Grandpa Goes Geocaching

During the past week, I was able to spend some quality father/son time with my youngest son, Jacob, in some of our North Georgia State Parks.  In fact, our trip took us to 11 parks to be exact.  And while that was a treat itself, I was also treated with being able to take my dad geocaching for the first time.  There we were; three generations of Davis men enjoying time in our wonderful state parks doing what we love to do, hiking, geocaching, and being together.

Prior to arriving in Bolingbroke to pick up my dad, Jacob and I stopped for a bite to eat at an old Macon favorite, Nu-Way Weiners.  Since I used to eat there plenty of times growing up, I thought it would be neat to introduce Jacob to this legendary restaurant.  My meal consisted of a hot dog and hamburger, while Jacob chose the hamburger meal.  We grabbed "Poppa" three hot dogs to go.  Nu-Way's slogan is "I'd go a long way for a Nu-Way".  We had indeed just traveled 138 miles for a Nu-Way.  But then again, who wants to go out hiking or geocaching on an empty stomach?

After a short stop at my parent's home, we set off to our first stop of the day, Indian Springs State Park (thought to be the oldest state park in America).  Since it was terribly hot, my plan was to spend only enough time to retrieve the stamp from the cache and then be on our way to the next park (we are currently participating in the Georgia State Parks Geo-Challenge).  My purpose was to introduce my dad in a way that would be favorable, but not intolerable.  The temperature that day was 95 degrees with very high humidity.  Upon arriving, we quickly located the 3/4 mile Overland Nature Loop Trail and set off to claim our prize.  Having done some prior research, I noted that the cache would not be too far along the trail, so the opportunity for a quick park and grab presented itself.  (Note:  My dad is in his late 60's and I was very proud to have him out with us, but I did not want him to have a negative experience dealing with such high heat and humidity.  And since my son and I would be leaving the next morning for a week of hiking and geocaching, as stated previously, I merely wanted to introduce him to our favorite hobby in a favorable way)

The trail itself turned out to be moderately difficult.  While I'm not an expert on rating, I would probably give it a three out of five star rating.  At times, the trail would become quite narrow, and navigating the slopes and declines presented unique slipping hazards, such as dirt, rocks, and moist ground coverings.  Having traversed much more difficult terrain, it was really no problem for my son and I, and I'm happy to say that my dad progressed just fine too.  As far as wildlife goes, I guess they were hiding somewhere trying to keep cool.  All we were able to see were a few lizards, a frog, and a couple of woodpeckers.  Though scarce, I'm thankful for what we did see.

Once out on the trail, and following Jacob's lead (JDAWG), we closed in to about 250 feet of the cache location and a strange thing occurred.  While not really strange, but it was still a first, we noticed that some muggles were milling about down around the GZ.  (For those of you not familiar with the term muggles, it is what geocachers call non-geocachers - it is a term adapted from the Harry Potter series.)  At least we thought they were muggles.  As it turns out, they were geocachers too!  Though we had run into other geocachers in other state parks, this was the first time we'd ever walked up on some at the same cache we were pursuing.  They had arrived only minutes prior to us.  Having not dealt with this before, I was a bit unsure what to do.  Initially, we continued on down the trail until they noticed us, but I ultimately decided to stop, turn around, and move back to give them their space and time.  As they took notice, I simply called out to them that we were geocachers too, and we'd gladly wait back here.  They thanked us for the gesture and continued with their own quest.  After a brief wait, we were rewarded with the find and retrieved another state park stamp.  From there, instead of returning the way we had come, we continued along the loop trail, much to the delight of my dad.  To see him talk and smile with my son along the way made the trip well worth it!  And as my dad later exclaimed, he had a great time.

After leaving Indian Springs State Park, we made the short commute over to High Falls State Park where we found a bit more of a challenge.  The cache was located along the 1.8 mile Non-game Nature Trail and we found it to be a bit more challenging due to its length.  Additionally, there were plenty of exposed roots, rocks, and loose dirt that made it tough to get proper footing.  Still, I would not rate it above a three on a scale of one to five.  And as was the case with Indian Springs State Park, this trail had plenty of elevation changes too.

Once we arrived at the GZ, it was time for my dad to take charge and locate his first cache.  After giving him the clue, he considered the possibilities and within minutes he had scooped up that beautiful green ammo can!

We continued on along the trail to its conclusion that day prior to heading over to the Bass Pro Shop. From there, we returned to a great home cooked meal that my mother had prepared for us. Then, it was off to bed for a good night of rest.  As I lay my head on my pillow that night, I reminisced about the day's activities and I couldn't be more happy of the fact that I was able to be there with my dad for his first geocaching experience.  I smiled when I thought about how many of my "first experiences" that he was probably proud to have been there for.  Naturally, I considered the same thoughts about my own two sons.  I went to sleep thankful!

**For more about the state parks that we visited, you can click on the links below.
Indian Springs State Park
High Falls State Park


  1. I love this post! Fun, family, first time caching,great pics and hot dogs! What's not to love!
    Nice job.....

  2. Thanks Bloodhounded! It was a treat.

  3. You dad looks like a natural geocacher with his cargo shorts and wide brimmed hat. I bet he goes along with you again. Loved your hikes. How are the ticks in your part of the country?

  4. Hopefully, dad will want to go again soon. The ticks are terrible down here and so are chiggers! This past trip, we used Repel with 40% Deet and it seemed to work pretty good.


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