Monday, July 4, 2011

Treasure Hunting

_MG_7765.jpgLast week we headed to Estes Park for the evening. Little did we know what we were in for. Summer wanted to go to the mountains while they were in town and this was about as close as we were going to get with the time that we had. 
_MG_7770.jpgIf you visit any town you know that there's a street or two full of shops for tourists. Estes Park definitely falls into that category. It's a cute little mountain town. The kids are standing on a bridge and there's a watermill behind them. Good times.
_MG_7771.jpgWe walked to the end of the strip and found this little pizza joint called Village Pizza. We were starving. The pizza was fabulous. If you visit Estes Park be sure to stop by. Pictures of the pizza? I was too busy eating it, or I forgot to get pics for you, so you'll just have to trust me.
_MG_7778.jpgAfter dinner we decided to be explorers. Or maybe pirates? Well, not really pirates. We weren't out to steal anything. We've had a few friends that have begun geocaching. Have you heard of it? Well you can read more about it here. You use a GPS system to search for little hidden treasures or caches. My children just love this kind of thing. They like to play treasure hunting games around the house, so this was right up their alley.
_MG_7782.jpgOn our way to our first "treasure" we came across this statue. If a statue can be climbed then we stop and climb it because we can. ☺ I should say that we just used the GPS on my phone to do these searches. There's a geocaching app
_MG_7792.jpgHere's another stop along our route. Summer insisted that I photograph the girls because the trees are cool and the water in the background is too. No brainer shot here. ☺
_MG_7802.jpgWe're getting closer to the treasure. The water is extremely high for this time of year. There are flood warnings out all over the mountain towns since there is still quite a bit of snow in the mountains. 
_MG_7803.jpgHello! We found our first treasure. It was hidden under some rocks right by the river. How cool is that?
_MG_7805.jpgThe children were absolutely thrilled.
_MG_7812.jpgThere are some really strange and random things in these boxes. The rule is that if you take something you must leave something. We decided that we didn't want anything, but we did leave a crayon. What? We wanted to fit in with the weirdness of the what was in the box. . . plus that's about all we had besides diapers and wipes and stuff like that.
_MG_7810.jpgThere was a piece of paper that lead us to another spot and a little history about the area.
_MG_7815.jpgThen inside the box is also a log of people that have found the cache. Quinton is signing each and every one of our names.
_MG_7821.jpgSince we found that first cache we were kind on this high and decided to look for another cache. The next one lead us to this beautiful area. Look at all that snow still in the mountains. It was gorgeous there!
_MG_7822.jpgJared found the next cache. It was nestled in a fence post with an overgrown plant. Not all caches are big boxes with things in them. This one was just an old film container that holds a log of who has been there.
_MG_7824.jpgQuinton, again, pulled out the log and signed our names. 
_MG_7826.jpgThis particular cache was right next to an oxygen bar. Have you ever hear of an oxygen bar? Often times when people come to Colorado or other high altitude areas their bodies don't acclimate to the altitude very well causing headaches, dizziness, and tiredness. Some people believe that visiting an oxygen bar can help. You just visit one of these places and breath in oxygen. I've heard that some places even serve the oxygen in different flavors. Crazy, right? I say just drink lots of water and some decent sleep.
_MG_7832.jpgOkay, enough of that little tangent. Since we were on such a roll we decided to find another cache. My girls get to ride in style here.
_MG_7834.jpgWe found this little trail along the river and followed it.
_MG_7836.jpgThere were hints leading to this boulder.
_MG_7838.jpgRebecca found it! She was pretty excited. Can you tell?
_MG_7841.jpgShe, actually, was pretty ecstatic! That was the end of our day treasure hunting. We packed up the kids and headed home only to arrive with some pretty worn out children. It was a good day!
Check out some caches in your area. There are bound to be a few. I know that there are quite a few hidden near our house alone. Some are walkable and some you drive to. It's a fun thing for the whole family.


Adriane said...

Lauren and I ate at that pizza place with Kel and Scott!! We did not, however, go geocaching, as Dorr girls have no sense of direction. Or anything really.

Lauren said...

What a fun outing! But I'm sorry that it was so stinkin' cold. Brrr . . .

JAN said...

I have no sense of direction either. That's why I had Jared man the GPS. ☺

It wasn't actually that cold. It was in the mid-60s. There was a slight chill in the air because there were a few storms and we've been used to the 90s.

Jenny Lake said...

We've been wanting to try geocaching for a long time. It would mean I would have to put down my paper maps, which I love, and get a GPS.

We were in Estes last Friday and spent some time on Trail Ridge Road. There is still tons of snow up there along with herds of elk summering on the tundra. I think the temp at the alpine center was 47! We drove right past that oxygen bar on the way out of the park and laughed. The only time we "suck air" is when we are hiking up steep terrain. Otherwise, the altitude doesn't bother us.