Well, not so fast. First let me bore you with a slice of my day, or in this case several days. It seems that I find no end of ways in which to challenge/torture myself as I wander through my life. I have been very good about exercising this spring and have established a bike route through town that I call the “Dunn Challenge.” Thus far I believe I am the only one to take this challenge and therefore currently hold the world record. I challenge myself each time I ride this route to better my last time and track my time and average speed using a nifty handlebar mounted bike computer. Little things like traffic and the wind can shave precious seconds off my efforts to improve each day (ooh, the cursing when I face a headwind) and then other little issues arise to further vex me.
Some of you may have noticed that the police placed a large sign on Brickyard Road that flashes the speed of passing vehicles. I learned that it is quite sensitive and can sense a bicycle from a long way off. I generally ride early in the morning (when traffic is light) and since the sign has been situated there I have approached from the South and when the sign comes into view I am still on a slight incline and initially break the radar beam at about 12 MPH. Naturally, it became my goal to pedal as fast as I am able in an attempt to get the sign to flash the highest speed possible—a challenge within a challenge if you will.
Unfortunately for me each time I have crested the incline and begun to reach my top speed (at the expense of maintaining a sustainable pace in the Dunn Challenge) a car will enter the radar beam from either the North or South and trump the sign’s ability to track my miniscule radar profile--every damn time. Well I guess I could turn around and approach again when cars have passed but that would be at the expense of logging an accurate time and speed in the Dunn Challenge—unthinkable. Sadly, my mission to pass through this radar beam at top speed has been frustrated by the removal of the sign on Thursday. I never imagined that an innocent bike ride could become so complex.
Now let me see if I can connect that nonsense to the actual subject of this blog post. I have always wondered if my little bike computer is accurate and mused about bringing my vehicle GPS along on a bike ride to check the bike computer but where to stow it/mount it and the addition of another distraction to my already distracted bike ride has thus far precluded that use of my GPS. I then recalled that a GPS can indeed be used for things other than driving to a particular address or finding a restaurant, hotel or gas station. A GPS can be used to create and/or find a “geocache.”
Irene Van authored an excellent Patch article on geocaching that appeared over a year ago and is a must read on the subject. Geocaching is basically a high tech treasure hunt. It involves using a GPS device or smart phone to plug in coordinates (no street addresses) and you then follow your device to the location where a “treasure box” is placed that contains any number of things including little trinkets, messages and perhaps clues to another cache. Most people try to put them in some scenic location they want others to visit. Please read Irene’s article at this link:
I toyed with the idea of going to the geocaching website to create my own “cache” but instead decided to use my friends on this Patch as my Guinea Pigs (some of you are better characterized as lab rats but you know who you are). While contemplating this activity over the next few days I happened to be working with my girls on one of their favorite (mine too) activities and that is tie dying. The girls needed some color for their spring and summer wardrobes and you just can’t beat tie dyed clothing to satiate that desire.
I decided to buy and dye a few “special” items that I have now stored in my cache for you to find and enjoy for yourself. The “etiquette” of geocaching is to leave something behind in the box when you take your prize (usually some little trinket that distinguishes you from all of the other geocachers out there). Please don’t feel obligated, but I will ask that you post a comment to this article and let me know if you found my cache and share your experiences from geocaching. I don’t want to give away the location of my cache but hope that you explore the area around the cache as it is a great walk with some of the finest vistas in the Town of Farmington. Unlike some of the other places I have written about that involve iffy trails, this one is great for almost everyone and it’s very near a place many folks visit all too regularly.
I am hoping that this project meets with your approval and if I get a good response I have another geocache project in store for you that does not involve tangible gifts, but instead something fun and in my mind of far greater value.
So, with that, here is the location of my cache: [Sorry folks, we have removed the cache.] My only hints are as follows: once you get to the location you might want to switch your GPS to walking mode and there are walking trails so don’t dive into the woods when you get out of your car (or off your bike). Also, the cache is in an open area with no brush whatsoever, so if you think you need to trudge through thick brush just stay on the trail a bit longer as it winds fairly close to the cache. There will also be a neon colored flag positioned over my cache that you should be able to see when you start to get close. The cache is off the path but not too far into the woods, just far enough to keep someone from accidentally stumbling upon the cache.
In the event that you cannot find the cache despite your best efforts and you don’t want to get skunked and have to drive home muttering unkind words about me, send me an email from the “field” and I will provide you with sufficient directions to find the cache (hey, this is supposed to be fun, not frustrating) Prdunn5@gmail.com or call me at 860-255-8586 (my Google Voice number that rings on my cell phone) and I will answer or try to call you back so leave a message if I don’t pick up.