It's a known fact that I love to geocache. I started back in 2007 and caching fever comes and goes with me. Sometimes it's all I think about and I manage to find time to hunt caches at every opportunity while other times the desire to cache takes a backseat to whatever is going on in my life.
Not long ago my Dad mentioned that he was getting close to his 300th find. I was still about 25 caches away from 300 but his talking about it gave me the fever again and I thought it would be really fun for us to find our 300th together.
So I began a mad dash to catch up to him so we could find #300 together.
Since neither of us has any inclination to shop on Black Friday we decided that would be a great day to spend in the woods caching instead.
But it rained on Friday so we left early Saturday morning instead, heading up to Eglin Reservation. I was still 4 caches away from 300 so we made a few quick stops in Blue Water Bay for me to get up to 299 and then into the woods we went.
Almost immediately upon entering the Reservation we were stopped at a checkpoint by two military officers.
Eglin is very generous to the public, letting us have plenty of access to the Reservation for hiking, hunting, fishing and camping but you MUST purchase a permit to be anywhere on the Reservation.
Permits are good for a year and only cost $12 (hunting passes cost a little more and come with a few more restrictions) so there's no excuse not to have one.
We had our passes and the guys at the check point were really nice and we talked a little about how ALL of the caches hidden on the Reservation have strong warnings on the website about not entering the Reservation without a pass.
Eglin Reservation is one of the best playgrounds in the South for geocachers and none of us want that privilege taken away.
They wished us well, told my boys that Granddad's truck was going to be filthy when we left and they would need to wash it for him and then sent us on our way.
The cache we picked for our 300th was up near the head of Rocky Creek which eventually winds its way down into Rocky Bayou in Niceville.
The creek is beautiful. Clear, swift and a great place to put a kayak in and then paddle down to Rocky Bayou.
Dad picked this cache and he chose a beautiful spot.
The cache was a multi stage cache which means you're given the coordinates for the first stage and then when you find that one it contains the coordinates for the second stage, which is where the log book and goodies are located.
We found the first stage in a tree not too far off a dirt road near the creek.
The second stage coordinates took us on a hike across the bridge and into the woods on the other side of the creek.
And there is was - stage 2 and our 300th find!
After we signed the log and traded some swag from the cache we walked down to the edge of the creek.
While they were standing there I heard the Youngest ask his brother what he thought would happen if he just jumped in.
The Oldest said "Well, first Mom will kill you and then she'll make you spend the rest of the day wet and cold".
Yep, that about sums it up.
We hiked back across the bridge
And then were off to find 5 more caches that were not too far away.
We did some serious bushwacking into several of the caches but we managed to find them all.
It was a day full of bushwacking, hiking and enjoying each other's company.
I can't think of a better way to spend a day.