Friday, November 14, 2008

Family Geocaching

Wednesday we left our house at 7am to head into the Smokey Mountains for a day of Geocaching. We pulled up 10 caches between Bryson City, NC and Pigeon Forge, TN. We found our first cache at 8:30am in Bryson City! That was only the beginning of the fun and adventure.

Here are the finds of the day along with pithy running commentary.

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Our first find was near the Nantahala River which is a nice rafting river. Sarah found this one, but I am not sure if she is awake yet!

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Our 2nd cache was in Cades Cove which was once home to a small mountain community. We spent awhile here because it is a beautiful place to visit. There are multiple home sites and churches along with abundant wildlife. This cache was what is called a 'virtual cache'. There is no box, but questions you answer based on where you end up. We were led to a cemetery where we had to answer two questions by searching the headstones.

The baby headstones were hard to look at. There was one mother that lost three babies in 3 years. As a mom it is hard to think about the sadness that some of these families experienced.

Sarah kept breathing deeply while making comments on the fresh air. We LIVE in the mtns. Sarah!!

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The 3rd cache we found was in Gatlinburg, TN. By now I am getting the hang of the handheld GPS. This was a small magnetic cache and we thought we weren't going to find it, but Hayden came through for us. This place had a beautiful view of the mountains.

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Next we headed to a park in town behind some businesses for the 4th. After crossing a bridge we found the cache near the base of a hill, which I started up and slid back down... on my behind...twice! Never boring.

The 5th cache was at a welcome center and we never found it though Wm. and Hayden looked a long time. SAD. No picture. We broke for lunch; everyone was getting a bit pale and it had been 7 hours since we had eaten.

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We moved on Pigeon Forge and found our 6th cache easily. It was another pretty easy one at an old mill. There were alot of tourist around so we didn't want to draw attention to ourselves. With our family that is not easy to do! There is always hollering, yelling, etc.

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The 7th was behind a business, but very easy to find. By now the kids are jumping out of the car before Wm. can put it in park to try to be the first to find the cache. (this includes the 18 yr old!) Lots of stuff in the box too! We took one item and put in two.

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Ketmit Geo

Now it was beginning to get into twilight and we were determined to finish all 10. The 8th one gave us a run for our money, but Sarah came through for us! She stuck her hand in a scary place and pulled out the box!! Lots of kids stuff in this one. There was a Travel Bug attached to Kermit (seen above), so we took that and left several items.

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Number 9 took us to the back parking lot of a drug store with the cache attached to a sign. Hayden found this one also. It had another coin in it. But, NOW it is dark and we have no idea where we are headed for the 10th and final cache.

I put in the coordinates and off we go. The GPS took us out of the city on to back roads. We pass a church and the it seems that we need to turn by it. We turn around and sure enough, that is where we needed to go. But, it leads us past the church up behind it. There were no lights except our headlights. We start up a hill and see...

oh, yes a cemetery...

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William took the GPS and started following the arrow. He and Hayden found the cache off in the woods at the back of the cemetery where it was VERY dark. The girls and I did not go with them; creepy and scary. We are whimps! Ok, Sarah did get out; Hannah and I did NOT.

I promised the girls an hour of shopping at the outlets after geocaching. After a little shopping we had ICE CREAM!!! And drove home with three tired, but happy children. And two very tired, but happy parents. I do not know what was up with the face William was making.

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The wonderful thing about this day is that our children enjoyed doing this and enjoyed being with their parents. They enjoyed each other. Hannah worked with Hayden taking pictures; he is interested in photography. Sarah patiently posed multiple times for Hannah to take pictures.

We talk often of the "myth of teenage angst and unhappiness"; how society has convinced our youth that they must rebel and dislike their parents to become independent. Not true. Our young people can live happily under the protection of their parents while they seek what path God has for them.


Anonymous said...

Now THAT is what I call a fun day out with the family! Congrats. I can hardly wait until we join forces.


Chris said...

Now that's a day of geocaching! Ten finds in one outing is great!

Sharon (sk) said...

This is just the coolest thing! How do you get involved in this? I bet my family would enjoy it.

We usually go to Cades Cove once a year because Peyton has a gymnastics meet in Knoxville every Jan. This year we were there and I was trying to take a picture of an old barn and as I was looking through the lens of my camera I stepped of the edge of a little ledge and sprained my left ankle and broke my right as well as tearing four ligaments and a tendon. Yeah... it was not pretty. I ended up with a year of physical therapy and had to wear a cast, then a metal 'boot' and then an air brace for five months. LOL

Lisa said...


Just go to, join (free) and get started. It is a wonderful family activity. You can pick location by zip code, keyword, etc. for caching areas. Then each listing will give you difficulty and terrain ratings. Stay on flat land girlfriend!!! :)


Cathy Clifton said...

Have you hidden any? Looks like fun!!