While some of the South Bend Adventure Club traveled to Parke County in Indiana to camp primitively as one of our members taught other members hands on camping skills such as fire building techniques (Can’t wait for details!!!). We have one member hiking the Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim but I had to take care of some of my local responsibilities.
I found out that my geocaches at a local park over-stayed their welcome and it was time to comply with the rules. The park only allows one Geocache and it must be replaced yearly. I am totally fine with this because generally when a geocache is placed, there is an initial interest in finding it but after the locals have found it, interest wanes and the geocache may sit for months without being found. I’ve had a puzzle cache in the park for atleast 4 years and it is found about once a year.
Having spent an extensive amount of time taking SBAC members on “Spring Tune-up” hikes, I really looked forward to hiking here when the weather was… spring like! My previous spring hikes had temperatures near 30 degrees but today the temperatures were in the 70’s…alas, it was rainy and wet. Spring has certainly sprung, wild grasses were growing tall, poison ivy in full bloom :-), brambles were brambling, I noticed mother duck with her ducklings… These are the conditions I have come to know and love and when it started to pour down rain, my rain gear made the trip more comfortable.
I had picked up my last Geocache when I started to look at my favorite areas of the park for places to hide a new geocache. There are two spots along the creek that have always peaked my interest and I walked around those areas looking for the perfect spot. While I love these spots, it may be a 2 mile hike for the common person. Will they hike 2 miles for a geocache? Will they think the final location was worth it?… I just want to hear “Thanks for taking me to this place”!… I now think I know where I want to hide my next cache!
I can’t help but comment how lost I felt. I have become intimate with this park from the fall, through the winter and early spring but now that rock that I knew I had to turn at was now covered with overgrown fern or Black Medic. That wide open path was now overgrown with weeds, the green made that path feel small, different… at the trail head, was I to go left or right? Initially the trails were well marked but over the years those trail signs were lost. I wonder if I should volunteer to ‘blaze” the trail. I found myself concerned with a trail that ran along the creek, the erosion has taken away part of the trail and now it almost seems to have an element of danger (for the younglings)…. Maybe I should just communicate with the park. I’m wondering if the lack of funds has something to do with the degradation of conditions. In previous years of Geocaching, we have had CITO (Cache In- Trash Out) events, Maybe our club of 1,300 members could offer their support to the parks? If there are no places to “Adventure”, we can’t be an “Adventure Club”, can we?
With 1,300 members… can we start adopting each and every place we adventure to?