Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Little Manning

As I write this, it is Sunday, and we are in Penticton. I hope to spend some part of this day on writing a little about our experiences in the past week.

We left on Monday direction Manning Park.

Normally that is just a two hour drive, but we stopped a few times along the road once we were past Hope. I am sure you can all guess why.
One stop, of course, was the Hope Landslide where there is an Earth Cache as well as two others. We were kind of enveloped by low cloud so we did not have much of a view of the mountain that lost part of its face. But we both had seen that before.

I don't know how often we have driven through Manning Park seeing all the signs like Beaver Pond and others and thinking, 'We should really take the time to find out what this is all about.' But always we were trying to get places and didn't want to loose any time, or we were on the way home and wanted to get there as fast as possible.

Well, this time we stopped, setting up in Lightning Lake Provincial Campground, a nice park with good sites and all the amenities.

So we walked the trails and walked the trails. I read somewhere how many kilometers of trails there are in this park, but I forget the number. All I know is that it is quite amazing.

There aren't really all that many caches in the park, so it was not hard to 'clean up' in a day except the ones that required long, steep hikes which mom did not feel like doing.

One interesting(?) one we did is driving up to the Cascade Lookout.
You know of my fondness of heights and steep roads and heartstopping cliffsides and all that. But there was a cache up did I really have a choice?
Now I am glad to say that my fears are not nearly as panicky as they used to be, but before you run up the stairs to proclaim that off the rooftops, know that I am still a whimpering baby compared to 'the one that has no fear'. In spite of that, I drove part of the way up. I believe that I believe that if I drive we are safer because I am in control. It does not matter that my hands are a sweaty mess, that my face is a stony mask, that my mouth twitches, that my eyes are at least a quarter inch more forward than normal, that the person beside me is praying even harder than I am, for safety and for me coming to my senses and hand over the I said, it does not matter because I am in control and that makes us safe(r). When I give up control, I need to let go and trust and pray...and only the praying part is easy when the engine roars up the steep road hillside where the government ran out of money to put concrete barriers along the edge, when we are heading for a turn where you have two choices: make the turn safely or go down a couple thousand feet...

I did surrender the wheel, not because I almost fainted (because I didn't) but because I knew it was the sensible thing to do. So she whom I referred to as 'the one who knows no fear', took over and drove us safely to the parking area where the lookout and the cache shared location.
The cache was on the safe side of the area so I went to retrieve it while the 'gone' part of us went to the edge and took the necessary pictures to prove that we were actually there. My proof-ibution was signing the log.

Then we discovered that another 8 or 9 km up, waaay up, was another cache. Guess what: we did not do that one! It was not even a tie vote ... if it had been, one of us would have put himself in charge of guarding the parking lot while the other could go waaaay up (that is actually what the cache was called). Instead, we coursed down the mountain to level ground where level-headed people belong and thrive.

One other interesting thing we did was a night cache. The cache was not hard, they never are, and we started it while it was still quite light ('she who has no fear' does not like to be in the forest in the dark...) but dark enough for the flashlight to pick up the little reflectors. For a picture of that go to mom's picture blog ( As we were walking the trail, we saw another couple approaching. As we were about to pass each other, exchanging the customary friendly 'hello's', she says, 'Look, they are...' Anyway, we had run into kindred spirits. The remarkable thing was that we had come accross them before a number of times during the day when we signed logs and saw their names. They were a couple from Holland! Anyway, together we finished the cache and then agreed to spend the rest of our evening at our campfire. Of course, that was 'gezellig' was sad that we were not kindred spirits spiritually...

My last picture is of the sign we did during our first year as's still there and we went to say hi.

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