When I first started dating my boyfriend, and he told me about his geocaching hobby, I had heard of geocaching but really didn't know much about it. I'm not going to lie, I didn't really "get" it. Why would you want to go searching for hours for a container that has no treasure in it? Unless you consider a pen and notebook treasure (I don't). I mean, what is the POINT of finding an essentially empty container?
However, the more caches we found together the more I began to understand the appeal. Each cache was like a little adventure unto itself, and I love adventures. There is something exciting about solving clues, searching little-known corners of the city and province and a feeling of triumph when you actually find the container (well, I should say IF you find it - some are more difficult than others). It is great exercise for your body and mind, and helps you discover places you never knew existed.
Geocaching has become a hobby of mine, and a fun shared activity for my boyfriend and I (here's a relationship tip, free from me to you - find an activity you can do together and you will be a happier couple. As long as he picks up his socks from the floor).
Considering my boyfriend and I love visiting Nova Scotia's parks, and love geocaching, there was no way we were going to miss this event. We arrived at Five Islands Provincial Park, signed in, picked up our materials, and headed straight down the trail to find the first hide. There were probably at least a dozen people ahead of us and it was nice to meet some fellow cachers in person and chat with them. The trail was one of the greenest I have ever seen, even though clouds constantly threatened to rain down on our heads.
We were impressed with the geocache container - a hollowed out half of a tree trunk that we probably would have mistaken for a natural part of the landscape were there not a group of three already at the site signing the log.
It was windy, but warm, and there were only a few other people taking in the landscape. It took probably 20 minutes to reach the end of the beach and enter the woods into the area where the cache was supposedly hidden. Well, it turns out the coordinates were approximately 10m's off, which allowed us the lovely pleasure of wandering the area aimlessly for about 25-30 minutes before finding the cache.
However, the long search was completely worth it when we opened the log box and realized we were the first people to find it. In case you didn't know, being the "first to find" is a big deal in caching - people literally pounce on caches within minutes of them being placed so that they can be the FTF so they can be tough to get! Our hard work resulted in some cool souvenirs - a carved arrowhead and a wooden trackable geocoin (you can see these in the photos).
We are really looking forward to finding the other three caches in the series - hidden in Blomidon (Annapolis Valley area), Thomas Raddall (south shore), and Whycocomagh (Cape Breton) parks, respectively. Any excuse for a road trip is fine by me!
I am really grateful that I was introduced to this exciting hobby of geocaching, that I get to share it with someone I like very much, and that we have so many lovely parks here at home just waiting to be explored.