January 15, 2010

Geocaching in Lieu of Hunting

In lieu of quail hunting, which ended on the 3rd, I took Fisher geocaching at Pueblo State Park today.

His part in the process is to go for a cross-country walk, to be leashed when Spandex Insects are in the vicinity (since he is unused to them), and to whine piteously when the walk is interrupted by my turning in small circles and peering between large rocks and at fallen logs.

As I quoted in "Gadgets in the Woods," some purer-than-thou types like Arizona writer Mary Sojourner recommend destroying geocaches.

Me, I am all for anything that gets you out and about, rewards close observation ("Which rock is different from all the other rocks?"), and as the T-shirt says, "lets you use multi-million dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods."

Urban geocaching, meanwhile, resembles Spycraft 101. Here is a small trade secret:

The  typical parking-lot light pole at a shopping center or supermarket has a concrete base in which are embedded large bolts. The metal pole is attached to that base.

Some models have a box of light sheet metal that covers the bolt ends and nuts. Normally it is held down with screws, but sometimes those screws are missing, permitting you to slide the box up the pole, exposing the top of the base.

There is a fair amount of space in there in which objects up to the size of a sandwich might be secreted. Drop the cover back down, and no one is the wiser.

I'm getting to the point that I can hardly pass one by without discretely wiggling that cover to see if it is attached or not.

If you lift one and find a geocache within, please sign the log and return the container. If you find something else, be prudent.

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