Friday, May 20, 2011

ALS and Keeping Active: Geo-caching

I thought that I would post a quick note about geo-caching and how much fun Connor, Brandon, and even Julie and I have been having doing this with the boys. Connor has even added a simple geo-caching page to his website HERE
Geo caching is a global treasure hunt with term aim and finding difficulties rated on a scale from 1 to 5. A rating 1/1 couldIMG_1356 theoretically be found by someone in a wheelchair having both accessibility of reach and terrain suitable for a wheelchair. On the other hand, a 4/4 may require extreme climbing, difficult puzzle solving, a long hike, underwater searching or possibly a few hours or overnight stay. A 5/5 includes difficulties at the top of mountain peaks, scuba diving, technical mountaineering and the like. I'd say that the majority of our findings are approximately 2/2 as is the case with most of the tens of thousands of geo-cachers.
Caching intro Video

It has also been fun to purchase travel bugs or geo-coins in order to keep tabs on where our collectables have been or are going. Some examples of collectibles or tracking bugs are shown below.IMG_1374IMG_1366geomate jrNemo tracking bug
These trackables can log thousands of miles and hop from cache to cache for years to come .
Geo-cache hides can range from a simple microcapsules to a large 5 gallon Bucket. They can be disguised to blend in with their crazy pathway to cachelair cave cacheenvironment. One geo-cache we found required flashlights in a cave. Another required us to lift rocks and search near a river. Another was a very dangerous climb to the top of a tree and yet another was not a geo-cache at all, but a trash removal event called "Cache in, Trash out" CITO.
connor CITO photo
which log has a cache
Of course, I watch my boys perform all of the aforementioned tasks. It's just fun to be out there with them and sometimes I help suggest hiding locations for them to look or help in solving the coordinate puzzles. Mom drives…
There is always something to learn when geo-caching. For instance, some geo-caches are called "Earth Caches". They may require you to observe a certain geological formation or other natural phenomena.
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Here are pictures of NCAR in Boulder near the Flat Irons and also formations in granite that you need to identify while geo-caching. This is a xenolith. A xenolith is a rock fragment embedded in, and distinct in texture and composition from, a surrounding mass of igneous rock.
I am frustrated by my progression and some days feel as though my life is heading toward days of computer and Netflix all day. But I urge myself and you to get out there and find something that keeps you busy and most importantly, keeps you having fun with your family and friends.
Please check out this sport/hobby for ages 2 through 100 at Accounts are free and you can even download a free app on your iPhone or android device. Connor purchased a geo-caching GPS made by Magellan with his own money, but it is not necessary.
If you join, send us a note @ user Agressor7. IMG_1474We have found over 150 geo-caches and have hidden 11 geo-caches five of which are very custom designed or puzzles. We even have a trackable on our car, so if you see such an emblem like the one shown left, be sure to log it on your account. Ours is 813K1Q
We have even used geo-caching to promote ALS awareness.  See our trackable below.

Have fun PALS !