Treasure hunts and secret stairways

The Littlest Labuz hates hiking.  At least she did until today.  Today, she discovered that a little walk in the woods, or along a riverbank can yield some really cool new discoveries.

We went Geocaching today, for the first time ever.  What the heck is Geocaching? It’s a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. You head outside to try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices. When you find the treasure you sign a log-book in the container and leave a little token behind.  It takes hiking, or just a nice walk to a new level.

Alex and I have always enjoyed hiking and have been secretly disappointed that Em doesn’t share our interest.  We ask nicely if she’ll go for a walk. Nope. We tell her that she has no choice, she’s coming with us. Never goes over well. We bribe her with the promise of ice cream, or Tim Horton’s hot chocolate (depending on the season). She hikes, but complains. Nearly each and every step. It’s truly painful for everyone involved.

Until today…. Geocaching has brought us together as a hiking family unit! Hallelujah!

The excitement of the hunt and the thrill of the find had us all hooked from the start.  We set out this afternoon for a popular local trail just off of Victoria Road  with a few trinkets in our pockets, our GPS and our instructions from the website.  We were out for 2 hours today and found three caches where we swapped our trinkets.

A large jewel ring went into one box. A bizarre googly-eyed nose pincher into another box. (Yah.  Wasn’t sad to see that one left behind) Two pieces of Costa Rican coral in the final – and most difficult to find – cache.

So the treasure hunt was very cool. And it turned Em onto walking the trails.  But the stuff that was REALLY cool was the discovery of about five trees by the river freshly gnawed by beavers.

And a secret staircase to nowhere. We would never have known about the stairs if it weren’t for our Geocaching expedition.

And the best thing of all? The conversations that kept cadence with our footsteps crunching on ice and snow along the trail.

Seriously – how much fun is that to have with your family on a Sunday afternoon?

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