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My favorite pass-time and how I feed my wanderlust.... Geocaching. When I first mention it, people are usually confused and just kind of nod their heads and pretend to know what I am talking about. Every so often, someone will ask me what it is though and my reaction always sounds like I am trying to sell a new cult to them. Geocaching is one of the many loves of my life.

The simplest way to describe geocaching is to call it a real-life, outdoor treasure hunt. Using GPS coordinates, the concept is to find a hidden container, called a geocache or cache somewhere out in the world. Caches are typically well-hidden containers re-purposed for geocaching by their owners. I've found geocaches that were tupperware bins, ammo boxes, film containers, even magnets. They are all a little bit unique. To find these items, the coordinates of its location, the size of the object, difficulty level for finding it, difficulty of the terrain, and a clever hint are usually provided by the cache-owner to help out with finding it. Once you find your first one, it's addicting. 

To get by, I usually a cell phone app on my Samsung Galaxy S5 called Geocaching Intro. I also used this app on my previous phone, Droid 4. It will work on any smart phone, I believe. I hope to get a handheld GPS navigator someday, but my phone has been great as long as I get signal. I've been in very few places that I don't get signal, but I also study the map of its location and review the hints before going out to find it. Just in case my signal goes out, I can still usually find the cache based on info other people leave in the app and the hints. 

So the adventure begins! Yesterday Kyle and I went geocaching for a little bit before our friend came into town from Hendersonville. We live in Cullowhee, NC and decided to go toward Cherokee. I've around found all of the caches in Dillsboro and many in Sylva and Cullowhee area. The only few I haven't gotten to are ones that either were missing (owner had to go back and replace them or decide to take them off the app), involved climbing (found out there is a path around though so I'll be back!), and involved hiking (been working on the trail each weekend so I'll make it to that point eventually but that part is actually closed for maintenance right now). 

On the way to Cherokee was a cache on this cable swinging bridge. At first we were totally sketched out by the sign of "Max 4 people" but we dared to go on it. The fun part about geocaching is that many times people hide caches in really cool places that you would have never known were there until you look for the geocache. This is only about 20 minutes from where I live, driven by it multiple times, and this was the first time I noticed the bridge. 

Cable Bridge
Near Cherokee, NC 

Cable Bridge
Near Cherokee, NC
Me and Kyle!
I tend to look ratchet on days I know I'm going geocaching. 

So what does the cache look like? Guess you'll have to find out for yourselves if you ever come out this way! I'm pretty good at not taking pictures of exactly where the cache is located so that others can find it on their own. This one was a little tough, especially being distracted by the fact the bridge moves with every step. Once our friend came into town, we convinced him to go out toward Cherokee with us and we had some fun in Cherokee. I had poor signal for geocaching but we did go to Mingo Falls, where another geocache is located!

Mingo Falls
Cherokee, NC


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