A few weeks ago I blogged about all the fun and free things you can do in Branson and one activity I mentioned was geocaching. So this week, I decided to go find a cache in Branson and share it with you, just to show you how fun it can really be!
Before I tell you all about my adventure, I feel like I need to mention the fact that I’m really directionally challenged. In more than one instance, I’ve been driving in the opposite direction of my destination for at least ten miles before I realized that everything looked unfamiliar. So if I can find a hidden cache, you can too.
Geocaching doesn’t have to be for the extreme outdoorsman carrying the expensive GPS and binoculars that can see infinitely in each direction. It’s for the everyday traveler, looking for some adventure. And one of the best things about geocaching is that there are caches everywhere. Especially in Branson.
I started my own geocaching adventure by setting up an account on geocaching.com. All I had to do was create a username and password and in less than five minutes I was ready to go. From there, I searched for caches within the Branson area and found 8,413 of them. Luckily, the beginner caches (or the ones that are easiest to find) were highlighted on the list and I just picked one of the beginner ones that was closest to my current location. The cache was named “GC2Q4BQ” and within the cache details the song “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush” was written out as a hint. I assumed that meant the cache was hidden in some kind of bush.
After reading the cache details, I plugged the provided GPS coordinates into the map app on my phone and discovered that the cache was within walking distance from my current location.
After carefully following the map, I found myself on 3rd Street in downtown Branson, standing across the street from the police station and next to an apartment complex. There was a small, bushy tree immediately to my left and my mind flashed back to the hint “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.” Was it in under the tree?
SPOILER ALERT: I’m about to tell you where it is.
The tree’s branches hung really low to the ground, so I pushed them aside and climbed underneath the cover of the leaves. My GPS was telling me I was in the right place, but I hadn’t spotted the cache yet. I was looking around, anxiously wondering where in the world someone would hide a small box when I absent mindedly looked up into the branches of the tree and spotted a small, rectangular box resting in the nook where a branch met the trunk of the tree.
When you find your first cache, you’ll understand the excitement I felt as I discovered something that had been purposely hidden from the rest of the world. I quickly opened it to see what was inside and found a small notebook with names and dates of other geocachers who had found the same treasure and left their mark behind. The box was filled with small trinkets and a few quarters that had been left there by others since the cache was first hidden in 2011. I added my own contribution of a small paper ticket that I had in my purse and then replaced the cache where I had found it.
My short geocaching expedition in Branson made me eager to find even more caches hidden in the Branson area and I’m betting you will feel the same way once you give it a try!
Next time you’re in Branson and looking for something free and exciting to do with the whole family, try geocaching. You’ll be surprised at how many are hidden right in plain view.