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GeoCache at Lost Lake

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

A couple of weekends ago, we made what seems to be a semi-bi-annual trek up to Lost Lake on the Grand Mesa.

This is one of the best hikes to take kids because it's a climb, but a fairly easy one with a few gentle switchbacks, a little rocky scramble, and the destination of one of the most beautiful little lakes ever. The water is a clear azure blue with just enough algae to give it a green contrasting hue. It almost looks tropical except for the fair amount of snow that still remains on Mesa in mid-June.

Our boys love this hike. They love having snowball fights in 90 degree weather. They love the spring mushrooms and the wild flowers. And, they LOVE the geocache secretly located on the bank of the lake.

Prior to having the boys, Marty and I joined the geocache movement and spent many an afternoon searching for treasure in Colorado's backcountry. It was great fun.

We first found the Lost Lake geocache on July 4, 2005. The cache was brand new and filled with pencils, little toys, etc. Our entry into the logbook said we left a bottle of "real Colorado gold" and we didn't take anything from the box. It also noted that there was still snow on the trail. It was signed "Jade and Enzo" which is how we signed every geocache.

We found the box again on August 6, 2010 (Jonas' 3rd birthday). This time our entry said, "Found this cache 5 years ago. This time we brought our 3 boys. Wow, how things can change so fast. Took an old watch, left a nickel. Jade and Enzo, Soren (4), Jonas (3), Marek (1).

Next entry: Oct. 1, 2011. "Third time finding the cache. Left $1 in the stocking, took the breath mints. (Ew.) Jade and Enzo, Soren (5), Jonas (4), and Marek(2)

This time, the boys knew exactly where we were heading and couldn't wait to find the treasure box. Not a bit of whining, just hiking and running and laughing the entire way. They scrambled up the bank, searched around, and yelled "SCORE" when they found it.

Sadly, the cache is pretty bare these days. There not much worth taking, some broken pencils, that little Christmas stocking that we once stashed a dollar in, and a pair of pretty crummy binoculars. Jonas loved them and claimed them for his own, adding an Army man he had in his pocket. Soren found a coupon for a free taco from Taco Bell. It was expired.

Our entry said: "June 9, 2013. 4th time finding the cache. Newest addition to our family is Kip, the dog, (1). Left rock and army man, took binoculours and Taco Bell coupon. Jade, Enzo, Soren (7), Jonas (5), Marek (3), Kip (1).

We decided that the next time we head to Lost Lake, we're going to be prepared to fix up the cache. We're going to the Dollar Store to buy a slew of treasure and new Log Book. It's an Ashcraft family mission to keep a tradition alive that we love.

I hope you find our treasure and say hi.

COMMENTS

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Geocaching is so fun with kids. It’s like treasure hunting and you can hike in so many new places.




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