Sunday, August 7, 2016

2016 Summer Activities: Hiking and Geocaching

This summer our family took geocaching as a new family activity. We downloaded an app on our phone that indicates geocaching sites on a map with exact coordinates, clues and comments from other geo-cachers who have previously searched for the hidden treasure. They are all different levels of difficulties. Our first geocache was at Holt Farms, across from the Jordan River Temple. It was a really hard one to find. Luckily, by reading some of the comments we identified the approximate area and Todd found it.

The city of South Jordan had a geocaching challenge for its residents. There were six locations across the city. We had to collect a token at each place and turned them into the utility building for a geocaching bug. The geocaching bug looks like a dog tag and has a unique number identifier that allows a person to track its movement.

The idea behind geocaching is to locate a hidden object based on its GPS coordinates. You can trade the object with one of your own and place your new found object in a different geocaching site. That is how the geocaching bug travels.

The city's objects were not hard to locate, so the kids really got to participate and help find the token. It is fun to go to places like our local library and know that a hidden treasure is located on our path- something most people don't even realize is there.

My second goal for the summer was to hike with the kids. To keep me motivated I organized a neighborhood family hiking group. So most of my hikes were during the week with other moms and kids my children's age. On a couple of occasions, Todd also joined us.

We have been hiking regularly as a family so I thought for sure we would just be going to the same places we'd been before but we actually discovered some new hikes.

The hikes I completed with the kids this summer were:
1. Rocky Mouth Falls Trail (0.9 miles)
2. Donut Falls (3.7 miles)
3. Ghost Falls x 2 (3.5 miles, each time)
4. Hidden Falls (short walk)
5. Mary, Martha & Catherine Trail (3.5 miles)
6. Bald Mountain (2.6 miles)
7. Silver Lake loop (.9 miles)
8. Riffle Falls loop (2.1 miles)

Each hike had its own adventures. In one a friend of mine twisted her ankle badly and had to be carried piggy back part way down. On the ghost falls hike we came across a truck stuck in a ravine overgrown by vegetation at the end of the hike. None of us could figured out how it had gotten there.

I carried Andrew in a pack on most of the hikes. That was at least 33 lbs of weight. He was a good sport and didn't complain very much. I had to teach him not to pull on my hair while on the pack. He loved yanking at my ponytail, which was probably the only think in grabbing distance while on the pack. 

I still have a list of hikes that I would like to do before the weather starts turning too cold. If not, there is always next year!