Friday, November 28, 2008


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


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, 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 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 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.