today i introduced my coolsons chad & mali to the craze of geocaching. like most 12-year-olds, they were totally excited by the idea and we had to immediately go in search of a nearby cache. Happily there was one within walking/biking distance of their house, so we set off on what was to be quite an adventure.
The cache was located in a nice park, which had two playgrounds on either side of a dry creek, and a lot of large leafy trees. We had to cross a bridge and had come to a grassy area with mature trees when the GPS showed that we were there - bearing in mind that GPS can have up to 30 feet discrepancy. So we set about roaming the area, peering into the undergrowth, poking sticks into piles of leaves and looking up into the branches of the trees. I was a bit cautious about poking into leaf piles, tree hollows and the like, being wary of snakes and spiders.
Fortunately my Aussie companions had no such qualms. We discussed whether it could be in the rocky creek bank but agreed that this wasn't a good place - the creek might be dry right now but brisbane's tropical deluges can make creeks fill up suddenly and any hidden treasure would be washed away.
Finally we were approaching an interesting tree and noticed some black plastic sticking up near a gap in its trunk; behind the plastic was a stone, and behind the stone ... success!! We had found our first cache! It was carefully retrieved and the contents examined - it was quite a packed little treasure trove. As well as the log book and instructions for any chance finder, there were about 10 little treasures.
Chad and Mali had come prepared with some treasures of their own to exchange, so they spent some time examining and swapping things, then Chad wrote in the log book. The last finder had been a week before.
As well as the excitement of finding the cache - the boys are already preparing their own to hide, and we're about to head off to find another one first - we also had some interesting non-geocaching adventures along the way. The first thing was finding an abandoned backpack in the playground, with remnants of sound recording equipment in it and the owner's ID. We took it to the police station after we'd finished our hunt. Then Louise and Chad saw two birds lying strangely in the sand, looking as if they were dying; but when approached, they flew away. The last strange thing was an unexpected onion, lying in the grass near where we found the cache. So all in all it was quite an adventure, which we finished with samosas and swings.