Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Geocaching in Fort Walton Beach

Yesterday was declared an official 'spend the day geoaching' day by my dad and myself so that's exactly what we did. We rounded up a pretty big list of park caches and park-n-grabs and spent the day in Fort Walton Beach. It seems like we've had a cache explosion in the past few months and there are new caches everywhere. One of the first places we stopped was a new park downtown. They have the coolest statues all over this park.
The GPS sent us close to this statue but my dad said he felt funny looking for this skirt cache - notice the Youngest Island Boy's head - he didn't mind peeking at all LOL There were a lot of statues all over the park but it was really hot and there's not a lot of shade in this park so I'll have to come back when it's cooler and take pictures of some of these incredible statues. We found the cache in a gazebo and this is the first time I've ever seen a cache like this. See the little micro sitting in the nest? Even knowing the wasps were gone it was still a little creepy holding it.
The next cache on our list was called T-Rex. I found this cache last year but my dad has not and I thought he would enjoy it. This is one of those geocache things that you never see until you're out looking for it.
On the way to the cache I asked my dad if he'd ever seen the dinosaur that sits next to Hwy 98 in downtown Ft Walton Beach. He said No that he'd never seen a dinosaur on the side of the highway and I could tell by his expression that he didn't really believe we were actually going to see a dinosaur. He was pretty amazed when we got to the spot LOL Highway 98 is directly behind where I'm standing to take this picture. It's impossible to get to Destin on a summer weekend without traffic backing up and my dad commented on how often he's sat in traffic right next to this dinosaur and never noticed it. It sits right next to the highway but there's a big, pretty, church on one side of it and a boat yard on the other and even though you can see it perfectly from the road it just gets lost in your field of view. You'd think you'd notice a big T-Rex next to the road but it's been here for over 10 years and I never noticed it until last year when I looked for the cache that's next to it. You really can hide anything in plain sight if you do it right LOL
We stopped at a small park on Cinco Bayou and after finding the cache we watched these really big jellyfish in the water. The jellies have been horrible this year and are usually gone by now. It's really rare to see them this far up in the bayou but there were a lot of them floating around.
We ate lunch at the Crab Shack on Santa Rosa Sound and it was very tasty.


We had the option of sitting outside on a deck overlooking the water but after spending the morning out in the heat we opted for the air conditioned dining room.
There were a group of Red Hat ladies having lunch there and the boys were fascinated with them. They had on bright purple outfits and some of these hats were very elaborate. They were sitting in a much darker part of the restaurant and I only had my point and shoot camera or I would have taken their picture. I just love the whole idea of the Red Hat Ladies!
After lunch we were back to caching and the next cache we found was really interesting. The GPS took us to some abandoned property down on the waterfront and then into a palm thicket. It was really apparent that this is a homeless camp but luckily no one was home. (Nothing against homeless people but they usually get pretty cranky when you barge into the middle of their camp and start poking around)
We were looking all through a palm tree trying to find the cache when my dad started laughing. I looked where he was pointing and there it was. I've heard about people in Alabama using decoys as cache containers but this is the first time I've seen one here. The funny thing is that this cache is right over the spot where most of the beer cans and wine bottles were laying and I had to wonder how often the guy that lives here gets drunk and wonders why that bird never flies off LOL
There are a lot of ducks in this spot as well and I'm sure the guy who lives here is convinced that they aren't as sociable as the bird in the palm LOL
We found several more caches through the day but this next one was definitely interesting. The title of the cache is 52 Volt and the cache log says
"It is NOT necessary nor advised to open, disassemble or otherwise de-manufacture any of the nearby electrical boxes or equipment To try this would not only be dangerous but downright foolish." Ok.
The coordinates took us to a strip mall on a busy street and then led us around back. We found this at ground zero. My dad stood there shaking his head and asking how on earth this one got approved by the geocache reviewers when I spotted this Sure enough it was a magnetic sign and came right off. The cache log was on the back. I still don't know how this one got approved but it's out there and we found it LOL
We found a few more park-n-grabs and then called it a day. We had a lot of fun and I'm tired today but I'll be ready to go again tomorrow if I get the chance LOL
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