LEXINGTON, N.C. -- At first glance, Randy and Shelia Leonard are your average hikers, taking advantage of a beautiful day outdoors.
But with a closer look, you'll notice the couple is up to something... And it's that sharp eye that the Leonard's are after.
"Instead of looking at your phone or down at the gravel, look around, look around at what's out here," Randy says.
Randy, 53, and Shelia, 51, have created what could be considered the modern version of hide and seek.
The couple covers the Carolina outdoors with tiny treasures, all in an effort to share the experience of the outdoors.
"Randy always says be aware of your surroundings so yeah, it helps you look," Shelia says. "Even if you don't see a painted rock, you'll see other things... that you might've missed."
The Lexington natives collect trinkets ranging from rocks to wooden blocks to seashells to children's toys. Most of the rocks and blocks are hand-painted by Shelia and Randy for a pop of color.
While the items may seem random, they all have one thing in common... a note.
"Carolina Trail Seekers, re-hide to keep the fun going," the note says. "Like us and post a photo on Facebook."
Randy and Shelia place their items throughout parks, hiking trails and any area of nature for others to find. Once located, the discoverer is encouraged to go to the Carolina Trail Seeker's Facebook page and post a photo. The next step? Re-hide the treasure.
"We had a chameleon like rubber toy that was found at Salem Lake last Tuesday, on Friday morning I got a notification he had been found in Todd, North Carolina and later that day he was found in West Jefferson," Randy says.
While the Carolina Trail Seekers are providing a sense of community and fun for its participants, but it also serves as an important reminder during a time when screens and distractions dominate.
"All we're doing is trying to encourage people to get out and enjoy nature."
And with a keen eye, you never know... you may just find one of the Carolina Trail Seeker's tiny treasure.
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