In my never-ending search for cool things to do with my two little princes, I decided to give geocaching a shot. What is geocaching, you might ask? Basically, it is a huge, worldwide treasurer hunt using a GPS and a set of coordinates. You plug in the coordinates, go to that spot, search around a bit, and you should find a cache that someone else has left there. (You can read more about geocaching, the movement, and how to get started over here.) Sounds pretty simple, right? If Jake and his Neverland Crew can find treasure on a weekly basis, I’m sure i can manage to get my two munchkins to find a treasure box. As luck would have it, one of our favourite places, the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary, has three cache’s hidden in its boundaries that are rated relatively easy and close to the main trails, so that should be right up our novice alley!
Little did I know, I would soon be quite over my head.
We started our walk/adventure with a little lunch; nothing like a little PB&J to fuel a days worth of exploring, right? Finn & Declan even sat nicely next to one another and ate in relative peace and harmony.
And as soon as lunch was done and the walk was supposed to start… they both wanted to get into the stroller. Alright, I’m not one to argue all the time (contrary to reports), so in they went. After all, it was the actual treasure hunting I wanted them to help with, not the kilometres of walking along trails, tiring them right out. It was actually a beautiful day to be out on the boardwalk, as the water is still high with spring runoff and there are lots of migrating ducks and geese in the area.
There is even a pretty brave bunch of chickadees living in the park, who are I’m sure used to being fed by people. We planned ahead this time and brought some actual bird seed, as opposed to just bread crumbs or something else inappropriate for a wild animal. My two grumpy boys would rather sit in the stroller than come out and feed the birds themselves, so I was more than happy to enjoy a quiet moment alone with a chickadee all by myself.
Finally, we arrived at the first GPS coordinates, we hopped down off of the boardwalk to go exploring, and used our very best bushwhacking skills….
…. and that’s pretty much where the fun part of this adventure ended. Declan wanted nothing to do with walking on anything more bumpy than the nice, well-made boardwalk. I knew this, he needs someone to hold his hand just walking on park grass, but I somehow figured he’d be right at home in the wilderness. Dad fail #1. Finn, on the other hand, was fine walking where I went, but he has an aversion to plants that poke, grab, or otherwise look like they might hurt if you walked into them. Bushwacking even 10 feet into the underbrush was almost impossible as a) this is Alberta, home of wild rose bushes by the thousands, and b) I know from experience that the forests around Edmonton are simply full of clawing, grabby, pokey shrubs and other underbrush. I should have known he’d struggle to find his way through the bushes. Dad fail #2. Finally, after much frustration on my part, we abandoned the first cache, hoping for better luck with the next two, which weren’t too far away, as the crow flies.
Well, it turns out that a crow did not build the trails at the Clifford E. Lee, and we walked for a good long while to get to the next cache. Meanwhile, in the stroller….
… a couple somebodies fell fast asleep. Dad fail #3 – when your kids are cranky, it’s usually not because they feel like pestering you, it’s because they’re either hungry or tired, and we ate enough PB&J to satisfy a hungry yak. They slept for quite a while, while I tried to find one of the other caches on my own (unsuccessfully, I might add) and most of the way back to the car.
So, lessons learned: geocaching isn’t for boys quite as little as mine, at least not until they’re a little hardier in the woods. I suck at geocaching too, but I had fun while I sucked. And finally, squabbling kids can mean that they’re tired, not that they’re actively trying to annoy me. 🙂
So, I hope you had fun, and are maybe encouraged to go try geocaching for yourself! Have a happy Friday, and a wonderful Victoria Day long weekend! I’m happy to announce that Finn & I are off on our first camping adventure of the year, and I am OVER THE MOON excited about it! I’ll hopefully have lots ‘n lots of pictures for you next week!