A little while back I wrote a blog talking about last years "31 Days of August" challenge that was met with very mixed reviews by the geocaching community at large. Also I wrote about this year's challenge "The Seven Souvenirs of August", and how I felt it was a big and welcomed compromise to the what happened the year before. If you haven't had a chance to read that entry yet, be sure to check it out HERE.
As I mentioned in the above blog, I went into this new challenge with open arms and an unclouded mind. Originally I had a plan on how I was going to accomplish this mission, but on a survey of our area I found a major flaw... We had no August events in our area!!! This was easily remedied by just hosting my own on International Geocaching Day (August 16th), the same day as the Geocaching Block Party in Seattle. A little perk of hosting an event is that it is acceptable for you to log your attendance; unlike owning a cache, where logging a find on ones you own is very taboo! You can read the blog about our event HERE.
So now it looked like my plan was ready to go! But yet one more snag appeared in what seemed to be a flawless strategy. My father Postie Bear from Comox wanted to get them too. And so because he focuses on Traditional Caches only his skills at puzzle solving, waypoint projecting, and tech in general is lacking. Please note I am not making fun of my dad in any way! I actually enjoy teaching him new things and seeing him succeed, just like I am sure he enjoyed teaching me when I was a young boy! It is the circle of life I suppose. While at this time we have no children of our own to teach, sometimes the teacher becomes the student while the student becomes the teacher!
My solution was that I suggest he come down to Victoria for the event I was hosting, and that either that day or that weekend we wrap up the rest. This was very much agreeable to him, so with a little revamping to the plan we were set!
So now on to the caches and the souvenirs themselves. I will list them in what order and day they were completed on. The only one that was done solo without my day was the first one, and easiest of the bunch. And that one was called "The Explorer"!
The Explorer Souvenir: Earned by finding a traditional cache. I got this one on the very first day of August, and the very start of the Seven Souvenirs of August, which will be refered to as 7SofA through the rest of this blog. It was a great way to start the month and challenge off, as it was a FTF (First to Find) on a newly published cache. The cache was "GC5A0VA - Dog House Deux".
The Socializer: Earned by attending an Event, Mega-Event, or The Block Party. This is when dad and I paired up to start getting the challenge done. We both earned this one by attending my event that was previously mentioned "GC58ZK6 - Not At The Block Party...AGAIN".
The Nature Lover: Earned by completing an Earthcache or participate in a CITO Event. Here we were joined by my dad's friend CurlyQ42. For this one we did and Earthcache called "GC1HW8F - Victoria EarthCache Series #4: Gabbro Rock Art" And we had a wonderful walk along the rocky shores Fonyo Beach to do this one. Another nice easy grab for the day.
The Puzzler: Earned by solving and finding a Mystery Cache. After the last one we parted ways with CurlyQ42 and headed out to the Westshore Communities to wrap up the last of the caches needed. The first one out here was "GC55Q37 - Glen Lake's Residents". I had solved this one back in June, but had not gone for it yet. So this provided for an easy find for us. I later showed dad how it was solved so that he had an understanding of how it worked incase he every came up against one like it himself.
The Collector: Earned by finding a Wherigo, Webcam, or Letterbox Hybrid Cache. For this one we did "GC55VKQ - DRAGONFLY LETTERBOX". This one led us on a nice walk through the trails in the area, just like Letterboxes of old used to do. It is written in a form that makes you pay attention to your surroundings to now you are on the right track. All in all, a very nice Letterbox Hybrid.
The Sightseer: Earned by finding a Multi-stage Cache. This was the last one needed by us to make the 6th souvenir needed for unlocking the special 7th. For this one we needed to drive to the other side of Glen Lake. The cache was a simple two stage Multi called "GC55RXR - GOOD MONNINGTON TO YOU". After a simple on the fly projection (something to teach dad), we made the find right where the CO said it would be. So with this final one complete it was off to my place to log our finds and unlock the final souvenir!
The Achiever: Earned by unlocking the other 6 souvenirs in August. All we had to do here was log our finds and check in to our Souvenir Trophy Case to unlock and lock in our achiever number.
A hint from us to you. If any of you our readers are experiencing difficulty in unlocking the final 7th, it is because you have to check in to your Souvenir Trophy Case to make it work. Just click on this link HERE to get there and just log into your account. And if you have the previous 6, the final 7th will unlock for you.
Well, I have to say I am happy to completed another of Groundspeak's August challenges. I actually found this to be much more enjoyable than last year's "31 Days of Geocaching", as it did not feel forced and it really could be done at our leisure. I do think that a tip of the hat is needed in Groundspeak's direction, as this was well thought out and a good compromise to the suggestions and complaints from last year.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more geocaching adventures.