It's been warm so far this winter, and the outdoors still beckons. The many Avalonia tracts of preserved land offer miles of trails to enjoy. In addition to the usual hiking and nature walks, geocaching is another activitiy to consider. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt that uses GPS technology to find Tupperware hidden in the woods. The caches often contain small trinkets that can be exchanged like a book exchange.
|Here's the description of the Swamp Thing cache.|
|254 feet straight down the trail to the cache.|
The GPS on a smartphone and an app from www.geocaching.com is enough to get anyone started geocaching. A recent visit to the Henne Memorial Tract in the Shunock River Preserve in North Stonington led to finding two geocaches.
|A cache container, otherwise known as Tupperware, containing trinkets for the lucky finders.|
|The logbook for Swamp Thing|
The first, called Swamp Thing, offered a wonderful view of the now empty Blue Heron rookery. The app can locate nearby caches, giving a description of the cache and an “as the crow flies” bearing to its location. Following the map and trails will usually lead you close to the hiding point. Then you have to look around. Some are easy to spot and others are not so easy, but that's the fun of geocaching. Once found, every cache contains a log book which the finder signs. You also record your find on geocaching.com via your app. We found Swamp Thing and decided to look for the nearby cache “The Covered Bridge”. We found this one also, making us two for two. A good day in the woods and a good day geocaching.
|This bench over-looks the rookery and is very close to the geocache hiding place.|
|The covered bridge was easy to find, the geocache was a bit harder to find|
|We'll come back in the spring when there is more green about.|
You can find out more about geocaching at www.geocaching.com
Photographs by Al Bach.