Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our Anniversary Adventure!

Today was my Anniversary!  8 years married to my Perfect Match!  He took the day off work, which was GREAT because we never get a day off together.  My wonderful neighbor agreed to watch our son for us (the girls were in school), so we planned out a bit of an adventure for the day!  With a sunny spring day here in AZ, we decided to go out GeoCaching.... a favorite hobby of ours but something we haven't done together in a long time.

If you don't know what GeoCaching is, it's like treasure hunting.  People go out and hide things and log the longitude/latitude coordinates at the GeoCaching website.  You plug the coordinates into your GPS and go out hunting for the hidden cache!  Sometimes it's just a small tube with paper in it and you sign it to log that you found it.  Sometimes it's a container with small trinkets and the general idea is, take a trinket, leave a trinket.  It's not about what you get, it's about the adventure of finding these cleverly hidden containers.  So anyways, Hubby got online and found the coordinates for 3 hidden Caches out near Estrella Mountain, which is not far from us but we've never been out there.  We dropped the kid off next door, bought some water bottles, and hit the road!

Our first Cache was found in the parking lot at the ballpark where the Dodgers are having their Spring Training.... about a 20 minute drive from our house.  No one was out there but I'm sure the security guard was wondering what we were doing out there overturning rocks at the edge of the parking lot.  Eventually hubby overturned the right rock, which was hollowed out on the bottom with a plastic tube stuck inside.  He took out the paper and signed it and then we put it back and got back on the road.  Let the adventure continue!
 Headed towards the mountains in search of the next cache, about 3 miles down the road.....
 Cross a bridge, caught a nice picture of the birds flying over the river.
 It's nice to be out of the city for awhile, just driving and enjoying each other's company!
 We're getting close to where the next Cache is hidden.... what is that tower up ahead?  Looks interesting!  Our GPS is pointing us in that direction, the next cache must be hidden somewhere in the little park around the tower!
 We found a place to park and walked up the trail.  The GPS says the cache is hidden only about 35 feet from here... where could it be?  We are marvelling that this little park is so nice, and we didn't know that it was even here, not far from our home!  I love how GeoCaching can take you places you never even knew existed!  Anyways, we finally figure out that the cache is somewhere down in the gully on the other side of that little bridge.  So we venture off the sidewalk and down into the gully.....
 GPS in hand, we are looking around this tree.  The GPS coordinates tell us it's within 5 feet of us!
 I found it!!  I also found out hubby wasn't aiming the camera very well... LOL!
 I love to be the one who finds the cache!  It's exciting!
 Looking inside.... signing the log to show we found it and when.  This cache has recipes in it.  We find a recipe that we want, and then tuck our own recipe card into the box for the next person :)  Return the cache to it's hiding place, and make our way back to the trail.  We decide to go on up to the tower and see what it's all about....

Another hiker took a picture for us.  I think we needed at least one "happy couple" picture for our anniversary!
 This is written on a sign by the Tower;
"Welcome to the Star Tower, your place in the Cosmos.  For Thousands of years man has looked to the heavens with mystery and awe.  The Tower To The Sky is a living memorial to the many Native American cultures that have studied the sky from this very location; The Desert Southwest.
The Tower To The Sky depicts the story of the Milky Way Galaxy and your place in it.  The tower is set in a spiral configuration very similar to that of the shape of the Milky Way and it’s many spiral arms.  The form and function of this tower is also reminiscent of the natural spiral found in the Nautilus Seashell.  In the world of Mathematics this is known as The Fibonacci Number Sequence.  Consequently, we see this spiral from the smallest of creatures, up to the largest of galactic systems!
The Star Tower depicts the evolution of our galaxy and helps you understand your place within it.  At the observation plaza you can reflect on your place in the universe and observe nature from this sacred ground of our ancestors, where we reach up and out to the skies."
Steven Kates, “Dr. Sky”
How exiting!  I love Astronomy, Nature, and Native American culture!  What a wonderful adventure this is turning out to be!
On the side of the tower, another inscription;

“Nature offers no greater splendor than the starry sky on a clear, dark night.  Silent and jeweled with the constellations of ancient myth and legend, the night sky has inspired wonder throughout the ages.
A wonder that leads our imaginations far from the confines of Earth and the pace of the present day and out into the distant reaches of space and cosmic time itself.
Astronomy, born in response to that wonder, is built on two of the most basic traits of human nature: The need to explore and the need to understand. 
Through the interplay of curiosity, discovery, and analysis – the keys to exploration and understanding – people have sought answers to questions about the universe since the earliest times. 
Astronomy is the oldest of all the sciences, yet never has it been more exciting than it is today."
~ Chaisson, Astronomy Today
Okay, I LOVE this place!  We've got to come back with the kids sometime!

 Heading up the tower, looking over the edge and taking in the beautiful landscape!

 At the top of the tower, a sunburst design.  Me, contemplating my place in the Universe.  I think I'm EXACTLY where I'm supposed to be!

Eventually we move on.  Our next cache is about 4 miles up the road.  After searching for a place to park we end up about .75 miles from the cache... time for a hike!  Following the compass directions on the GPS we head off into the desert....

 It must be somewhere on the other side of that hill!  The GPS says we have about 7 tenths of a mile to go.
 We walk along, taking in the desert.  I had fun identifying some desert life.... Mesquite Trees, Palo Verde Trees, Saguaro Cactus, Cholla Catctus, lizards, birds, snake holes (but thankfully no snakes in site)... and some droppings of desert creatures like Javelina, Mule Deer and Jackrabbits.  The ground is covered with a variety of rocks, including Quartz, Mica, feldspar, and Pyrite.  My pockets are quickly filling up with pretty little treasures.
 Hubby found this one!  Well hidden in a very prickly location!
 Looking through the cache.  It's full of trinkets and odds and ends.  We grab 3 little plastic McDonalds toys (still in wrappers) to take home to the kids, sign the log, and return the cache to it's hiding place!
 The car is back somewhere on the other side of that hill.... off we go!
 on the way back we took a different route and found this beautiful Palo Verde tree in full bloom!
And of course, once we drive back home, it's time for lunch!  We stop at Claim Jumpers and I am having this delicious Bloody Mary!  A wonderful meal, followed by a trip to the bookstore... we eventually make it back home around 2 pm. 

I have really enjoyed my day, had a new recipe to try out for dinner, found some new places and got to spend some time in nature!  But most importantly, hubby and I had some wonderful quality time together to celebrate our first 8 years together!


  1. that looks amazing and like so much fun!! i would love to do something like that!! Love your blog..
    mine is

    i haven't updated in a while..i need to get back to it!!

  2. So wonderful that you had a lovely Anniversary huni..Thanks for sharing the pics,the place you visited looks peaceful <3

  3. awesome! glad you guys had so much fun! i love the star tower, that looks like a great place to go back to.

  4. Happy Anniversary! Looks like you two had a great time!