Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Key West 2012: Geocaching

This year we went to the Keys much more prepared for some geocaching! I preloaded our gps with all of the caches on Key West, then I printed a map with each cache marked on it along with all of the sites we planned to visit. That way, we could just check the map to see if a geocache is close by when we were out and about. I also compiled a document with all of the cache descriptions and hints, just in case Anthony's geocaching app wasn't working on his phone (it can be unreliable).

When we first got to Key West, our friends were still an hour away and since we can't check into our rental place without them we decided to do some geocaching! We found a parking spot near the first one and luckily two more were close by. As we were walking, we passed by the courthouse that had these awesome trees in front:

We tried to get a picture with all of us looking the same direction. Not really successful :)

Heading toward the geocache.

We made it to the geocache coordinates at the end/beginning of US 1, now we just had to find it. The hint told us that it was on a telephone pole, but every single telephone pole on the street turned up nothing. 
I was ready to give up and was starting to think that maybe someone moved it when my mom noticed that there were two US1 mile marker zero signs. We had only checked one side of the street, and there was an interesting looking telephone pole across the street....

We decided to give it a shot. We got to the telephone pole and I still wasn't seeing anything. I didn't want to look too closely because it looked like the other side of the pole was on private property, but my mom is braver than me and went to investigate. Sure enough, there it was!! Here we are signing the log:
The second cache was a few blocks down the road. Anthony got a little nervous when I started following the gps to this large electrical building at the base of a radio tower and he was sure we were in the wrong spot. A few minutes later, Anthony spotted the cache underneath the front steps to the building nestled among a bunch of cables. Now my mom and Anthony had both found one, it was time for me to make a find!
The third one was yet a few more blocks down the road at a historic church. The description and clues were pretty telling, so I knew exactly where it was. I walked up to the sign and looked behind it and sure enough, there was a large wooden box attached. I opened the lid and there was the cache!
The fourth cache we found was at the entrance to the eco discovery center we visited at the end of the week. It was pretty obvious (at least to me) where it was hidden :)

Signing the log:

Trying to put it back so that it isn't showing:

Later that day after visiting the Butterfly conservatory, we walked over to a spot that had two virtual geocaches. Virtual geocaches are places that are interesting or informative and don't have physical things to find, you just have to prove you visited either by a photo or by emailing the owner answers to questions. While we were walking, my mom took this photo of a banana tree in someone's yard. I want a banana tree!!
Here we are taking a picture at the Southernmost point in the US. It is 90 miles to Cuba from that marker. When we got there, there was a seriously long line to take a picture by the buoy. It was so hot, we decided we didn't care if other people were in our picture, let's just take it and go! The other virtual geocache at this spot was one about erosion and tides, so I got to use this picture for two different caches. Awesome!

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