Geocaching isn't for the birds

My kids are great. I love being a dad. As I write this my youngest is snuggled against me on a Sunday morning while I sit in in an easy chair with the laptop on my lap. Sometimes it is scary to think of how like me my kids may become. I take it seriously, so I keep a watch out for things I do and don't do that might be copied. I am glad I exercise. That's a good thing to pass on. They see me read books and I read to and with them. Both good. We play games. They already "get" the computer thing. We discovered another activity last weekend that brings us together, keeps us physically active, gets us outdoors and is a heckuva lot of fun. Geocaching.

For my birthday I bought a Garmin Foretrex 101 GPS. I debated long and hard between this and the other wrist-mounted model, the very popular Forerunner 101. I gave up the virtual running buddy and fitness log on the Forerunner for 400 more waypoints and the ability to store up to 20 routes on the Foretrex. Although I have read that the Forerunner does allow for geocaching and other traditional GPS functionality, I wanted to get the unit that would be as useful on a camping trip as long run. The size of this unit makes it super-fun to take. I am a gadget guy but there comes a time when you just don't want to pocket all of your gadgets. The wrist strap solves this problem.

Back to geocaching. According to there are over 235,000 active caches in 220 countries. My boys and I have found 4 of them. What a great way for us to spend time with each other! The rules of the game are this:

1. Take something from the cache
2. Leave something in the cache
3. Write about it in the logbook

Items in a cache could be: Maps, books, software, hardware, CD's, videos, pictures, money, jewelry, tickets, antiques, tools, games, etc. So far we have found that a toy is in nearly everyone of them. This is the part my kids like. They feel like pirates finding a hidden treasure of toys.

Yesterday we went to a cache hunt that required about a mile walk (read exercise is good for kids). On the way to one cache we stopped at the Farmington Bay and watched some bald eagles that migrate to Utah between November and March. About 900 eagles come each year. It was very cool to see over 20 eagles in one tree. Beautiful birds.

This picture was taken by my brother the week before my visit. The eagles were still there.


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