January 2nd, 2008

When Grandpa Gormish received a hand-held GPS unit for Christmas we were all able to go Geocaching together. Typically, in geocaching you use a GPS unit to find a hidden container, also called a “cache.” The container will have a log book and maybe some trinkets to trade.


To use the GPS unit to find a cache, Grandpa and Mike found the locations of several caches from the geocaching website. With the coordinates, we were off on several trips. We tried three main areas: local neighborhood parks, Mt. Tamalpais State Park near Muir Woods and Wunderlich, a local county park. Success varied. While we were generally able to find the coordinates and general location, we had less successful in finding the actual cache. In several neighborhood caches, we only found one. Jennifer found it. It was very well hidden and magnetically attached under a picnic table. City parks run the risk of the caches being stolen so you can never be sure if you found it or it was stolen. In Wunderlich, we are positive we had the right area but the place was full of great hiding places among the trees. We never did find the two we searched for there. Woody parks run the risk of not being able to be located due to weak GPS signals and/or the multitude of possible hiding locations.

At Mt. Tamalpais, we found two caches. They were both a bit different. One we found along the road. It was also the first cache we every found. Jackie found it. It was a small magnetic container with a log book inside. We were really thrilled to find it!

As we drove along the road, looking for the next cache, the GPS until kept telling us were close, then farther away, then close again. We finally found a parking lot and got out. It was then that we discovered we would have to hide a trail to get to the cache. And it turned out not be a normal trail – it was a steep trail. While the cache was .2 miles as the bird flies, it would be a .8 mile hike downhill. Five of us took the hike down. We found the location but had a hard time finding the cache. We were wondering if we made this hike for naught. Finally Mike reached into a good hiding spot, getting his arm all the way into the earth and found it. It was a Tupperware container with a log book and trinkets. In the dark forest, we examined the contents.


This adventure doesn’t end here because a) we had to climb back UP now and b) there were people around us. Typically, when you find a cache you take it out and put it back when no one is around so that it doesn’t get stolen. When it came time to put the container back two couples had stopped nearby to take a break. We waited and waited. Finally, Mike tried to stuff the cache back in undetected but that was hard because he had to reach his arm all the way in the hole and he almost fell!

So, we had a mixed geocaching experience. It was fun to find the caches even if it was just a log book. OTOH, it was hard to spend 20+ minutes in one spot looking for a cache and having to give up on finding it.

One comment to “Geocaching”

  1. What an interesting story. I’ve never heard of anything liek this before. TFS and enlightening me. 🙂

Leave a Comment