"OK" you say "Time to pull over and get some air". But wait, what are you saying? Your not set up for a picnic, and you can't find a park with a playground, so what do you do? How about Geocaching?
If you don't know what Geocaching is, Geocaching is like a treasure or scavenger hunting using a GPS, or a GPS enabled smartphone like a iPhone or Android to find the treasure called a Geocache. Geocaches are hidden in a number of places, parks, businesses, landmarks, and so on. Basically you can be guided to a Geocache by getting the coordinates online and entering them into a trail GPS, or via a Geocaching app which will provide you with cache info and guidance to the cache. One of the best resources is Geocaching.com (http://www.geocaching.com/) and its app.
However, Geocaching.com isn't the only place to get Geocaching info. There are other Geocaching sites out there, but sometimes places like national parks, individual town park districts, and organizations will create and list special Geocaches on their website. They do this to increase visitors and also use the caches and/or their locations to help visitors learn a little more about a particular area.
One great example presented by the National Park Service along Route 66 is a series of geocaches hidden in Petrified Forrest National Park (http://www.nps.gov/pefo/planyourvisit/geocaching.htm). The park service has the coordinates listed for each Geocache on
the website, as well as listed on Geocaching.com too.
Here are some other examples:
Trust me there are caches all along the route including one at the Blue Whale, and near the Cadillac Ranch. Geocaching is a great way of getting everyone out if the car and cooperating on a purposeful adventure, that usually won't take anymore then 15 minutes. Kids love it because its a treasure hunt, and they are always anxious to see what's inside. Adults love it because its requires some imagination, and allows one to stretch after hours in the car, that and it burns off some of the kids excess energy.
I do need to warn you that not all geocaches are easy to find and/or get too. Geocaching provides a rating system to help you with this, using stats to rate ease of the find and terrain. Traveling with kids it will help to look for caches with one star each in these fields. But keep it in mind higher star caches are sometimes hidden in tough or dangerous terrain.
Also the there are two rules for Geocaching:
1)Try to find the cache without being seen
2)If you take something from the cache you must leave something.
I would also suggest looking for caches near your home first to give you a good idea how Geocaching works.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment.