Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Visits with Dad & the Pied Geocacher

Saturday January 14, 2012
Hillsborough River State Park
Thonotosassa, Florida

Friday we spent the day with my father
at his home in Largo Florida.
He was 91 in October and still lives alone
in his own home even though he has macular degeneration
and can no longer drive.
When we go to see him, we always go out for lunch
and try to help him with things he’s been unable to do. 
Although he is pretty amazing in what he does do. 
Like ride his bike a couple of miles to get his hair cut
and do all his own grocery shopping, cleaning and laundry.  
David fixed a couple of things around the house. 
I took care of some business and financial details for him
We took him shopping for some new batteries
and household items.
He loves having us around since he
has outlived my mother and all his friends; he’s lonely. 
But he refuses to consider an assisted living situation
where he would have lots
of folks around to talk with.
At 91, I think he’s earned the right to make his
own decisions and so although I mention it
every time we go, he hasn’t agreed to have us
look into it.

David took this picture of me and my dad at
his house just before we left.
That was our entire day on Friday.
On Saturday, after a 7.5 mile power walk,
and breakfast, we went out Geocaching with Bill Mills.
Bill had gotten the information on 3 caches
located on two different trails.  So we headed out
onto the Hillsborough River Trail about 2:00.

We had a bit of a hard time finding the first cache
which was described as being in an
ammunition case which we assumed would be fairly large.
Bill’s GPS told us we were within 12 feet.  We made
circle after circle in the underbrush.
But no one thought to look for a hole until
Bill spotted the metal underneath a dead palm frond.

We got the box open

and here’s what we found
trinkets and a log book where Bill
put his name and the date we found it.

After success #1, we were on to look for #2.
As you could see in the first picture,
the trail goes along the river and is really lovely.


The second cache had been placed by
a cub scout troop so we assumed it
would be easier to find.
Maybe not this easy.

But we did find it in a similar place in a large oak tree.




Along the way, like a pied geocacher,
Bill picked up a following of about
6 people including young Cody who
was SO excited about finding
“the first treasure in my WHOLE life”.  
He’s eight!  J
Cody found treasure #3 and according to
the “rules” was allowed to take something
from the box if he put something in exchange.
He took out a rubber bug and put in a band aid that
someone in the group provided for him.
Great exchange I thought.


All geocaches found, the head man went on down the trail.


And that was all folks!!

With thanks to David for giving up a staring roll
in order to be the expedition’s Photo Journalist.


  1. Your Dad sounds amazing. How nice that he's able to live alone. It's too bad he isn't in some sort of retirement community. There are so many here in Florida.

  2. Your dad looks great. I am sure he was glad to see you.

  3. It's great that you were able to spend time with your Dad! Happy trails!

  4. So neat to hear about your father ... more power and health to him living on his own until he wishes to change that. My grandmother was so PO'd when her eyesight no longer allowed her to drive and her license was revoked. As an independent woman, she didn't like being dependent on others for anything. Luckily, until it no longer was an option, she lived in a small apartment in a small town with shopping within walking distance.

    We'll have to look into geocaching ... I think it's probably good encouragement to be out and about.

  5. You and your dad look so happy to see each other in that picture!

    What a cute story about Cody finding his first treasure! That's something he will always remember.

  6. Good for you dad to be able to enjoy living on his own. He sounds like an amazing guy.

    You'll have to watch that Bill guy, he has a way of leading people into lots of fun, and tiring you out at the same time. :c)

  7. It is so great that your dad can still be on his own. We all should be so lucky:)

  8. Your Dad looks amazing and really does do great considering his vision!!

    Great job David!!! You captured the treasure hunters nicely:o))

  9. Took me awhile to figg'r out what a 'pied geocacher' was. Lol, that is Bill alright! You sure look like your Dad.

  10. Geocaching looks like a lot of fun. I think we should try it some time! Loved the photos, especially the one of your dad and you. He's an amazing guy to still be taking care of himself at his age. Good genes in your destiny perhaps!? I just read something today that said an indicator of how you might live to be 100 is how fast you walk as your normal pace. I told Eldy, we'd better get hoofin'! :-)

  11. For those not in-the-know, Sherry and I dated in high school, so I've met her dad.

    Although it's been what, around 50 years since I've seen him?, I can still remember that smiling face of his. (He was always happy to see me. LOL)

    Thanks for the memory, Sherry!

  12. That's fantastic that your dad is able to live on his own, let alone ride his bike, at 91! Nice picture of the two of you together.


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!