Monday, June 28, 2010

Hiking & Geocache Hunting

Wow! What a great way to spend the weekend with a bunch of rowdy boys!  We hiked the M in Bozeman for the first time as a family. We took the long loop and it was a gain of 850 feet. Although, I did carry Dakota for the last 1/4 mile to the top and piggy-backed him all the way down it was worth it. This must be the best time of the year to hike it because there were fields and fields of yellow and purple flowers along the way. The views were spectacular and the boys were thrilled when a helicopter few by level with them as they sat on the edge of the M. After that we hiked Bear  Canyon Trail a little ways too. We have never been there and it's a nice, shady walk along the little creek.
And to take it up a notch, we were on a secret mission. Little did the other hikers know, we were hunting for geocache's! Thanks to Jana at Milk and Cookies we looked into "Letterboxing" and also learned about "geocaching".  As soon as we get our stamp made we'll be hunting for the letterboxes, but I already have figured out clues and printed directions for those. Since no stamp is needed for geocaching, we went for it.  Our first attempt to locate with the GPS was on a mountain road near a hiking trail. We parked and walked around, looking along the street edge, around a for-sale post and continued down the open road.  Apparently, those road edges we were pecking around were private property because a neighbor on the opposite side got in her car, drove past us, turned around and came back to ask if we were ok. We must really look suspicious with our minivan and four kids running around! We didn't find it there, but in another location.

      The first geocache find was the most fun because we just couldn't believe we found it. My husband found it first with his GPS, but even with the GPS, he can be standing right next to it and not see it, with it's covering. We traded trinkets and signed the logbook, looking at all the names of previous finders. One man found it with no GPS, another in 6 inches of snow! We are "6Jeepers" if anyone in Bozeman ever finds that name on the log. Our goal is to have the boys leave things for kids and Chris and I to leave things for the adults. It seems as though the guys are getting gipped, so I put in a new flashlight for the next guy to find. We were so thrilled we headed off for the next one and that one was hidden in a great spot too!  The next day we knew the boys' legs needed a rest so we hunted in town. Out of three locations we only found one but it was hidden well. The boys and I are all learning how to follow a GPS while walking and Chris and I are working as a team to choose locations that all of us can get to (not too steep) and I'm the riddle-solver when needed.  In today's economy it can be tough to find new things to do that don't cost a lot. Letterboxing and Geocaching cost only the gas you need to get to a trailhead or in-town park and it's fun for the entire family. Thanks Jana for suggesting this on my last hiking post!  If anyone is interested, I'd love to know what your stamp looks like or your "siggie" for the geocache logs. Here are two links to explain more about them:
Happy Hiking! Happy Hunting!


  1. Hi Leah, your weekend adventure with your boys sounds great. I have eight boys, so I can totally relate to loving the raising boys. I also have four girls, so they are fun too. We have done letter boxing and made the stamp. My oldest daughter and her husband introduce us and lead us in the stamp making process. They keep the stamps, because they are the ones who generally do all the planning for those adventures. We have really enjoyed finding the journals to see where all the people who found them live. Love your blog.

  2. 8? That's a handful! I only just learned about letterboxing and am amazed that I've met three people now that enjoy it.

  3. I just did the math - that means you have 12! Amazing, doughraisingmom!

  4. I've been wondering what that was all about. I keep hearing about geocaching and letterboxing and never really understood it. Actually sounds like fun (except carrying Dakota up and down the mountain).

  5. How cool is that? It sounds like something my boys would love! I love the outdoors, but the Florida sun can be a bit too much to bare in the summer. We used to go to WV every summer though and hiking up the mountains there was great fun!

    I wanted to stop by and let you know that I have given you a blog award, so stop on over and take a look. Have a great night!


  6. Thanks Kathleen! I can't wait to see the award! You can Letterbox and Geocache anywhere in the US (maybe internationally?), so if you do take a trip, you'd just need to print off some coordinates for the area you are heading to. The boys keep asking me to go again!

  7. We haven't done sounds like a lot of fun!

  8. A friend of mine is writing a book about geocashing, which is how I first heard of the activity. I thought it was such a neat thing to do, and I know the concept will have good boy appeal for those who like the outdoors and adventure. :)

    Thanks for the post about this! Some day I'd like to try it.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse