Somewhere in the vicinity of the Barstow wilderness, there are opportunities to find treasures like no other. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit..
There are some pretty bad-ass locations to hike to and find some really cool junk. How do you find this cool junk you ask? Well, you hop onto your local app store and download the Geocaching app. From there the possibilities are endless. There are hundreds upon thousands of treasure hunts going on across the world that you don’t even know are happening. Of course the treasures are more in tune to be small rubber dinosaurs, coins, old weaves (I know I was bewildered too, but very true), and log sheets to write your name on, but they are a great way to get outdoors and have a good time. I went on my own excursion with the family and trekked the long journey towards the desert.
The above photos are from a medium difficulty mountain we climbed. (Find Bella’s blog here). The cache was hidden in a crevice in the rocks, on the hill, and under some loose stones. Finding the ammo boxes are fun because they are more likely to have lots of goodies inside. It is custom when you find your cache, to leave something inside (unless it is a log only cache). You are allowed to trade items, but be careful that you don’t take a trackable™ or a travel bug™ if you are not ready for the responsibility, as they need to go certain places and require specific instructions. My signature tokens are usually plastic Rainbow Dash ponies or small bear figures.
The containers will vary and so will it’s contents. The hunt can be difficult as the caches can be as small as a bolt and as camouflaged as a pebble in a rock bed. We found about six caches out of six, which is a feat, because some of them can be tricky. We went full lengths to find everything we searched for. My step-dad even ran up a very steep hill, looking like a goat, and mildly baaa-ing on the way up. We take it very seriously (see photo below).
After a long day of hiking, we found a super rad place called Eddie World, which had more candy than Willy Wonka and a cool water tank in the shape of an ice cream. Definitely worth a trip for the Instagram photo.
After the sugar coma, we were rearing to go to Rainbow Basin and drive through the beautiful rock formations and see the colorful minerals disintegrated on the hills. There was a sightseeing parking area at the end and we stopped to take a photo. It didn’t stop there! Bella and I got a second wind and we (almost regretfully) hiked a vertical slope for another geocache.
As you can see, this was a very steep hill. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Once we finally got to the top of the rocky slope, there was a small cave that hid the water bottle filled with fun goodies. I don’t have photos of these things since the cache was in a difficult spot and we were trying not to call in a helicopter that day. Having to replace the cache and get back down was not fun or easy. The rocks were slipping down the mountain and it was hard to get a nice grip. Luckily we had good hiking shoes (thanks Ken!) and we made it down safely! Bella and I did the hike by ourselves. It was an achievement for us both and we were excited that we didn’t quit when it got difficult.
That was the last hike that concluded our trip and we sailed back home dirty, sweaty, and accomplished. Hiking is something I find joy in and this was the first real trip out geocaching at the same time. Although city geocaching is fun and requires you to use stealth, there is a warm feeling about you, the desert, and a hidden treasure.