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Friday, May 29, 2009

Heads Up! Father's Day is Coming.....

If you're anything like me, its best that you think about holidays a bit before they actually get here. So, you have less than a month to consider what you're going to do with this one.

Me? I'm going GeoCaching of course! And I'm using the holiday as an excuse...

My dad and his wife live in Franklin, NC. So Beth and I are going to hop into her Dad's truck and head down there for a visit. And, to entertain ourselves and enjoy a little escape time, we will attempt a few caches. We are also going to try out the "Route" feature on geocaching.com. This feature allows you to enter start and stop coordinates, then pulls up caches along the route. Pretty cool, eh? I'll let you know how that goes.

Now about gifting. Dad's can be a little hard to buy for. Well, not my dad. I'm taking him six packs of Vienna Koegel HotDogs which his ex-wife/my mother delivered to me last month. (Wow, I was way ahead of the game this year!) Anyway, these are the dogs used in all the little greasy diners in Flint, Michigan, to create the famous Coney Island Hot Dog. Dad loves them. They provide me a bit of nostalgia from my childhood.

Back to gifting. A GPS could make a nice gift. Prices start at $100 and go up, the sky isn't even the limit for the heavy duty ones. But you could do what Beth and her siblings did, they split the cost on a Garmin Nuvi for Pop's birthday. I'll let Beth blog about how its working out for him, but I thought it was a good gift.




First, you need to ask yourself how the recipient will use the GPS. Does he or she (yes, some father figures are female) travel and will they use it as a highway navigation tool? Will he want to locate points of interest along a route, such as restaurants, shopping, etc.? Then the typical GPS found at WM might just do the trick.

If the giftee is more outdoorsy than that, a more technical type GPS might be needed...a low cost one is the eTrex, by Garmin. I know nothing about this, except the price that I looked up online. So I'm not endorsing here, just throwing out a suggestion. They have golf GPS's too. Again, I know nothing. But they are out there.

Now, let me interject here. Apparently in the Caching world there is a bit of bias about what GPS is used. I'm suspect its some ego related thing, but I'm not really sure as we are basically newbies at this hobby. My suspicious arose when we were at the Roanoke Event and someone complained that a flyer for an educational program pictured a Nuvi. My not-so little ears latched onto that. I didn't ask questions, as I basically don't care because we love our Garmin Nuvi 500 (most of the time). So much so, you'll recall, we've named her Ms. Garmin. We respect the lady.

First of all, she fit our budget at the time. Second, she has cool graphics and cute little icons. For example, when we are on a trip or on a way to a cache, we put in a cute little 4X 4 truck. It keeps me entertained so Beth can concentrate on the driving.

And while her voice (Ms. Garmin's, not Beth's) can grate on my nerves sometime, overall, she's fun....as any good date should be. She keeps track of our found and not found caches. She can pull up a restaurant when we get hungry. She found me a nurse practitioner once when I was in desperate need. And most of the time, she gets us within 20 feet of caches.

I think the hardest part of getting into this hobby was figuring out what we needed to get started. I did not enjoy researching GPS's. I found it a bit overwhelming. That's why I put the Search for GPS widget onto the left bar. If I would have had this when I was doing my research, it would have been nice. I read "Geocaching for Dummies". I like the dummy books..cause I are one sometimes.

Ok, maybe a GPS for dad is a bit out of your price range, or your siblings are deadbeats, or whatever. Understandable. There are some great books on geocaching. We are even starting to see short stories and novels written. There is even a country western song. No Kidding.

I put up the Amazon Carousel to the left too. I'll put some of our favorite picks there from time to time. The really cool thing is if you hold down the up or down button, it spins the products and looks really cool. Sometimes I log onto the blog to just play with it. Try it.

And yes, we are affiliates and if you buy something we get a little kick back. So what? You buy stuff anyway, why not contribute to the financial well being of a blogger.

The weekend is almost here...time to cache..... or at least think about it.

Pip

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