We Went Geocaching

Paul actually found it - this is posed
Always fun to find it first.

Since I blog about whatever I want, Imma gonna blog about the Geocaching outing my pal Paul and I went on.  Paul’s a guy I’ve known for almost ten years which we talked about a bit – it’s shocking how the time has flown.  We first met in June 2004 at camp and helped re-create the teen program there.  That’s another topic entirely, but camp has grown a ton since we worked there and its nice to know we played a small role in that.

In early 2007 the executive director had a pack of GPSr from Garmin and no one in the Outdoor Ed department knew what to do with them!  Bruce (the aforementioned ED) took the OE staff geocaching, a game which we all considered strange and foreign.  It was all right.  He’d had to make a few sacrifices for the caches he hid to work, but we had a good time.

Fast forward perhaps a week or two.  I’d created a Geocaching handle and so had Paul but I wasn’t really doing much with mine.  Paul came into the office and told me he’d bought his own GPS.  The star was born!  It shows as he has over 3500 hundred finds to my paltry 600.  I really enjoy it, but he does more.  Sam – who proposed to via geocache – loves it even more.

I really enjoy going WITH someone.  Sam and I rarely can these days but Paul and I both had some kid-free time Saturday and we had a grand time.  As I said, we talked a bit about how long we’ve actually known each other.  We both have kids now and his is in Kindergarten.  Zach will be starting next fall.  Paul and I got along really well at camp – and still do – so we’re pretty good friends (camp speeds up that whole process) but it’s still crazy to realize we’ve known each other for so long.  I’ve known his wife almost as long (we were teen counselors together the next year).

Anyway, enough history.  We had some great adventures Saturday.  There were many traditional caches as well as a few mysteries and one Wherigo.  The unknown caches were interesting because I can’t log one of them yet – and that was the most treacherous of all!

 

Actually, Paul's foot went through the ice at one point and the ice was obviously buckling in spots.  My wife was not happy to hear about this adventure.
Paul and I stayed safe.
I won't tell you the name, lest you discover it yourself - I really do love to climb which is weird when you're scared of heights.
I love climbing caches – really!

Throughout the day we walked a few miles through snow, mud, and a bit of dry ground.  I climbed a tree (Paul had climbed a few days before) and we both got our feet wet.  There was  a small lake we had to walk across.  The safety was very much in question, but it seemed sturdy until Paul’s foot went through close to a beaver dam.  Thankfully that was about it for danger.

The major challenge was inconvenience and heavy boots.  There was a cache involving a soybean field turned muddy by the snowmelt.  We also had some snow to contend with.  It wasn’t very deep, but icy and untouched.  Breaking trail is a challenge no matter what you’re breaking.

Above all else, we had a fun time.  We started about two in the afternoon and pushed on until the sunset, stopping to grab some burgers for dinner.

 

I really enjoyed being outside for such a long time in the fresh air.  It was gratifying to go eat food because I was really quite hungry as opposed to eating because it’s lunch time.  Geocaching is a bit of a mental challenge at times, but I really enjoy it because it gets me outside.  It’s hard to play outside when I’ve no reason to, especially in the cold.

Sam and I are off to Ireland this week, and I’m hoping to have some good Geocaching adventures from that as well.

Also, this was in a backyard which always makes me nervous.
I spied this one first . The real challenge was getting it out – it was frozen in place.
This was an obvious hide, so we tried to make it harder when we left.
Paul takes pictures of many of his finds, a practice I may start soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a meta-note, this is one of my first attempts at placing pictures into a post and it has been incredibly confusing getting any sort of alignment to work out.  Not many of the pictures are how I want them, but you get the gist, I am sure.  Also, all of these pictures are Paul’s.  They’re available on his Geocaching profile, but they aren’t mine, so don’t get any funny ideas.

Mission Statement

I have been blogging off and on for 13 years.  The hobby of blogging, for me, has reached the teens and like many teenagers it’s getting hormonal and wants to sleep a lot.  There was a bit of a metamorphosis when I broke out of the LiveJournal pupa (is LiveJournal still there?) and went through a Xanga phase, a Blogger phase, and had a couple of webcomics that broke down from mis-use.

Here I am now, blogging about blogging.

Back in the western wilds of 2007 I started up the ol’ WordPress blog and it’s been good to me.  It’s seen the birth and death of matthewabel.com, been well-visited, been poorly visited, and is now sitting restfully on the servers of A Small Orange.  Matthewabel.net is my idea of trying again.  Writing a blog (and writing in general) are like smoking, you see.  You don’t quit starting in this case.  You shouldn’t smoke, either.

There have been many stops and starts – a very good run in 2009, I believe, with posts most every day.  That could have been 2008 or 2010 – I don’t really remember.

What I’m saying is this:  Blogs are supposed to have Mission Statements.  Not a literal one, not “We promise to blah blah blah spiritual needs, blah, in the Midwest.”  Blogs are supposedly best when they focus on one topic like cooking or wart removal or automobile sex.

That’s a thing.  Look it up.

Listen!  There’s no mission statement here.  For all I know, this could be the final post I ever make.  I could lose interest again by tomorrow!  Or later tonight!  Meteors could happen for all I know and this blog would sit on the servers until payments stopped and it would be deleted.  The old blog on the WordPress servers would sit not knowing this was it’s final message and eventually be decoded by alien archaeologists wondering why our race died with on appendage noticeably stronger than the other.

“The Internet,” our descendants will croak from their cages.  “We heard the legends.”

I’m in a cage, too.  Terrified of really laying it all out here in the ether – I have promises to keep.  The Public Sector and I – we’re involved.  I promised I wouldn’t cheat.

I should have changed my name.  Would that have done any good?