re 5 years old or 80 years young. Even as an adult, I will never turn down the chance to get the overwhelming feeling of anticipation when I find the “pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow.”