Sunday, August 11, 2013

Am I a Bad Parent?

I pushed through the bushes and emerged from the side of the building.  "Hold it right there." I looked up and was blinded by two extremely bright flashlights. I stood there with my phone/GPSR in one hand and a small container in the other. Ian said from behind me, "What's going on Dad?"

"Turn around and walk backward to me." One of the two men said in a very direct voice.  Having worked in Law Enforcement in my past I knew immediately that I was in a bad, and not so safe, position at that very moment. "Ian, hold your hands out to your sides where they can be seen and do as your told." I said as I turned around with my hands spread apart. I saw a look of fear sweep over him. Ian was told to hold still.

While backing up all I could think was "I knew that caching here at night was a bad idea."  I was told to stop and put the things in my hands on the ground. I was then ordered to interlace my fingers and place them on my head. "Crap" I thought, "this is bad." I was handcuffed, rather roughly, and the same process happened to Ian. Then we were separated and questioned as to why we were there.

"We are Geocaching, Sir." The officer obviously didn't believe me as he looked at me with a slight frown on his face. I told him that my phone on the ground had an app that showed the cache that I was just retrieving. He looked over at the canister on the ground, that I had put down, and quickly spoke into his radio "Dispatch, Tach-2" and switched to another frequency. I thought "Oh CRAP!" "Dispatch, possible 10-89. Send bomb squad."

I then realized that the canister was a tube about 6 inches long and had a slight resemblance to a pipe bomb, as it sat in the grass in the dark. "N-n-no, no, no, wait!" I said "Th-that's not a bomb!  My son and I are Geocaching. It's a game. Someone hides a container and posts its GPS coordinates online and then we try to find it."

He wouldn't listen as he grabbed me and quickly drug me away from the cache. I saw my son being drug away also, getting us back to "Safety." This was turning into a fuster-cluck fast. "Geo-what?!" he asked after we were at a "safe" distance.  "Geocaching," and repeated my explanation. "If you look on my phone there is an app up that has a description of that Geocache."

He looked at me as if he were trying to read if I was telling the truth. "We are not touching anything until the bomb squad gets here" he said. Thinking back, I remembered a similar incident in Geoocaching history, I then asked, "Can you get online on your phone?"

The whole time all this was going on, my son was looking at me for some sort of solace. All I could do was to nod at him gently with my hands cuffed behind my back. Hoping he understood that everything would be okay; I returned my attention to the officer. "Go onto and you can see. There are thousands of caches all over the world."  In the background I heard sirens.  Dropping my head all I could think is "Can it get any worse?"

The next thing I know, I wake up. Whoa!  It was a dream!

We Geocache. We have been doing it for over eight years, though we have not done a lot in the last five years because I was going to school, working, cost of gas....etc.  But this month there is a special challenge going on for the entire month of August --  "31 Days of Geocaching" -- That is thirty one consecutive days of Geocaching.  You get a special 'e-souvenir' for each day that you participate.  (You will find it attached to your Profile.  Don't have one yet? Registration is Free for Basic Membership.)

So we decided it was time to start Caching again. We started off the first six days with one cache a day. After a couple of days of 'enjoying the hunt' ... we decided to break the month into five 'six day' increments and set some goals!  Thus, we will add one cache per day, per increment (five the first, six the second, and so on...) Since there are 31 days in the month that leaves an extra day (as 31 is not evenly divisible by six...)  the LAST day of the month we are planning to do TEN!! --- Bringing us to a whopping 100 cache finds for the month of August! We apparently, have lost our minds.

As for "Am I a Bad Parent?" (I hope you enjoyed the story... and yes, it really was fiction... It didn't happen.  Sorry.)  It is true, however, that we do a lot of Caching at night -- Just for fun! So is it bad that we take our son out for a bit of 'moonlit adventure' from time to time??  Nah! He'd just be on the Xbox anyway.  After all he IS a teenager.

Perhaps this month will be the beginning of an adventure or two... or three... or???  for you!!  Get out there! Go Caching!!!  But most of all, as always...

Enjoy the journey...



  1. Our family geocaches, though I have to confess that we've been more caught up with other things lately. It is our promise to ourselves that we will definitely be getting in some more geocaching. I love filling a large cache with swag for the kids. I love your story, I think you should elaborate a little and make it into a short story. You are a great writer!

    1. Thanks Shannon. Look forward to doing more.

  2. Love the blogpost!
    I'm going to tack it onto the Unschooling Blog Carnival page, in the comment section, since the Carnival already went out.

  3. HAHAHAHA! Unfortunately that does happen often enuf that I did believe it. Although not as extreme as your dream twice now we have been corned by the blue muggles but have never had to "assume the position". I just started caching and to me it's not about the numbers but more getting out and being in nature. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I have been stopped by a cop and questioned by park rangers before while geocaching. I always show them my GPS immediately to explain. Sneaking around is part of the fun! Whatever you do, DON'T geocache by a bank at night. That really freaks them out!