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Geocaching Treasure Hunt!

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For Ethan’s map unit we decided we would try out Geocaching as a family. I went to the Geocache website to see what “treasures” were hidden near our home, chose an “easy” hunt, bundled up, and headed out!

Geocaching is a GPS treasure hunt. You are given coordinates, and then use a GPS to find your way to the treasure. In this case, I picked a multi-point cache, so there would be more than one stop on our hunt, with clues and riddles along the way.

We plugged in our first coordinates, drove as close as we could get, and then set out walking.

Along the way, we explained to Bug how to use a compass, and had him direct us using the cardinal directions.

The first clue was (it’s a shaky translation, the original is in German, of course):

“At the start coordinates a large sign is on a gate. A is the number of the letter “N” on the sign. B is the number of symbols on the blue crest.”

We found the sign!

A is 2, and B is 3. We plugged these numbers into the next set of coordinates:

N 50° 05.BA9 E 8° 16.A[B-1][B-A]

And headed off on the hunt!

The second clue was:

“CDEF here is the four-digit number on a mast.”

We found that number too!

C is 0, D is 5, E is 1, F is 6.

We figured out the last set of coordinates:

N 50° 05.[B+C][D-B]D E 8° 16.C[(2*E)-A][F-D-E]

And headed off on a beautiful walk. The final clue was encrypted, in case you didn’t want the hunt spoiled. But I like extra clues. The final clue was “horizontal trunk”

Multiple German people stopped Dad to ask WHY he was wearing shorts. He used to live in Alaska, and apparently is immune to cold. Crazy Man.

And that’s when we saw THESE!

The kids and I were so excited! We searched all around them, but it was mushy and there where decomposing leaves, mud and (ewww) some sort of animal poo everywhere. If we had a GPS better suited for playing, we would have been able to figure out exactly where the treasure should be (at least closer than we were) and may have had an easier time finding it.

After looking for as long as the kids could handle, we decided we would have to come back and play again another day.

We were all disappointed we didn’t find it, but had a blast hunting!

Even Miss Em had fun!

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