Sunday, January 2, 2011

Geocaching in NW Delaware

Dave and I had discussed getting out on Sunday after New Years to do a hike or some geocaching somewhere, but the weather didn't look like it was going to be very cooperative. My girls heard the words geocaching and, surprisingly, both wanted to go. I can normally get one, but not both interested at the same time. Perhaps I have Uncle Dave to thank for the enthusiasm. After a week and a half of kids home from school and house guests over the holidays, Amparo was pretty happy at the prospect of a little peace and quiet around the house while we went in search of tupperware.

Knowing that we had a couple of short legged girls with us and the forecast was for possible rain showers (not to mention the snow still on the ground), I put together a map of northwestern Delaware that had the easy and recently found caches marked on it. There were 47 of these in total, and I was very interested to see how many of these we could get before the girls burned out. The 47 are highlighted in orange. Those we ended up finding are X'ed out, but I am jumping ahead.

The map below is the track of our journey. Dave got to my house a little before 10:00am, and we were at our first cache (the upper right of the track) by about 10:30am. It was gray and damp, but never really rained until the very end of our day. We worked our way counterclockwise, finding lots of easy walks and park and grabs. I know this isn't Dave's favorite kind of geocaching, nor really is it mine when done solo, but it was nice to be out for much of the day with Dave and the girls, and I know the girls got a big kick out of it.
The first half of the trip was definitely nicer than the second half. The earlier part had us driving through the countryside E and NE of Hockessin, which is very pretty. By the end of the day we were getting into the western Wilmington suburbs along Kirkwood Highway, and it got pretty built up.
Dave and the girls at our second cache of the day, a covered bridge hide near Yorklyn.
When all was said and done in Delaware, we had been out about 5 hours, and had found 22 caches together. Dave had found 2 easy ones on the way to my house, and we would make one more stop on the way home for Dave and the girls to make one last find. So our totals for the day would be 22 for me, 23 for each of the girls, and 25 for Dave. This was the biggest day ever (by a wide margin) for all of the others, and the third biggest day for me to date.
In addition to having a good time together overall, there were some highlights of the day, not the least of which was both Julia and Grace reaching the 100 find milestone. Julia began the day at 94 and ended at 117. Grace began the day at 89 and ended at 112. They were both very proud, and I will be ordering them each a commemorative 100 Finds geocoin. The pictures below show each girl with their 100th find.
The final highlight was the last cache of the day. On the way home, we drove up Beaver Dam Road and stopped at "Walk on Down; How Nutz are You?", a difficulty 5 terrain 3 cache hidden in a crumbling old dam. I had found this before, but allowed the girls and Dave to point out likely hiding spots and do some investigating of their own to let them find it. The girls did not take part in the actual retrieval for obvious reasons, but can claim to be part of the team that made the find. So now everybody has a difficulty 5 cache in their history.
Despite the gray weather, just writing about it makes me want to grab my GPS and head out somewhere...

1 comment:

  1. Fun day, and I'm glad we could do it. As you say, roadside and parking lot grabs are not my preferred caches, but for a day out with the girls, it's just what the doctor ordered. I hope we can do this again soon, and also get out in the woods.