Small towns may be short on the many amenities such as malls, museums and theaters but they are long on spirit! This weekend we hopped on our bikes and headed for the county fair. The festivities included rides, farm animals, a parade and of course a 4H building which showcased the accomplishments of the local youth. We’ve been to many of these types of festivals over the years, but this time we really took it in by appreciating the efforts and joy of the community. How proud everyone was to show off their best chicken, sell their wares, or ride on a float. The personal investment of each participant was evident in their smiles, greetings, and enthusiasm for the day’s events. We felt lucky to be a part of it and hope you enjoy a few snapshots of the day. May July 4th give you reason to pause and take pleasure in your neighbors wherever you may be.
This morning we made the apple buttermilk pancakes that we wrote about in the Breakfast post. We thought we would include a photo of it. It is so delicious and moist in the center! Two of my favorile flavors are apple and cinnamon so it was a welcomed treat!
We’ve been bitten! Thanks to a neighbor we have started geocaching. I must say that this geocaching bug is very contagious as we have also started several friends on the sport. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt. You use a GPS system to search for hidden caches. A geocache is typically a small waterproof container that contains a log to write your user name and the date it was found. Sometimes you may find other treasures included in the cache. We have found calling cards, trinkets, and coins. The rule is if you take something from a cache, you must replace it with something of equal or greater value. Once you find a cache, you record it electronically. This is a great help to others because it lets them know the cache is still active. If a cache is missing it is said to be plundered or muggled. Muggled is a term borrowed from the Harry Potter series. Ask a young one to explain! I haven’t met a child who isn’t well versed on Harry Potter.
Geocaching is a hobby for everyone. I know full fledged adults, teens, and young children involved in this sport. This weekend we got my husband’s brother and his two teenaged daughters hooked. What a great way to connect with the young people in your life! I don’t know if I enjoyed watching their excitement or the actual hunting for treasure more. There are said to be more than one million caches hidden all over the world! This is a hobby you can do anytime and anywhere. You can make a day of it or just spend an hour here or there. Warning! Once you find one, it’s hard to stop.
We love geocaching because it encompasses several elements of a day well spent. First of all it gets us into the great outdoors and off the couch all year long. The weather and season may dictate where you geocache, but you can always find a place to go! It’s free so no matter what your budget is, you can participate. Another endearing element is that it can provide an opportunity for some friendly competition. You can compete with yourself. Set a short term or long term goal of how many you would like to find. A friend has a goal of finding one in every state. Another tries to find one whenever he visits a new place near or far. He has found them all over the world. You can compete with a friend and track each other’s progress online. I must say our weekend adventure was partly fueled by competition. Who could find the next cache first? Three out of five of us found the caches but the other two enjoyed searching as well. We were after all, a team for the day. The final reason we love geocaching is that it encourages community. It connects you to others who have also been bitten. It’s exciting to hear about a find, get tips, and share your own discoveries.
I have included a website for those of you interested in exploring this outdoor adventure.
I would love to hear about your experiences too. Where has your most interesting or challenging find been? Do you have tips to share that you have picked up along the way?
We have seen peanut butter jars, pill containers, & film canisters used.
Here are some photos of our finds along the Paul Bunyan trail in Pine River in Minnesota. The trail is approximately 112 miles long and had over 1000 caches.