Mishaps with Adventure

For two young women fresh out of college, the first idea that might spring to mind is a wonderful summer vacation away from home. I could almost hear the seagulls cawing, feel the sand under my feet, and see the waves gracefully meet the beach. On the other hand, two young women fresh out of college also have to think about student loans. What kind of activity can we do that is new and fun… and not far from home? A simple fix, really. Before we get there, everyone meet Kriston, my best friend since before I could talk.

Wait, that’s not right…

There, much clearer. I guess I should mention that Kriston and I have tried this outdoors exercising routine before. Unfortunately, riding bikes on the trail turned into more of a “can we walk this hill? I don’t think I can make it” as well as ceasing all talking because of cotton mouth. Instead of saying no to more fun outdoor activities, Kriston and I took up the idea to go geocaching for the first time. Geocaching, in essence, is an outdoor treasure hunt using GPS devices. As beginners, we received help from Hannah Wiltamuth at the Honey Creek Resort State Park Activities Center. Along with a GPS (and an explanation by Hannah), we were given a map of the caches and a few toys to switch with another at a cache. Without further ado, we said thank you and headed out.

The day is beautiful, if not a little too hot, but what can you expect in June? Our first few steps were to figure out how to follow the GPS now that we were on the trail. For some reason, Kriston held both the map and the GPS. Most likely because I’m terrible at directions. The first cache wasn’t too far from the starting point… yet we still managed to pass it. With a little arguing, or what I’d like to call “friendly banter,” we backtracked. Not before I got scared half out of my shoes because of a rustling noise in the wooded area. Turns out we weren’t the only ones trying to find a cache. We prevailed, though! Our first cache.

As you can see, I now have the GPS  and map. Still, we were in the beginning of our treasure hunt and already messed up once. How could we mess up again? Well, you must know not us. The second cache should’ve just been around the bend. Not quite so close, but close enough. The other geocachers abandoned the hunt after the first one so we were left to fend for ourselves. And when I say that, I actually mean fend for ourselves.

I would feel sorry for her after defending herself from random branches and leaves, but she brought this upon herself. Let’s go back and take a look.

Rule number one of geocaching: Just because it looks like there’s a trail, doesn’t mean that it’s supposed to be one. Lesson learned. Of course as we continue in the woods, Kriston quips, “I feel like we’re almost there.” Rule number two of geocaching: Never trust Kriston’s feelings and/or intuition. After a couple (yes, a couple) more wrong turns, we finally find our second cache and switch out a toy. We had a fairly nice view on our walk. It made up for our lack of stamina and overall thirstiness. Actually, the water made it worse. At this point, we were about 45 minutes in and wanted to run into the lake. Next time we’re planning on bringing a light pack with some water in it.

Okay. So I feel that I should point out that it wasn’t just Kriston that was terrible at finding the caches in the beginning. I was equally responsible. But since I’m writing this, we can keep the responsibility on her shoulders.

So you know that time you lost your car keys and just couldn’t find them? The time that your left shoe was nowhere to be found? While you’re at it, your right shoe isn’t magically appearing, either. This cache was like that. The only difference is that we didn’t have the cache before we began.

Eventually we found it.  That feeling of “of course  it’s there” was high on my feeling chart.

In the middle of our adventure, Kriston and I found that I was better at using the GPS and she was better with the map. When I held the map, I never followed it anyway. That left me in Kriston’s hands. And we don’t want that. We eventually got into a good rhythm of finding the caches. Inside each one, we would sign the logbook with our names.

 

I would find some.

 

And so would Kriston.

We made a pretty good team. A rough start, but an awesome middle. Of course, we trekked for 2 and a half hours and needed a break. We found the perfect spot.

The fun part with geocaching is that you don’t have to go to every spot. It’s a fun activity that can be done with one person or in a group. If you ever played hide-and-seek when you were younger and always managed to be the seeker, then this is probably not for you. I’m only kidding of course. But really…

Our last cache was the most difficult to find. Like everything that comes around full circle, we unintentionally decided to do the same to this cache as we had to the first. That’s right. We passed it and then backtracked. It wasn’t really our fault though. I mean, look at this!

However, we kept with the pattern and found this one, too.

Being outside treasure-hunting for three hours was a lot of fun. We were glad to see the path back. Not because we don’t like the woods (we’re from Iowa, we’re used to it!), but because we were thirsty. Oh yeah, remember the toys I was talking about earlier? Look what we ended up with.

 

Hannah let us keep our prizes. I know we’re supposed to act like 22-year-olds, but I felt like a 10-year-old kid. We enjoyed geocaching so much that we’re planning on going again.  And I’ll be sure to post that adventure as well.

 

 

 

21 Comments

  1. Hannah said,

    July 20, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I love hearing about your adventures! I’ll be posting this on my blog as well – thanks for making my job so easy!

  2. Julie said,

    July 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Rachel…This is a great blog…Hopefully they’ll be more chapters in this series…Are you really sure you don’t want me to do the navigating??? I promise I’m really good at it…

  3. Kaitlyn W said,

    July 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Rachel!!! this had me legit giggling. imagining you and Kriston stumbling through the timber and jumping at any possible noises….such funny visual :). But this really is a great blog. Nicely done :)!

  4. RachelGodby said,

    July 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks everyone! Feel free to share as much as you want! 🙂

    There will be more coming as soon as I do the activity!

  5. Rhea W said,

    July 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Great job, Rachel! Knowing the two of you, I had a wonderful picture in my head. (I’m really kind of surprised that you, at least, did not go ahead and jump in the lake!) Thanks for sharing!

    • RachelGodby said,

      July 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      Trust me, I wanted to! Especially after seeing the boats going by. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Illa said,

    July 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    So, come to find out you are a blogger after all. Good job! I loved the story and pictures. Can’t wait for the next adventure. Or maybe you could just write more stories.

    • RachelGodby said,

      July 20, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      I’m definitely writing stories still. I’m just now getting back into all of that. Glad you enjoyed and thanks!

  7. Deb said,

    July 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Hey, this was fun to read. I enjoyed the pictures! Will be looking forward to your next “adventure”.

    • RachelGodby said,

      July 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      Thanks! I’ll try not to make the next post boring!

  8. Kriston said,

    July 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Love this Rachel!! It seriously cracked me up even though you were kind of making fun of me. I wasn’t the only one that lead us wrong places. You just let us to a grassy field instead of a forest ha…but can’t wait to go again! 🙂

    • RachelGodby said,

      July 21, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      Hey, I was making fun of myself just as much! Next time will most likely be harder, too!

  9. Vickie M said,

    July 21, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Nice beginning for your blog. Now Zach and I want to go geocaching but without Randy. Randy was thinking it would be great fun to leave a dead bird as the “treasure”.

    • RachelGodby said,

      July 21, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      Thanks! Please don’t let Randy out of the house.

  10. kathy kearney said,

    July 21, 2012 at 9:50 am

    HaHa! That was hilarous. I wanna go now….but I think I should navigate!

    • RachelGodby said,

      July 21, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      Thank you! It’s harder than you think! Or maybe it was just us. If you do go, you’ll enjoy it!

  11. Katherine said,

    July 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Keep on blogging!! I certainly enjoy it. Erica & Bruce can give you lots of tips on geocaching as they have been doing it for a long time and really enjoy it.

    • RachelGodby said,

      July 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      I didn’t know they’ve gone before. It was a lot of fun. Thanks!

  12. The big kid with a lil kid with the same name said,

    July 31, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Nice blog, makes me wanna go now!….when are you doing it again?

    • RachelGodby said,

      August 1, 2012 at 10:28 am

      You should go! I’m not sure. I was hoping this August Kriston and I would go again. We’ll have to see, though!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *