Saturday, April 19, 2008
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
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
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.
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
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.