Saturday, June 28, 2008

VMNH Geocaching Day



 Although to many it might seem very near invisible, one of Martinsville, VA's most attractive and socio-economically progressive institutions is the Virginia Museum of Natural History. It conducts significant research, hosts some very appealing exhibits (such as dinosaurs, dinosaurs, and dinosaurs!), and also sponsors lots of positive community programs, such as day camps for kids and teens, outings to clean up local streams and rivers, health seminars for seniors, and...an introduction to geocaching!

Bright and early this morning, I headed out to the Gravely Nature Preserve, just outside Martinsville's city limits, where 30-some local folks interested in geocaching came out to learn just what it's all about. I had volunteered to help out, so I tagged along to hinder as best I might a group of up-and-coming cachers on the mile-and-a-half trail. The young lady in charge of the outing, who goes by the handle MuseumWren, did a really nice job of planning the activity and getting folks together to learn about how to use multi-billion dollar military satellites to find Tupperware in the woods. Several of the groups went after the caches that I had set up on the trail a couple of months ago, and I believe each of them managed to make the finds -- even the tricky little micro-container planted in a tree.

I went with several very nice folks who really took to the challenge right from the start. They had originally targeted just one of my hides, but we ended up going to all three, plus a puzzle cache that MuseumWren set up. Unfortunately, one young lad stumbled upon a yellowjacket nest, and he and his dad got stung several times -- but they both shrugged off the stings and went on to make a couple of tricky finds. What troopers!

Best of all, I finally got to meet a local cacher (handle Kuykenew), whom I've known online for several months; and my good friends, the Albaneses, who've become geocachers of dark renown, showed up as well. This was a really nice activity that got a bunch of strangers together for a good time and a wee bit of education.

Tonight, I grilled out chicken for my mom and me. The rest of the day has been devoted to meeting that looming deadline. Hoo boy, it's closing fast.

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