Saturday, February 28, 2009


By Monday night Mom had caught a bit of a cold which by Tuesday morning had developed into a whopper. "No caching for you today, my dear!" Too bad for we had started the week off so well with the four of us.
There was little sense in staying home as she would probably spend most of her time in bed, so we left somewhat reluctantly but not with burning feelings of guilt.

We had decided to go to Ferndale in Washington State, territory I had not been to before so I could enjoy the finding of new caches as much as the girls.
The fine citizens of this town will probably howl at my statement that there is not much that struck us a special so I have no pictures of fine buildings or other interesting things, but so be it...I said it.

The weather forecast had not been great but the day turned out quite nice: windy but sunny so we were fine.

The caching went well. We did not come across any that were beyond us. The girls proved themselves born 'finders' so we did not have any DNF's that day. Well, maybe, but we are sure that the cache we could not find is a victim of the floods they had in January. One sees evidence of that everywhere, and a number of caches have been lost to a watery grave and are only now being replaced. We came across some totally clean log sheets but were not ever tempted to claim an FTF.

Erica had a personal best of 14 finds that day.

She also started a bit of photo shoot of caches to show to her family and friends back home. Enjoy the evidence...


I am planning to write a few short blogs this time instead of trying to pack everything into one long one as I have been wont to do. Somebody referred to it as 'schmozzle' in her blog...

On Monday, the four of us (remember, we had Alice and Erica with us...) went to the Serpentine Fen Bird Sanctuary, a place we had not been to before.

The weather did not quite know what it wanted to be like when we left, but as the day went on it turned out not too bad until later in the afternoon when it started to rain.

The place is a sort of wetlands with a dike running through it and along the Serpentine River. It has 6 caches in it so we thought it might make for a nice day. And so it did. We had some difficulty with one of them but then were joined by a fellow cacher, Fryertuck, who helped us but to no avail. Later on in the day we ran into him again, and by that time he knew where to look, having run into yet another cacher. So you see that the network was really working that day.

But before we finished this one, we had to return to the car to eat. Some people really need their food at set times to avoid headaches and such while others just go and in goinggone maybe?

This also meant that we had to return to where we had been before. In the meantime it had started raining so two of us opted for staying in the car while the dedicated ones among us, to wit Erica and I, dressed up for the weather and went to claim the cache. Erica, of course, had no choice, for she had to sign the log. I had a choice, but I choiced not to pull age...

After returning to the Jeep we decided to call it a day and headed home.

Geocaching 101

A week ago we had the Abbotsford Geocaching 101 event, organized by us and some other local cachers in our club house. This event, under the auspices of the BC Geocaching Assn. is done yearly in several places throughout BC. Its purpose is to give new cachers a chance to meet with experienced cachers, to learn a few of the basic tools and tricks involved, get a taste of caching, and so on. The veteran cachers use these events as a meet and greet where existing ties get renewed and new ones started. And this event can be logged as a 'Found" so you even get a smiley for it.

We were pleasantly surprised by the turn-out. We probably had a crowd of some 60 people with a nice mix of 'old' and 'new'.

We had planted a couple of new caches in the park behind us so we went out in bunches of new and old to find them. As they say, a lot of fun was had by all.
This event was attended also by Erica (PelikanKru) from Winnipeg who had arrived the previous day to help us celebrate my birthday. Somehow she managed to stay out of all the pictures we took.

On this day her sister Alice also arrived from Hamilton with the same idea in mind. She too showed up briefly. Alice is very much in love with caching since we introduced her and her family to it last summer, but they have not yet made the full commitment and spend the $400 and get a GPS...

And just so you won't forget whose birthday it was, here is the proof in the pie...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Can a person wish himself a happy birthday? Too late! I just did.

It is turning out to be a great day even though I did not sleep so well last night. I am sure you are all thinking that it was a case of 'one more sleep and it is my birthday'.

Well, that was not what this one was about. The real reason is not hard to guess for those who follow this blog. Of course, it was caching related.

Last night we were quietly watching Peter Mansbridge doing his National thing, including his interview with Harper and the always fascinating At Issue Panel. I don't think very highly of the CBC, or any TV station for that matter, but Peter is a class by himself, imho.

During a break I do what one is supposed to do: amble over to the WR. On my way back to PM I take a quick peek at the computer screen and exclaim...well, you can guess what I exclaimed...yes, that's right: 'O shoot!' Five new caches showing.

'Put your boots on, dear.'

Nary a protest nor the question 'Why'. Just body rushing through air...

Two minutes later (well, sorry okay, but we had to read the cache pages, download to GPS and Palm; put boots on, clothes too, so don't call us slow pokes, please) we are on our way and trying out the Turbo feature on our worked well!

Three minutes later we park. Fifty seconds later we have the cache in hand. Two minutes later we are back in the car, on our way to the next one, less than a km away.

Arriving, we see something like the grown-up version of the burning bush...a pine tree with light moving around inside it. Of course, that light belongs to no other than our fellow crazy night FTF hunter (last week he did one at 2am) TESKELLY.

'That you, Kelly?'
'Of course!'. (tone indicates: 'stupid question'...)
'You found it?'
'Course!' (tone unchanged...)
'We found the other one.'
'Okay. This is my second one.'
'Okay. Good for you. We won't bother then.'
'You guys want to sign this one?'
'No, we need to keep a few available for a day we can't go too far afield. We're off. Good night'.

So off we are, much more sedately through the quiet winter night.

'There were two other caches...'
'Yes, but they were tree climbing caches. Not tonight, or maybe not ever...'
'Oh. You turned chicken?'
'No, of course not, but it is nearly midnight!'
'It is midnight every night some time... Okay, lets go home and have another look at them.'

At home sanity returns to the mind that was temporarily lacking same.

Instead I send a email to another cacher and invite him to join me tomorrow at first light. No response. He is probably on the road trying for FTF's.

I go to bed. Wake up at three, a normal occurence, nothing to do with caching either...

There is a response email. A message from a very frustrated cacher who had missed all the action the previous night, very unusual for him.
I email back saying that I will be available for calls anytime after six. Go back to bed, set the alarm. Wake up at 4:30. Not an uncommon...well, you knew that already. Check email. Nothing. Of course not!

Go back to bed. Actually sleep a bit. Wake up at 5:50. Neutralize the alarm so the other half of goinggone will not wake up.

Shower. Coffee. Dial number of Les. Let it ring once. If he is awake he will hear it but hopefully it will not wake up his family. No response. Of course not!

Ten minutes later try again. Bingo!

'Meet you in Clayburn Village at 7.'

We get to the area. We cannot locate the cache. It is white so there is a chance we might but we don't. So we pick the most likely tree and up goes Les...way up until he spots it. I guess that means I have to say 'Bingo' again now I have started this thread.

He comes down safely. Off to number two. We park in a sleepy street and head for the trail, ladder under arm...Nobody phoned the police as far as we know.

At the tree we spot the cache. Same procedure repeats itself.

I am back home a little after 8 where a very surprised and still sleepy caching partner greets me, totally surprised that she never noticed anything until she woke up a few minutes ago, but not in the least feeling guilty...
But I have to give this to her: she was more interested in my adventures for the first few minutes than in the fact that she was looking at a birthday person who had just spent the 'one more sleep and it's my birthday' night rather sleeplessly...

But then she made up for that momentary lapse in the priority thing-ah-muh-jiggy...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Party Time?

Just a quick little update on the fact that sometimes we find more than just caches.
Mom especially is very good at finding 'caches' left by dogs which gets her very upset every time but we always find some water to clean her boots. This week it was the ocean that served as the supply depot. I have no picture of this...good thing, right?

Also this week, while caching in White Rock, I found a cache of a different type. The picture tells it all.

I guess some young people were having a bit of a party in this park when they suddenly had to get rid of their booze. My assumption is that the night following it snowed and they never came back for their booty or couldn't find it back. To top this all off, the next day I found some more of the same in a different location.

As you know, I have lost all kinds of things during caching: glasses, cell phone, stick, and more. The following picture, which I am under orders to include, shows that I am only a hat away from loosing my head...

Hopefully soon I will able to post the picture that won the BC Geocaching Caching Photo Contest, taken, of course, by no other than Mom...hopefully...please...or perhaps not...please...for we'll never get more than two caches done in a day from that day on because...'wait a minute dear, I need to take a picture...'

Which one would you pick?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Welcome KCNEL

Yesterday, Saturday Feb.7, we took Casey and Nellie caching for the very first time in their life. They had been really looking forward to it during the last couple of weeks and especially Nellie kept asking about what to take and what she could expect. There isn't a whole lot one needs to tell a new cacher, so I basically limited it to 'good shoes' and 'warm clothes' in case it looked like the weather would be cold. When she kept asking if that was really all I told her to also bring her hipwaders so as to be ready for crossing a stream or two.

She did not react positively to that, either because she doesn't have any and didn't want to get them, or because she couldn't visualize herself in a pair. She said she would cross barefeet and pants up instead. If you know how Nellie would sometimes walk through the barn rounding up the cows you will have no trouble believing that she would actually do that.

We had a wonderful day with them. It was not warm but the sun was out and we went to the Chilliwack River area where we went last year for my birthday. We took them to some caches that we had done already as well as some new ones (for us). Casey got the hang of it quite quickly until irlpguy threw us, almost, for a loop with one of his specialties which I cannot divulge here in the interest of other cachers who read this blog and may want to do this cache one day. They wouldn't want to know what the cache is like until they have tried it or found it, of course.

As we traveled east we found more and more snow on the trails, and then we came to a cache where we could have used a blowtorch to get it out of its frozen hidey-hole. That's when we decided to call it a day, fearing that further up it would be worse. So those have to wait for my birthday this year. You can join us if you like...

When we got back to the road we found that we were actually quite close to another cache so we walked up yet another trail to have a look for one more find. That's when we found a garbage bag with three young trees in it on the trail, and a short way up a couple with a shovel. Quite incredible in this time of 'green' awareness people ransacking the forest for their garden, at least we assume that's what they were doing. They denied all knowledge of the garbage bag and had some kind of sob story to explain the shovel. We should have taken their picture and their licence plate number but that would probably not have gone anywhere so we didn't bother.

To make us feel better, Nellie found a cache, her first one, so we all rejoiced and headed home. Casey is determined to get himself a GPS so he can take his grandsons out; Nellie is not so sure she wants to do anymore slipsliding in the woods (of course, in spite of all her questions, she came woefully unprepared as far as footwear is concerned).

It was a fun day. It always is fun to go with other people instead of just the two of us. But not many people are available, so it remains a rarity. But again, if you feel an urge...You can ride in the Jeep which worked like a charm on the snowy and icy forest roads...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Five Ways to Stop a Cacher and More to Stop the Garbage

Yesterday and today we were near and around Lynden, WA. The weather was beautiful and the countryside peaceful and great to drive through.
One of the caches we did today is Five Ways to Stop a Cacher. I had never seen a sign at an intersection that actually says 5-Way. But as the picture shows, they do exist and at this point there were five such signs. Okay, so you already guessed that. Fine!

As the picture also shows, we found the cache, adding one more reason for a cacher to stop...get it? Good!

Like I said, it is a pleasure to drive through the Watcom County area. However, there is one thing that really takes away from the fun. I am not saying this to preach at our southern neighbours, but they are so badly in need of recycling laws and places to bring their stuff instead of throwing it every which where. As one of the pictures shows, it can get very bad. But there is no incentive for people to pick up their junk like we have it. That, of course, is still not a reason to just dump it wherever, but it certainly would help.

Think what you may of homeless people and hobos, they clean up an incredible quantity of recyclables. You see them coming into the Return It places with garbage bags full of cans and bottles. Those places actually hand out those bags to these people to go out and fill them up. Cities should really thank them for their service, especially Langley where within the city limits you will not find a can or bottle. Quite incredible!

Last week we were in Surrey on a schoolyard. We picked up for at least $10.00 worth of cans, and felt a little guilty for doing it, because there is no doubt that sometime during the day some homeless person would have come by to pick them up.

What you do find everywhere, including Langley, is Tim Horton's (note the apostrophy, please!) and Starbucks' garbage. When will we have a government that has the guts to make it a law to put a return fee on Icecap and other plastic containers that litter the landscape and that don't get picked up by the hobos because there is no return fee on them. And while they are at it, the government I mean, they can also outlaw drive-by's to stop the exhaust fumes polluting our atmosphere...So there! Anybody have Harper's cell number? Could you call him?

Does anyone have Obama's cell number? Could you call him? He is the one 'who can' so there is no longer a need for a can here and a can everywhere!

I'll end with this picture of our new cache mobile. If you have very good eyes, you may be able to see the eagle in the tree in the background. We saw lots of them today and they continue to take our breath away.