Senior Living June 10th 2008

During the Cherry Festival, I had a chance to talk with Carl and Ruth Long whom I hadn’t seen for quite a while. As we were chatting, Carl mentioned how much fun they have had “geocaching”. They had traveled around Oregon and beyond looking for what one could call buried treasures. A little later I saw Lee Bryant, past director of the Senior Center. We shared the usual greetings and when I mentioned my conversation with the Long’s about geocaching, I found out that she was also an avid “Geocacher”. Within 30 minutes I had two conversations with folks who were so excited about something I had never heard of. I needed to know more.

I found that Geocaching is relatively new. It started in 2000 when the satellites circling the earth were upgraded increasing the accuracy of GPS technology by ten times, and GPS enthusiasts immediately started thinking of ways to use this new capability.

It wasn’t long before a few GPS geeks started leaving items in the woods to test the accuracy of the GPS system and posting the GPS coordinates on the internet. That allowed others to find the items using a GPS unit, an electronic device that can determine your approximate location (within around 6-20 feet) anywhere on the planet. Soon the word spread over the internet and folks started hiding their own caches and posting the coordinates on the new web site.

Part of Geocaching’s popularity is that it is a simple game: you hide a container (cache) and note the coordinates with a GPS unit, and with simple rules: take something from the cache, leave something in the cache and write about it in the logbook. What makes it intriguing is that a cache can be anything from some cheap trinkets to a $1000 bill. Since geocaching began there are now tens of thousands of caches hidden all over the world (28 caches hidden within 5 miles of The Dalles) with the locations posted on the geocaching website.

This is the modern equivelent of the treasuer hunt we all enjoyed as kids except this is for kids of all ages. You can learn more about this exciting new game, on Tuesday June 17th at 11:00 at the Next Chapter Lecture Series. Cassandra Mullins from Parks and Rec will discuss Geocaching: how to use a GPS unit, tips and tricks for finding your first geocache and how to set up an account on line. Don’t miss this presentation.

The Senior Center’s Tuesday Night Music on June 17th will again feature “Hardshell Harmony” who play simple traditional bluegrass music and harmony vocals. Folks really enjoyed them the last time they performed at the Senior Center and I encourage you to take the night off, leave the dishes for another day, and stroll over to the Senior Center for a foot-tappin good time. This energetic group features Clint Miller on the fiddle, KC Kortge on the banjo, Mike Robarge on the lead guitar and Candie Robarge on the bass. And tonight the “Notecrackers” will be playing.The music always starts at 7:00 pm. Admission is free but donations are gladly accepted. Music night is for everyone whether you are ten or a hundred years old.

Every Monday night from 7:00 – 8:30 is now Wii bowling night at the Senior Center. We also practice on Thursdays and Fridays after lunch for those who need the practice – although for some of us the more we practice the worse we get. We were honored to have Marc Berry, the mayor of Mosier, dropping by to try out his Wii bowling skills. We hope he will stop in again. Thanks to several donations we will hopefully have another Wii in a couple of weeks so will be able to accommodate more bowlers. Now if we can only get the new Wii “Fit” we can practice surfboarding without getting wet.

The Dalles Wahtonka High School class of 2008 graduated this last Saturday, the first graduating class that completed all four years in the unified district. High School graduation is a time when the whole community comes together; celebrates the end of these young peoples’ high school careers and wishes them the best as they move to the next stage of their life’s journey.

As the summer is a time for high school graduations, it is also a time for high school reunions. The Dalles High School class of 1958 will hold its 50th reunion July 31 through August 3, 2008. Contact Mike Fowler at or 541-980-7662 for more information. The Dalles High Class of 1963 will hold their 45-year class reunion September 19, 20 and 21. You can find more information at their website or contact Dennis Davis at 296-9580. Also The Dalles High School class of 1978 is trying to locate classmates for their reunion this summer. You can find the names of the missing classmates in the Entertainment section on The Dalles Chronicle website. For more information contact Carri at 298-1667.

And there is more. The Dalles High School class of 1988 will have its 20-year reunion during the weekend of August 1-3. Contact Suzy Sato by email at for more information. And The Dalles High School class of 1998 will hold its 10th reunion on June 27 and 28. All events and information can be found on their class website, or contact the reunion committee at

Well that’s a wrap for another week. Until we meet again, you don’t always need GPS because it is when we get lost that we find new wonders.

“You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but at least you can prevent them from making nests in your hair.” Old Chinese proverb.

Comment your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.