Sunday, January 24, 2010
Geocaching in Brazos Bend State Park
John is a Safety Specialist at the Plant where we work and since his ten year old son, John Michael has never did geocaching, hiking, or trail finding, I figured it was time and high-time, he got a moniker fitting a real Texas boy. Texas Slim and just Tex for short will do him nicely.
We did a shake-down hike and geocaching adventure this morning, to brush the cobwebs off my GPS skills, since I hadn’t looked for caches in about 8 years and teach them how to read a GPS device.
Now, years later, I decided to take it back up and use it as a tool to get my young friends off the couch and onto the trails. This year we are going camping, hiking, kayaking and geocaching together and I see it as a win-win for all of us.
Today, I met my two trail buddies at the park entrance at 8am and we parked at the first parking lot. Before I left my house, I visited geocaching.com and copied the coordinates to 6 caches and printed out a back-up copy of hints and instructions for each cache. It’s a good thing I did too, as I had accidentally typed one number incorrectly into my device, throwing that location off by 8 miles.
Off we went, packs on our backs and reasonably dressed for the cool and mildly windy weather. The sun was coming on strong and was most welcome to boot. I think this was Texas Slim’s first venture into the wild and since we were off the trail, more than on it, he began muttering little ouches and grunts to alert (mainly his Dad) that he was getting poked, stuck and whatever.
As we headed from geocache to geocache, I explained to my 2 tenderfoot companions the things I learned from my Dad, hiking buddies, brothers, my brief exposure to Boy Scouting and books on how to keep safe in the woods. I pointed out poison ivy, the very real possibility of venomous snakes near the caches and most important of all – watch for the American alligator, which inhabit this park and almost any body of inland water here on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
All in all it was a wonderful experience and did indeed shake the dust off our equipment and ourselves. We have a big camping trip planned for the end of February at Pedernales Falls State Park and there are about a hundred caches hidden there. We plan to find most of them and in the process get exercise, sharpen our orienteering skills and most of all have fun in the great outdoors.
at January 24, 2010
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