Geocaching is a great way to get a good workout while exploring new (to you) parks, nature preserves, and historical places. It’s a world-wide treasure hunt. (My husband calls it the world-wide hunt for Tupperware.) Geocachers all around the world have hidden ammo boxes, Tupperware boxes, and other small containers with small trinkets in them and registered the GPS coordinates of the “cache” with geocaching.com. All you need are a handheld GPS or a phone with a GPS app and the coordinates to the cache (which you can obtain at geocaching.com). We have geocached all around the US, in Europe, and in the Dominican Republic. Go to geocaching.com and check it out – it’s a great way to spend time with your family.
This time we set out to explore the La Verna Preserve, a Pemaquid Watershed Association preserve in Chamberlain, Maine and what a gem we found. An easy hike down a well maintained 1.2 mile trail brought us over and along old stone walls, through sunlit woods, across gurgling brooks, and eventually to the rocky shoreline of Muscongus Bay. We brought along our trekking poles so we could get an upper body workout during the hike. If you have not used trekking poles while walking or hiking you must give them a try. We purchased our poles while hiking in the Swiss Alps several years ago and were amazed at how much easier it made our hikes and walks. When you use trekking poles properly your arms take over some of the work usually done entirely by your legs. You can walk faster, maintain better balance, and workout your upper body all at the same time.
There were two geocaches registered in the preserve, so we set off on our hunt. About three-quarters of a mile down the trail we found the first cache approximately 20 yards off the trail. I have not posted pictures of the cache because I don’t want to spoil it for those who want to take on the hunt, but I will tell you it was a small, waterproof plastic box. Continuing down the rest of the 1.2 mile long main trail we came upon the biggest treasure of the day: a breathtaking view of islands and the sparkling blue water of the Atlantic Ocean. We drank in the view for some time and I think I exclaimed more than once, “I love Maine!”
The second cache was supposed to be right there on the shore, but though we searched diligently we could not locate it. After returning home and checking the notes on the website, we found that the cache had probably disappeared during Hurricane Irene last summer, but it did not dampen our spirits at all. The round trip hike of almost 2.5 miles with the marvelous views was more treasure than anyone could ever ask for and to make it even better, there are two side loops off the main trail which we have saved for another day. I can’t wait to go back and get another workout!
What’s your favorite way to get a workout outdoors? Do you bike, hike, run or ________________ and where do you like to do it?