Friday, November 6, 2009

Cache Partners

I haven't been caching as much lately. Work has kept me busy, and with the Tadpole now in high school and running cross country there have been fewer opportunities to go out on a regular basis.  I had an opportunity to get some caching in this afternoon, since it's a Friday and I was without students today.  Teacher inservices tend to allow you out a little bit earlier than usual.  I didn't, mainly because I enjoy caching with other people a lot more than caching alone.

Tomorrow, the Tadpole and I will be doing some local caching.  It's the first time he and I have been out caching together since summer vacation I think.  It will be nice to get out and enjoy the outdoors a little with one of my caching partners.

My first caching partner was my other son.  When we first discovered caching, he was 10 years old.  He's now away at UC Santa Cruz enjoying his first year of college.  I have to assume he's enjoying it, since we've not heard much from him.  I rather would like to think that no news is good news, because he's the kind of kid who would be letting us know if things weren't going so well.

When we started geocaching, back in 2001, caches were hidden along trails away from civilization.  Hikes of 2 miles or more for one cache were common at the time.  I believe that's what appealed to him.  When we'd go camping, he was always the first one who suggested going on a hike somewhere.  Geocaching was a way to get us out on the trail around here.  We hiked in Chino Hills State Park and up into a canyon behind Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena.  We climbed to the top of a smallish hill in San Dimas to find a cache as well as in Schabarum Regional Park to the southwest of our house.

He enjoyed trading things at the caches.  Squirt guns, slime, whoopie cushions and anything else that you can imagine a boy would like, he'd want to take, so I made sure that I always had trade items with me that we could replace these treasures that we'd find in the cache.

Somewhere down the road, however, he grew up and put away those childish things.  His last camping trip was after his 7th grade year.  At the end of his 8th grade year, he decided that he wanted to go out for the cross country team in high school.  They practiced all summer and although the coach made allowances for family vacations, my son didn't want to miss any practice.  Running became his focus and so camping and geocaching were pushed to the wayside.

In fact, his thoughts on geocaching are, "that dorky thing that Dad does."  Perhaps in the the future, he'll change his mind about camping and caching.  Perhaps not, but I'll leave the door open anyway.  My daughter has expressed and interest in going camping with us again, so it's always possible he will too.  That would be nice.  This particular blog entry is dedicated to my middle son.

Pictures were taken at the following geocaches:
Old Mossy Cache - by OtisPug
ONT Travel Bug Ground Central - by Crims0ngh0st & AcjLady

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