Yesterday my husband was sort of having a bad day so I suggested that we get outside and go for a walk after work to lift our spirits instead of just going home and just watching TV like giant slugs. I suggested we walk along some railroad tracks, but not actually having knowledge of any disused railroad tracks in the area, I found the next-best thing – Rails to Trails. and there are geocaches!
Geocaching is a 24/7, world-wide scavenger hunt. If this sounds like fun, check out geocaching.com. People (geocachers) hide containers (geocaches) in the woods, in parking lots, in public parks, on an island in the middle of a lake; then they post the item’s coordinates online, and maybe give you some hints about what you’re looking for, and then you take your handheld GPS and you go and find it. If you find it, you sign the log inside, maybe trade some fun items if the container is big enough, and then put it back so the next person can come along and find it.
The Union Transportation Trail in Monmouth County has caches placed along the entire length of the trail. The sky had gotten sort of gray by the time we got there. Instead of loading the caches directly into my GPS, so I was looking them up on my iPhone and entering them manually. It’s kind of a tedious process, but it works. We walked until the trail crosses the main road, nabbing geocaches left and right, hopping over puddles and poking through brambles, all in the name of the “Find”. We decided to turn back at that point, because the trail “closes” at dusk, and I checked the GPS and saw we had a mile back to the parking lot – yikes! Dusk approaches quickly! We ran & speed walked back to the parking lot. We also stopped to try to find a cache that we had to skip on the way out because there were muggles behind us. Muggles are non-geocaching folk, and cachers try to be inconspicuous about caching around them because non-cachers tend to steal or move caches without realizing what they’re ruining. That was the only one we didn’t find. Bummer.
But the trail is excellent, nice and flat, and only a few miles long. From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t get a lot of traffic. Might be a great place to come for a run once in a while.