Saturday started out as a pretty crummy day here on island. Yes, I’m sure you’re saying to yourself, “no day on St. John is a crummy day.” And you know what, you’re right. But the weather was crummy with lots of clouds, cooler temps and on and off rain, and despite all of that, I was determined to go out and about and do something fun. The beach was out of the question and I wasn’t interested in partaking in any day drinking. (You’re welcome liver; you’re equally as welcome bank account.) Well guess what, I ended up doing something very fun … I went treasure hunting.
How many of you have heard of geocaching? Geocaching is a fun, outdoor activity where you use your phone or a GPS to find containers or “caches” all across the world. The caches usually contain fun little trinkets and a written log. People who find the cache jot down their names and the date they found the cache. They then have the opportunity to take a trinket and leave a new one in its place.
St. John has at least nine geocaches spread throughout the island. On Saturday, I decided to seek out the one called “It’s Haul Over 2.” For those of you who know the island well, you can probably guess that this cache is located somewhere near Haulover Bay … and you’re right.
So how do you locate these caches? Go to www.geocaching.com and type in 00830, St. John’s zip code. (You can do this on a regular computer or on your phone.) That will bring you to a page that details all of the caches in the area. (It includes some on St. Thomas and also at least one on Jost Van Dyke, so make sure you find the ones specific to St. John prior to heading out.) Once you pull up the info, you can scroll through the different caches. You can also pull up a map option to get an idea as to where on the island they’re located.
As I mentioned, I chose the cache called It’s Haul Over 2. Here are the details it provided:
So I hopped in the Jeep and headed out East. I met a friend along the way that has absolutely nothing to do with this story. But she was cute, so I’m including her.
I drove all the way until I reached Haulover Bay. There’s a new sign on the right hand side of the road that says Haulover and Trail. I parked off to the left and headed up the trail to Haulover North.
After about five minutes, I got to the beach. It was shockingly calm Saturday afternoon too. From there, I knew to take a right. The cache was somewhere in that area.
I pulled out my iPhone, checked the coordinates again and knew I was in the right area. I thought it would be super simple to find, and I was surprised when it took me a bit. I looked left, right, up and down, and then I finally spotted it… Can you spot it in this picture???
Obviously I am not going to ruin the fun and tell you exactly where it is. 🙂 But I will tell you it’s somewhere around here.
And here it is… Ta da!
I took a few minutes to look through the trinkets and also the log book. After logging my find, I noticed a ton of NASA-related trinkets. Hmmm…
For those of you who know St. John super well, you probably know that Homer Hickam lives here on island part time. Homer had a movie made about part of his childhood – October Sky. It was the first movie Jake Gyllenhaal was in, and it is fantastic! The movie is about how Homer, a coal miner’s son, was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father’s wishes. Homer went on to work for NASA years later. Very cool.
So after doing a little investigating in the log book, I discovered that Homer’s wife Linda happens to be the owner of this cache. Pretty darn cool. So thank you Linda and Homer for adding a little fun into my life this past Saturday … wholesome fun I may add. (That makes Mama News of St. John very proud, which is all that matters some days.)
Random side note: Homer and Linda own a beautiful villa here on island – Skyridge. Click here to check it out.
So the next time you’re all looking for something fun, different and wholesome to do on the island, consider going out and finding a cache.
7 thoughts on “Rainy Day Treasure Hunting…”
I would love to be on St. John during any of its off weather days.
note that geocaching within the park is not allowed. We had one removed from near petroglyphs, and got a nastygram from a park service person to boot.
You figured that all out pretty easily Jenn, woo woo! Yes, geocaches are no longer allowed in the park. We had quite a few on island way back when, but they had to be removed. It is because people were tearing up park land and stones trying to find them. We have one called Handsome Boys that is not on park land but now has limited beach access, so it is not active right now. Fun worldwide hobby, and on your phone now, free app! Come stay at our house, Skyridge and we have them printed out for you as part of our game closet.
After the hurricane, this cache was adopted and modified by an admirer… I guess? They didn’t ask if they could do it, but it is a cool cache so glad they did before I went to redo it myself. The poor house had to come first. Skyridge is much improved and is for sale now BTW. We have just gotten too long in tooth for the travel, sigh.
The wife and I have been geocaching for years. Not only here around the homestead but on many a vacation. It is really a great way to see interesting and out of the way places. How else can one see a real live bat tower, crazy graves, or abandoned lighthouses? State and national parks require permission to hide treasures and I can see why STJ rangers would deny permission. Next time on STJ, and I hope it’s soon, we’ll have to do some caching.
Hint: have the local cachers place some virtual caches around the island. They’ll know how to do it and it hurts nothing.
We love to geocache while on the island. Many of the caches however need maintenance or disabled. Hopefully someone will place somemore. How about you News of St. John?
Perhaps I will 🙂