Thursday, May 24, 2007

JoLee Island Cache

I was fortunate enough to be able to adopt 6 geocaches from a local cacher who has moved North and one of them is located on JoLee Island at Baytown Wharf.

The kids and I were a little restless yesterday so we decided to go out to Baytown and do a little maintenance on our new cache.

The old cache was in a small Tupperware container and since this cache sees a lot of traffic I wanted to swap it out with an ammo can and add lots more loot.

The Island King, being the absolute cammo painting expert, painted my can the other day and it was ready to go. So I loaded up the kids and called the Island King who was doing a shoot out that way and told him to meet us at Baytown Wharf.

We could replace the cache and then have daiquiris at the Mango Bar while the kids played on the playground next door.

We made a quick stop at our 98 Palms Cache to grab a travel bug that’s been sitting too long and after a run in with Gertrude the Great Dane we were off to Sandestin.

We had the Island Girl's friend Z with us and since he’s never been Geocaching he was fascinated with the idea that her family were going to hide an ammo can on an island.

The cache is a multi stage cache and the first stage is a tic-tac container with the coordinates for the final stage in it.

Stage one is hidden in a tree house on the boardwalk leading to the marina. This is an incredibly hard container to find – you have to stand in just the right place to be able to see it.

When we hunted this cache before it was ours it took us quite a while to find it.

Excellent hide Sam!

Stage 2 is the actual container and is located on JoLee Island which can only be accessed by foot across a bridge that leads over the inlet that runs behind the island.

It’s a neat island, completely natural with picnic areas, a playground and a nice hiking trail.

A very tranquil spot right in the heart of Sandestin.

The original cache was located in some tall saw grass just off the main trail and since this cache sees a lot of traffic there was a very distinct trail leading through the saw grass right to the cache.

We decided to move it farther down the island so we replaced the Tupperware with the ammo can, added more loot and then started walking – looking for a good hiding spot.

We found a nice plank walkway leading to the water so we walked the plank and ended up on the beach. We followed the water’s edge to a lovely wooden swing that sits right at the water’s edge and overlooks the marina and Choctawhatchee Bay.

That looked like a very busy spot and since we don’t want the can to get “muggled” we kept walking.

We came to a point and the end of the trail and there was an oak tree with a clump of bushes around it. The tree wasn’t too close to the water’s edge so we decided this would be the spot.



The Island King tucked the ammo can into the bush at the base of the tree and the minute he moved his hand you could no longer see the container at all.

He is truly the master cammo painter.

Z kept looking down at the bush in amazement and said "I just saw you put it there and now I can’t even see it!"

I don’t think we’ll have any trouble with Muggles finding this one.

We marked the spot with the GPS and then headed over to the tree house to change the coordinates in the tic-tac container at Stage 1.

The tree house is a really cool 2 story structure built around a large old oak tree and has a deck on the very top.

The Pirate’s Look-Out it’s called.

Of course when we got there we found 2 teenage boys messing around in the tree house. We wondered how to get the container without them seeing us and the Island King said "I’ll get it."

My kids had already climbed up there so he went up and started telling the other boys that he owned the tree house and that they needed to get the place cleaned up

While they were distracted trying to decide if he was serious or not he managed to grab the container without them seeing.

They appeared to be taking up residence so we took the container and headed on over to Mango’s and the playground.

We sat on the deck and had daiquiris while the little kids played on the massive playground and the big kids went over to listen to a band that was playing in the courtyard.

Sandestin in the summer time is a lot like Disney World so it’s always interesting to sit, have a cold drink and people watch.

As it started to get dark we put the new cache coordinates in the tic-tac container and walked back to the tree house to rehide it.

And don’t you know there are now lots of teenagers hanging around the treehouse.

We stopped and debated coming back tomorrow to try and replace the container and then the Island King says "I can do it without them seeing me – watch."

I waited on the boardwalk while he and our kids go up into the tree house and then I hear him yell “WOW Look at that!” really loud.

Then I heard him say “Oh you missed it”.

He comes back down with a huge grin on his face and whispers “mission accomplished”.

In the car he said that when he yelled look at that, he pointed to the water and when everyone turned to look at what he was pointing at he slipped the container back into it’s hiding place.

He chuckled all the way home and told me that being an old dog means he’s a lot smarter than the young pups that were in the tree house.
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