VfAk48LJJrNcB1QnPEmU1bJ7a18 Geocache on: October 2012


Sunday, 14 October 2012

International Earth Cache Day

Today was International Earth Cache Day so, despite feeling lousy with a cold, I organized a quick single-stop geocaching trip for my family. There was an easy Earth cache located in a neighbourhood near us, so easy that we could see it as we drove up. Erratic Behaviour in Edgemont (GC1Q1KY) is one of several Glacial erratics that can be found in Calgary.

An erratic is a large rock that was deposited on top of a glacier as it moved past mountains. As the glacier melted or receded the rock was left behind, often miles from the mountain from which it originated. In Alberta we have a strip about 640 kilometres wide that runs from the Athabasca River Valley to the southern end of the province which contains thousands of rocks from tiny pebbles to large boulders left behind by a receding glacier. These rocks are thought to have originated from near Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park.

 Another famous erratic that is the largest known glacial erratic in the world is found in Okotoks, just south of Calgary. Big Rock is a 15,000 ton quartzite boulder and is also an earthcache known as Where the Beer Got It's Name (GC2388). (The Big Rock Brewery in Alberta took its name from this rock.) 

To log an earth cache as found, instead of finding a hidden container,  you need to e-mail the cache owner the answers to questions they have posted in the description of the cache. Usually these questions help confirm that you were present at the cache site. For instance, the owner of an erratic cache might ask you to estimate the size of the rock or identify what minerals are in the rock.

Did you take part in International Earth cache Day? What interesting earth cache did you discover?


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Geocaching in the Valley Ridge area of Calgary

I know I promised stories of the rest of our summer trip but I am interrupting the summer stories for a more current geocache adventure we recently went on.
As newish Calgarians, transplanted here 5 years ago from Vancouver, we are still getting to know Calgary and the surrounding area. We are always surprised and delighted to find a new hiking or walking park and finding the Valley Ridge trails was just that sort of place. Only about a 10 minute drive from our house, there is a small gravel parking lot with walking trails leading first to a play park and then to the woods.

 We skipped the play park on the way in as our dog was too excited and wanted to get on the trails. So we headed first for Creepy Ol' Tree cache (GCY1PG) in a southerly direction on a narrow trail with a steep slope down to a creek on our right and an uphill rise to our left. Scooby Doo was thrilled to be along on this adventure and was barreling up and down the hills and into the creek and back to us again. We were enjoying the walk, the trees, the birds and the lure of a new cache.

The littlest goat was holding the Garmin GPS and kept her eye on the compass, letting us know when it was time to veer off the trail and up the hill. It was a quick find to grab the cache and sign the log. Then we left a travel coin to continue its journey.

The next cache in this direction was going to be across the creek so we decided to head back toward the beginning of the trail and take the other trail paralleling the river to look for another cache. (GC1XYK1) For Brinleigh, kiddie cache #3 the cache hiding spot was marked quite well for kids to spot it and our little goat did just that. She was happy to make the find on her own and hide it well after. Since she was still in a good caching mood we decided to go for one more. (GC103TB) Howler was next down this trail and we were enjoying the fall colours and the river views so much that we were at it before we knew it. A little scrambling around just off the trail and we had this one in hand too.

There are several more caches in this area and we are definitely planning to return for more. But for today this was just the right amount of caching. Now it was time to stop at the park and let the littlest goat check out the playground equipment.