Tag Archives: outdoors

Chasing Butterflies

Hiking with children can be tricky and slow-going, but it’s totally worth the effort. Last weekend, we set out to hike a trail that runs along a tranquil stream. I wanted to hunt for geodes, but the kids were more interested in skipping stones. I was preparing to turn around when the kids spotted a clearing up ahead, so I promised to go only that far, take a brief rest, and start heading back. As we approached the clearing, we spotted a rabble of butterflies chilling out in an old fire pit. The kids had been in butterfly tents before, but getting up close and personal in nature was infinitely more amazing. It’s too bad we left our butterfly net at home when we really needed it!

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A #butterfly net would have been really helpful!

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Even so, the kids had tons of fun getting up close to the butterflies and chasing them around. They’re already asking to go back, and I’m trying to explain to them that the butterflies may likely be gone by then. That’s ok, they explained, maybe next time we can find a unicorn! Do they make a net for that?

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 10, Mooser’s

The Adventures of Sprowkey is part of a series following the whereabouts of a trackable geocaching item. Actual locations and events surrounding this trackable item form the basis for a fictional narrative, creating a unique and interactive geocaching experience. For more background on this series, see the first installment of The Adventures of Sprowkey. 

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With merely 500 miles between him and his destination, Sprowkey’s mission has been severely compromised! He had been carefully packed up and stowed away, patiently awaiting final transport by secret agent BirdsIView. However, BirdsIView had picked up the dossier for the wrong field agent, and while he carefully read the mission details and waited for the absolute perfect time to make his move, he actually set out in precisely the opposite direction of Sprowkey’s intended destination.

BirdsIView smuggled Sprowkey all the way from Phoenix back to Ohio, which would have been bad enough, except it was just a pitstop before their true target–New Brunswick, Canada! The complete opposite side of the continent! This setback puts Sprowkey nearly 16 driving hours FURTHER past where he had started!

The good news is that Sprowkey is in a safe place that the locals know as Mooser’s Restaurant. This popular pub and eatery is actually just a front for a top-secret geocaching operations base. Here, undercover agents are safe to share highly confidential information and to pool their efforts.

Mooser's

 

Breakfast

A favorite breakfast special among special agents

Sprowkey’s morale is at an all time low after this devastating setback. Will he give up hope and abandon his mission, or will he set out again, more determined than ever? Stay tuned for Sprowkey’s next adventure!

Total miles traveled: 10743

Previously:

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 9, Phoenix, baby!

 

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 9, Phoenix, baby!

The Adventures of Sprowkey is part of a series following the whereabouts of a trackable geocaching item. Actual locations and events surrounding this trackable item form the basis for a fictional narrative, creating a unique and interactive geocaching experience. For more background on this series, see the first installment of The Adventures of Sprowkey. 

Tucson

Last we heard of Sprowkey, he had been found unconscious and severely dehydrated in the Sonoran desert. He was captured by an intimidating gang of desert nomads that included F. Dawg, Kandy Kane, and L.A. Roaming Gnome. As it turns out, this ratty desert gang was really a group of good samaritans at heart. They cared for Sprowkey, and in time, were able to nurse him back to full health.

After his recovery, Sprowkey said his goodbyes to the Sonoran desert gang and was escorted from Picacho Peak State Park back into town under the care of Linda1201. Agent Linda1201 provided the field photos below to prove that Sprowkey was indeed alive and well.

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Once back in Tucson, our special agents wasted no time making their moves. They disseminated across the region and took their positions. It began with some stealthy, short trips in between several secure local hideouts. Cachemasters91 took Sprowkey to Upper Geronimo Wash, where he stayed for 10 days before being picked up by FreddyColgate. From there, the action really gained momentum. Sprowkey made the trek one hundred miles northwest to a place called Kenya’s Love, right in the heart of Phoenix. Here, he made the acquaintance of several other trackables that could potentially become strong allies. Unfortunately, there was no time to get comfortable and make friends. He had to move, and he had to move quick – before his trail could be picked up.

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With the help of SylverWinged and Cbritt84, Sprowkey navigated through the heart of Phoenix, making brief respites at the west campus of Arizona State University and the Buckeye Municipal Airport, all the while managing to skirt his adversaries without attracting their attention.

Currently, Sprowkey is in the capable hands of BirdsIView. He’s been in sight of a several hideouts, though something just seemed a bit off at each of them, and BirdsIView is not one to take unnecessary chances on the ground. It’s conceivable that someone picked up his scent while making the move through Phoenix. For now they will proceed with caution, keeping a low profile until another safe haven can be found. While he is finally closing in on the west coast, the finish line within tormenting reach, the real dangers are just beginning.

Miles traveled since last stop: ???

Total miles traveled: 7707

Previously:

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 8, Picacho Peak

 

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 8, Picacho Peak

The Adventures of Sprowkey is part of a series following the whereabouts of a trackable geocaching item. Actual locations and events surrounding this trackable item form the basis for a fictional narrative, creating a unique and interactive geocaching experience. For more background on this series, see the first installment of The Adventures of Sprowkey. 

Sprowkey and Polly

Fifty miles is an admirable distance to cover in the desert heat, especially when one can’t even remember much of the journey. After leaving the care of Special Agent Eagle Eye, Sprowkey headed northwest out of Tucson, brimming with confidence and a renewed energy. His best guess put him at just a few hundred miles from his destination, though it was only a few dozen miles into the trek when his newly found drive dried up, quite literally.

Majorly miscalculating essential water supplies vital to a desert journey resulted in rapid dehydration, and ultimately, severe heat exhaustion. With no help in sight, and no other viable options, Sprowkey forged ahead. The desert heat developed a personality of its own, morphing into a blurry, pulsing, adversary. With every step his head pounded, as the sun seared his skin and the wind pummeled him with rocks and sand.

And then, in almost an instant, it was over. The pain was gone. The throbbing headaches and nausea passed, and everything became very still.  Was this the end? He casually contemplated this question, while wondering why he wasn’t considerably more concerned at such a thought, when he noticed the voices.

He could now make out a few distinct, yet mumbled voices that grew increasingly louder. He opened his eyes, initially focusing on the enormous cactus looming high above him, before noticing the three characters actually standing right in front of him.

“He’s comin’ to!”

“Better watch it – we don’t know who this feller is or where he came from.”

“Hey there, partner, have some more water. You’ve been out for over a day. This here is F. Dawg and Kandy Kane. I’m L.A. Roaming Gnome, but they call me Roman. Welcome to beautiful Picacho Peak State Park!”

Kandy Kane

Kandy Kane

Farfr Dawg

Farfr Dawg

Roamin' Roman

Roamin’ Roman

Miles traveled since last stop: 293

Total miles traveled: 7490

Previously:

The Adventures of Sprowkey, Chapter 7

The Adventures of Sprowkey, Chapter 7

The Adventures of Sprowkey is part of a series following the whereabouts of a trackable geocaching item. Actual locations and events surrounding this trackable item form the basis for a fictional narrative, creating a unique and interactive geocaching experience. For more background on this series, see the first installment of The Adventures of Sprowkey. TucsonAccording to our most current tracking information, Sprowkey is somewhere along the southwestern border of Arizona, now in the safe hands of Special Agent Eagle Eye. Together, they have slowly and carefully been making their way west through southern Arizona.

This is quite a change compared to the cold start that Sprowkey experienced in the frigid northeast. Half a year later and Sprowkey is trying to adapt to temperatures well over one hundred degrees (currently 108°). Luckily, Eagle Eye is quite at home with such bone-dry climates, not to mention the many dangers  seen around these parts.

Eagle Eye has proved to be a man of few words, just as Boomer had warned. Clearly, he prefers to travel alone, which is fair enough, just as long as he can safely get Sprowkey that much closer to his destination.

Total miles traveled: 7081

Previously:

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 6, Tucson

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 6, Tucson

The Adventures of Sprowkey is part of a series following the whereabouts of a trackable geocaching item. Actual locations and events surrounding this trackable item form the basis for a fictional narrative, creating a unique and interactive geocaching experience. For more background on this series, see the first installment of The Adventures of Sprowkey
TucsonSprowkey was becoming quite comfortable at Traveler’s Rest. He hadn’t felt this welcome amongst others since being separated from his true family. The camaraderie was nourishing to his spirit, and he would have happily stayed and rested here a bit longer, had an amazing opportunity not fallen into his lap. An experienced and fearless traveler, whom people only know as “Boomer,” had returned to Traveler’s Rest once again. Boomer’s travels have taken her around the world, so on the rare occasions that she manages to visit her home away from home, all work ceases for a short-lived celebration, until the next adventure begins.

Thomas the Donkey saw her return as a sign, and tasked Boomer with the job of guiding Sprowkey further west towards his destination. Having been indebted to Thomas for over a decade, she had felt that she may never have a chance to repay the debt. Therefore, it was without hesitation that Boomer accepted the assignment.

After an emotional goodbye with Thomas, Farm Cat, and the rest of the clan, Sprowkey and Boomer set off on a southern course, stopping in North Carolina to take care of some of Boomer’s other “business” before continuing on to Tucson, Arizona, where their journey together would come to an end. Boomer had taken Sprowkey as far west as was possible, and it was more than he could ever have hoped to accomplish in such a short time. It was now time to part ways.

For the time being, Sprowkey is lying low in a geo-hotel occupied by other weary travelers and rough characters. According to Boomer, a trustworthy acquaintance will find him and further assist him in his travels. While he has not had any trouble here yet, these folk are nothing like the close-knit clan at Traveler’s Rest. They all appear to be ruthless nomads looking out for no one but themselves. Will this “acquaintance” prove any different?

Total miles traveled: 6604

Previously:

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 5

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 5

Sprowkey and Polly25c5cdbb-dca2-46c3-bcbe-7075dbeb0d76After fleeing from the soggy marshes of Pathway to Panache, Sprowkey has finally completed  what has been his longest and most grueling journey to date. It is here at Traveler’s Rest, a whopping eighty miles west, that Sprowkey has made the acquaintance of a motley band of characters that call themselves the Travelers.

Farm Cat was the one to make first contact with the weary red drifter. He was hunting for food on the outskirts of camp when he caught the scent of something that was clearly alien to this land. On an ordinary day he could have easily caught Sprowkey unawares and without effort. Today, however, was no ordinary day. Farm Cat came in close for the kill, when some strange, heavy feeling in his gut caused him to hesitate at the very last moment. He froze, surprised at his sudden fallibility, and their eyes met. Farm Cat gazed at Sprowkey, his mind numb, and he slowly began to let down his guard. Somehow he recognized that Sprowkey was no threat to him or his people, and just a short time later, he was up to speed with all of his adventures of the last several weeks. Farm Cat realized what he had to do next. He would take Sprowkey to meet the rest of his clan, including their venerable leader, Thomas the donkey. Surely, Thomas would be able to aid Sprowkey in his noble quest.

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Miles traveled since last making camp: 80

Total miles traveled: 94 Previously:

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 4

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 3

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 2

The Adventures of Sprowkey : Chapter 1