Yesterday we were walking along the beach, checking out the tide pools when we noticed a sign that someone had tacked to the “Welcome to the National Park of Loreto” sign. It gave coordinates of a geocache. It said to bring a pen, a boat card, and something small to put in the small jar located at the end of the trail. For those not familiar with geocaching, it’s a “sport” something like the old art of “orienteering”. Geographical coordinates are given where a container is located. Using your handheld GPS, you’re supposed to locate the cache and leave something to show you were there. We’ve never done it before but, since we have a handheld GPS and more time that good sense, we decided to give it a go.
The first problem we ran into was that I tried to follow a straight line from where we were to the cache site. This led us up this tiny, steep little goat trail. As we got closer and closer to the summit of the hill, the GPS started telling us that we were veering off to the right of where we wanted to go. But, to our left was a steep drop back down to sea level. CRAP! Probably should have assumed the trail followed the main hiking trail at least to some extent. We worked our way back down getting all scratched up in the process and always on the verge of starting a landslide.
Once we were back down on solid ground, we started following the main trail with much better results. The cache was only a half a mile or so away from the beach. With a minimum of fuss (but certainly not without fuss altogether) we eventually found ourselves at the cache’s coordinates. We were, at times, supposedly within 2′ of the cache and yet, try as we might, we could not find it. Granted, the GPS accuracy at the time went from 9 to 14 feet but we searched all around the area for a long frustrating time and never found anything. Was it buried? Had someone removed it? Was the GPS way off? Who knows. We finally gave up and walked back to the beach. We did find out that our Garmin GPS72 has some kind of problem as it went brain dead every so often and had to be rebooted by removing and then replacing the batteries.
Oh well. Maybe we’ll get another chance one of these days.