VfAk48LJJrNcB1QnPEmU1bJ7a18 Geocache on: April 2013


Friday, 12 April 2013

More Adventure than we Planned

The nice weather (Calgary nice, not Vancouver nice!) had me chomping at the bit to get out and do a little caching. We wanted to go somewhere that the dog could come along to, so we chose one that was supposed to be a walk along a power line right-of-way.

We stopped for two quick road-side caches on the way. GC3VZH7 (Stix) was a quick find for my husband and then he made a second quick find by being the first to spot GC3VT9A (Home made tubing).

We parked at the recommended coordinates to look for GC25D6G (Road Allowance West #1) but then found ourselves on the wrong side of a barbed wire fence. As we walked up and down the fence line trying to see where the opening was, we quickly realized our only option (besides leaving) was to go over. Except for Scooby who had been running back and forth underneath while we were making our decision. So a bit of careful climbing and a lift over for the littlest goat and we were all on the same side as the cache. Allen got his hat trick by being the first to spot this cache in its hiding spot. The littlest goat was pleased to see an item she wanted in the container so we did a quick trade from her swag bag and signed the log book.

The dog was enjoying the outing and our daughter was happy with her trade so we pushed on toward the next closest cache. This proved to be more of a challenge than we were prepared for. There was quite a steep slope down to the next cache and still lots of ice and snow on the ground in that area so we had to detour into the woods a bit to avoid slipping down the hill. Unfortunately when we got to the bottom and were parallel to the cache, we proved to be on the wrong side of the same fence. After some deliberation I suggested that the other two take a break while I climb back over the fence and scale the other hill to take a look for the cache. I climbed and scrambled, sank into snow, slipped on ice and ducked under trees all the way to ground zero. Scooby ran back and forth frantically trying to stay with both groups or get us back together. But between the tree cover messing up my GPS and the ice making it hard to cover ground, I could not locate GC35K25 (On the trail with Lucy). So I made my way back down to the other goats and we headed back to the car. A quicker walk back but three cold and tired cachers were ready to go home.

Day trippin' to Banff and a little caching

We have lived in Calgary for almost 6 years and haven't taken the time for a proper visit to Banff National Park. We have driven through it many times on the way to and from Vancouver, but we have never spent the day just walking or hiking in the park.

But this park is so beautiful and offers so many places to spend a day close to nature, that we decided to take the plunge this year and buy a one year pass to the National Parks which will enable us to make many trips there without worrying about the daily park fee.

In order to buy the pass and spend our first day enjoying the park, we headed off for a day in Banff. On the way there we stopped for a quick bathroom break at Dead Man's Flats and just happened to be near a cache named for the Flats. GC1MHB4 was a quick find after visiting with a 19 year-old cat at the local service station.

After buying the pass at the gates to the park, we drove on to Cascade Ponds for a walk around the frozen water.
The view was amazing!

 There were lots of signs of hoofed mammals in the area although we couldn't agree on which ones. We had beautiful weather for our walk and the littlest goat enjoyed leading the way.

  This will definitely be on our list of places to return with a picnic lunch! And maybe a cache of our own to hide if we can get permission.

 Our next stop was the town of Banff which, due to the holiday weekend, was crawling with visitors. Finding parking took quite some time and left us a bit of a walk to the cache for which we were aiming. GCMB99 is a micro cache right on the main street which made it challenging to search with so many muggles around. But the location proved to be a good one for actually pulling it out and signing discreetly. 

  Next stop, the candy shop! And the rock and gem store. So much to see! But littlest goat reminded us she needed to get back home to get ready for a sleepover and our one hour parking was running out so we made our way through the crowds back to the car and headed for home.

We had time for one quick cache on the road home and made a quick stop for Silver Tip (GC48268). We are getting better at micros (very small caches) and this one took a minute but we came up with the goods, signed the log and ran back to our vehicle.
It felt great to get out in the sunshine with the family, enjoying the views, the walk, the geocaching and I'm sure it will not be long before we head back that way for more.

Virtual Caching Down Under

A very exciting trip last month took the oldest goat to Australia for the first time. Since I was very upset not to go along, I made him promise to find at least one cache on my behalf while there. His hotel was near downtown Melbourne so there were several caches in walking distance, however there was also a festival on at the time (Moomba) and the muggles were abundant so caching was difficult. Two of the closest caches were muggled that week and two others were right in the heart of the action along the boardwalk so Allen did not feel comfortable searching for them. The only one he was able to do in plain sight was GCJ8HR (Yes, but is it art? II) which is a virtual cache. It is based on a public sculpture so the old goat just had to walk to it, take a photo of himself there and answer some questions in an e-mail to the cache owner.

So now we have a cache found in Victoria, Australia which gave us a new badge for our geocaching.com souvenir page. I do hope I eventually get a chance to see Australia myself (and do some geocaching of course!) but it was cool to see Allen's photos and hear about the wombats and koalas and other truly Australian things.

Missing in Action

I have been MIA from here for too long! This is partly because we find it harder to cache in the late winter and partly because I have been busy with work and other parts of my family life. But I do have a few things to write about today so here goes.

My husband, whom I often refer to as the old goat, managed an out-of-province cache find and an out-of-country cache find in February. I found it very exciting to add the province of Quebec to our stats page when Allen went there for a conference and was able to find a cache just outside his hotel. Micro-Parc Shaughnessy (GC1MMVZ) was placed quite high up and he is vertically challenged so it almost eluded him but he managed to reach it and we received a new province badge for our souvenir page on geocaching.com.

This was the kick in the pants I needed to get more organized to find caches when we are out and about. So that weekend while our daughter was taking some ski lessons at the Calgary Olympic Park, Allen and I hunted down GC23K61 (Down by the C.O.P.) across from the ski hill and GC53C2 (Calgary History Tour- Olympics) which was placed to commemorate the 1988 Olympics which were held at the aptly named COP.

A couple of weeks later we decided to do a day of geocaching at a park we had never been to. In the 1920's Imperial Oil had a refinery on the site which is now the Ogden Refinery Park. The land was reclaimed as a wilderness park in the 1990's and there are walking paths and a frisbee golf course now available there. 

We bundled ourselves up for a cold winter walk and set out to find GC2CK86 - Ogden Refinery Park - Parks 100 cache. The littlest goat spotted this one before her Dad and I even got near. We continued on to find GCNRC4 - Fishin', Landin', or Strollin' which was quite a ways off the coordinates posted. Then on to one hidden in a place we had never seen a cache in before and in spite of its name, Pretty in Pink, turned out to be green! Our last find was GCing by Candlelight (GCMX3E) which had an easy path to it ...which we took on the way back down! On the way there we scaled some steep terrain that caused the littlest goat to decide to stay put and wait for us. It took a bit of hunting at the coordinates before we turned up the actual cache but we got lucky. We called it a day after that due to the cold.