Michael Hickman, a former Keizer Points of Interest Committee member, discusses the ins and outs of geocaching with Jill Bonney-Hill and Charlotte Clark during a KPIC Tour in June. KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy

Michael Hickman, a former Keizer Points of Interest Committee member, discusses the ins and outs of geocaching with Jill Bonney-Hill and Charlotte Clark during a KPIC Tour in June.
KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

It’s not unusual for families to spend the weekend before Christmas looking for treasures.

Usually the treasures are gifts to give at Christmas time.

The Hedberg family, however, will be looking for a different sort of treasure.

Erica Hedberg joined the Keizer Points of Interest Committee in October, a group that meets the third Tuesday of each month.

Upon joining the board, Hedberg immediately volunteered to take over KPIC’s geo-caches project, which had been spearheaded in the past by former KPIC member Michael Hickman.

As part of the geo-caches project, there are different sites around the city with hidden treasures. Clues are available on a statewide geo-caches website (clues for Keizer are available at http://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.aspx?lat=45.000491&lng=-123.021885). Decryption codes and a downloadable application are available.

One site is by the Thomas Dove Keizur statue in front of the Keizer Civic Center. The online description of the location is “Life sized statue of Thomas Dove Keizur on his Morgan horse. Some stealth is required.”

The decrypted additional clue is “Quick grab. We were given strict guidelines by the city so cache hiding places were limited.”

Hedberg noted her husband in particular has an interest in geocaching, while her 5-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son are also involved.

Upon taking over the project, Hedberg discovered some of the items are missing or haven’t been maintained for quite a while. Several people have commented on the website that logbooks for messages are missing from multiple locations.

“I have gotten everything together to go do the updates,” she said at Tuesday’s KPIC meeting. “It’s like  a treasure hunt. Someone puts stuff in a box, then hides it somewhere. There’s an app that tells you how to get there and gives clues. When you find it you open up the box and there will be trinkets there. You take a trinket, then put one back in the box and write in the book when you were there.

“I have gotten little booklets, bins, bags and little trinkets to put in the boxes,” Hedberg added. “I will go do them all this weekend. This weekend that’s what we’re going to do. I have two kids to help.”

Hedberg pledged to tell what she finds during the Jan. 20 KPIC meeting.

“I will give an update at the next meeting,” she said. “I don’t think they’re in very good shape right now.”

Hedberg noted people have had issues trying to find one of the sites.

“I looked for the one, because people said they couldn’t find it,” she said. “There is an app you can download onto your phone. It will tell you where there are geo-caches nearby and clues on how to get there. Maybe we’ll update the clues to make it a little easier.”