Thursday, July 28, 2011


I've been MIA for a bit, my apologies.  My mom, brother and his kids came to visit this week.  We had an action packed 3 days.  We visited some local sites, the farmers market, the beach, a farm, tried some local restaurants, and explored the area by playing a game I've been interested in partaking in for a while now...geocaching.  I learned about geocaching recently from Extreme Makeover and was immediately intrigued.  I looked it up on the internet, but was a bit confused and figured someday I'd gather more information and try it out.  However, if you know my brother, you know he's the kinda guy who'll jump at the opportunity to try out something new, hense why we visited new landmarks, unique restaurants, and a farm while he was visiting.  Armed with a geocaching app on the iphones, we headed out into the wilderness in search of a small container (or a treasure for the kids sake).  Our first cache was located only about a tenth of a mile from where we started and was located under some rocks, behind a parking lot, fairly easy walk, fairly easy to locate.  It really got us inspired to seek a second one before dinner.  With only a fourth of a mile walk, we figured it'd be a quick find.  WRONG!  3 toddlers, quarter mile, nothing but grass and rocks equals, whine whine whine!  "Carry me, I'm tired, there's a bug on me, I don't want to walk through this grass, it's too high!"  SHOO! I was soo grateful when we finally found that sucker buried in a tree stump.  We headed to dinner and called it a night.  The following day, we hit the beach.  After our day of sun and sand, we decided to check the iphone and see if there were any nearby caches.  We were in luck, there was one just a few hundred feet from the truck.  This particular cache was a part of the Seaway trail.  The state has placed 15 along this particular region on this trail.  I'm leaving out some details here, but basically after you locate 10 of there caches, you'll be awarded with a coin.  Good fun.  So after such an easy treasure find, we again found ourselves hooked!  We decided to seek another cache from the Seaway trail before we headed home for the day.  There just so happened to be a few more on our route home, so we stopped off the road to seek another.  Oh it's only a half mile away from the road, no sweat, right? WRONG AGAIN!  The pathway to this cache was located directly next to a river, and the mosquitoes were in full bloom.  Unfortunately, we were still in our beach attire...bathing suits, coverups, flip flops...not exactly prepared with ideal hiking gear.  Bugs were flying in and out of our ears and mouths, biting us from head to toe.  It was getting dark, kids had to pee, I had to pee.  Everyone was was miserable.  After about what seemed to be an hour of walking and whining, we arrived at the location where the cache was said to be.  We searched and searched, but it was nowhere in site. OH NO!! It was terrifying thinking this entire hike might be in vain.  It was getting dark and we didn't have a flash light if we didn't find it soon, we'd never find it.  With the assistance of our cell phones as lights, we searched and searched the brush.  Finally, I saw an odd string tied to a tree and pulled.  Out popped a frog, I screamed!!  Luckily, the cache followed behind so my scream of terror quickly turned to a cry of joy when I realized our search was over.  I quickly pulled out the camera and snapped a photo.  My intentions next were to sign the log book, toss it back and get out of the bug pit.  But to my surprise, when I opened the cache, I discovered something that made it all the whole walk worth it...almost.  It was a cavalry garter.  Before my husband deployed, he was attached to a cavalry unit.  With a short time before there deployment, I had a crash course in the cav.  We had a spouse spur ride, where we earned our spur necklace, and usually our garters.  Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time before the deployment to have the garter ceremony, so it was to be held after the deployment but before the ball so that everyone would have them to wear to the dance.  I was pretty excited about being a part of this tradition and getting to wear my garter to the ball.  Sadly, my husband was transferred to a different unit mid-deployment and we're no longer attached to the cav, which meant, I wouldn't get my garter when he returned.  I was pretty bummed about that.  Fast forward 4 months and here I am in the middle of nowhere finally earning my garter.  And let me tell ya, I earned the heck out of that garter!  I had to run back that half mile with a 40 pound toddler on my hip, in flip flops, fighting bugs, in the dark.  So anyhow, the garter was held safely inside a package that reads, "The yellow garter is an Army Cavalry tradition.  The yellow color represents a longing for a soldiers return.  The white and blue represent the pure and faithful manner in which the wearer waits for the soldier's return.  We have placed this garter as a reminder that soldiers are just men and women with someone waiting for them to come home.  So please take the garter, keep it or move it around, but we ask that you take the time to think of those soldiers that are still away from loved ones." Awesome cache huh?  Trust me Team Skrabelova, I'm thinking of my soldier still away, and I thank you for the great cache!  It made my day.
Once we were back in the car, we asked the kids if they wanted to look for anymore.  In unison, they replied loudly, "NOOOO!" HAHA, well, with just a short time before sunset, we headed off in search of one last quick cache on the seaway trail anyways.  This particular cache was just behind a sign in a parking lot, so we left the kids in the truck with grandma and we jumped out and grabbed it.  Of course, the kids all jumped out anyways to see what goodies were tucked inside.  Nothing exciting was found this time, but we did finally get a punch in our book, putting us one step closer to that reward coin.  After this cache, the sun was set and we were starving, so we finally called it a day.  Unfortunately, my family had to leave this morning, so I guess it just leaves me and the boy to seek the rest of the cache's on the trail alone.  Wish us luck!!

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