Friday, August 1, 2008


Next week, the Tadpole and I will be taking our annual camping trip. I have taken some of all of the kids camping every year since the summer of 1993. It was usually a summer trip somewhere, either up to the local mountains, or to one of the national parks in California. As they got older, we became a little bit more adventurous and would travel to Utah or Southern Arizona. We would always take a trip in the summertime and could usually squeeze a short trip during my spring break to the local deserts. As the older children grew, their interest in camping waned and so they stopped coming on the trips although my older daughter has expressed an interest in trying it out again.

One of the traditions we established over the time was taking a picture of our tent at our campsite. I usually wanted the kids in the pictures as well so to keep a record of them as they grew up. Most of the time they complied, but as they got older less so, so the last picture I have with all three kids in the frame is from our 2001 camping trip to Bryce Canyon National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument. Coincidentally, that was the first camping trip where we did some geocaching while out on the trip.

Having not been on the site for more than a couple of months when we made that trip, I had one printout for a cache in Cedar City, Utah that I wanted to try for, so we drove down from Cedar Breaks and went to find the cache. I hadn't thought ahead very well and it never dawned on me that we might get a DNF on West of Work (#4). The thought of finding a virtual at the time hadn't entered into my thinking either. Interestingly, the first virtual that I can see in Bryce Canyon wasn't published until 2002, so there weren't any virtuals in the park to "find" anyway nor were there many real caches outside the park to find at that time either. Geocaching was in its infancy back then, just over a year old.

For our latest trip, which we begin on Monday, we have a bookmark set up that has over 350 possible caches to find. We know that we won't find them all. Last year, we had 429 caches in the GPSr and we found just slightly over 10%, 43 caches in all. If we find 10% this year, I will be happy, as I'm sure the Tadpole will be as well. In fact, I'll be happy if we only find 5%. The numbers aren't as important as the time spent with each other hiking and doing the things that we enjoy doing. One of the things you can be sure that we'll do this year, will be to take a picture of our tent at our three campsites. I'll see if I can coax the Tadpole to be in at least one of them.

In my next post, probably on Sunday, I'll go into a little bit more detail about our upcoming camping trip.

The pictures were taken at the following campsites.

#1 - Joshua Tree National Monument- Black Rock Canyon Campground

#2 - Joshua Tree National Park - Black Rock Canyon Campground

#3 - Sequoia National Park - Lodgepole Campground

#4 - Kings Canyon National Park, Grant Grove - Azalea Campground

#5 - Bryce Canyon National Park - Sunset Campground

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