We woke up on Thursday with even more snow on the ground than what we had come home to the day before. Any plans of going caching went out of the proverbial window.
But wait, oh my...BOOTS ON!!!
BOOTS ON!!! in our house is the equivalent of the 'Whoopee!!!' cry of our first nations in times gone, of 'Action Stations' over the intercom on a warship, and of 'Supper is served' in many homes... That is not to say that any of these can come close to the urgency in the voice that cries BOOTS ON!!! But then...oh well...
Our computer screens were full of evidence that mountainman had been a busy man indeed. But that was a few hours earlier and we had slept right through it. Six new caches had come out in our immediate area. Hopes of getting to any of them first were slim, looking at the time that had already elapsed since they came out. However, Erica had been hoping so much for being part of an FTF adventure that we climbed in our boots and hit the snowy road, the Jeep purring contentedly as we went.
Arriving at the first one, we saw to our surprise no tracks in the snow near where we thought the cache had to be. We found the cache. Our first FTF of the day, PelikanKru's first FTF ever! Happy days are here again!
On to the next one, but that one never made it into the Garmin so we skipped it...
Arriving at the next closest one we were again surprised to see virgin snow in the area of the cache. Second FTF of the day. Snow is good!
Just when we were ready to put the cache back, someone pulled up into the parking spot next to it. Wait. Wait some more. She is in no hurry to come out of her car. Let's walk around with note books in hand as if we are inspecting. Never a look came our way. But look, she is getting busy with...it's on the floor apparently...sneak...got...cache... back... in place... and she never even looked up once. Floor is good!
Expedition continued! Arriving...oh unmarred snow...the stuff poetry is written about...another FTF...PelikanKru rules! Rules is good!
Home, picking up coords for number four. But first breakfast. Breakfast is good! So what if we don't get any more...three in a day in which we did not expect to find any....Three is good!
Up to number four. Alice is now with us too. You never know. Nobody has logged it yet. No virgin snow this time...such grief...but a virgin logbook nevertheless...o joy! Joy is good!
Four was the record of FTF's for goinggone in one day. Was it breakable?
'Guys, there is one in Mission too. Feel like going?'
'How long will that take?'
'O, 15 there, 15 back...o, about half an hour I'd say.'
I'd kind of forgotten the landscape at the end of Wren ...steep down, steep up...don't really notice it so much on a summer day...but now...steep, snow, slippery... Do we or don't we? We had already been in a bit of a skid earlier that day...even a Jeep and 4x4 is no match for straight ice going down hill...
Alice went to reconnoitre the steepness and slipperyness of the situation. We got the go-ahead. Made it to the bottom of the hill without problems. Uphill was no headache either.
Arriving at the park we found the gate closed and the closest we could get to the cache was over 300m. Girls wearing just runners. Eight inches of unplowed snow. Unplowed is no good!
'Let's do it. We made it this far, a little more can't hurt.'
Nobody mentions the 'half hour or so' it would take to do this one.
Trudging through virgin snow over our ankles direction cache.
We make it. Find the cache quite quickly. Joy abounds. Another FTF! FTS's are joy!
Eventually we get home again. Nobody is unhappy with the day we have been given. The sunshine and the snow makes the mountains look incredible.
On Wednesday of last week we went to Bellingham. The weather promised to be rainy but it actually was not too bad until the middle of the afternoon.
We had never really done any caching in Bellingham so it was new to us all. We spent a good deal of time in the Bellis Fair area and a little to the south of it. There were enough caches there to keep us busy. It being a shopping area with mall upon mall we ran into a goodly number of lamppost caches which count for as much as any other cache but which become a little boring and predictable after a while.
By now Erica had her official log book stamp: PelikanKru with a neat little pelican on it, courtesy of Fastamps (design courtesy of Mom!). Both girls had become total experts at all the administrative aspects of caching, operating both the GPS and the Palm as if they were born to it. And both proved to have developed finely honed geosenses so that I was pretty well reduced to driving from cache to cache. Only when they ran stuck did I have to come to the rescue which I did a couple of times quite impressively, even if I say so myself!
The hand that you see pictured in one of yesterday's posts was in a cache called Farm Hand. It was probably a left-over from the 'weird' types of caches the two organizers of last year's Lynden Hallowe'en event had bought and found no place to use it. On this day we found another: Don't Bite the Hand etc.... Maybe the next time we'll find one that is called: Don't Feed the Hand that Bites You...
Around mid-afternoon mom called to acquaint us with the happy tiding that it was snowing in Abbotsford and that it was sticking and might we be thinking of coming home before it got too bad. We decided that we might indeed.
On our way back to the north country Erica picked up a few more caches that we (goinggone) had already found earlier. They helped her to beat her previous personal number of caches in one day, set the previous day. Her new record is now 20! Some people are just naturally good at this thing called caching!
Talking about numbers, also on this day she got her 50th cache! Not an impressive number perhaps, but you have to reach this number before you can go on to bigger things. So it is an event worthy of being noted; so here it is: duly noted that PelikanKru found a total of 50 caches and counting! Congratulations PelikanKru! Now on to bigger things in Winnipeg where spring is around one of the corners, somewhere...
Let it be noted too that cachers love to remind themselves and each other that this 'sport' is not about the numbers but about the fun in its many varieties, many of which I have pointed out before in this series of blogs. The fact that you see behind each cacher's name the number of finds he/she/they have everytime you see one of their logs must be sheer coincidence! Because...it is not about the numbers! And therefore I should really resist the temptation to share with you all that on this day I reached 1400! But then, whenever a person says 'should' it is usually too late, as it is in this case.
Therefore, before I throw out any more numbers, I had better quit. Done. Easy.