July Geo-Caching

IMG_0083Note to self: Do not (I repeat) DO NOT attempt to visit three geo caches and a lookout tower, and expect to make it back to the soapbox derby by 1pm…

That was the plan, anyway. We zipped down to church by 8:30IMG_0084 so I could learn the quartet I was in on Sunday, but I was in too much a hurry to get our gear together, so we returned home.

(By-the-way, click a pic 2 make bigger.)

After confirming our destinations, and packing our lunch, we set out. The first stop was at the Boise Cascade driving tour. Oddly, we had been here several times, and never known there was a pond (which the clue said the cache was NW of). We parked and walked closer to the coordinates we were given, where we found a marshy area that would suffice, if full, so we scoured the ‘fallen trees’ NW of it, but found nothing.

IMG_0080After some parental deduction, I concurred that even in July, a pond would not have just dried up, so I told the kids we should follow the source of the water, to see if there was a better pond. After climbing the embankment we found at the top…. a pond! Turns out after hiking in a circle through the brush following our GPS, we had parked not far from it in the first place! (Behind those trees on the other side….Thanks Lola…)

Alex found, retrieved, and energetically opened the cache where my son traded for a squirt gun and I, a LED pin.IMG_0100

Next, we found one right on Forest Rd #46. It was a saltine’s Tupperware whose contents were soaked. As it aired out, Tanner got some goggles which I traded my Oregon Trail coin for, and Alex a keychain flashlight.

IMG_0105Next on the list was Red Hill, which I assumed was by the Red Hill lookout tower. However, I conferred with the kids that we were out of time and would need to head back if we were to make the soap box derby. According to the GPS, we’d be a half-hour late, so we pressed on, noting a quaint abandoned homestead.

Lola (the GPS voice from the movie RV) directed us to this off-beat road that beat the HECK out of us and the pickup. As we neared the location, it appeared thIMG_0108at we were at the base of a massive hill, atop which the cache was hidden. Great! (we thought) Lola put us under it. Hot and tired, we stopped for lunch on a cliff-side road with no turnouts for what seemed like miles. Apparently, my son was so distressed the whole time because he was riding in fear for his life while sharing his back seat –>

IMG_0111After a refreshing picnic lunch, we decided to hike up the embankment where we found the cache. Alex got another flashlight, and I picked up a traveling coin. However, afterIMG_0118 scouring the horizon, I could see no lookout tower. Though we were in the ‘Red Hill’ area, this was NOT hidden by the tower. On our return to the truck my daughter announced that she needed the emergency TP, AND shovel Winking smile, so my son and I practiced throwing sticks and rocks at trees below us. This led to the discovery of a skid trail I could use to turn around.

I consulted my GPS and saw a “Point of Interest” 2 roadsIMG_0142 overIMG_0115 that I assumed MUST be the tower. Unfortunately, there were no connecting roads for miles in either direction, so we would have to back-track.

We did finally find the lookout tower. I don’t know how old it is, but it has seen its fair share of weather by the look of it. The gate was unlocked, so we went up the stairs to find the top hatch locked. It was a splendid view, none the less, and the kids enjoyed it.

We took a back road into town WITHOUT Lola’s help, as we had determined she’s no good oIMG_0135ff-road Smile. There were manIMG_0155y old, abandoned things to see along the way, and we had to stop to take pictures of the horses.

We were too exhausted to explore the Bowlby Bash festivities, but saw one of the racecIMG_0151ars parked on the street. Being rather bushed myself, I decreed ‘Pizza & a Movie’ for dinner, without any objection.

The kids woke me after the second movie so I could put them to bed. Whew, the best ‘tired’ I’ve been in a long time!





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