With all the responsibilities that come with being an adult, sometimes it seems like summer just flies by — like you could blink and miss it. On top of not being long enough, summers are now often relegated to the stuff that grown-up dreams are supposedly made of – manicuring lawns, barbecues at your boss’ house, gardening, washing cars, and family road trips to visit relatives. Whatever happened to the carefree summer days of jumping through sprinklers, skipping rocks and letting your curiosity (not your To Do List), dictate your day? Luckily, there is a solution, a way to embrace your inner child’s curiosity and warm summer days without a list: geocaching!
Geocaching is kind of like an Easter egg hunt, only bigger, wilder (perhaps with fewer cavities) and with more teamwork. It has all the pluses of the types of treasure hunting you did as a kid, like freely exploring new areas and finding a cool reward with your friends, with the added bonus of not having to plan ahead or make any reservations, since you are unconstrained by standard business hours. When you find a time that works, simply call up the geocaching app, find the coordinates for a geocache near or far, and set off on the hunt to track down your prize. When you finally locate it, under a rock by the lake or up a tree in a park you never even knew existed, it will feel like unwrapping one of those Surprise Bags you so loved as a kid – the anticipation is part of the fun.
Eager to start? Here are three places to ignite your imagination and get you hooked on the coolest hunt of your life (at least 20 years in the making!):
1. Wilberforce, the Geocaching Capital of Canada
Drop by the Wilberforce Visitor Centre and get set up with a GeoTour, giving you even more scope for sleuthing and sniffing out caches.
2. Agnew’s General Store
Browse Agnew’s General Store ‘Cache Stash’ to uncover the perfect geocache souvenirs and let the scent of baked goods and the refreshing sight of ice cream on a hot day pull you even further into the store.
3. Discover L&A County Mega Geocaching Event
The County of Lennox & Addington is abuzz with treasure hunters each August during the Discover L&A County Mega Geocaching Event. Immerse yourself in the excitement of the crowd and discover all there is to know about this activity from hunters who have travelled far and wide in a search for the cache.
The beauty of geocaching is that it’s truly for all ages, simply because you never grow out of that desire to explore, uncover, and experience the world through all your senses (though sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week can sometimes make you forget that it’s there). Awaken those senses to the feeling of the car zipping around curves, and the musty odour of undergrowth when your clues take you tramping down forest tracks. Let the gurgle of streams make its way into your consciousness while you and your group hone in on your prize and savour the excited clamour of friends when the cache is finally found!
Perhaps the best part of geocaching as an adult, though is that you get to leave something behind. To place in your newfound geocache a little piece of yourself for someone else to find and savour; to become a part of someone else’s escape plan and journey into the carefree summers of childhood.
Next up, Slip-N-Slide?
Storyteller: Alysha Dominico. Hometown: Bancroft, ON
As a citizen of both Australia and Canada, Alysha is an extensive traveller of both countries and their surrounds. She lives and works on a lake in Ontario’s Highlands and spends her non-working hours romping around experiencing family-friendly activities with her kids.