Geocaching in Beloit
Rainy Day Adventures
“It’s not going to rain,” I told myself over and over on a cloudy, chilly, Wednesday morning. It almost didn’t. I was wishing away the rain because I was about to go geocaching with two other Visit Beloit team members, Tara and Nate. With almost no experience between the three of us, we were in for a surprise. Geocaching is described as a “real-world treasure hunt,” where you use a GPS and other hints to find hidden containers. Inside these containers are log sheets for the triumphant ones to sign. Sometimes, there are small trinkets in them as well, like foreign coins. It’s common practice to leave something in the container when you find it.
The Hunt Begins
We decided to start with a multi-cache in Big Hill Park…our first mistake. A multi-cache requires you to find a series of caches in a specific order. Each cache contains a clue for the next cache. When we reached the starting point, we realized we had no idea what we were doing. We searched around for a bit but had no luck. We soon realized that we shouldn’t have started with a 3/5 difficulty for our first try. We decided to pick up and move out.
From there on, things started looking up. The drizzly mist let up and we moved on to our next hunt; this cache was supposed to be easier, with a difficulty rating of 1. We hurried over to Beckman Mill and began our search with renewed hope. At the starting point, we began combing the area and we found our very first cache pretty quickly! After a brief celebration, we signed the log and placed a small gift from Visit Beloit inside the container. We then returned the container to its rightful place and were ready to move on. It was about then that we became aware of our second (and last) major mistake: we forgot bug spray. It was as if the mosquitoes were guards, lying in wait and as soon as we removed the cache, they swarmed. After rushing back to the car, we decided to grab some bug spray before trying one last cache.
Our last stop was the Wood Family Fishing Bridge. After dousing ourselves in Deep Woods OFF, we were ready to conquer our last cache of the day – rated at 1½. This one was a bit more trying and gave limited clues; we were struggling early on in our hunt. We searched all over, looking in the same places over and over again. Then, one of those times, we looked just a bit harder and there it was! Our second cache was in our hands! This celebration, much like the one before, was cut short not by mosquitoes but by the rain that had threatened us all day. It was a soggy walk to the car but we didn’t care because we had been victorious!
Verdict: Worth It
Aside from the bugs and the rain, I had a great time geocaching and can see why so many people find it exciting! The ups and downs made it feel like a real treasure hunt! Someday, I want to return to Big Hill and try the multi-cache again, hopefully with more success. If you feel inspired to go on a treasure hunt of your own, you can visit geocaching.com and choose your mission. The three we attempted were “Clan of the Bear Cave,” “Skippy Bluff,” and “Choo!! Choo!!” I strongly recommend stocking up on bug spray and choosing a sunny, warm day. Geocaching is a great way to get outdoors with family, friends, or in my case, coworkers. Make a day of it – pack a picnic and set out to see some beautiful, natural sights around Beloit!
PS…We’d show more pictures but we don’t want to give anything away 😉