What is Geocaching? Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache. According to the Geocaching website there are over 21,000 caches hidden throughout Chester County.
We went Geocaching with my sister and her boyfriend on Sunday for the first time. It was a beautiful day and so nice to be outside soaking up the sun and fresh air. My sister & her boyfriend have iphones and iphone has a FREE app for finding caches. It was really easy for us to scout new caches because of the app. I have a Blackberry and don’t have the app that they had..bummer! Although I love my Blackberry dearly, I have to admit I had some serious phone envy on Sunday.
There is an option on the Geocache website to have cache location coordinates sent right to your GPS (McGellan, Garmin, etc) device. That is what I would have done if my sister and her boyfriend didn’t come with us. You can also record the coordinates off of the Geocache site and use Google Maps or Mapquest for directions if you don’t have a GPS device or smart phone with GPS.
Using the handy dandy iphone app, we scouted four caches Sunday afternoon. Our first cache was in the woods behind Miller Park in Exton. The clue was it was near the “big tire” in the woods. We found the “big tire” then looked high and low and couldn’t find the cache. After about a forty five minutes of walking along the creek and digging around in the woods we came to the conclusion it was a flood area and most likely washed away.
Our second cache was on Waterloo Blvd. in the “rock pile” across from the entrance to Thomas Meeting. We parked in the “About Feet Podiatry” parking lot and walked to the rock pile. The cache isn’t a package but something that will make you smile buried in the rock pile.
Our third was at Whitford Lodge in Exton. I have driven by Whitford Lodge at least a million times and I bet you have too. (It is right next to Kohl’s in Exton). I had no idea it was there. I do now! That is one of the cool things about Geocaching you get a chance to slow down, take in the scenery and find out about places that you may have driven by, but have not had a chance to explore and see what they are all about.
Our fourth was along the bike trail on Commerce Drive. Again, I have driven by the trail a million times on my way to shop, but never thought about the trail or where it went. Yesterday we parked the car and had a chance to walk the trail. Did you know there is a pond behind Walmart? I didn’t know that…until yesterday.
Tonight my family went out to dinner to celebrate my brothers birthday. After we were done with dinner my sister and I decided some “in the dark geocaching” was in order. We had dinner at Max & Erma’s and according to her handy dandy iphone, the closest cache was in the Downingtown Regal Parking lot. My sister, her boyfriend and I searched the location high and low, then my 3 year old walked over pointed to where the cache was hidden, picked it up and handed it to me. We were all speechless, then burst out laughing. It was hidden in plain sight. My son was very proud of himself for finding it. After we signed the log we put it back and my son kept re-finding it over and over. Reliving his moment of geocaching glory.
We had so much fun and plan on going Geocaching again this coming weekend. There were lots of laughs and most importantly quality family time – working together looking for “the treasure” as my 5 year old says.
Does your family Geocache? If so leave a comment and tell me about some of the fun stuff you have found located in Chester County or stop by my Geocache profile page (ChescoMom) and say Hi! Or.. do you have a cache stashed in Chester County – tell me the coordinates so I can scout for it.
AN UPDATE! It is 2013.. I now have an iphone. I have the Geocache app (the paid app). I love it! I have yet to find the cache at Whitford Lodge.~ Sarah