Sunday, 3 May 2015

15 Years of Geocaching & Camp Thunderbird CITO

Hi everyone!  As of now while I type this blog it is May 3rd 2015, and the geocaching world this is a big deal.  May 2nd & 3rd holds special meaning to any geocacher, as this is the when geocaching was born 15 years ago.  On May 2nd, 2000 the US Government unscrambled the GPS Satellite system call the "selective availability" feature that was intentionally degrading the GPS signals for national security reasons. The move to do this made GPS signals up to 10 times more accurate for million current GPS users, and paved the way for a man Dave Ulmer to come up with an idea.  The very next day (May 3rd) Dave Ulmer (a computer consultant and GPS enthusist) wanted to test the accuracy of his GPS after hearing the news.  So he set out and hid a bucket full of trinkets and goodies in the woods near Beavercreek, Oregon, not too far from Portland.  He called his idea the "Great American GPS Stash Hunt" and posted it in an Internet GPS users' group. Within the first month it was found by Mike Teague, more were being created and submitted to Mike and posted on his personal home page, and 15 years later you come to today where there are over 2 million geocaches hidden worldwide with thousands of geocachers playing the game.  So happy 15th anniversary geocaching, and here is to many more to come!

Now let's fast forward to now, but not all the way.  May 2nd, 2015 will do just fine!
It is saturday morning, and I find myself getting out of bed at a awfully early hour.  I had worked the night before until midnight, and I never just go right to bed when I get home.  I always require a wind down period, which I am certain I am not alone in doing as a practise.  So why am I getting up so early if I had not gone to bed at a decent hour the night before?  Well for a very good reason, there was a CITO today.  A CITO is a geocaching event that has us the geocachers going out and doing something for the environment.  Usually we are picking up trash in local parks and along highways, however sometimes we are out also helping remove invasive plant species.  But today's event was nothing like them.  This time it was helping the users of trails at a local YMCA/YWCA camp called Camp Thunderbird enjoy their time on the trails by clearing the trails of blow down debris.

The event hosts were Grifung, very active cachers in our community who spend a lot of time out on these very trails with their good friends Islandfinders.  Grifung had us gathering at the parking lot near Glintz Lake.  After a brief gathering and talk about what we were to do we split into groups and headed out onto the trails to get our CITO on.

I joined Grifung and Islandfinders for my first real foray into the Sooke Hills.  We had a great hike moving debris off the trails and cutting small blown down trees and moving them out of the way.  Please note nothing living was hurt by any of us on this trek, everything was already broken or uprooted from the ground.  In the end many of the trails were cleared up for recreational use due to the efforts of the different groups heading off in multiple directions.

Thanks for a fun CITO and taking me under your wing Grifung, and thank you to everyone that came and participated in the event.  

Sunday, 26 April 2015

2015 CITO Weekend & One Busy Day

Hi everyone.  I am almost a week late getting started on this blog, but I think I am getting better at this now.  Lately I have been very late on writing about the various adventures we have, but that isn't always a bad thing.  I find that with having a pause one can reflect and think about the words they want to use.  But before I get too far off topic I should probably get on with it.

This past weekend was groundspeak's annual CITO weekend.  I have written many times about what a CITO is, but if you still need an explanation a CITO is:  "Cache In Trash Out is an ongoing environmental initiative supported by the worldwide geocaching community. Since 2002, geocachers around the world have been dedicated to improving parks and other cache-friendly places. Through these volunteer efforts, we help preserve the natural beauty of our outdoor resources!"

With that out of the way, we had three CITO events here in the South Island area.  Islandfinders and AnnieMaroo hosted one each on Saturday April 25, while we hosted our very first one in Victoria's Downtown Core.

Islandfinder's event provided us with a unique situation.
Because they like to also host a dinner event at a local restaurant after the clean up, this gave us to event types in one day.  As some of you will know, there is a challenge out there called the One Busy Day Challenge.  What this is about is that you are challenged to find as many cache types in one day.

So this got me thinking and planning, and soon I had a plan in place.  I initially invited my dad Postie Bear to be the only person on my team going for the planned caches, but this evolved to include tadrew (another local cacher) to participate as well.  The plan was to do a Wherigo, Vitual, Traditional, Multi, Earthcache, Mystery, Letterbox all in that order and finish up with the CITO and regular Event type for a total of nine cache types in one day.  I wont go too deep into the details of the day but we had a great time, albeit an exhausting one!

The way the day went we unfortunately had to miss AnnieMaroo's CITO at Beaver Lake.  And we hope it was a success, and that everyone in attendance had fun!

On Sunday April 25th it was our turn to host our very first CITO.  I had done a bit of homework checking out local parks and public spaces trying to find a place that would be suitable for hosting a CITO.  Most of the parks were very well maintained by the municipality or by the CRD (Capital Regional District).  But then I had an epiphany and remembered the term groundspeak used in their Official Blog Latitude 47 "keeping our game board (i.e. the entire planet) in great shape".  While our friends typically host events in natural habitats to pick up trash, remove invasive plant species, etc, why not host a CITO in the other game board, the urban game board of Victoria's Downtown Core!

The City of Victoria does fantastic job keeping the core nice and clean.  As a tourism hub we have to have it clean for the many thousands of guests we have every year.  But sometimes the locals are not as nice to the core as they should be, especially the inebriated weekend party warriors!  So this became my plan.

The day of the CITO we arrived early at Centennial Square to set up and be ready for our attendees.  We spoke to the Commissionaires that were working on site to let them know our intention, and they were happy to let us know that the City workers will love us for it.  Soon the cachers that were able to attend started to arrive, and once we had a good number together I gave a little talk on what we are going to do, what to avoid, and what PPE (Person Protection Equipment) we had on hand (ie. Nitrile Gloves).  The cachers then headed out into the the streets with their gloves and a bags to pick up trash and beautify the city.  I personally think a lot of the attendees didn't believe they would find much, and many returned to the square with very full to moderately full bags of trash.  They told me that they were shocked they could get as much as they did.  Other stories included muggles (non-cachers) stopping to pick up trash and put it in their bags, and of others just taking the time to thank us for the effort.  Back at the square a truck with two City Workers (I didn't know they worked on Sundays) stopped in and thanked Mrs GO Team who was busy picking up cigarette butts and other miscellaneous trash.

In the end I think this CITO in the core was a success.  And as promised in the event cache listing I rewarded everyone with Coffee and Cookies!

Thank you everyone who participated in CITO events locally and globally.  Even the smallest effort is a big effort for the planet we call home!


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Safety in the Woods

I remember this particular day while I was on Facebook in the GCGV Facebook Page (closed group) when my friend cameracowgirl posed an interesting question.  "Is anyone interested with the know how, interested in hosting an event about safety in the woods?".. Ok that probably wasn't exactly like she said it, and surfing back months for posts to find out isn't my idea of fun.  However, I am sure it was a little similar or at the very least along those lines!  I do remember that it caused quite a reaction, a very good reaction.  The local and not so local cachers were very interested in this.  And what it lead to was cameracowgirl herself arranging and hosting the event herself.

April 11 2015 the day of the event, my father Postie Bear came down from Comox and we spent the morning caching in behind Mt. Work and the trails around Durrance Lake.  We had a great time going for nice easy caches (the backside of the mountain and that lake are easy) so that we would not be too tuckered out when it came to event time.
Anyone coming to Victoria for a visit and looking for a great mountain to do some serious geocaching on, I would totally suggest Mt. Work, as it has a variety of easy to rough terrain choices!  And for those looking for a small lake to hike around on decent trails Durrance Lake along with a few others are prime locations to go!

After getting our cache fix for the morning we headed out for a quick lunch and cleaned up for the event!

For cameracowgirl's "Safety in the Woods - GC5M27Y" Lumbo-Tire was able to offer up the Mess at the LT. General Ashton Armoury.  It is the same location that he hosts his annual "Strollin On" New Years event.  It is a fantastic location with a no host bar and allows for a large number of people to gather without an issue!  So to Lumbo-Tire a big THANK YOU is in order for arranging the use of your facility!

When we arrived we walked into an already very well attended event.  A lot of local cachers we know well had already congregated in the mess and were in the midst of fun geo-chatter.  But another glance around the room also revealed a bunch of our not so local cachers had made the trip to the south island to attend this event.  It was nice to see so many people of the Vancouver Island caching community as a whole wanting to take part in this event.

Cameracowgirl wrangled up a few knowledgeable people to come and talk to us on a variety of topics.  She had arranged for a SARs person to come in, but sadly they were not able to when the time came.  But Lumbo-Tire (a Sergeant with 11 (Victoria) Field Ambulance) took the stage and gave us a few lessons what to do if you get lost,  how to stay warm, how to use a compass when your GPS batteries die, and  how to use an analog watch to figure out where north is.
After Lumbo did his presentation and a short intermission our next guest speaker was an officer from the BC Conservation Service.  He did a very informative presentation of the various types of wildlife we could encounter while geocaching, how to avoid wildlife conflicts, and how to protect ourselves if they get territorial and attack.  Our final speaker was bcrockcrawler (a very friendly cacher with an amazing geocoin collection from Nanaimo) who gave a brief talk on Personal Location Beacons and their practical applications.

Too soon the 3 hours were up and it was time for everyone to scoot out for home.  I have to say this was a fantastic event.  It had great attendance, great helpful info, and brought us all together in one of my favorite event venues.  Congratulations to cameracowgirl for putting on a a very successful first caching event!

Thanks everyone for coming and being a part of this event, and thank you too all my readers.  As usual this blog wouldn't be what it is without you!


Saturday, 14 March 2015

Strollin on the Pi(e)


Saturday March 14, 2015.  A day that to me was a mystery, just like the very mathematical constant that this day celebrated which is Pi.  That's right it was Pi Day, something I didn't know people even celebrated until this year.  I guess while I do try to pay attention to the various things that go on around me in this world, some of them slip by.



But what exactly is Pi Day, and why is it celebrated?
Wiki explains it as: 

"Pi Day is an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day date format) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day."

It also goes on to explain:

"The earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by Larry Shaw in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where Shaw worked as a physicist, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, then consuming fruit pies. The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations. On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224), recognizing March 14, 2009 as National Pi Day."

Ok so now we know a bit about it's history.  But this year geocaching.com decided to jump on the celebration bandwagon, and the result was one of great fun and great reason to be with our friends.  What they did was create 2 new souvenirs that someone could get by simply attending any geocaching event on Pi Day, and by solving and finding a mystery cache.  


Please remember you can click on any image in my blogs to view larger versions at any time!  Additionally you can click on colored words which are links to relevant information. 

So enter Pi day and it's celebrations.  Worldwide there were many Pi Day geocaching events held, and the one that was held here was hosted by non other than Lumbo-Tire!  His event "Strollin on the Pi(e)" was held at the View Royal Serious Coffee  at 9:00am, with the official event page stating that "Come early, because at 9:26:53 am, everyone is to celebrate by yelling PI."  If you haven't put it together yet the first 10 digits of Pi is 3.141592653.

We The GO! Team arrived at the event just shortly before 9:00am.  We had both been up and getting ready so as to be there by quarter to nine, but somehow we totally lost track of time.  I knew that it was going to be a busy event, and had a feeling we would be walking in to a standing room only deal.  And after parking the car and walking in the door my feeling was confirmed, and we were seeing a very well attended event.

We felt sorry for the poor girl working the counter.  While Lumbo did inform the owner of the establishment and got permission, they only staffed the location with just her.  However she did eventually receive reinforcements, but not before it really was too late.

At just before appointed time Lumbo got everyone's attention said a few words, did a count down, and everyone yelled "Pi".  It was followed by a round of laughter, and everyone got back to visiting with friends and discovering trackables.  But Lumbo wasn't done yet.  You see he had walked through the place earlier giving everyone 50/50 tickets for a draw.  The prize, a few Pi(e)s to take home.  I think there were 3 lucky winners, and who they were has escaped me, but I am sure they enjoyed their Pi(e) for dessert that evening.  We enjoyed visiting everyone we could again!  You can imagine it is difficult to visit with everyone, and we do try so hard to do so.  But in the end in true The GO! Team fashion, we were the last to leave.

Moving along we headed out to do the second part of the day, finding a mystery cache.  Here at our home like many geocachers we use GSAK.. Ok, ok, I use GSAK!  So keeping databases of caches is a breeze.  One such database on my copy is a "Solved Puzzles" database.  Here is where I store all my solved mystery caches; cause lets face it, just because I solved it doesn't mean I will be rushing out the door to do it that day!  So in anticipation of today I chose a mystery I thought I had solved, and had a final that wasn't that far away without requiring a significant hike.

We proceeded to the solved coordinates (which seemed to match the description of what you would find), proceeded to do the projection (something I have done many many times before), and did the area match the description no... NOPE, it did not!  So this resulted in a very disappointing DNF.  This is also when I should mention that mystery cache owners should use some sort of checker on their cache page.  There are a couple geocheck and geochecker.  These are great since the person can check their solved answer and see if they would be wasting their time if they headed out.  Something this mystery didn't allow me to do!

By this point Mrs. GO! Team needed to get home to sleep for her night shift that night, so I got her there and I went straight to GSAK to see what else I had.  I quickly poured over the database, chose three prospects, and flew out the door.  Sadly they were epic fails too!  The first one was correct but had been disabled due to the cache being missing, which I didn't know until I looked it up on my phone after 20min of searching.  The second, well it had been archived about 3 months ago, while the third was so wrong it makes me think of THIS VIDEO of Dr. Cox from scrubs... So yeah, I wasn't too happy.  But I headed home one last time, checked my database once more, and after running the refresh so I could see what was disabled and archived found one last one that fit my criteria of no hike and close to home.  One last time I headed out there, and this time SUCCESS!!  And the final souvenir was mine!

Now since this is over now I don't feel bad sharing this, but embedded in the souvenirs was a secret.  That's right if you look closely in the images there is some letters and numbers a geocacher should recognise.

That's right, there was a secret GC number in the images, GC31415 which took you to this cache page HERE.  No geocache to find, but rather the cache page was a placeholder for info for a contest.  I do love geocoins, and having the one they were offering as a prize would have been great, but I decided I wasn't going to get involved.  But it was a cool add on to the Pi festivities!

I just want to thank Lumbo-Tire for the fun event, and to all the attendees for coming out.  Also thanks to geocaching.com for the neat souvenirs. And a SUPER HUGE THANKS to all my readers for popping by to read my blogs!!!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Sooke Caching with SoobaxM

On the week of March 12th, I received a message from my good friend SoobaxM of the Cache-Keteers asking if I would like to hang out with her and do some caching.  She wanted to go out to the Sooke area and do the Eine Kleine HAGmusik or EKH cache series.  These were a set of caches published by skramble for this year's HAG XI "Music Music Music".  They were a fun set of mystery caches that you can find out in the Sooke Harbour, and they form a Treble Clef in what is known as geoart.  To be honest SoobaxM had done the mental work on the mysteries, and had asked if I wanted to join her on the adventure so that she at least had someone with her. And I was most happy to agree too go.  

We had a fantastic day visiting all the caches (32 total but 31 that need solving before going) collecting the data needed to solve the final. We had tons of great talks about how we feel about the evolution of the activity, about wishes and dreams about our own personal geocaching goals, and about adventures we already had.  We even took time to make a stop and do an earthcache in the area too.  


Thanks SoobaxM for the invite, and for sharing the adventure with me!  I really hope we get a chance to cache together again soon!!

 

 

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Cachin' Jack Point Park

I'm pretty late getting this story out, but sometimes late is better than never.
On March 10th 2015 I joined my father and fellow geocacher Postie Bear, along with his friend CurlyQ42 for a fun day of caching at Jack Point & Biggs Park in Nanaimo BC.  It was a very foggy day so visibility was low looking out to the water, however we didn't let this particular thing set us back from having a fun day.

Just a reminder that any image can be clicked on to see a full sized version, and any colored text is a link to relevant info.

Jack Point happens to be the very same place I was introduced to geocaching at back in 2004.  Our friends and Nanaimo residents Sahara_Jeepers took us here and showed us this wonderful activity New Years Day 2004, and even though we thought it was cool it wasn't until 2010 that we actually started.  Mrs. GO! Team and I had been back here since to actually find the caches we did back then, and it was nice to see that most of them had been replaced to give me a whole new experience all over again on this particular trip.

I was the first to arrive at the parking lot near the tunnel to the park that runs under the highway.  I changed into my hiking boots, and decided to head off into the fog to make a quick find near by to kill time.  This didn't turn out to go how I expected, as my mind and eyes would not let me properly decipher the hint and make what I was hoping to be a quick find.  So without finding it I headed back to the parking lot to find that my companions for the day had just arrived.

We headed out into the dense fog and started our day, and despite
our first attempt at a find being a DNF (other than the one I mentioned already) we had a great time.  I was actually very shocked that in my previous runs to this place that I never noticed that the bedrock here was primarily sandstone.  But it really took doing the fantastic Earthcache here to actually put two and two together on this geological feature.

My companions learned a few new tricks about geocaching while out with me that day, and we had a blast caching our way along to the very tip where we stopped for lunch.  It was neat being here, as you can watch departing Ferries and look out to the water for sea life.  It was here that we got to see a small group of the largest Sea Lions I have ever seen this far north.  The last time I had see one this big was when I was in Cabo San Lucas Mexico!

By this point in our day the fog had lifted and were were able to see much more, and we hiked back to the vehicles and cached a bit more of the surrounding area (including finding that first one I DNF'ed before they arrived) on our way back out.

A big thanks to my dad Postie Bear and CurlyQ42
for a fun day of caching. 

And  thanks to all the cache owners for some fun quality hides!


Stay tuned right here for more blogs to come!


Saturday, 7 March 2015

HAG Wrap Up and Witching Hour Redux

So in our previous blog we touched base on this years HAG XI and the lead up, and a day of caching to go with it!  Well with that month of caching out of the way it is time for the HAG Wrap Up event at the 6 Mile Pub in View Royal

This event is held on the first Saturday of March and this is where the winners of the various trophies accept their prize.  Normally in the past I have been able to present with this blog a list of the winning cachers and the caches associated with them, but I could not find a published list anywhere.  However, if I can happen upon a list I will update this blog with them later! UPDATE:  Since publication I have found a list, you will find it at the end of this blog post.

As usual the this event was well attended, and everyone got to enjoy the fantastic food and drink that
they serve at the pub.  And with a little twist to go along with the theme of Music Music Music, this year we had wonderful live music to listen to.

We had a great time getting to see many of our good geocaching friends, while we also got a chance to meet a few new and not so new but new to the area cachers.

As the night was winding down I was approached by tadrew who was thinking of heading out to find the particularly notorious night cache "The Witching Hour - GCZ6PR".
Those of you that have been with us for a while now will know that we did this cache back in October 2010 with alyseluvsmike, meleakett and pracademics.  And we had a blast!  If you haven't read that blog entry you can find it HERE.

Well the people that were going had heard that the reflective tacks that lead the way were in quite a state of disrepair, so they were asking for any hint or tricks to help ease the treck.  I suggested what we did to them, which was to use glow stick bracelets as bread crumbs to follow the way out.  You see even with the if the tacks were in good repair, you can't use them to find your way back out.
Oh sure you could use the tracks feature on your GPSr; but when your bushwhacking in the dark on some very uneven terrain, looking at your GPS screen to make sure you are staying on track is the last thing you want to be doing!

I also volunteered to assist the group in making their way to the cache, as I figured having a veteran set of eyes looking for the tacks would be helpful.  When I returned to my table and told my wife and geo-friends sdkonkle what I was going to do, sdkonkle volunteered his eyes as well.  So the two of us arranged with the team of adventurers to meet them at the starting point, and we headed to our homes to get changed into appropriate gear.

When we arrived at the starting point to meet the team, we learned that they had been successful in finding a party supply store that was still open to get the glow bracelets as I had suggested. We had a brief talk about what they would encounter in the bush (heavy bushwhacking).  And we headed out into the deep dark.

Well we were pleasantly surprised; as contradictory to what we had heard about the state of the tacks, they happened to be in excellent shape.  Our flashlights were catching them easily, and they led us right in.  With a good 30 min of trudging through the near head high salal and uneven terrain we made our way to the the final set of tacks (a double set of red), sdkonkle and I held back as the group headed in to make the find.  Jubilant they signed the log, rummaged though all the goodies inside, posed for a picture.  And when that was done we headed out following the glow bracelets and CITOing them on the way out.  And after a couple more finds in the area we headed to Tim Horton's for a a hot beverage and a treat.

Thanks everyone for the fun evening at the pub, and a big congratulations to all the trophy winners!

Congrats to the the intrepid team of cachers that did the Witching Hour!  I had a blast helping you all out, and getting to participate in your adventure!!

 

Left to Right: Neltra, Dutch Chocolate, Ernietr, Benicha, Pat&Rob (Rob), tadrew

EDIT:
While getting ready to publish this blog post I ran across a list of trophy winners.
The winners are as follows:

Intrepid Cacher Trophy - Sheesh695
Best Camo Trophy - Vicmorda for Cocoon
Most HAG finds - Landchatch & Jessimica02 with 368 finds
Best logBIRDSEECER – Beatles song lyrics for "In My Life SSI"
Out-Standing-In-The-Field trophy - Mike&Lily
Evil Trophy - JuRuu for Frank Zappa
Best Multi - raakea for "Key Notes"
Faves Trophy - HAILHOLL for "Human Circuit"
Most FTFs - Jessimica02 and landchatch with 91 FTFs
Best puzzleislandfinders for their The Beatles series of 26 puzzles!
Best Hiking or Biking Trail - TAK2 & Kamikazegirl1 - 8 musically themed caches along the Puntledge river in Courtney.
EarthcacheAnnieMaroo for Viaduct flats/Quick's Bottom and Ross Bay Cemetery Seawall.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The HAG Begins & Strollin on the Phalanx

Every year here on Vancouver Island a couple of the local cachers put on a geocaching extravaganza of sorts.  This extravaganza is called the HAG (Hide and GO), and this year marks the 11th year that it is held.  In the past starting in January we had a month to hide any caches we plan to release for the HAG along with reviewer note not to publish until the first Saturday in February.  Typically the HAG had a theme, and those caches are encouraged to follow with that theme.  And when the caches went live on that first Saturday of February, well  the hunt began!  And after a month of hunting the first Saturday in March is reserved for a wrap up event, where trophies and honourable mentions are given to those that played along.

This year however the reviewers tossed us a curve ball that worked in our favour.  They wanted more time added to the hiding so they could weed out any potential problem caches, like those with proximity issues.  This was great for us, as it allowed us to really scope out awesome spots and come up with neat theme related ideas.

Well this years HAG theme was "Music, Music, Music", and that allowed some great ideas!

So in hiding we came up with two ideas for caches.  First we created a Mystery cache where you solve a puzzle to find the final coordinates, This was called "The Donut Shop" - HAG XI and it involves a little ditty I came across one day.  It is a cute one, kinda like the kind you hear kids singing at camp or on a school bus. 

Secondly I made something I have been wanting to do for ages.  And after a lot of study and learning, I had figured out how to create a simple Wherigo cache.  This was titled "Walk On" The Park - HAG XI, and the title is inspired by the song "Walk On" by my favourite band U2 from Dublin Ireland.  This simple Wherigo acts like a tour guide of sorts as you walk though a local park, and makes you answer simple questions to proceed through the zones.

Both were published without incident, and many have commented on how fun and simple the Wherigo is and how neat the Mystery cache is for being so devilishly simple!

Fast forward to February 7th, and just after midnight the caches started to be published.  I was already ready for bed watching Family Guy on Netflix, and all of a sudden my tablet started chiming the arrival of new emails.  Really, what else could they be but new HAG caches.. So I got up off the couch, grabbed my phone and garage clicker, and headed out for a few First to Finds (FTF).  

The first one was a cute little cache called "Music to My Ears" by totemtabou, which in the dark could be for some a real pain in the butt to find.  But thankfully I was on my game, and as the GPS on my phone settled I made a relatively quick and easy FTF!  By this point many more emails had come in about more new HAG caches, and this time it was a small series at Swan Lake by Cache Crop.  Ironically they were all titled after characters from the ballet Swan Lake.  This allowed me to get 3 more FTFs, making my total come to 4.  Cold and a little wet from mist water I headed home, but just as I got there 3 more Swan Lake caches came out.  I decided to not go for them and leave them for someone else, and headed to bed.

After I woke up and for the rest of the day I didn't do anymore HAG caches.  That day my parents rolled into town (something they do a lot these days and makes me think they should just move back).  Dad (Postie Bear) and I hung out talking geocaching and planned for the next day, which was to be Lumbo-Tire's "Strollin on the Phalanx" event.  I loaded dads GPS with local caches just in case, and just chilled out.

Well Sunday February 8th came along fast enough, and after a nice breakfast dad and I got ready to head into downtown Victoria.  Mrs. GO! Team wasn't going to come because she was still trying to flip back to days after working her night shifts, so we left without her.

Lumbo-Tire's event was to be held at Centennial Square, and we wanted to make a quick stop at a Strabucks before hand.  The nice part of a Sunday event downtown is there is generally lots of parking, and the city doesn't charge on the meters on that day!

We arrived at the site after a nice cup of joe, and found that Lumbo had already been and marked the spot.  That is when I heard a voice from above (no not that voice) and looked to the top of a nearby parkaide.  Up on the topmost floor was the event host along with Paconlecellars and his wife.  We went up to have a pre-event chat, and we were quickly joined by G-Force and A-Team.  As we gazed out upon the square from above, we started to see familiar people start to collect down below.  So the small group of us made our way down to join our friends.

Ok so the idea for this event was for all of us to congregate in the square rain or shine with umbrellas in hand.  When we heard Lumbo-Tire blow his whistle we were to move to where "X" marks the spot.  Once there we were to deploy our umbrellas and form a Phalanx, which in this case would make us a muli-colourd turtle.  Some of you may ask what a Phalanx is?  Well the Phalanx was a strategy used by the Greeks where they would form as a marching group and deploy their shields above and around the group to essentially make an ancient armoured car.  This would allow them to march into a battle field and be protected from arrows raining down from above.  You can learn a bit more about Phalanx by clicking HERE.  So when the whistle sounded this is exactly what we did. We as a group moved to the "X", deployed our umbrellas and formed our Phalanx.

Mrs. GO! Team ended up waking up early and decided to come after all, and called me while on route.  The event being a flash-mob had already ended, but I waited for here to come and snapped a shot of her forming her solo Phalanx.

After Mrs. GO! Team arrived and I took the shot. I turned to my dad who had formed with a small team of people wanting to go grab a few caches, and headed out.  We did a couple down by the inner harbour, and when we were done there they asked if dad and I wanted to do the ones at Swan Lake.  I told them that I had already had half of them, but I would be happy to come and get the remainders.  So we all marched back to our vehicles.  Mrs. GO! Team decided to head off and do a few things that she wanted to do that day, so she parted ways with us there.

The group of us (tadrew, Neltra, CurleyQ42, Posite Bear, and myself)  arrived at Swan Lake and began our trek.  It was fun to assist them in finding the the caches I had FTF'ed the night before, and we had a nice walk thought the park getting the ones that got published after I had retired that night too.

Once we were done we stood around and talked about trackables, GSAK, and future adventures and milestone plans.  And when we dicided it was time to call it quits, we parted ways looking forward to the next little or big adventures.

Thanks to Lumbo-Tire for the fun event!
And a super huge thanks to all of my readers for hanging with me waiting for me to get my stories out there.



Thursday, 29 January 2015

Geocaching.com's New Advanced Search

Geocaching premium members, check your email mailboxs. Yesterday you should have received an email telling you how you as premium members get a sneak peak at the new advanced search that Groundspeak is rolling out. I personally think that it is great except for one thing, and that is filtering caches based on minimum favorite points.

I find that to be rather offensive because it takes away from the element of just getting out and caching. Let's take the video game Little Big Planet 1, 2, and 3 for example.

The credo of this game is "Play, Create, Share", which is not that different than geocaching's credo.
The players of this game can play the main story levels, collect bits and bobs, and then create levels for other players to play that are published to the Little Big Planet servers.
But the players of this game only seek out levels made by the community that have 500+ hearts (favorite points) on them to play. This gets those levels more plays and  more hearts, and in turn buries the levels of other less experienced community creators into obscurity. 

A new creator of levels can put in just as much time and effort into learning the in and out of level creation as a master builder, but will not get the same level of plays or hearts in return. And this can be very disappointing.

It is the same with geocaching,and even more so now. I feel for the new cachers, it's not right. Don't be a cache snob and only find caches with a minimum number of favorite points. The point of geocaching is to get out, have fun, and explore... Not to find perfect caches at the expense of not having an adventure.

As a side note, you as a premium member if you have found 1000 or more geocaches have more favorite points to give out than you can ever do in your caching lifetime. People look at the cache and think "Well it's just a lock & lock under some moss, not worthy of a favorite point.
But think for a moment, step back and look around.. Maybe the location is the reason why the cache is there, maybe it is the point of why the hider brought you to that spot. Maybe something close by is the reason too. Look at the big picture, not just the cache itself when determining the worth of the cache!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Lumbo-Tires' Annual New Year "Strollin on"

I have to start this entry with an apology, I have been very busy as of late and writing has been the furthest thing from my mind.  With a major change in vocation things in my life have changed entirely!  But I think I am finally getting it together enough to start putting my efforts back into my other passions like geocaching and writing this blog.

Our first story comes from way back in January.  In fact it comes from January 10th when Lumbo-Tire hosted his annual new year "Strollin on" event.  This year entitled "Strollin on The Bipedal Celebration in Saanich - GC5HDD1"

As usual Lumbo held his event at the ever impressive Mess in the LT. General Ashton Armoury.  It is such a nice location, with tons of room and seating.  As well, he had the no host bar open for those wishing to imbibe in a drink or two.  This year he had the football game on the big screen TV for those who didn't want to miss the action.

A nice thing to happen is that my father Postie Bear came down this time, and along with his friend CurleyQ42 they had their very first Lumbo-Tire New Year event experience.

One of the things that stand out about this event is the games.  Lumbo-Tire puts on a few games to keep the night interesting.  He usually has his "Guess the Number" game where the attendees have to guess how many of an object is in the large jar.  A new addition was the "You know you're a geocacher when" game, where those who participated wrote on slips of paper a thing that happened or thing that stands out as a truth when you are a geocacher.  The winner of the "Number" game I can't remember, but the winner for the "You know" game was diraduck who wrote "You know you're a geocacher when you pee in the woods way more than you do at home"!!

The game that is played for the majority of the night is Lumbo's famous "Swag Bag" game.  In this game Lumbo looks for the most obscure, yet things you use or see everyday.  He then sews them into numbered pouches, and we have to feel them and blindly guess what they are.
It has been  a few years, but guess who won!?  That's right me!!  I actually dominated the scene this year just knowing what the items were with extra details.  My crowning yet embarrassing moment was knowing that one pouch contained a My Little Pony figure in it, but no not just that... I knew it was a Pegasus and that it was the character "Fluttershy"!  For this I got a bonus 5 points on the item.

As usual everyone had a great time talking and sharing stories and ideas for the new caching year.  The gift exchange went really well, and people walked away with some pretty cool stuff.  Personally we got a nicely stocked cache and a few other cool items that we will definitely use in our future hides!  Our usual photographer wasn't able to do the job, so Mrs. GO! Team got everyone together for a quick shot using her cellphone.  And slowly people trickled away into the night.

Another very successful new year event Lumbo-Tire!  You always do such a great job!!!

Thanks to everyone that came and brought all the amazing potluck foods, gifts, and enthusiasm.  It was really nice seeing old familiar faces, and a few new ones too!

See you all again soon and thanks for reading!



Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Years Day Caching at Piper's Lagoon Park

Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you all had a great evening New Years Eve, even if you only just tucked in bed or sitting on a couch by the fire watching a favorite movie.  In our case we were in Nanaimo at our regular haunt, having a great time.  The home we were at was old friends of Mrs. GO! Team, and the very people that introduced geocaching to us who go by the caching name sahara_jeepers.  We enjoy the comradery of their parties, and they never complain about a New Years Day walk involving geocaching.

So there we were at their home standing around the fire pit in their back yard, imbibing in our favorite drinks awaiting the arrival of 2015!

Midnight arrived in due time, and we all shook off 2014 to Taylor Swifts "Shake it off".  Sadly the party didn't last much longer than that, as we all turned in fairly early.  That was a first for us, is it because we are getting older??  Let's hope not!!


The next day I awoke and headed to the living room to check out Facebook on my phone, and Mrs. sahara_jeepers came and joined me.  I mentioned that I had a couple of Letterbox Hybrids that I was interested in doing, and she was very interested in doing those since they would be their first of that cache type.  She also suggested a brunch at the Nanaimo Ricky's and a walk at Piper's Lagoon Park, as there were a few caches there that they had not gotten before.  I was happy to say yes to that, so I used her computer to load up 5 more caches for us to do that day.
And once her family and my wife were up and ready, we all headed out the door to go for brunch and our caching fun!

 Of course I won't bore you all with the details of our breakfast, but it sure was yummy.
When all of us were done eating, we headed out and met at the first of the Letterbox caches that we 
planned.  This one was "claret97's Birthday Cache" by Boris the Spider 7.
Thankfully Mrs. sahara_jeepers was a little better equipped to find this one, as she was the only person to have worn waterproof footwear.  So she crossed the marshy area and made a nice quick find, and signed the log for us all.  For us that didn't we had to contend with several dog bombs (poop), and we all avoided it well except Mrs. sahara_jeepers!  So I guess she will have good luck while geocaching for the rest of the year.

The second one was "North Nanaimo Trail Mix" by Boris the Spider 7 & claret97.  And this time Mr.
sahara_jeepers joined us while the Mrs stayed with the kids in the car.  This cache was a little more of an adventure that took us down a little trail to a side trail.  Up this we walked a hill until we found a rocky plateau.  Once up here we
decided not to use the extra coordinates provided by the cache owner in the hint, and after a small search of the surrounding area Mr. sahara_jeepers made the find!

With the letterbox Hybrids out of the way, it was time to go on to Piper's Lagoon Park.
Here there were 5 caches for us  to find here.  A couple of them sahara_jeepers had found before, so they left it to us to find those.  We had a great time walking around together finding the caches, looking at the sights, and joking around.  It is always fun to go caching with people that have little ones in their family, sure the day goes slow but even the smallest of adventures become the biggest when they are around.  When we got around to our last cache of the day we started down from the hill it was on, and almost immediately I stepped into a big heaping pile of dog doodoo!  Of course this caused me to grumble a bit, but in the end I just wiped it away and considered it a sign that I will have good luck caching for the rest of 2015.

Thanks again for stopping by and reading our blog!  We wish for you a safe and fun year in 2015, and may all your geocaching adventures be full of great finds!!


Happy New Year

Oh my, how could we have forgotten to post a Happy New Year here at the blog.  We did it on Twitter and Facebook, but neglected the place that started it all.  But sometimes it is better late than never right!?

Happy New Year to all our readers.  May 2015 bring happiness and joy, and many geocaching adventures to you all!


This post was back dated to January 1st to keep in context.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy Holidays


Wishing all of you a safe and fun filled holiday season!

Happy Holidays From:
~The GO! Team~


Monday, 22 December 2014

Just In Time For The Holidays, 6 New Souveniers From Groundspeak!!

Wow, what a fun month so far.  We The GO! Team have been having some fun adventures, and getting the chance to be with geocaching friends at various events this month.  It is one of the few things in life and this season that makes all the difference in my life.  But something else that happened recently that got me excited too. 

Last week while scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook I saw an announcement from geocaching.com that they would be releasing a new souvenir. Seeing in the accompanying photo that it was for some place with beautiful turquoise blue waters got my hopes up! 
"Is it for Mexico, please let it be for Mexico" was what I was saying out loud as I click on the link that went to a cache page related to the location that was in the picture.  And again like all the other times my hopes got squashed, as it turned out it was for some place in the Mediterranean.
So with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth I replied on Facebook "Ummmm.. Where is one for Mexico!? ", and left it at that.  But not long after someone from geocaching.com replied to my comment and told me "Mexico will be released on the 22nd".

For those of you that don't know, a geocaching souvenir is a piece of  digital artwork that is displayed on our accounts at geocaching.com for meeting certain criteria to unlock them.  One such criteria is caching in a new country, province, state.  And in my case Mexico was one place that just seemed to be getting the shaft for a long time for getting one released.
Well I tell you, I was elated to read those words and was quick to send the responder a big thank you!  What did I do next, well I went straight to this blog Facebook Page and told our loyal fans there the good news!

So then the waiting game started, and to kill the time until the 22nd came I geocached with my dad
Postie Bear in Comox.  Mrs. GO! Team decided to do some shopping with my mother those days, and so she left us to our own devices.  Dad showed me a few caches in the area that he had enjoyed, and we grabbed a few he had not done yet himself!


Finally the day arrived and that morning as I sipped on my coffee I logged into geocaching.com from my tablet to go and see my shiny new souvenir, but to my surprise it wasn't there.  Ok I wasn't really surprised, since they never said what time it would happen at.  So I just went on with my day spending time with my family until it was time to leave for home (sadly I can't spend the holidays with my family this year due to scheduling).  And with one last look at my phone before driving away I saw that my good friend Magicman65 (and author of his blog Magicman65 Adventures around the World!!) had messaged me to tell me that he had got his.  I quickly logged into my account to have a look, and I smiled seeing the one souvenir I was missing from my travels.


So thank you geocaching.com, I am so happy to finally have this souvenir.  For those of you traveling and wondering what souveniers you may get in your travels for finding a cache, you can refer to this list of currently released souveniers.  And if you would like read about the 5 other souvenirs released the same day check out geocaching.com's official blog Latitude 47.


Take care and be sure to watch for another blog 
coming up very soon!


Saturday, 13 December 2014

12-13-14-15-16/2 Tailgate Party!

So the second geocaching event of the month has come and gone, but that means I have to get to work and tell you all about it.  But this past weekend was a busy one, and getting the chance to sit down and write has been difficult.  But now that I have some time, I better get this done right!?  The event was the "12-13-14-15-16/2 Tailgate Party" hosted by Islandfinders. I remember when the listing for this one popped up on my radar via publication notice email.  I opened the link to see the details.  I found that the time and date would work for me, and that the location gave me something even more important.  As many of my friends in and out of geocaching know, I am a coffee fiend!  I love me some java java java!   And because it was being held in the Westshore Mall parking lot, there was a Tim Hortons right there.  So this would work for me no problem at all!!  After logging my intent to attend, it was all down to waiting the day out.

As you my long time readers know that there have been a long standing tradition of events falling on dates with consecutive numbers on Day - Month - Year.  People even planned weddings around them.  And we were only able to do this thanks to the turn of the century.  For example 10-10-10 was October 10, 2010.  And since we started geocaching in 2010 we attended 10-10-10, 11-11-11 & 12-12-12 events.  Technically 12-12-12 was the last time this would work, but people have found ways to continue the tradition.  And this year was no different.  So how does this years event work.  Well its like this; December (12) - 13th (13) - 2014 (14) - 15 minuets (15) - after 8am (16/2 or 16 divided by 2).  I hope that makes sense!  So now that I am sure to have many of you confused, let's move along.

As it was to play out, again Mrs. GO! Team would not be able to attend.  She would have been
getting of her night shift and needing a good sleep to flip back to days, so this attendance was all on me.  Sadly the night before I had a stressful evening at work and was unable to fall asleep when I got home.  So my guess would be that I finally slept by 4:00am, but with this event starting at 8:15am that left me with only a few short hours to sleep and be ready to leave and be on time!
But I can do this right, I can't possibly mess this up??  Well...  Not exactly.  The alarm to get up went off, but did I do my usual swing of the legs over the the side of the bed and start to exist for the day?  No I did not, in fact I did quite the opposite and fell right back to sleep.  The saving grace here is that Mrs. GO! Team did get home before 8am, and finding me asleep did the nice thing of waking me up.  I sat straight up and asked what time it was, and when she told me 7:30am I jumped up and started to get ready.  I asked if this meant she was going to come too, and she replied yes and started to get out of she scrubs into some normal attire.  Within 15min we were ready and out the door!

We arrived at the mall pretty much on time, but as usual the event was already in full swing.  Geocachers are an interesting breed when it comes to time management.  They live just like my personal philosophy when it comes to time "if you are early you are on time, if you are on time you are late".  So in this case Mrs. GO! Team and I were late, but this didn't take away from the fun.  There were some people there that were at the event last week in Cobble Hill, and some that I had not seen for a while.  So it was nice to catch up with everyone we could.  And of course I had to wander over to the Timmies to get me some sweet sweet Java, and a little breakfast too.


Islandfinders had our little area cordoned off with some traffic cones, had an assortment of holiday stuffies lined up in the tailgate of their vehicle, and had a cute little Christmas tree decorated in geocaching related items like bison tubes, lock 'n' locks, preforms and flagging tape.  It was a really nice to see they could incorporate the holidays into this fun event!



As time went on the event came closer and closer to it's end, and time was called for a group photo.  Everyone gathered around the Christmas tree and put on their best smiling faces, and that marked the end of the event. Of course this means nothing as people always hang out way past the end anyway, in fact Mrs. GO! Team and I notorious for being pretty much the last person to leave.  And like usual we hung out talking with Mrs. Islandfinders and cameracowgirl for quite a while after.

Once it was decided we all had to leave for real, Mrs. GO! Team and I spent a little longer in the parking lot getting two caches we had previously not found before!


A big thank you to Islandfinders for the fun event and excuse to get out and see our geofriends! 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and Happy Holidays to everyone, I wish for you a fun and safe time!

Stay tuned for another blog entry to come soon!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Cache-keteers Ugly Cachemas Sweater Event

Hi everyone, sorry for the long delay since the last entry.  Sadly we haven't been doing much in the caching department lately, and that makes us sad.  But what can you do when you are terrible at mystery caches and have cleared your immediate location of traditionals!?  You wait for events, well that is what we do!  So when this one popped up on the radar for the beginning of December we were all over it.
It actually worked out for us further, as my father Postie Bear from Comox would be in town to drop off presents to us for Christmas.  So this was shaping up to be a family thing for us.


When the day arrived I woke up early to the sound of my alarm, but can you guess who didn't??  That's right, Mrs. GO! Team was not having any of it and kept asking for "5 more minuets please"!  As the morning progressed and many more attempts to get her up failed, I eventually ended up having to tell her to stay in bed as there were no more "5 minuets" left.  So off I went to meet up with Postie Bear for the drive up to Cobble Hill.

This event was being held by the Cache-keteers, an amazing collective of ladies from the Southern Island.  They love to cache together, and generally have fun.  And one thing they do so well is host a great event.
I would like to think I hold a decent event, but mine could never hold a flame to the events these awesome ladies hold.  They always take fun into consideration, so they plan out games that everyone plays for great prizes.  Their Cachemas events are always highly anticipated by the local cachers, and the gift exchange is always epic!

We arrived to find the Cache-keteers hard at work setting up, and after some hellos and hugs dad and I chose our table and had a seat.

Slowly yet quickly the other attendees started to trickle in.  First Islandfinders, followed by Totemtabou, Paulboy and princess, Cougar Kid, Juruu, bcrockcrwaler and xstitcher... The pub started to fill up with all my favourite people in the world, my fellow geocachers.  And the festivities had begun!

The Cache-keteers first handed out a fun little game where we looked at a sheet of paper covered in cryptic pictures that had to do with carols.  You would have to study them and get your mind in the right place to figure them out.
Postie Bear and I did a pretty good job considering there were only two in the end that had us stumped.  After a time the Cache-keteers then called time on the game and lead us through the answers.  It is fun to listen to everyone groan when they realize what they got wrong, or what they missed.  There definitely was ones that came from dad and I when we realized what our two missing ones were.  There was no prize for this game as it was more of a warm up and icebreaker for those sitting with others.

As time moved forward and peoples food arrived at their tables, the activities continued along.  Next up the Cache-keteers did the prizes for those who dressed up in a silly or ugly holiday sweater.
For this one they handed out numbered tickets to those wearing those horrible offences to fashion. And when the time came they drew the twin tickets (like a 50/50 draw) for the amount of prizes they had.  Since dad and I didn't dress up in ugly sweaters we didn't get to participate, but I do remember that the manager of the pub had donated a very nice Lucky Beer sweater valued at $70 to be one of the prizes.  I am not sure who won it though, as I wasn't paying attention.  My bad!!

Next up was the Secret Santa gift exchange. The way this one was done was via a story where the throughout the narrator reads a series of commands of Left and Right, while all the people participating stand in a large circle passing the gifts along in the direction said.  It can get very wacky and confusing, but that is the fun of it.  Here is where the Cache-keteers asked me to help since I have a voice that carries well, so I got to read the story for the group.  Even the narrator can screw up the process a bit, but again that just adds to the hilarity of the activity.  Sheesh695 stood in for me so that my gift would be passed around, and so that I would also end up with one at the end.  And when all was said and done and I could open what was to be mine, I got a set of firetacks... This means I could maybe plan a Night Cache sometime!!

And this pretty much marked the end of the festivities.  Slowly people tricked back out into the outdoors to head home or grab a few local caches, while a few of us lingered to talk for a while.
Dad and I however did leave much earlier than Mrs. GO! Team and I would normally, this was because we had some plans to attend to. So with saying our farewells and wishing everyone a happy holidays, dad and I slipped out.

Now that we were out the doors I remembered a cache right across the street from the venue, so I helped dad make a quick find.  Then it was off to the north end of Shawnigan Lake.  The plan was for me to be able to do maintenance checks on my two adopted Island Spirit Legacy Caches, and for dad to make a few finds for himself (including those caches).  Also so that he could visit the Kinsol
Trestle for the first time.

We parked the car at the mid way parking lot and got to work, and it was nice to see that my caches were in good standing order.  Dad had fun with finding the few caches on route to the trestle, and was blown away by the views and such from the trestle when we arrived.
And on they way home we grabbed one more at the top of a hill with a fantastic view!


Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, it is a pleasure to share my stories with you all. And Happy Holidays to everyone, I wish for you a fun and safe time!

Stay tuned for another blog entry to come soon, as there is another event this weekend too!!


Sunday, 12 October 2014

International Earchcache Day & 3IEE Satellite Events

Here is the final entry for the 3IEE Mega Event weekend in Cowichan BC.   Carrying on from the last story, the 3IEE Mega had drawn to a close and Mrs. GO! Team and I headed to bed exhausted from the busy day we had.  While my wife had to sleep to prepare for a night shift, I however awoke the next day to write my logs and go through the discovery process for all of the trackables I discovered.  I should note a handy, free, safe tool to use to log them all at once is a website called "Log Them All".  This tool has come in handy many times since it was introduced to me by SoobaxM of the Cache-keteers.  But doing this was not the sole reason I woke up early.  No the real reason was that today was International Earthcache Day, and that there was two final satellite events from the 3IEE.  What was especially nice was that this was the first year that geocaching.com actually issued a souvenir for our accounts for finding an earthcache, so you know I had to figure out what one I wanted to do.  But lets go in order and tell you about the first event of the day!

After writing my logs I glanced at the clock on my PC's system tray and noticed that it was getting very close to event time down at Esquimalt Lagoon.  AnnieMaroo was hosting an event called " Meet & Greet EarthCache Reviewers - GC58WXN" and  that was a chance for those wanting to meet the Earthcache Reviewers that didn't do so at the mega, and to go complete two earthcaches at either end of the spit.  Despite my leaving the house so late, I arrived in good time!  Heck I even made a coffee stop at Tim Horton's and was in & out in two minutes  When I arrived I headed to the first people I knew that I saw didn't have anyone to chat with and struck up a conversation.  This lead to SoobaxM and Porchlizard coming over too, and we had a great chat.  We discussed the earthcache situation, and they told me that they were going to do the new one that went live at up on the Malahat by the Moon Water Lodge/Malahat Inn.  We just needed to wait for Mrs. Classictwo to get the two at the lagoon done first, which was fine with me because it meant more chatting time.  As soon as they were ready, we hopped in the vehicles and drove on up!

So far the weather was holding up, but the sky was threatening to unleash the rain.  I am not a fan of driving the Malahat in the rain, so it holding off was a good thing.  We all arrived at GZ for "Saanich Inlet - A Coastal Fjord - GC5DJEJ" to find G-Force, A-Team and micaparamedic already on scene.  We all teamed up and got read the material, discussed what we were witnessing and compiled the data to get our answers.  I being super weak at math skills had to take a back seat on the mathematical part, but I did my best to pretend I knew what I was talking about.  After we were done we snapped a few pictures, and in the process SoobaxM took a group selfie that I think rivals Ellen DeGeneres's red carpet selfie.  A quick chat and this is when I learned about the last event of the day up at the Kinsol Trestle, north of Shawnigan Lake.  We all made plans to meet there, except in my case I was heading to SoobaxM's place to hang out and chill until event time.

After hanging out for a bit we headed out to the Kinsol Trestle parking lot where GZ was listed for "Jewel of the Cowichan Valley - GC5C7HG" that was being hosted by diraduck of the Cache-keteers.  SoobaxM was not up for the walk, and I was feeling very run down so I carpooled and left my car at
her house!  We arrived to find that many people were already there and joined in on the various conversations going on.  SoobaxM and I went to diraduck to sign the log early so that we could leave, but then some of the local cachers convinced me that I should come for the walk too.  So arranging a ride back to my car after the event with my pal and former ET Highway team mate JuRuu and his wife, I was set to go for the walk.  By this point the weather decided to not hold out any longer, and the rain began to fall on us.  Due to where we parked we were only a short walk away from the Kinsol Trestle, and we were there in no time.  With this walk I am able to say I have been here during all four seasons, and fall is absolutely stunning.  I hung out on the trestle for a bit talking to more of my geo-friends until JuRuu was ready to to go.  We walked back, and it was fun to see small groups of people circled around my two caches that are hidden long the trail waiting to sign the log!  JuRuu and his wife drove me to my car, and waving and smiling said our farewells.  I jumped into my car and head home to Victoria, marking the end of this long and fun filled weekend!

Thanks to the event hosts for making these extra events happen, they truly added to the fun and excitement of the weekend.  And thanks to my earthcache team, it was fun collecting the data needed to log this find with you all!  SoobaxM I thank you for your hospitality by sharing your home with me while we waited for the event time.
  
And thank you to all my readers, I appreciate that take the time to come over and give my stories a read!