The reason people participate in this sport is widely accepted to be twofold: first, hell, it gets you off the couch and outside! In late January-early February here in Payson, it's just barely cold enough at midday to need a light lacket, and partly cloudy so the sun's not baking you. The second reason is the thrill of the hunt. When you were a kid, didn't you always want to find buried treasure like the pirates in stories? This sport provides the opportunity to do so! (By the way, my sister is giving me a look like "did I ASK you to take my picture there, Andrew?")
The thing about geocaching is, you never know where the cache could be hidden. This time, we searched all over this bloody tree until we finally found the cache at its base. Sarah climbed the tree to try and get a better view. Many times, the cache is camoflaged. This particular cache was a coffee can, pretty large in size, but because it was made to look like a pile of tree bark, it took some actual searching. It was definitely worth it when we finally realized what was real and what was not! (Other caches like this I've found include a stump, a fake electrical box on the side of a light pole, and a fake cactus!)
Sometimes, you have to get messy in the quest for the find. Here at the "waterfall" cache, we ended up getting wet after trying to cross this iced-over stream. The pic below is of me PRE-getting wet! In my defense, I totally thought I could make it over the ice without slipping....
Other times, it's just a pretty straightforward hike on a well-manicured trail. But the views are magnificent! Behind me here is the town of Payson with the White Mountains (I think) in the distance. This is the first time I'd been up to the forest again since last summer, and it was AMAZING to be back among real trees that don't try to gouge out your eyes as you walk near them!