This past weekend I went on my very first Geocaching excursion with Matt! Let me set the scene. We printed out a list of coordinates, and started out adventure on main West. It’s a blistering 90+ degrees, I made the mistake of wearing open shoes and a black shirt, and our navigation device (my non-phone i-phone) is having a little trouble working as a GPS. There was a moment of hesitation when we weren’t sure if we could go geocaching at all, but thanks to download a quick, free app, we had something that would work.

So we proceeded to use my 3G Network lacking i-phone to input coordinates and attempt to locate the caches. The GPS doesn’t require an internet connection, however producing the original map did, so we would squeeze next to a building on campus, grab the wireless signal, input the coordinates and produce the map, and then start our search.

Our first attempt was with a cache that was supposedly near the Perkins and Bostock libraries. After ten minutes of digging around in brambles and bushes, we decided to move on. There were just too many muggles around and we looked suspicious! Oh, and the use of the word “muggles” is very much part of the geocaching online culture. You don’t want to be caught snooping around by these… non-geocaching-muggle-folk, haha.

Attempt number two was somewhere around the Camel statue near the old Biology Building. The flashing dot led us towards the woods, away from the statue, and it was immediately apparent that the coordinates were directly on a very steep hill. Not only was it overgrown and impossible to get to, it occurred to us that the likelihood of this cache falling down the slope during a rainstorm was very high. After a good search, we gave up on this one as well, and decided to head over to the Nasher.

We were originally worried that the title “Nash ‘Er Teeth” would imply that this geocache would be a hard find, but it wasn’t at all! It must have been in the 90s, so we started our excursion by heading into the wonderfully chilly Nasher museum. Anyone that stops by here to look for this cache should definitely bring an ID to gain access to the galleries at the Nasher, or minimally stop at the cafe inside for a cool drink.

Once we were ready, we headed out the back door, past a triangular slab of stone, and down the path. We found a small cluster of woods within 100 feet of the museum, and then saw the aforementioned poison ivy, and then BOOM there it was! We had a few unsuccessful searches earlier in the day, and this was our first successful find as Team PumkinNappers, and what a great one it was!

The hiding spot was very cleverly constructed, and the log book incredibly cute. We traded a sheet of stickers with a very cool toy constructed out of an Altoids box (you’ll just have to find the cache to push it’s button and see what it does!) and carefully returned it to its home.

What a great first find! We then proceeded to head down Campus Drive and investigate a cache near the arts warehouse. We got slightly distracted by the cool new “Duke” sign on the building.

It sort of reminds me of the factory from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory!

So this Geocaching thing is excellent! You feel like an adventurer, with the goal of finding the treasure, and exchanging something to leave your mark. Since we wound up taking a sheet of pumpkin and candy corn stickers, we have decided to call ourselves the PumkinNappers. It just makes sense :O)

The official log can be found here.