Saturday, December 13, 2008

And they said "He is a hobo."


This week and last week I did most of the caching on my own. The good half of goinggone had so many other things on her plate that she had no time to come along.
One of those days I spent in Coquitlam. For one cache I ended up in a small park that was situated right behind an elementary school. Moments after I got there the bell rang for recess and all of a sudden there were more kids than trees in the park. And it did not take long that they spotted me.

"Look, there is a hobo". " A hobo, a hobo. Come look at the hobo!"

The word spread like wildfire. Before long I was being stared at and commented on and analyzed by at least 150 kids, all at a safe distance of at least 80 feet; make that 25m...Some kids found it too scary to stay; they ran. Others took their place. It was an ever shifting group of gawkers and hobophobes! And I, instead of tactfully retreating, just stood there, watching the spectacle with what I am sure was a beatific smile on my weathered face...

But I did get a little scared as it went on. What if the principal or one of the teachers comes out, witnesses the commotion, and phones the police? Not that I had done anything illegal, but sometimes non-illegal people get picked up to tell their story away from those that have been upset by their mere presence.

In addition to that, it is true that I looked probably more like a hobo than a civilized city dweller. My coat had picked up lots of green from wet trees and branches; it would not surprise a lot of people if I told them that I slept in the woods in this garb...Neither is it surprising that people jump to conclusions.

I mean, what does it take anyway? I have a daughter who would regularly proclaim to all in view and within hearing, "I do not know this man. I am not in any way related to him. Quit looking at me. I am someone else, okay...!"

Then a little miracle happens. A boy, say he is ten years old, comes out of the crowd and walks up to me. He does not look scared. My smile had won him over!!!

"Do you live here in the forest?", he asks.
"No", quoth I, "I live in a house just like you."
"Then why are you here?"
"I like the woods, just like you do."
"Oh."

And away he walks and announces clearly to all present,
"He is not a hobo."

I did not really hear any sighs of disappointment, but they were in the air...they kind of wafted among the trees...Now there was no hurrying back inside and tell the teacher; nor wait impatiently for school to end to get home and share the horrible news about the hobo.

The hobo that almost was.

Of sun, snow and caches.



The weather channel had one of those awfully red screens yesterday, warning us that we would get snow! That is a big thing for them, for once or twice they have been caught totally off guard by not predicting snow, and then we would get a dump with all the consequences of that: cars not being able to make it uphill, cars in the median on the freeway, etc. It ain't ever happening again that we have snow and not having been told about it.

You in snow country know how you talk about snow in BC and that we don't know how to drive in the snow, and how we call two inches of snow a lot of snow. But you probably don't know (and it is true, you cannot know everything...) how we sit here in amazement every winter when the news and the weather channel show us all those pictures of cars in ditches and on top of each other and stuck in the city and all that...we say to each other: did you know that so many people from BC moved to the Prairies and Ontario? Poor sods, not knowing how to drive in the snow...not even with all those experts around them, not even with all the practice they get...

Anyway, the weather channel is not ever going to be accused of not predicting snow for this region. So now they will put up the red screen and tell us that we may have severe weather, to wit 2 inches of snow...never mind how likely or unlikely that may be.

We did not get any snow where we live, but they had some in Vancouver and Victoria, so they can proudly say to the folks in those towns: See, we told you so! Ha!

Today it was invigorating but rather windy weather, especially enjoyable inside. But after noon we said, "Shouldn't we go out for a bit? Aren't there any caches left nearby that we have not found?" So we thought of some: on Sumas Mountain. We took the truck, and a good thing we did.

The first cache was at Gate 1, just after we got off the pavement. It was howling up there, and it was a good thing we found the cache rather quickly so we could get back into the truck.

Then we had to go way further up the mountain. The gravel road started to show snow and ice. The driver, she switched into 4wd. The truck, she did just fine!
We got to Gate 2, parked the truck and stepped out into the snow. We took time to take pictures to prove that I am not telling no tales either.

We found also this cache quickly. Good thing!
Then back down the mountain to do one more in the McKee area where it was colder than up on the mountain...more open to the wind, I guess.

In all, it was an invigorating adventure, and we feel great now that our hands have thawed and we have had a warm meal. Who said caching had to be boring, eh?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Puddle-de-dum

This morning I had the privilige of being allowed to go caching all on my own. The main reason for that was that mom went to see the doctor yesterday who, when he heard that she had already been on the trails again, was not amused. When he proved to her that her muscle has not yet healed completely by squeezing her calf gently in the crucial spot, she was not amused either. Doctors' offices clearly are not always the amusement parks one would like them to be...
The other reason she had little desire to join me had to do with the weather: we had some refreshing rain.
I went back to Campbell Valley Regional Park where on previous occasions one cache had eluded me: Clue: The Kitchen. Perhaps I have mentioned before that this is a series based on the game Clue. At each cache you get some information as to where the murder might have been committed or not, who might have dun it or not...You, dear reader(s) might as well acquaint me with your familiarity with the game so I can have you help us solve the mystery. Clue: not in the kitchen...Clue: not the colonel or Mrs. White. Rest to follow upon approved qualifications, yours. By now you, if you are worth your salt, have figured out that I found the cache, no?
I also found some others there, puzzles that you do not know where they will be until you solve them and get the coordinates.
Did I mention it was raining? I had to take the Shaggy Mane trail again for a stretch. They should change the name to Sh...y Mane trail...; again, if you are worth your salt, you have figured out what the name should be. You can mention it in your application if you are not averse to using that type of language...I will close my eyes so I do not have to be party to it...
Rain makes for puddles. Puddles bring out the little boy in me, the Dutch little boy. No, not the one with the famous finger, but the one that produces dry land out of watery places. That happens by digging canals so the water can move to where no one lives. I have not yet succumbed to the temptation of having a shovel in my cache mobile on rainy days, so I am reduced to the one, stone-age tool I always have with me: my stick. So on my way in I dig little canals, seeing the water gush out of the puddle, off the path, into a lower area. Such instant gratification this produces that one forgets about the rain and wet feet and all the concomitant misery of BC weather. And one wonders why the duo of cachers that calls itself Puddlejumpers is not with me but would rather shovel snow...or hang drywall...ah well...
So from puddle to puddle I hopped and skipped, humming as I went, puddle-de-dum, puddle-de-dum, until I got onto the Ravine Trail. Not much in the way of puddles there...the ground does not get mushed up and holes are not created by horses hooves...and as a result it is not a Sh...y Trail, as a matter of fact the ground is hard enough to make it a bit of a skating rink, especially when going downhill...four times I almost had my back join my feet at the level where they live, but thankfully my legs have become strong through all the exercise of this year that I was able to stay upright...
On my way back to the car I checked on all the work I had done. I had a hard time finding back the spots where I had laboured: most puddles had become dry land!!! Welcome to Holland, I thought. Puddle-be-gon, puddle-be-gon...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

1000


It's been at least a week now since we arrived at the milestone of our 1000th find. Some of you probably classify that as belonging under not quite sane, while others stand applauding (thank you, thank you...please imagine us bowing humbly...) for this wonderful accomplishment. Some of you even contributed to it.
We had kind of hoped to make this find in relation to a special cache, but we could not think of one worthy of it, so we decided to just let it happen. And so it did: it was kind of part of a 'normal day's work'. We went to Rolley Lake where there was a new series, and the second one in that bunch of five was the one. Mom is looking for the picture to prove it but it starts to look like we left it with the cache for it isn't here.
We plan to place a special cache celebrating and commemmorating this event. We have called it Millenium I {the 'I' is something like a hopeful hint at some future event (can you perhaps guess what that might be?) and we hope to put it somewhere near Rolley Lake.} Perhaps we will take a picture that will keep.
Mom was in Victoria for four days last week to help celebrate Paige's birthday and to do some caching there with Niki and Paige. Niki is quite hooked on the idea of becoming a cacher and now she discovered that her phone will actually function as a GPS she might actually realize her wish.
By the way, the pictures have been found...
Last week I promised to write another blog right away but it never happened. I was meant to mostly glory in the fact that we had one day in which we had four FTF's. I guess the glorying idea was wrong so I now mention it somewhat modestly...hmm.
I might as well reveal in this post that I (the other half of goinggone was deemed not be fleet enough of foot) went with a group of four others to Mt. Vernon Saturday a week ago to just cache for the numbers, in other words to add to our respective totals. We did 33 caches that day, but it wasn't really a lot of fun. Just going from parking lot to parking lot, lifting skirts on lampposts, looking under benches, signing the log and moving on to the next one...no, I'd rather go on a two hour hike for just one cache...
Regardless of it all, we (I especially) are very happy and thankful that we have this hobby, that we have the health to pursue it, that we can do it together (when there are no ouchies), that it gets us out in all kinds of weather and at all times of the day (the second batch of that foursome of FTF's had us hit the road at close to 11pm). We are also glad that the gas price is coming down...
We are toying with the idea of un-winterizing the RV and taking off for a while, setting up in a few places and do some caching...I have to see yet whether that will actually materialize...we will keep you posted.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our First Cache! Finally!


I am getting rather behind with my blogging. We (I) are (am) just too busy caching during the day (the leg is pretty good again) while at night we are occupied with other activities. So today I will try to cache(!) up a bit by writing more than one, hopefully.
As we were getting closer to the magic number of having 1000 finds, we felt more and more guilty about not having placed a single cache ourselves. Well, we did something about that feeling of guilt and went and bought a bunch of containers and other paraphernalia.
Our first cache is called All About Caching, a container full of helpful items that cachers use: tweezers to get the log out of these little nanos, a couple of bison tubes, etc. We put it at the rest area between here and the 264th exit. It has in the meantime been found several times. Our second cache is one aimed at scrapbooking activities and has the title of Scrappy...would never have guessed that one, would you?
The third one we placed in some trees near a clearing for a pipeline so it has the appropriate title of PLINE. This one almost landed us in the ditch. I thought I'd drive into the clearing and somehow the little ditch was not in my view until one loud scream stopped me dead in my intentions, saving us from going down. I was able to back us out of our perilous situation.
We have more caches ready to go but need to find suitable places for them. Mrs. Goinggone had the idea of doing a series to do with nursery rhymes, so you can look forward to those. But the one that needs to go out first and soon is one that we will probably call Millenium I, to celebrate our 1000th.
Mom is going to Victoria on Tuesday, so we will need to do this tomorrow.
We will keep you posted on that, hopefully accompanied by picture(s).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Campbell Valley Giant - 900


Last week I spent three days in Campbell Valley Regional Park which is located south of Langley, close to the border. It is a good size park and at the present has over 20 caches, some of them multi's which means that they can be two or four or more parts.

Unfortunately I had to go by myself each day because of the affliction my dear wife is burdened with. Btw, it is getting better but it will be a while before she'll be her old-mountaineering-self again.

Going out alone is not a total disaster but it is way more fun doing it together, especially when one comes upon a problem that seems insurmountable and for which an additional pair of eyes would be very welcome.

I had only one such problem: 'Clue - The Kitchen'. This one is part of a series based on the game Clue where each cache contains a clue. In the end, when all the clues have been obtained, we should be able to tell 'who did it' and in which location. We are not there yet and may never get there if I/we don't find all the components. Like I said, an extra pair of eyes, especially eyes that are kitchen trained, would have been welcome.

The park is for a large part suitable for horses. This means, among other things, that the trails are well fertilized. Unlike dog owners, horse and rider are under no obligation, apparently, to do the scoopy/baggy thingy. Or the shovel/wheelbarrow thingy. I could support this problem with pictures but I won't. I am sure most of you thank me for that.

I did a lot of walking those days, especially the first. When I left my car, I was sure I would only 'do' this one cache called 'Have you seen Douglas?' and then return to the car to move to a different parking spot. Well, I saw Douglas, one of the largest Douglas firs I ever saw. I cannot show you a picture; you will understand in a moment.

However, when that one was in the bag, the next cache seemed to be closer than the car was at that moment so it's not hard to guess what happened. What is worse, it kept on happening so that by the time 2 o'clock came around I was miles and miles (kms and kms just doesn't do it justice, I feel) removed from my vehicle that is adorned with the sticker: "Found cache, Lost car".

I had left everything in the car: drink, food, apple, camera, and some might add, my wits...Neither had I taken a reading of the car's location in terms of coordinates when I left it; of course not, I was going to be back in a short while...! And my park map was guess where: in the car.

In the end I had to bother someone to tell me how to get back to my car.
It is now 4 o'clock. Why not ask someone at 2? Well, you know, there was one cache fairly close by, so it would be a shame to leave that...and then, of course...etc. etc.

The lady that I approached must have seen the condition of my body on my face: before she even bothered trying to tell me where to go she gave me an apple and a candy...the apple was meant for her horse, the candy for sugar. But there was no doubt in her mind that I needed it. She said, 'I don't want to read about you in the paper tomorrow.'

Anyway, she told me how to proceed to the car and nice as she was, I was sure she was wrong. So I let her depart and then headed in the direction I was sure I should go. Until, of course, I stumbled upon a cache...and got lost again. And had to approach some others. Fortunately, the weather was nice so there were lots of people on the trails. Anyway, to make this already long account not any longer, I did get back to my car. And drank, and ate...and headed home, and ate again...and looked back on a day well spent.

Somewhere in this account I should have mentioned that one of the caches I found was our 900th: Campbell Valley Giant, a huge cedar. Again, I have no picture....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lights Out In Lynden



A new day, another post...time for catching up on reporting on caching.
Now you know about the owie calf, you will understand my hesitation to take the person so afflicted to a caching event in Lynden last week Saturday (Oct.25).
The idea behind these events is to meet other cachers, exchange experiences, ask for hints on caches that they placed or found, and perhaps do some activities together. In this particular case the event was organized with Hallowe'en in mind; the plan was to have a potluck supper around 5 and after that clean up together. By the time that was all done it would be dark and we would be given a sheet with a list of 13 newly placed caches in and around Lynden that we all could go after in the dark.
I had my reservations about attending this with a person who is less than mobile...but the vote was 1-1 which means I lost...go figure!
Seeing that it was a nice day, we left in the morning to do some caches in Sumas and Lynden before the event. After doing a couple in Sumas we discovered that we had forgotten to take our second most important tool: our flashlight. So back we went and back we came, taken the border line ups with patience and resignation.
Once in Lynden, I cached and the patient stayed mostly in the car. She was not complaining, and I was never gone for long. So that went alright, really, and it became more and more evident that it was a good thing I lost the vote. I think we did about 12 caches. One neat thing about it was that we kept running into other cachers. No wonder, because some 100 people had signed up for the event.
So when 5 o'clock came around we found ourselves with those 100 or so people in the Lynden Community Center, meeting people whose names you had seen on the website or in cache logs, or whom you had met that day. It was a very good atmosphere in that room as you may conclude fromt he picture above.
When the time came to go out into the dark, it did not dawn on me that here was a chance to score some first to finds...it did on mom but somehow we did not communicate at that moment. So we, I, took our, my, time to upload our GPS with the info of the 13 caches instead of tearing out of there and going for one cache, never mind the others: they could wait. But as I said, I was totally asleep at the wheel, so we had no first to finds that night.
We did find 12 of the 13 though. Quite a neat feat considering that it is dark, you do not know the town, have no map...I guess it was all due to having the best navigator available available!!!
All in all, it was a fun event. We hope they will do a repeat next year. You can all come and join us.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Calf Is Owie



Mom is on crutches. What does that have to do with caching? Well, everything and nothing. Everything. because she is not caching. Nothing; because caching is not a matter of life or death. All the caching that got done in this family was done by my going out by myself and having a good time, but it would have been better, much better had we been able to do it together. The only positive is that now I could set my own pace and get an excellent work out walking the trails that I took. Oh, and the other not inconsiderable positive side effect is that she spends a good deal of her time at home working the puzzle caches which we until now pretty well have ignored. However, we are looking at too many areas where we have all the normal caches done and all that is left is the puzzles.
She is getting really good at it. At this moment she is wrestling with the Little Rascals. Part of this week she was in the company of the Three Stooges for two days. She has been in outer space tracking Star Wars episodes. Etc. etc. Now I can go out to find the caches.
The leg is getting better but we expect her to need at least two more weeks before she is ready for the mountains again.
We had some beautiful days this week but the forecast is for rain pretty well all of next week. So wet I will get...
Now to how this came about:
She went into the garage, (last week Tuesday) two steps down, and somehow tore her calf muscle. Excruciating pain evolved quickly. Phoning the doctor resulted in our going there an hour later. He could not really tell how bad it was because touching her leg put him in grave danger each time...like tickling a skittish horse, maybe? The leg would go airborne direction his face, jaw, nose, eyes...he has no insurance for that. He did come to a tentative conclusion that her achilles heel was probably not severed but that is as optimistic as he was willing to be.
Back on Thursday. The pain was down from a 19 (10 is high) to about a 3...much better. Now it was safe to determine that is was (only) a torn calf muscle...painful, not pretty, but heal-able. Get crutches and stay off the leg. Done.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

View Me, View Me...




It's almost two weeks ago that we decided that we should have a little more exercise than we get with just city caching. So on this overcast day with rain threatening we set out for an area west and north of Mission. We knew a couple of new caches had been placed there but two or three days had gone by without anyone claiming them. So we decided that maybe we should have a look. And who knows, they were still untouched.
So, parking the car along Dewdney Trunk Road we set off on this well maintained logging road. The first part was rather uphill but then it flattened out somewhat...but that was the last of the 'flattened' for the day. Uphill and uphill, never ending uphill! Not necessarily all that steep except for some portions, but we plodded on...didn't we want the exercise? And weren't our legs a lot stronger than a year ago? And didn't our lungs have a much increased capacity for huffing and puffing than they used to? Yes, to all of the above, but still, flat stretches are nice, really!
After more than an hour of this, we arrived at a cache that we might as well do as we were on our way up...not a new one, just a rarely done one, and we began to understand why. We couldn't find it...
So on we went, and up we went, and up till we arrived at the end of this logging road. We expected a trail to continue our travels on but that was no trail to be found. We must have missed a turnoff!
So after trying to find a shortcut down, I, just by myself, and after almost losing each other (Wouldn't that have been fun! A new chapter in our caching history, time for a new sticker: found cache, lost wife!). So we went down the way we went, came by the turnoff we should have taken, and were now within a stone's throw of this first cache we tried earlier...why don't we try once more just in case our journey leads us into an area that would un-necessitate our coming back this way...
So we looked and came up empty again!
Well, to the new trail then on our way to the (hopefully) not yet claimed caches called Little View and Big View. Do I need to acquaint the reader with the nature of the terrain and the gradient of the trail...No? You already guessed?
Well, on we go then until we finally arrived at the first view. And what a view it was in spite of the fact that it was not a clear day. The lake with the little island in the middle is called Hoover Lake. We said, "Well, even if it is not a first-to-find, at least it was worth it for the view! Yea right!
It was a first-to-find!!! Three hours or so after we left the car we had a cache!
Now onto Big View. If Little View was as great as it was, what might we not see at this next one!? Well, to not to let you sit in suspense for ever and to share our disappointment before we actually get there, it was not nearly as good. The weather really took this one away.
Our trek up there was wrought with fair sized rocks , fallen trees all over the place that we needed to get over or around, low hanging branches, and now a fairly steady drizzle as well. But we persevered: might as well; now in our fourth or fifth hour. And who knows: another first-to-find? Quite likely. If nobody had been crazy enough to make it to Little View, certainly nobody would have gone where we now were, past any view of sanity.
We got there! I already mentioned the disappointing view. Somewhere down there we saw Mission and Hayward Lake, but the fogginess didn't really do it justice in spite of the fact that we had now climbed at least 2000 ft.
The hint was 'under a cedar' near the path. Should be easy, except there were no cedars close to the path, so we ventured away from the path under the few little cedars we could find. You guessed it: no cedars, no cache. Right! Coming all the way up here and not finding the cache? Not ever!
I said, "Dear, some people don't know their trees. We have run into that before." No sooner had those words left my mouth or under a fir tree she found the cache! Hurray! The cache is in hand! And, you guessed it, another FTF (you should know by now what that stands for).
What goes up needs to go down. So that's what our weary and wet bodies did. But not long after we were stopped dead in our tracks. In our path was a bird the likes of which we had not seen before. Larger than a dove, smaller than a chicken, with orangy patches above its eye. It uttered a very low sound as if it were angry. Out came the camera and pictures were taken. And more pictures because the bird came closer and closer, making for better pictures, of course...and closer, and more pictures, and closer to within a foot... and...well, you get the picture, I hope...
When finally our camera was sated with pictures we got ready to move on. But you think the bird was done with us? It wouldn't let us past! We move to the right, it moves to its left and we move to the left, it...well, you get the picture...you have gotten good at getting the pictures by now, right?
I finally had to shove it aside with my stick and quickly move past it without stepping on it. Then it starts to follow us! It wasn't nearly small enough to be an orphan but it surely behaved like one. In the end our longer legs got the better of him/her and we disappeared out of view...
This blog just goes on and on, it seems.
So we come close, for the third time that day, to the spot where we tried to find that first elusive cache. And what do we see? Another cacher! With his dog Sasha. Shaking of hands all around and pleased to meet you's and what's your handle. His is Hellraisers, from Mission. He is the FTF'er par excellence! But this time he got beaten by a couple of wet and tired old fogeys.
So now he does not know whether he wants to go on. To give him time to make up his mind we all together take another try at this cache that keeps playing hide-and-seek on us. With his help we find it, fairly soon actually. It was just a matter of walking along this one tree on the right side instead of the wrong side like I had done a number of times...
By now one of us really had had enough, and the other one of us promised a while back that we would not bother with a fourth cache in that area, much as that bothered him, for would we ever want to come up here again just for this one cache? Probably not. A cache with such a nice name too! "Old Tales of a Lumberjack"!
Then says Hellraisers, "You know there is another cache here close by?"
"Dear, how about you stay here while Hellraisers and I quickly do this cache?"
Good old sport that she is, she comes along.
An hour or so later we are back at this by now quite well frequented spot. Fatigue is etched in the face of one of us, satisfaction in the features of the other one of us. Four caches, two FTF's!
From here it is all downhill in fairly steady rain. But somehow rain is not nearly as wet when you have found your caches as when you have not.
Seven hours after we left our car our little eyes spy it again.
It was a day well spent!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

700 in the dark



It's been a long time since I blogged about our geocaching adventures. Somehow it did not seem to work while we were on the road. But now we're home again, and while I am still retired (and plan to remain so) I have no excuse anymore to neglect this activity. And to be frank (to quote a popular sentence opening by politicians), I find it not a hardship... And to be honest (....) I kind of like it.
We did a fair bit of caching during our travels. When we left home our count was at less than 400...when we got home it was at 702. So that is not to be sneezed at.
The city that we probably remember most kindly for its caching opportunities is Holland, MI. The place is just plastered and looking for them has brought us into interesting places and made us feel at times as if we were in the Netherlands with all the genuine Dutch names everywhere. I do not know how many caches we logged while we were there, but I do know that if we stayed there for another week, we would still not be done by a long shot.
By the time we hit Ellensburg, WA we were close to our 700th cache so we decided to try and get that number in that place. We discovered that there was a night cache near our campground, and seeing that we had never done one of those, we decided to make that one our 700th.
A night cache is one where you go into the area with a flashlight. As you shine the light around, it will pick up little reflectors attached to a tree or other objects. These reflectors guide you farther into the darkness and if you have never been in that area (and we hadn't) it is kind of spooky...Perhaps that's the whole idea. I have to say that Mom dealt with it as a real trooper.
So we arrive at the spot we need to be. Now find the cache. It took us a few minutes...the clue was: find the chain, then the ring that is attached to it, then pull up. Well, Mom found the chain, and the ring, and gave a mighty heave...open pops a box, and at her stares a skull...
I have to give it to her: she did not scream; she just froze for a few seconds...or maybe more than a few...but honestly, no scream...
The pictures tell the story.
In the meantime we have not been idle. I spent a few days by myself in Langley and we went there a couple of days together. We have had some nice weather.
Today we reached our 800th...!
That is probably worthy of its own blog page, but I don't want to bore you...
We hope to make the 1000 before the year is out.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hand it to me...



We have been on the road now for almost two weeks and, curiously enough, we have not really missed home. In my journal I have begun referring to our RV as 'home'; note the ''; when they disappear it might mean that we will not want another
home again...
Our first stop was Green Lake Prov. Park. We had no problem finding a place; it was mostly deserted this early in the season. On our way there we did a couple of caches but we were more concerned with getting there so we left a bunch unattended. We will just have to go back there one day.
Our next stop was Williams Lake where we stayed in a private campground at the grounds of the WL stampede. We did a fair bit of caching there but we got a little tired of all the micros. One area we did not really have time to explore to any great lenght was the WL River park and trails: quite a nice area of about 12 km in length along the river until it joins the Fraser.
Not enough time...we are on a schedule (!) so it still feels rushed. Yesterday we arrived here in Dawson City, and when I thought about it this morning it looks like we have basically only one day here for ourselves. Today is Sunday so we are taking it easy. There is not really a church here that looks half decent (I was sure there was a CRC here, but think it must have folded) so we listened to a sermon on Spindleworks and will do that again later on. Tomorrow we have nothing scheduled but caching. Tuesday is taken up partly by the soccer game and Wednesday we have to leave again and take two days to make it to Calgary. Rush, rush...not an easy life by any stretch...but complaining never got me anywhere so I will not start that...and enjoy thankfully, very much, what we have and receive each day.
I skipped Prince George where we had a nice time,, also staying in a private campground. We visited with Jim and Nallely Witteveen a few times and had a really good time with them. They are settling in and making contacts and dealing with other things in their life. Read their blog: http://www.jimwitt.ca/
I now remember telling you about most of our activities in PG in the email I sent a few days ago so I won't repeat all of that..The caches in PG were much more enjoyable than the micros in WL. Some people really like to hand it to you as one of the pictures shows. Mom jumped about 3 feet when I kindly endeavoured to hand it to her.
And being out in the wild also reveals that she is particular regarding certain animals. At Green Lake it was a snake that made her scream, try to scream, but her cold prevented her from producing any kind of sound louder than a pipsqueak so I did not hear it and was unable to come to the rescue...In PG it was another interesting creature just minding his own business that caused unheard-until-now noises in the forest...the picture shows how cute he really is...and what a nice size he has grown to be...and how he could be a very well camouflaged cache...and how I would have loved to hand that to her...
O, and that reminds me of Yorick...if you go to Hamlet Act 5, Sc. 1, you will be able to figure out for yourself what kind of cache the Yo-Rick cache was like... Mom figured she had done her quota of ups and downs for the day...so this one I found by myself and I had no opportunity to hand it to her...or cause an underworldly noise to be heard in the woods...or take a picture...alas, poor Yorick.
There aren't that many caches here so we should be able to make to make a good dent in that tomorrow. Hopefully the weather will improve somewhat so that we can at least stay dry and so the OFF does not wash off ...we had to use it quite liberally already in PG, and I am sure we will be here as well...good preparation for when we see Erica and her family.
On that optimistic note I will call it a blog. O, mom posted some pictures on Facebook as well...go check them out...and if you are not already a Facebooker, you will have to become one now, I guess.
Love, Dad and Mom

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Larissa and Aidan Go Caching...



This past Sunday we became grandparents once again...we praise God for his blessing that he bestowed on Alfred and Kirstin and their children as well as on the grandparents and other relatives of Heidi Leanne.
After visiting the happy mother and her newborn at the hospital we went home with two catches...no, that is not a misspelling for caches...
Larissa and Aidan are staying with us for a few days. They were given the day off from school yesterday, and seeing that we had to pick up the RV in Golden Ears Campground, where it spent its first week of trial, we took them along and did some caching with them. They enjoyed that and so did we. They will want a repeat but that may not happen any day soon as we hope to start next week on our trip east.
The RV passed its trial run, more or less. We found a few things that need fixing, the worst being the malfunction of the 'landing gear', the two front supports. We had an awful time getting them off (they didn't want to go in...). Fortunately we already were hitched to the truck. Today we brought it in for repairs. Hopefully we can pick it up on Thursday or Friday.
Of course, we have continued caching but not as much as we had planned. Of the week we spent in Golden Ears we probably spent half the nights at home because of things that needed attention there. And we came home a day early so Larissa could go to school today.
We will find out how much caching we will do once we are away from home. We are still not entirely sure of our travel route because we are waiting for one more event to have a date attached to it before we can make the final decision(s).
May you all have an opportunity to be out there.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

First and Third


For the longest time it didn't appear that it would happen, but when we opened our email one last time last night, at 10:50, we knew that the day might become memorable in the annals of our caching history. And lo and behold, it did...
The email showed that a new cache had been placed just west of the airport. "Shall we?" one of us asked. The other did not even bother replying but ran out of the study and began dressing. What choice did the other have but to follow?
So, a couple of minutes later we are on the road, in utter darkness and pouring rain. It is hard to see the road at times, and even though speed is of the essence, it is deemed that safety must take priority: I keep my speed down to levels that do not interfere with the regular breathing of my companion. Not a mean feat, I have been told on more than one occasion...
We reach the spot where we can park our car (corner of Echo Rd. and Peardonville, for those who think they need this bit of info. for the biography (The Caching Crazies) they are thinking of writing some day in the future).
Out of the car and into the rain. We are only 75 m. from the cache the Garmin says. We have two puny flashlights. The Garmin has very little in the way of backlighting. The rain makes it very hard to read the Garmin. No use putting on glasses because they will soon resemble the 'droplet' appearance of the Garmin. But we kind of find ground zero, on the road. Now for the tree at whose base the cache resides. One large cottonwood is close enough for thorough scrutiny. I crawl around its mighty trunk on my knees, the undergrowth and branches preventing me from doing it in the upright position.
I find no cache. Around and around the tree I go. Was its base ever ploughed up more thoroughly in its long life? One doubts it. And not with sticks either! Bare hands for you!!
No cache. Try smaller trees. Deeper and deeper we venture into the swampy area to make the acquaintance of smaller and smaller trees, and some stinging nettles, until we feel we have wondered far enough to have to admit defeat.
Back on the road. Peering at the other side of the road. A fairly substantial ditch tells us: no, not here. Nobody would place a cache on the other side, forcing people to jump this one. (But then very few people know about the ditch jumping feats of one of us...) But no jumping tonight. Instead: 'I am wet enough, I want to go home."
Anyway, to keep this a short story, because somebody wants to go home, I tried another way into the dark and unwelcoming bush, and what do you know...I found the cache!!! It was a flashlight with the battery section used for the log. Covered up by stick approximately the same thickness, so that I still almost missed it.
No prize for the FTF (First to Find, for the biographer's benefit), but that is okay. The feeling of victory was sweet enough to make the need for a prize very secondary...(does that make it tertiary, kind of?). What was important too was that we were home before the Sunday.
So, that was our first 'night caching' experience and our third FTF! What a day it turned out to be!
I hope the reader will bear with the fact that we took no picture...instead I am attaching an earlier picture of Stoney Creek.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Key to Rolley Lake


We have continued our caching experiences but not nearly as much as we would have liked. It is frustrating to see how much else there is to life that interferes with going out and just having fun. On average we get one good, entire day in each week. Besides that, a few hours here, one or two caches there; but the latter becomes more and more difficult seeing that there are hardly any close-by caches left for us to find.
O, by the way, we got a second FTF last week. We came home from some other non-caching activity and saw that a new one had been placed along the river in Glen Valley. Dropped everything and hurried out there. I don't think I really set any new speed records...mom may disagree...No matter, we were the first ones.
We spent most of our time last week in Mission and the Stave Lake area. Mission was mostly local and we did not really see anything spectacular. Near Stave Lake we did some real!!! hikes. Quite the climbs, down to waterfalls and up again, to the top of mountains and down again. But we feel that our legs are dealing with it a lot better than when we started. So we puff and huff and take a break and soldier on again. Thankfully, in nearly every case we found the cache so that made it worthwile. But in one case we didn't because a sign was missing, but still, the hike was wonderful.
Not too far from Stave Falls is Rolley Lake, another place I had never been. I has a nice prov. campground. We may visit it someday with our 'rig'...
There is only one cache there, and we found it, but not after some traumatic experience: the weather was good enough for me to decide that I wouldn't need my jacket so I threw it back in the car and locked the door, realizing too late that I had left my keys in it. Normally this would not be such a big deal because Mom always makes sure to take her keys, and her DL, just in case this happens. However, her keys were not in the bag, and what is worse, the little pocket where she usually puts them, was open. Obvious conclusion: they fell out somewhere along a trail. Or, hopefully, they slipped out in the back of the car when I put the bag on the back seat. Hopefully, lifting my jacket would reveal them. Nevertheless, panic, dismay, and other strong feelings abounded.
We are members of BCAA. But my cell phone was out of range. Fortunately, a kind soul offered to drive around to find the parks people to see if they had a land line or a radio. He found them and a little later they arrived. Very kind men, very helpful. And very good and fast service from BCAA. It probably took no more than half an hour for them to show up.
So the car is open again, and my keys are in hand. However, the other keys, and DL with all the personal info, are not where we hoped them to be.
We did the cache in this area, and after that a few more before we headed home.
There I went once more with a fine toothcomb through the car. Perhaps in the trunk, for the bag had also been there...but no.
Then it started to dawn on me that she has another little pocket where she likes to put things. When I realized that, I was pretty sure that's where they would be. Coming into the house to announce that, I ran into an announcement that the keys and DL had been located in the little pocket of the camera bag.
This camera bag was ON HER PERSON when I locked the car door, when people were rounding up parks people for us, when BCAA was contacted, when the BCAA truck was driving to Rolley Lake, when the BCAA stopped and the man came out of his truck, when he opened our car (neat tool they have for that; I said to him: 'I need to get one of those.' 'Don't', quoth he: 'it will be in the car when you need it'...duh)
Well, as the bard said, all's well that ends well, once again.
It is too bad I did not take a picture of the BCAA truck as well as one of the truck with someone in front of it with her camera bag on her shoulder (so the truck would not look so lonely...).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

FTF


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I cannot remember the highlights of every day we have gone out, so I will just settle for last Wednesday as a good day to share with you. By the way, if you think that going geocaching is all we do you are mistaken. Almost every day has something that prevents us from just taking off in the morning and not worrying about anything else. Usually there is something that needs to be done, and it hardly ever fails being in the middle of the day. Rather frustrating, really...
One great 'worry' is probably off our mind now. Today we settled for a 5th wheel and truck, for sale as a combination, and one we had looked at about a month ago. We never acted on it because it was the 'wrong' make of truck. Today we did the terrible deed. We may not be welcome in some parts of Ontario anymore, but we hope that as time passes people will get used to our sacrilegious act and forgive us.
We will post pictures when we have them. And we won't take pictures until we actually have possession. The final stage is dependent on an inspection of the truck. If that passes we have a deal. Then we can start planning where to take it for a bit to try it out before we start on our big journey east.
Back to geocaching. Wednesday we were at Cultus Lake again. We did not get finished there the last time we were there so we went to clean up. The night before, late, an email came in that someone had placed a new cache in Cultus. Perhaps you already know that there is great honour and satisfaction and other good feelings in being the first to find such a new cache. It is called a First to Find...how appropriate, no? It abbreviates into FTF. Appropriate, no?
Now if you are truly addicted to FTF's you jump up as soon as you get the message about a new cache. Sometimes there are four parties arriving at the same time.
I am not that addicted (yet) to get up in the middle of the night, pack a couple of flashlights and speed out to where ever. We also knew that there was no sense in getting up early and try to be there at first light apart from the fact that one part of our team is not all that enamoured of getting up that early...We knew that we would be beaten to the punch by irlpguy (remember the survey peg, Peter and Petra? that was one of his; o, and for everyone: the Leaping Lizard) who has quite a string of FTF's because that is about all he has left to do in the Valley: he has pretty well covered all the caches here.
So we got there at about nine, two hours after he was there...so we could have beaten him if we had indeed been there at first light...rats...So we were third to find...We actually met the guy who was second on the trail as he was heading back to his truck. He said it had taken him an hour to find it so we were prepared for a long search. We found it in about 5 minutes. I never really know how we stumble upon them, but we do, except of course when we don't...
We spent the day on the trails, some rather steep and long. We followed one trail for about an hour, mostly up and up, at which point we ruefully decided that it was the wrong trail and would not switchback in the right direction and down...And we do not have a clue where it goes.
We did find that cache when we took the right trail.
Our weather is all over the place. We had rain, nice sunshine, wind, you name it.
Today was like the middle of winter. Yesterday we had snow. Nanaimo had a foot of it last night. More to come, they say.
We did not have any DNF's that day and did all we had planned. We were home at about 5. Then we find a message from irlp (whom we are getting to know rather well, had coffee with, email with, put the odd question to when we are stuck) that there is a new cache in Abbotsford. And we also had an email to that effect from Geocaching. com. We figured it was no use going after that one because the email came in at around 2 and somebody would no doubt already have done the FTF. But, of course, we went anyway, and what do you know: we found it quite quickly and discovered that we were the first ones!
So we entered our log on a totally new and clean first page...and took the little prize. The people who place caches always put something in the cache as a keepsake for the FTF, usually in keeping with the 'theme' of the cache, but sometimes it is something as mundane as a $2 Tim Horton's gift certificate...mundane indeed...
Our FTF cache is called '"Sew" What', so there was a little package of needles and a geocaching pin in it.
Okay, that is enough bragging for one post, so I have a good excuse to stop here.
O, I need to announce that we found a Palm and SandyMomGrandma is happily exploring and using it. The end of a lot of printing.
Love you all.

Friday, April 11, 2008

200


That simple title says it all...or should it read 200 and counting?

We were out for a bit today around Fort Langley to make this number full...One was a very interesting multi of which we include a picture...the hint for this one: you can sit on it if you are small enough...I kind of stumbled on it without a clear plan, as I do most of the time...never seen anything like this before...
This was at the same time our 200th, a nice coincidence.

We struggled again today with how much paper we use for this hobby. One cache had 13
pages...too many, and I printed only two...but then when we were doing this one, a multi again, we found that we were missing information to get to the next stage which means we will have to go back to finish this one. So we saved some paper only to 'waste' it on gas. And yes, this hobby is not exactly 'green' either...the more we clean up around our home turf, the further out we need to go...

We have been told that we need a Palm Pilot. I don't know anything about these things except that they are not called Pilots anymore. We saw the simplest one at Londen Drugs for $50, but it has only 32 MB and cannot expand. The next one up is over $300.

What we need it for is to download caches so that we have the information with us in electronic form instead of on paper. If anyone can enlighten us on this matter or have other suggestions, please do.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bear in the Bush...




Yesterday we tied our record of 17 founds...and not a single DNF...and that is a new record...

The above title refers to one of the caches in Cultus Lake. The person who placed the cache made a note of the fact that when he did that, he saw a black bear nearby.
When we did this one, sure enough, we found a totally fresh bear track on our way. The accompanying picture shows the proof. This morning I went and bought bearspray...need to be prepared...have to get a whistle too...lacking that yesterday, we made it a point of talking loudly, and someone even did some singing, something about going out awandering...Did I ever mention that we have fun doing this geocaching thingamajiggy?

We did a lot of hiking again yesterday. There are trails in the Cultus Lake area I never knew existed...and some are quite steep and quite a nice challenge.
Let us acquaint those of you, who now have a GPS, with a pitfall. Our Garmin has now started, no idea why, to download parking coordinates if there are any with the cache I am loading down. Usually I just look at the three final letters or numbers to select the cache I want to bring up, and that has never been a problem. However, on Tuesday we were looking for a cache called 'Caterpillar'...supposedly the cache was under something resembling a moss covered caterpillar....When we left the car, our GPS said that we were within 10 meters, straight downhill...However, there was no trail but we knew there was a trail a little further on. So that's what we did...quite a little trip following the GPS on this winding up and down trail. When we were close and started looking we had no luck. After a while everything started to look like a caterpillar. All the while, we were just below where we had parked...so finally we just climbed uphill back to the car. Another of our Tuesday DNF's.

When we had coffee with another geocacher the next morning and mentioned this cache to him, he said that we had taken the wrong trail...and little by little we found out that we had gone with our parking coords instead of with the coords for the cache...won't do that again.

At least, we had more proof that our GPS works...it led us straight back to the car.

Another one of our DNF's on Tuesday was called 'It's a 'Groovy' thing'. The cache was supposed to be a bison tube (a little tube about a half inch diameter and maybe two inches long, with a screwtop; usually all they have is a rolled up piece of paper that functions as the log). Our GPS led us to a huge rock, taller than I am. Well, it had grooves all right; wore my fingernails out tracing them all; wore out my jeans crawling on my knees all around the thing feeling underneath it where there was space...found a nice, juicy slug too...it kind of had the right shape and size but it was too soft and slippery...Anyway, finally we gave up.

Yesterday we went back...hate these DNF's enough to give them another try (by the way, we revisited all our DNF's of Tuesday and found them all, with a little help for a couple from people who found them before...). The picture shows what we found.
Well, that is all the news for now. Saturday promises to be a very nice day so guess what we will be doing.

Days of Yore...




It may come as no surprise to anyone that we have been out geocaching a few times since the previous post. It is not quite all we live for but it does occupy a good deal of our thoughts, actions and goingsout...
Today is a housekeeping day...cleanup, shopping, thrift store...etc.
The weather is not always ideal, and sometimes, like on Tuesday, we were out in the rain a good deal. We had decided to 'take care of' the Cultus Lake area, hoping to set a record. So far our high for one day is 17. Well, we should have stayed home: instead of 17 Founds we had 8 DNF's instead...and that was a record, but not the kind we need or ever hope to break. By the way, we had coffee with someone yesterday whose high for one day is 41 Founds...I did not ask him how he managed that but my hunch is that he started at daylight, sometime at 4am, and finished sometime before midnight...
We are not quite that addicted yet...but give us time.
I am including a couple of pictures. The one is in Yarrow at the end of Wilson Rd. It was the site of the first post office. That is where the Old Yale Wagon Road ran along the mountain before Sumas Lake was drained. An interesting cache, that one...
I am also showing a couple of pictures of a place on the corner of Glover and 216th in Langley. The one shows the vintage car and the Texaco pumps, the other a close up of the price at the pump in those days...and that is price per gallon!
I see that the weather in your areas is improving so... soon out you go...
I will try to get around to posting another one later today, showing some of our results of yesterday...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ditch Jumper


We are having quite a nice week as far as the weather goes...but today was the first day that we could go out to do some caches...13 founds and 1 DNF...don't like those...
I will not take the dear readers of this blog through all of them...let me just acquaint you with the fact that someone has placed a cache at every mile stone along the Fraser Highway. This high way used to be the first and only road from Vancouver to Yale although it changes names in Abbotsford to Yale Road...Along the road were mile stones telling the weary traveler that he had gone another mile, and was now one mile closer to the goldfields near Yale in the Fraser Canyon. Most of these mile stones are gone but some remain. All the bright yellow paint that they once had is gone but the 'engraving' of the number is still there. Today we saw #32 and #34. The picture above shows that it was a bit of a jump to get to it...
I volunteered to stay on the safe side to take the picture.
We had a very nice day. Tomorrow we hope have another one.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Smell our Spring...


Just a nice picture to show that things are coming back to life, even those that we like to avoid...

Crawlies and Boos...




I thought we should share with you some of the more unusual finds we come across...Do the pictures say enough?
Hope you can all go at it soon...but if it is any comfort, it snows here too, today, yesterday, but we cannot be deterred by that...

Friday, March 21, 2008

One Hundred!!!! (and counting)



It was March 19, the first day of spring they say, something we oldies will probably never get used to: spring is supposed to start on the 21st! Regardless, we went out caching anyhow instead sitting at home moping because spring had sprung on us two days early.
We knew we were at 99 finds. We had always wanted to do the Downtown Sitdown, a five-stage multi, created by the Kardian Questers (the Archie Kobes family). We had known forever that it was there and that we were very close to it everyday we were at the shop...and that we should do it soon and all that...and then we had Archie come into the shop...and that did it...we decided to make it our one hundredth. So we did. The cache centers around the artistic benches we have on several downtown corners. The pics show two of them. At each we had to pick up some info to put together the coords for the final one which was not downtown but under a tree some 3 km away...can't explain why they did not put the final downtown as well. Maybe they couldn't get the coords to come together with the skimpy information that is available on each bench.
It is not a difficult cache but it took some time. But it gave us our centennial find. We have in the meantime started on our second century.
How is everyone else coming along??? Eh???

Monday, March 17, 2008

Retired and Caching




Blogging is falling behind on our caching. Logging the finds on geocaching.com is not my favourite part of geocaching. The fun is in the finding, sometimes in the being stumped, but to come home to WORK on logging...no...But, of course, there is no way around it so it is done. And then on top of that write a blog? It does not always happen, sorry to say, and so the faithful readers of this blog miss out on some eventful happenings and interesting finds. Well, there is a remedy for that: out you go, snow or no snow, and you create your own eventful happenings and find your own interesting finds. Way to go, Jocelyn. A few feet of snow never stopped you, right?
Today we found another neat one. The picture tells the story. What it does not show is the two muggles, two big dogs barking their heads off less than six inches away from the cache. Fortunately, there was a solid fence. Still, you want to watch your fingers.
We are now at 92 caches found, creeping ever closer to the magic number of 100 when we will get an honourable mention on bc geocaching.com for the entire province to know...
Just saw a post from someone who has over 6200...go figure...
We saw some cormorants in Elwood Park today. Never seen them in town before. Never been in Elwood Park for that matter.
Tomorrow promises to be the one remaining somewhat dry day for this week so we hope to be out again...maybe there will be another blog for you...
I have been thinking of putting a restriction on this blog so people cannot post comments so that they may begin to feel an urge to send comments...so that when the tension is high enough to take off the restriction so that ... anyway, I will not put a restriction on...not yet...but be warned!
And yes, spring is here...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

An Incredible Week...




Too much has happened since my last blogging...too much to take care of in one post...no matter how much i would like to record all that happened. It comforts me somewhat to know that most of our readers were all part of what happened so they don't really need to be informed. So we will see where this goes...before it goes off into blogland.
By Friday night (the 15th) everyone had arrived who was expected. The next day the eight of us took off for the Chilliwack River Road to spend a day of caching. It was cloudy and sometimes a little drizzly, but most of the day was okay.
I will not record every cache we did and found. Some of the caches we (mom and I, or me, if you prefer) had done already, others were new to us too. Regardless of who found which one, everyone thoroughly enjoyed him or herself (or themselves, if you prefer) and all were bitten by the caching bug...and we all enjoyed the beautiful area we were in.
When most of us decided that enough was enough Henk and Alfred decided to do the remaining caches. And they did, finding each one. I forget the exact total of caches we did that day but it was a goodly number although not a record. I believe that our record is 13 for one day.
I am not sure anymore whether there was one day that we did not go out during the next week. Our group was shrinking as Henk left again on Monday, Thelma on Tuesday, Erica and Alice on Friday and finally, Peter and Petra yesterday.
I am not sure either how many caches we did in all during this period. It does not really matter. More important is the wonderful time we had together, caching or not.
I am incredibly thankful for the wonderful week God gave us, and judging by the reports of each, it was truly great for everyone whether it was a week or just a couple of days of being part of it in person. I hope everyone is already planning for a repeat next year...:)
Of course, we took loads of pictures, and of course, there is no way I can attach them all to this blog. I will let mom decide which ones are going to be it.
I wish Garmins were less expensive so we could buy one for each of you. But I am afraid it ain't going to happen...Sorry... I am very happy for Len and Thelma that they have one they can use and made history with their first cache.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Record in the Sun...


The sun was out...for the first time in a long time...so we decided to take the day off (again?Alfred is grumbling, I am sure) and go do guess what. Yes, indeed, how did you guess. And we set a record...12 caches in one day.

We stayed around town and found some more parks I had never been in. You've all driven east on Downes Rd. from Mt. Lehman and seen all the trees and woods on your right before you come to MEI. Well, that is Downes Park, parts of it also known as Clearbrook Park and other parts also known as Ron Wiebe Playing Fields. Don't have a clue who Ron Wiebe was, maybe a geocacher...

The most interesting cache was called Stairway to Hell/Heaven. The trail leads to a set of about 8 sets of stairs going down...easy...but a few hundred feet farther you go up about the same number...puff, puff, puff...Never been there either; didn't know it existed. According to Mom there are more stairs farther up/down...hurray!!! Maybe I will go there one day...Perhaps we could hide a cache there for you to find...The picture at the top gives you a bit of an idea...

The forecast for tomorrow is guess what: rain. The forecast for Saturday: sun! And for Sunday: sun. And also for Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday...past that we don't believe the weather man no matter what he says.

So in a few hours Henk will be here, and then one more night of sleep and y'all be here. Hurray!!!

Getting too excited...better stop.

Good night and see ye...

It dawns on me only now that most of you won't even read this before you read this. Too bad; it is such a happy story.

Love y'all,

Dad and Mom, Dad and Sandy, Grandpa and Grandma, Opa and Grandma...


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Must some rain fall in our life?


Yes, already another post.! If it is too much, you can wait a few days to read this one.
Today was Saturday (which means a day not interrupted by work) and, in spite of the rain, we left home at 9:15 to head for the Cheam Wetlands, a place I had never heard of before but where the Chilliwack Naturalists had scheduled a walk-about to look at birds and nature in general. I am not sure if fog and rain are part of nature but we had it in abundance. The place is an old marl quarry, marl being something like limestone. It is believed that about 5000 years ago the peak of one of the mountains in the Cheam chain came sliding down and filled the valley, re-routing the Fraser and causing all kinds of other things. Did not see a lot of birds, except for on our way back in the Sumas Prairie: about 600 swans in a field.
The walk-about did not take that long so after it was over we set ourselves to find a cache in that area. Quite a quick and nice find by the lady cacher.
After that, on our way out, we stopped at 'The Mint' and located another one, placed there by some people from Amsterdam. (Hence the name: it is a tower in A'dam which onced housed the Mint). Then we went into the Bridal Falls park and found yet another one. We walked all the way up to the Falls but once again found it very hard to take a good picture of it. But regardless, it was a nice walk and the weather had improved a bit by then.
On our way home we stopped in Sardis to pick up a boterkoek that Kirstin had baked for us. We were home around 4, nicely in time for a short nap.
On that sleepy note I will leave you for now.
The picture shows you a scene of the Cheam Wetlands.
Love, Dad and Mom

Friday, February 8, 2008

Caching in the Snow




Yes, you can sing that to the familiar tune...


There has not been a lot of activity in this blog off late simply because there has not been a lot of geocaching activity lately. The weather has been very uncooperative and, unfortunately, there is really no improvement in sight. So those of you who are soooooo looking forward to joining us in this, be prepared with rain gear and perhaps snowshoes.


Seeing that the shop has been slow, we have been out a couple of times but not for very long and nothing much to report. Yesterday we finally did what we had been planning for some time: scout the area where we want to take our guests next Saturday. So we ignored the rain and cold and went to the Chilliwack River Road. Our aim was to find a number of caches along this road so that when we take you there, we can just stay in the car in case it is raining heavily or snowing...


Our first two finds were not that hard. The second one confronted us with a 'snake' as you can see. Trying to park before we went for the next one landed us in a snowbank and stuck. But the pusher in our relationship got us out again. Too bad we did not take a picture of that. The third cache required a bit of a hike up a fairly snowy hill but we found it.


We are still excited about this hobby. It takes us places we have not really 'seen' before, it gets us out of the house in the fresh (very fresh) air, we are dealing with challenges, we are doing it together and yes, we are looking forward to letting you share in it and perhaps be bitten by the bug as well.


Today we went out again to re-visit two sites that have so far skunked us to see if we could solve them now. Alas, still not. We have to take you guys there and help us. One is in the park right behind us, of all things.


See you in a week or sooner...




Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blahblahblah...






Ever since we got some kind of flu on Boxing Day I have not been feeling great. My stomach continues to bother me and as a result I have not been in the shop a lot since we opened again after New Year's. We are glad that Sandy has been able to go in and very glad that Alfred is managing quite well on his own when neither of us is there. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise that is has not been that busy.

Yesterday we decided that we would perhaps take this Thursday and Friday off and do some different things in the hope that I might start to feel better. Well, time will tell about the feeling better, but we did something very the samedifferent today, to wit go geocaching in spite of the rain and generally bad weather. We have some good rain resistant clothing, as well as some umbrellas which work wonders in windstill conditions except that they interfere somewhat with our GPS reception. We also went to Bellis Fair (had not been there for years) to get me some hiking boots. Success! No more wet and cold feet when slushing through pools and mud to get to a cache. Sandy got hers in the morning in town.

We are becoming old hands at this geocaching thingamejiggy... we did six today. We have a total of 14 finds to our name (handle...in case you are confused...).

We found three in the morning in Abbotsford, and three on our way back from Bellingham in Sumas.

A lot of them were micros today, some nano micros: tiny capsules containing a very thin strip of paper on which to write the date and our handle(name). Some were magnetic, stuck to some metal post, others in holes in poles or in concrete... A picture is attached, not really in the spot I would like it, but I have no choice in the matter it seems.

By the way, Thelma, again I typed the title, hit enter, and off into blogger space it went...i will try to delete it... This one is proceeding without problems sofar...hold my breath...

If you would like to follow our conquests, go to geocaching.com, click on 'hide & seek a cache' (left top of your screen), scroll down to 'found by username' and type in 'goinggone', click on 'go' which will take you to a list of all the ones we have found.
Happy clicking!









Blahblahblah...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!


We wish you all a blessed and happy new year.

We all know where our blessings and happiness originate; may we not forsake to pray and give thanks to our Father for all we need and receive.

May we all walk in the faith that he will provide what we need, even if that is not always what we would like or think we need.

I was thinking this morning, I forgot in what context, that one tool God uses to shape us is what I will call the No-Tool. Could it be that when we ask, we look for something to be added to our lives? Could it be that we are always in danger of wanting to get too 'fat'? Does God need to use the No-Tool to 'reduce' us to a state of 'fit-to-receive', which does not necessarily mean that we then will be showered with new blessings...The greatest blessing might just be that he allows us to attain to this state of 'fit-to-receive'. Think about it...

We had a quiet day today. Spent some time geocaching, of course...Stop in at the Siebengas to get our fill of oliebollen...they were very good, but not quite what I look for in an oliebol...I believe these things are so totally personal that one can really only enjoy one's own completely fully...how's that for a well composed taste-test report...

We found our third cache...not the one that got us stumped yesterday...more about that later...quite an easy one, close to home again.

On our way to the Siebengas we stopped at Upper Sumas Elementary to find one that John S. himself placed there. It involves some math to come to a new set of coordinates, and the math did not work. I ended up with a negative number, and that does not work for coordinates on earth, only in the netherworld...

As to the one that had us befuddled yesterday, I actually had the solution in my hands first thing we got there yesterday...but that did not dawn on us until today. It also involved a new set of coordinates, so into Horn Park we went again...darkness got the better of us there, so the second part of this one will have to wait some more...

I am not promising to write an account or post a picture of every time we go out and 'score'...life has other business to attend to as well. Nevertheless, stay tuned...

God bless.