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....