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...).