Friday, January 13, 2012

Geocaching @ Plymouth

On New Year's Day we decided to take the kids geocaching.  Before kids, we used to hike pretty frequently.  (The best and the worst was hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. ... Hiking in was the best; hiking out of the Grand Canyon was the worst!)  Since the kids, we've hiked here and there, but really not regularly because of the whole "carry me!" phenomena.  Now everyone's pretty much independent and we can get around with only the worst fatigue bringing out the jello legs.  We've heard great things about geocaching, so we planned our route, chose our St. Louis-themed object to leave behind (an old baseball card), and off we went!

We were truly astounded at how many caches there are throughout our area.  In just one park alone there were ... 50?  Maybe more!  How many times have John and I ran past them on a training run without knowing the secret treasures the woods held?!

We decided our first cache would be a St. Louis one called Plymouth.  We enjoyed exploring an old cave entrance, petting some horses that we came upon along the trail, scaling rock walls, and generally just enjoying gorgeous weather and our family.  Eventually, we came across the old Plymouth - yes, literally in the middle of the woods!

The next step was actually finding the cache - and since we really had no idea what we were looking for, boy did we get lucky when Meiners bent down into a hollow old tree stump and brought out a little plastic box!

Oooooh the kids were super excited to sort through the contents of the box and pick out their prize to bring home!  Meiners was finder, so we let him decide on a Rams drink holder (he insisted on using it at every meal the remainder of the weekend!).

We signed in and left our baseball card before moving on to more caches.

We went on to complete about five more caches total (hunting through my camera bag for additional treasures to leave behind, including a zoo map, an old stub from a ride up in the arch, etc.!), but our first find was by far everyone's favorite!

We searched and found a Harry Potter puzzle box. 

Everyone was excited to let T sit down to figure out how to open it until we discovered this message:

We scaled some death-defyingly tall trees (I'm so brave!):

Then we headed home.  Such a great day and a fun new past time for the family!
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