Sunday, April 28, 2013

Geocaching Bike Ride

My son making pancakes
It was a glorious spring weekend day this past Saturday. The kids told their mom that they would like to go on  a bike ride. Connor said he didn't want to go to the Cowboy Playground and didn't want to do the Waterton Canyon trail again. He wanted to go on a new bike ride. 

I decided to introduce the boys to the Highland Canal path. The Highland Canal is one of the Denver Metro's biggest bike trails. It runs from south of C470 up to Aurora, snaking along quite a bit. Depending on where I try to get the information, the total distance is anywhere from 48 miles to 71 miles.

Follow this link and you can see a map:

Of course the total distance does not matter that much. My wife and kids were not going to ride the whole thing.

I picked a little 7 mile section running from Writers Vista Park in Littleton to deKoevend Park in Centennial. Both these parks are right on the bike path.

If you would like to see our route, here is a google map representation of Bicycling directions to DeKoevend Park.

The start of our ride

We had not been Geocaching in awhile. If you don't know what Geocaching is, you are really missing out. Check out and you can get an extensive overview of geocaching. Basically, though, it is just a matter of hiding objects and finding them. There is a list of these hiding places that include GPS coordinates on the Geocaching website. Before you go on a trip somewhere, you can look up what geocaches are close and then you have another built-in family activity to keep your kids busy. I have blogged about some of our geocaching adventures. For those (including this one), see

We found a cache!
So, before the rest of the family got up, I loaded 5 geocache coordinates into my hand-held GPS unit. All of these were along that 7 mile stretch of the bike path. All of them seemed pretty straight - forward from their directions, and none of them seemed overly tiny.

Soon, my youngest son was up and kindly made us pancakes to fuel our bike ride.

The whole family worked together to get a picnic lunch and other things packed. We loaded the bikes on the back of the minivan and headed over to Writers Vista Park. We headed up the trail, and it was only a few minutes to the first of the geocaches, called This ain't no MICRO!

We spent a decent amount of time looking for this. The description told us it was a big one in "large 50 caliber ammo can", and it hinted that it was up high. We never found the cache. We gave up after I noticed a hornet next high up in the tree that really seemed the most logical to be the hiding spot. Later I realized that this is a multi-step cache, so that at this location we should not have been looking for something big. I've actually never had much luck with multi-caches. At some point, I might come back and try this one again.

We also did not have luck finding the second cache "The Other Wing of Fremont". We did look at the encrypted keys and it seems like we should have been able to find this one too, but after searching for awhile and getting sick of trying to avoid muggles, we decided to move on again.

The first one we found was called "Right in our own back yard". It took us awhile, but eventually, we uncovered it. The kids didn't want to trade to get anything that was in it, so we signed the log and continued on.

We skipped one called "Historic Highline Canal Series #3" because a couple of Muggles were sitting on a bench right where the GPS brought us. We were able to find this one on the return trip. It was real small ... just a prescription drug container. We signed the log and left a bead necklace in there. We didn't take anything, though. 

There was another cache that I loaded called Celtic Colorado, but we decided to skip this one because it was off on a side trail a ways and by the time we were at that spot to go off on the side trail, we were in the mode of getting to our lunch location. (DeKoevend Park). At some point I may go back and try this one.

Making "cookie dust"
Eventually, we got to DeKoevend Park and had our lunch. The kids played for awhile. My wife seemed to get in a little nap.

The return trip was uneventful other than finding "Historic Highline Canal Series #3", which I mentioned above. It was a nice little ride on a beautiful sunny day.

Return trip
When we finally got home, Connor made chocolate chip cookies with a little help from his dad.

Later, we had some grilled brats and burgers for dinner. My wife and I also had some of SheppyBrew's world famous Buckwheat's Belgium Pale Ale, which tastes exactly as designed, but is too cloudy.

Buckwheat's BPA
I also watched the Ice Hogs lose to the St. Louis Blues. This is ok as the Blackhawks really had nothing to play for. I am excited for the playoffs to start.

Go BlackHawks!

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