Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Go Climb a Tree

Has caching entered a new stage here in the Valley? One cacher in Chilliwack (geo canuck77) has decided to elevate, literally, the game somewhat by placing caches into trees. Now caches in trees is nothing new, but they are always within reach of a person of average height. They are mom's strong point while I can not ever find them, perhaps because my sense of colour is somewhat off and everything blends in too well.

However, geo canuck has given the whole idea a different twist. You now climb into the tree, often 15 or 20 feet up. Sofar they have been nice big, safe trees, but not the kind that you just kind of walk up into, you know. like Zaccheus.
The bottom branch is high enough to motivate the first cachers to arrive at the first one of this series to go back home and get a ladder. Of course, it did not help that irlpguy is not as nimble as he used to be now he is retired...

This first cache was attempted in a blazing snowstorm, in darkness, and as the attack was planned and executed more and more people arrived, even titelines from Abbotsford. If you know what driving from Abbotsford to Chilliwack is like in a snowstorm, you either admire their mental fortitude or wonder about their mental stability. But we all know, an FTF is an FTF, and more than once have we ourselves been described in various forms of not very flattering language when the topic of our crazy FTF adventures comes up.

The first Tree Climbing cache was found and FTF's were claimed. Which brings me to an interesting point. It is becoming quite common for FTF's to be shared by two or more parties, and I say more power to you. I even feel a little ashamed that I have not shared some of our FTF's with the person who was there with me at the same time...sorry TK and BR...But I was not aware of it at the time that one could do that. For think, if there have been 100 new caches in the past months, there must be at least 140 FTF's relating to same. What must people think...? Or is it not important to always ask ourselves, 'What must people think'? I would think so!

When the next Tree Climbing caches came out, we found that one of them was right across from where Alfred and Kirstin live. This discovery was grounds for a great idea: why don't we go visit them and have Alfred do the climbing?
As the picture shows, that was no hardship for him and a nice way out for us.
When that first one was in hand, we suggested that he might want to do another one...? So off we went to the old base where he went up a tree again and delivered another cache into our hands. Thanks, Alfred. Don't get out of practice, we have a few more coming, including the final which apparently is in one of three trees...

Then the day came that we wanted to go out to clean up some more in Chilliwack and right into our path to Little Mountain was another Tree Climbing cache. Knowing this, we had put our puny three foot stepladder in the Jeep...if others bring extension ladders, why can't we. We stopped and looked at the tree...The bottom branch was perhaps seven feet up? Eight? After placing the ladder, I tried to get my leg over it, but even stretching beyond my limit was not enough to complete that feat. That left us no choice but that the other goinggoner get up on the ladder and then use my shoulder as the next step up. Did she blink? Did I hear loud protests? Neither!!!

On the ladder, on my shoulder, and up she went...

Intelligence never being in short supply when we go caching (we like to believe) we had determined before she went up where the cache was. Twenty (?) feet up? No matter, she reached it, opened it, reached for her pen and, oops, found it missing. Three deft throws and one deft cache, make that catch, later the log was signed and the journey down to terra firma began and was completed without my cell phone having to come out to dial 911. Was one of us just a tiny bit proud of her daring feat? You bet! Was one of us rather proud of his brave-hearted partner? You bet!

A remarkable thing was that several people walked or drove past, the tree being pretty well next to the side walk of a fairly busy street. Did anyone questions what we were doing? Never! Did people driving by stop to take pictures or at least hang out of their windows and honk? Not a one! Did someone phone the Parks Board or 911? Think of another N word!

All of this goes to show that even after 1000 caches there are still new things to learn and experience, a fact we do not rue. Instead, we look forward to further feats and accomplishments. And we are so thankful that we have the health and time to do all this. Won't you join us sometime in February like you did last year?
As you can see, I managed to spread the pictures around...thanks, Ed...!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weather Woes...

Most cachers in our area had no choice but to take an unwanted three to four week break from caching because of the weather and all the snow we had. Today, there is still a lot of snow around in some places, but the roads are clear and the sun has been shining in some parts of the Fraser Valley, mainly the Abbotsford area and east. West of Abbotsford was souped in by fog for 21 days.
One day last week we decided to start caching again and decided on the Watershed Park in Delta. Bad move! We were in the fog all day while back home everyone was basking in the sun, behind their kitchen windows that is.
Friday the fog finally lifted in Surrey so that's where we went on Saturday. It is true, there was no fog, but there was not much in the way of sunshine either and still a lot of snow in places.
We have not really come across anything very exciting in the way of caches except for one series that I will talk about in the next post.

As you can see, I have posted three pictures. I wish there were a way in blogger to place them in different areas than just at the top. If someone has some ideas about this, please let me know.