In the Pacific Northwest, summertime often means family outings to lakes, trails, and parks. However, summers aren’t just for swimming, hiking and cycling. Next time you’re headed outdoors, consider these alternative activities.
If you like the intrigue and challenge of a treasure hunt, geocaching might be the activity you have been looking for. Geocaching is a family friendly activity using GPS coordinates to locate “caches” hidden throughout the community. Geocache websites offer maps via phone apps and through maps which can be printed at home before heading out on the hunt. When visiting the site, you will find a description of the area in which the cache is hidden, the type of container you will be hunting for, hints to help you hunt, and ratings for skill level and terrain from 1 (easy) to 5 (difficult) stars so you can determine which geocache adventure is best for you. The description of each cache will note the contents of the box which might include a log sheet to sign or a little trinket to reward your successful hunt.
Interested in trying it out? Check out Geocaching.com, where you can learn more and sign up for a free membership. Your phone’s app store will also have other options for geocaching applications. To help you get started, Valley Medical Center has placed a fun but challenging geocaching course on our campus.
If treasure hunting isn’t to your liking, perhaps a day on the links is more your style. Disc golf (also known as Frisbee golf) is played on courses similar to a traditional golf course, with winding bends, rough areas and hazards. Disc golf has similar rules and scoring to regular golf, but instead of a little white ball you try to hit metal targets with a flying disc. Like golf, the goal is to get the object into the target in as few tries or throws as possible. While the sport has attracted pros, the game can easily be played by people of all skill levels. There aren’t any golf carts at the disc golf course so it is perfect way to get out and increase your activity level. Though you can purchase specialized discs for the sport, a plain old Frisbee will suffice for the first-time disc golfer. Washington state has many disc golf courses to choose from and can be found with a simple internet search. The game can be played via single player or in a team. Learn more about the rules and how to play on the Professional Disc Golf Association’s website.
Summer activity doesn’t have to be the same day after day. When the sun is shining and you want to get out for some fresh air, try something new. Add geocaching and disc golf to your list of activities to conquer in these next few months.
Pictured: Geocachers TeamFin, Terrible T’s, and mc3cats were the first to find the We Are Valley multi-cache. Congratulations, teams!