Caching up with Parker and Haden
Holidays to the Homeland means time with my nieces and nephews. I treasure that time as it allows me to catch up with what everyone is doing—especially as they’re all growing up and starting to live their lives as adults. My catching up time with Parker and Haden was especially treasured, as I got to introduce both of them to geocaching. So in addition to catching up, we got to cache up! (I am so punny!)
My first cache-up was with Parker nearly two weeks ago. I travelled to Enumclaw to spend a few hours with him before we had dinner with his Mum (Celeste) and brother (Haden). As a way of exploring whilst chatting, we picked up a couple of caches around town.
Parker is not a geocacher, but he is an avid Pokémon player so he was familiar with the overall idea. And in fact, our first cache of the day happened to be in the same area as a Pokémon “gym”. It is also home to Enumclaw’s Veteran's Memorial Park, which I quite enjoyed seeing. Our second cache found us tipping over newspaper machines and our third saw up sneaking around in the bushes of the local fire department.
Frustratingly, a fourth cache went un-found and we have to assume that it was muggled. Because, clearly, we are two clever to have not found it if, in fact, it was there. We ended our geocaching with a catch-up over pie at one of the shops in the town centre. Then it was back to Celeste’s house to wait for the others before we headed out for dinner.
Then today, I got to spend some one-on-one time with Haden. Earlier this morning, we went to explore the Greenwood Cemetery (a local, long-abandoned cemetery that I’ll write about later). When I asked him if it was of interest, he had said yes. However, I quickly realised that he was just being agreeable. (What? How can an 18-year-old boy not think abandoned cemeteries are the coolest things?)
So, when I mentioned the possibility of a bit of geocaching afterwards, I didn’t know if he was just being agreeable yet again. However, I am pleased to say that he seemed to genuinely enjoy seeking out treasures with a bit of GPS technology.
Our first cache was a fairly simple one that didn’t require much work. But our second cache was a bit more fun as we had to think about what the description meant. I think that Haden was a bit pleased with the camouflaged container (a drain cover in the rocks!). By the time we got to our third cache, Haden understood the game a bit better. In fact, we pulled up in the car and he said “I know where it is” before getting out of the car and walking straight to the cache.
The next cache was even more enjoyable for Haden though. That’s because it entailed a bit of a walk along the Coal Mine trail. He seemed to enjoy the bit of geocaching that meant getting into nature! Sadly, our final cache was a bit less nature-ish, but we did get to talk to the guy who owns the property where it was hidden. And, again, I think that Haden enjoyed the way it was hidden.
Dinner this evening was spent BBQing with my folks, Parker, Haden, and Celeste. It was great catching up (and caching up!) with everyone and I hope that my next visit will be more of the same.
Ultimately, I don’t think that the boys were overly impressed with geocaching. But I do think that Haden can be swayed if given the right challenge for a cache hidden deep in the wilderness. So that will be something to look forward to on my next trip home, for sure!