PORTER | Some 50 geocachers descended on the Indiana Dunes State Park on Saturday afternoon and then spread out like treasure hunters in search of the coveted bounty — a bowl of soup.
It was the park’s annual winter geocaching event, this year titled A Spot of Soup, giving teams geographical coordinates that took them to taste soup at nine area restaurants.
“Every year we have a different theme with challenges. Last year we took teams to eight different sledding hills, the year before we did a poker run. This year we wanted to take people from one restaurant to another to try different signature soups,” said Brad Bumgardner, naturalist at the Indiana Dunes State Park.
Bumgardner says that the park has many geocaching events throughout the year that draw enthusiasts from all over the region, like Steve Sass and his daughter, 11-year-old Sarah Sass, both of New Carlisle.
“We’ve been geocaching for years and we like this one because it’s a chance to get out of the house when there’s not much to do. It’s different. Most (events) that we go to have some history and learning associated with it because small geocaches are hidden in historical sites,” Steve Sass said.
He says they typically set aside a day to go geocaching in Indiana or Michigan and it’s about more than the thrill of the hunt for a hidden item — it’s also about getting to go to new places.
Sarah Sass said that Saturday’s event was fun because she got to see different restaurants.
“My favorite soup was an apple smoked bacon chowder from Bartlett’s,” she said.
For Tom and Jan Williams, who traveled from Pierceton, Ind., with their son, Justin, geocaching is such a family activity that they even teach the skill to Boy Scouts earning their geocaching merit badge.
“It’s good family fun and it gets you moving, out from the TV,” Jan Williams said.
Their favorite soup, an Italian potato delight from Dunes Grill, was a treasure worth the hunt, they agreed.
“We had a blast,” Tom Williams said.