So it should be seen as a testament to the holiday spirit and family togetherness and possibly my own fleeting sanity that on Monday I offered to go on a walk with my dad. Of course this was no ordinary walk. There was treasure to be had! Dad bought himself a GPS last spring when he found out that his friend Tyson had a gadget that he didn’t yet own and was forced to fork over $300 or be deemed totally uncool. Since then he has used the GPS to dress up jeans and tshirt for evening and as a mighty pretty dashboard decoration for his truck. I think he might have also carried it around in the woods a few times but the way I see it this is all months of wasted time that he could have spent geocaching! The fastest way to turn me from “lump” to “hiking aficionado” is to coat the trail with a thick layer of geekiness. What was once a walk is now an adventure. Trek? Now a scavenger hunt. Nature? Now realistic simulated arena for a battle of wits. Bring it on.
For our first foray into high tech geeky hiking Dad and I took on this challenge -- mostly because Dad knew the area and we thought that would make things easier. And it probably would have been easy – easy and boring. Don’t worry, I took care of that. One of the ways to make geocaching more challenging is to totally not read the GPS correctly. There are lots of ways to do this but I choose to turn on the “pan map” function which allows you to point at a location on the map and get that location’s coordinates and then accidentally start going towards this random point instead of the place where the geocache was placed. Because of this we ended up climbing an extra hill for no reason! I’m sure my dad enjoyed this mostly because the only things he loves more than watching me trudge up a sandy hill is forcing people to eat animal flesh of questionable nature (hey, have you ever had newt? Sure you have, I baked it into your dinner!”) and driving me crazy by implying that he totally loves George W Bush. Because of the holiday and because the extra hill was all my fault I suppressed my natural tendency to follow hill climbing with a heavy dose of whining. Merry Christmas Dad.
We finally righted ourselves and climbed back down the hill (Dad didn’t even mock me, which I considered his greatest gift to