Cliffs of Flat Rock Park – Geo This!

What is Geocaching?

First Cache Ever!

This one-minute video tells you all about this world-wide treasure hunt that’s probably right in your own back yard.

Geocache Name:  Cliffs of Flat Rock Park

Location:  Columbus, GA

Geocache # 10 for Team Aissa!  What a beautiful day at Flat Rock Park, Columbus, GA!  This is our 2nd cache of the day and our first day with a mulit-cache.  The clues were a bit confusing- but the steps were easy to spot.

CLUE:  If you are not a mountain climber, try the stone steps that take you to the top. Grab the cache before you get on the steps.

Alligators Live In The Woods?

What is Geocaching?

First Cache Ever!

This one-minute video tells you all about this world-wide treasure hunt that’s probably right in your own back yard.

Geocache Name:  Sunny’s Favorite Spot

Location: Myrtle Beach, SC

Another Geocache down for Team Aissa, Woo!

My son, Jaren and I decided to go out last Sunday afternoon for a quick park and grab.  We drove a few miles to the geocache named, Sunny’s Favorite Spot  (named after the hider’s dog Sunny)  This cache was a 2/5 difficulty and 2/5 terrain.  Part of the clue was-

…when you get to the area of the cache you will see a fallen tree on the right side of the trail. The tree points to the hollow stump….

We parked in a new development and walked to an open field lined with woods.  No muggles were present. As we walked into the thick brush, he warned me to watch out for alligators since there was a lake nearby.  I didn’t know if he was trying to throw me off the trail or if he was serious.  I choose to believe him, just in case.  Every small animal I heard sounded like an razor-toothed alligator walking in the underbrush behind me.  We wandered around the path for about 20 minutes.  It was very overgrown and I wore flip flops.  Note to self:  buy all-terrain, treasure hunting shoes.

As we walked, we noticed several trees had fallen in the woods. I wonder if they made a sound when they fell?  All of the fallen trees seemed to point to stumps.  We checked them all for the cache.  No luck.  Although we were working together, we were also in competition to find the cache first.

As we walked the path careful not to step on any alligators, Jaren pointed to a stump that was about 15 feet off the path and said, “Mom, go check that one.”  So I walked up on it slowly (I get so nervous when I’m close to the cache- I think I have spider senses) and peeked around the stump. At this point my heart beats fast as I spotted the large, steel box sitting in the hollowed-out stump covered by some well-placed wood pieces used to camouflage the cache.  After the find, we spent the day debating on who found the cache: Jaren for pointing out the right stump or me for using my spider senses and physically finding it?   I think the Wonder Pets said it best when they sang, What’s gonna work? Teamwork!

Jaren’s First Cache Ever! (Misty Passage)

What is Geocaching?

First Cache Ever!

This one-minute video tells you all about this world-wide treasure hunt that’s probably right in your own back yard.

Geocache Name:  Misty Passage

Location:  Myrtle Beach, SC

Entrance to the tunnel on Ocean Blvd.

We had just moved to Myrtle Beach and I was anxious to see what kind of fun caches were hidden at the beach.  I logged on to Geocaching.com and found a cache named Misty Passage  less than half a mile from my house.

There are so many types of caches.  Ones that look like drainpipes, rocks, I’ve even seen caches that look like the bark on a tree.  This particular cache was a level 2 called a nano-cache (very tiny container).  All caches have a clue to help you locate the cache once you are in the vicinity.  The clue was  “Look above the turtle looking up.”  – I thought the cache might be near a pet store.  I jotted down the coördinates and my husband Byron and I headed out the door with our dog, Aissa.   I walked up and down the street trying to match my walking GPS with the exact spot that matched the coördinates, my husband spotted stairs that led to an underground tunnel connecting one side of the street to the other for safe crossing.
We entered the tunnel we were pleasantly surprised at what we found.  The tunnel is carpeted (although I’m not sure why) and painted in an aquarium theme.  Ahhh, turtles, now I get it.  There were many turtles painted on the walls along with sharks, whales, jelly fish, octopus and a few well drawn divers.  It’s a very cool little place and provides an interesting backdrop for a cache.

This should be easy, I thought.  The tunnel is not very long and there doesn’t seem to be many places to hide something.  We searched the brightly painted walls for turtles- they all of them seemed to be looking up.

Skyward looking turtle

But one turtle in particular was stretching his neck and looking straight up.  I was sure he held the secret to the nano-cache.  Above him was  light fixture.  “It must be up there.”  I pointed to the light and asked my husband to boost me up.  I reached up and felt along the top of the light, but found nothing.

We searched above other turtles in other light fixtures but without knowing exactly what you’re looking for, it’s harder to find it.  When a muggle would walk through the tunnel, we just pretended to look at the art work on the walls.  When they were out of sight, we’d start searching again.  It’s actually pretty fun being sneaky.  We searched for a long time.  I couldn’t believe that we did not find it- there isn’t much down there except two garbage cans and lights.  We left disappointed.

When I got home I checked the website again to make sure people were logging that they had found it- someone had found it just the day before so I knew it was still there.  But where?

Day after day, I walked Aissa  always stopping for a quick look.  Pretty soon,  I knew all the turtles by heart.  I’d walk up to each one and search around him.  I would jump up and down trying to see  above the light fixture to spot the cache.  If a muggle was coming, I’d stop jumping and pretend I was petting Aissa.  She always provides a good cover.

After almost a month of searching, still nothing.  I told my son Jaren, about the cache and he wanted to try to help me look for it.   So Byron and Jaren and I decided to take Aissa for a walk to the beach and stop in the tunnel along the way.

Checking every possible place

Jaren looked above the lights and crawled around a bit and came up empty-handed. What?! I couldn’t believe none of us could find this small, level 2 cache.

A few weeks passed with no luck.  One day while going to the beach Jaren, Byron and I headed for the tunnel.  I had not even bothered jumping up and down this time to look above the light.  It wasn’t there.  I walked over to my usual long-necked turtle and stared at him in dismay shaking my head.  What was he looking at?  Certainly not the nano cache.

Just then, I heard Byron say, “What do you have there Jaren?”  I turned around to see Jaren holding a very small- what looked like a tiny bolt.   He smiled and said,  “I think I’ve found it.”  – What!  I missed seeing another find because I was to fixated on that lying turtle!  But I ran over to Jaren just as he was unscrewing the cache!  He had found it!

I had never seen a nano cache before and didn’t realize how small it really was.  The turtle who kept the cache’s secret was not the one I was focusing on- he actually lived on the opposite wall.  The cache was a  hollow magnet that was fixed to the metal part of the light . Well played Mvillian, well played.

The turtle guarding the cache

Hiding place

Inside the cache were strips of rolled up papers each with the name of past geocachers.  I logged the find joining the other 715 finders of the Misty Passage Geocache!

Nano cache magnet

Team Aissa (Jaren) 3/9/12

WHAT I LEARNED FROM THIS GEOCACHE:

You already have all the tools needed to find what you’re searching for- just have patience, ask for help if you need too, and most importantly, never ever give up no matter how long it takes.

Our First Cache Ever!

What is Geocaching?

First Cache Ever!

This one-minute video tells you all about this world-wide treasure hunt that’s probably right in your own back yard.

Geocache Name:  SQ – Harger Hill

Location:  Novi, MI

We liked the fact that the geocache was in a very old cemetery nearby.  We figured that we’d have a good chance to find the container in a fenced in area.  When we arrived, I was busy fiddling with my GPS  typing  in the exact coordinates while Byron darted off up the hill.  After a few minutes of not getting a signal, I heard a yell from the cemetery. “I found it!” – I was so mad at myself for trying to do everything in order, I had missed the find.  Grrr!

Byron  could already tell by my jealous pouting that this was going to be more of a competitive activity for us.  I was already keeping score in my mind.  Byron-1 Jennifer-0.   Drats!Byron ran down the hill with the waterproof, blue envelope in hand. Waving it at me like a trophy that I did not win.  Even though I was being a brat about the find, I decided to document the find anyway- for historical purposes.

BYRON’S FIRST GEOCACHE FIND.  CAN YOU SPOT IT’S HIDING PLACE? –LOOK UNDER THE TOMBSTONE TO THE RIGHT.  IT’S A LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPE PEEKING OUT FROM THE BOTTOM.

INSIDE THE WATERPROOF POUCH WAS A NOTEBOOK TO SIGN AND AN INKSTAMP.
WE ADDED OUR GEOCACHE NAME (TEAM AISSA), DATE AND NOTED IT WAS OUR FIRST FIND! 

Since Byron found it, he got to open it first.  It’s such a rush knowing that someone left it to be found.  We noticed that a few people that very week had signed the log book.

NOTICE THAT THE LOG IS A SIMPLE NOTE PAD.  SOME CACHES HAVE KEYCHAINS OR TOY SOLDIERS.  IN THOSE CACHES THE RULE IS- TAKE SOMETHING, LEAVE SOMETHING.  AND NOTE YOUR FIND. YOU MUST PUT THE CACHE BACK EXACTLY WHERE YOU FOUND IT.

What are Muggles?

Muggles are people lurking around not associated with Geocaching.  You have to watch out for muggles when you play and be sure there are none around watching you re-hide the cache or they may take it and ruin the cache.

This is the ink stamp found in the cache.  We stamped the pad and decided after this cache to have our own ‘Team Aissa’ ink stamp made so we can leave our own mark.

It’s a rush to find a geocache.   There are more than 5 million geocachers worldwide and over 1.6 million caches hidden.  I feel like the Goonies when I embark on a hunt, careful not to let the muggles catch us looking for the prize. That can be tricky, especially if you’re walking around a CVS parking lot pretending to walk the dog…but she’s a good excuse to look under bushes- and it’s oh so fun playing Sherlock Holmes. Watch my very own first cache here!
Register for a geocache name at geocache.com !  We can share our caches and if you’re ever in Myrtle Beach, maybe even go on a hunt together!