Water Falls, Geocaching, and Venture Crew

If someone was looking for a way to become more adventurous, and to spend more time outdoors. I highly recommend Venture Crew.  There is only one catch, Venture Crew is a scouting group for boys and girls ages 14-22.   I am a few years older than that, but fortunately for me, my daughter is not. Our particular Venture Crew is a High Adventure Venture Crew, so we do a lot of fun stuff.  Today was one of those fun days.

As is typical for our group, there were almost as many adults as kids.  My daughter was sick, so she didn’t go but I did.  Another member of the crew wasn’t able to make it, but that didn’t keep her mom from coming either.  All in all we had 9 adults and 8 Venture Crew Members and 3 guests.

Hidden Falls

Our crew is working on visiting local waterfalls.   We are alternating biking and hiking. You can read a little bit about last month’s bike ride to Feather Falls in this post. Today was a much dryer hike to Hidden Falls.  Hidden Falls is not a large waterfall, only about 30 feet, but it is located  in a nice park, just about 5 miles out of town.  We had to hike 2 miles from the parking area to the falls, but the trails were well marked, and for the most part, not difficult at all.  We had lunch at the falls, and then headed back to town to do some Geocaching.

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

Thanks to geocaching.com for the definition!

For today we had the co-ordinates for 3 different geocaches.   The first was in an old cemetery.   You would think, that with the co-ordinates it would be no problem finding the cache, but that is not the case.  The GPS units that we had were only accurate to 30 feet, so even when it said we were practically on top of the cache, we still had quite a bit of looking to do.  Eventually we found the cache in some bushes near the edge of the cemetery.   It was just a small green container. Opening it up we added our crew’s name to the list of those who had found the  cache, and then carefully put it back for the next person to find.

Our next cache was in a nearby residential neighborhood. Our clue told us that the cache was for an 8 year old boy, and that he was watching it all the time. Having just come from the cemetery this was a little spooky.  We were also told that the cache was on private property with permission of the property owners.   We narrow the area down to the front yard of a home, but we are reluctant to search too carefully.  Then a girl of about 10 comes out of the house, “are you guys geocachers? ” “We sure are!” She runs into the house and comes back with her mom, and then goes running down the street to get her brother. (The little boy in the clue!)  The kids are so excited we are searching for their cache.  It turns out their grandparents are avid geocachers and set it up for them.   We find the cache inside a small path light and add our names.  Here we leave a small toy soldier.  We have a great time talking with the mom and kids, and then we are off to find our next treasure.

Found the cache!  Nice hiding spot!
Found the cache! Nice hiding spot!

We were not able to find our last cache. We know it is near the local In-N-Out Burger and our clue is In OR Out, but with the freeway nearby, and all the cars going in and out of the In-N-Out, it just wasn’t much fun to look for. We console ourselves with burgers and animal style fries and reflect on a day well spent.

Today.Com No Longer Pays You To Blog

Just over a month ago I joined Today. com.  I get paid $1 for every post I write, and $2 for every 2,000 impressions.  So far I have written 33 posts and have just over 2000 unique impressions. Today has a minimum payout of $50, so  I am looking for my first check from them next month.

Last month I wrote a post on how Today pays you to blog.  I am very disappointed, in that they have just changed their terms.  New bloggers who sign up with Today.com will only be paid for impressions.  After a 30 day probation period, (during which you need to write at least 20 posts) you may be invited to the paid program.  Then again, you may not.

If you are already signed up with them you will still get paid to blog, but unfortunately, new bloggers won’t get the same deal.

Edit: It looks like new bloggers will have to go through a trial period before they can earn the $1 per post, but they will get the $2 per 2000 impressions right from the start.  Of course, if you are only paid for impressions you will have to get some pretty good traffic to your blog to hit the minimum payout amount in a reasonable time.