Saturday, 7 July 2012

Island Spirit 2012 (WestCan2)

This event was our 1500th geocache find!
What a great way to log a milestone!!!

So after a well deserved nights sleep, the big day arrives.  July 7th, 2012.. The day of all days..  Island Spirit 2012 Geocaching Mega event.  This was not just a day of fun and excitement for Just Leafy and I, since this was another event that we were working as volunteers at.
With this in mind we had to rise early that day to get to the Exhibition Grounds, because the first of our tasks were to assist with the registration tables.  Just Leafy got what I would say is the dream job of handing out the limited edition geocoins that people per-ordered over the online registration, so really she got to see their faces light up when they saw how awesome they were!

I got to work right beside her handing out event lanyards and name tags, and the highlight of this was that my partner was a groundspeak lackey named Nicole AKA Louis Bliss.  This made it very easy to complete the geocaching challenge "Meet A Lackey" and also netted us a couple of Lackey Crossing Trackables!

As time moved on the end of my time on registration came to an end, and  my next job began.  This was a particularly fun job, working at the trackables table.  Here we got a chance to talk to cachers that wanted to learn a little more about trackable dog tags and geocoins, and to help people figure out where a trackable wants to go so we can help it get there!
Here I met many a person drawn to the allure of shiny metal coins and tags, and here many were wowed by my trackable tattoo.  Some people are in awe, while others are in shock that someone would want to be be trackable.  And with all the great conversation and company I was getting, my shift came to and end.  But where was Just Leafy??

I was just starting to think it would be fun to go look at some of the merchandise that the vendors had at their booths, when I noticed Signal the Frog (groundspeak's mascot) paying a little too much attention to me.  That's when Geoprincess7 walked up to me and said that Signal wants to have a picture with me.  That was when I clued in, and realized exactly where Just Leafy was.
I agreed to have my picture with Signal, and high-fived the amphibian, and moved on to look at all the great stuff for sale.  That picture will be a conversation piece when we have a family someday, that's for sure.

I have to say Just Leafy is quite the trooper.  This particular day was very hot, and she played that role for over four hours.  That is something I would have trouble with if it was me!

Anyway, it is obvious that we did not go geocaching at all durring this event.  And that is just fine with me..  You may be asking "What!  You didn't go caching", and my answer is plain and simple. 
The Island Spirit Organizing Committee did a wonderful job of filling the day full of fun things to see and do right on site at the Mega!

 There was a kids zone, complete with fun kid type stuff.  I believe that as part of the entry fee for the kids zone, they even got to make themselves trackable tee shirts.

There was a closest to the pin contest.  This was where people who registered for the contest took a numbered flag and inputted coords to their GPSr and headed out hoping that theirs had the most accuracy for the day and planted their flag where they thought the waypoint marker really was!

Then there was the activities that were called "Challenges" that when you completed them you received a token that when combined with the centerpiece fit together like a puzzle.  The centerpiece being a trackable that you can activate for your account.
The challenges you could partake in were:

1) Navy flag identification (a primer was on site for easy identification)

2) Identifying a Douglas Fir Pine-cone out of a few other types & identifying the gender of Dungeness Crabs (easy with an info sheet nearby)

3) Drawing a sea creature on your GPSr with tracks turned on (fun and very hilarious)

4) Completing your geocacher BINGO cards (easy to do, and helps you make new geofriends.. or proves how well you know the ones you already have)

I only wish I had taken pictures of these things to do.  Seriously it was fun to watch people draw on thier GPSr with tracks, cause it made it look like a bunch of confused people were wandering around following a faulty compass!

 There was also an amazing performance from a local Quw'utsun First Nations dance group.  They have a very rich and diverse culture, and I only wish I could learn more about them.

Soon the closing ceremonies came, and the announcement of the contest winners and draws were made.  All the thank yous were addressed.  And the Mega officially came to a close

And with that they transitioned into the big dinner that was planned, but sadly we did not register for this.  So off we went in to Duncan to The Dog House Restaurant (a favorite of ours), and had a nice dinner with our friends The Moss Troopers.

And with one last trip back to the exhibition grounds, we watched a fantastic magic show put on my Chris Yuill AKA Magicman65! 

Whew.. what a lot to talk about in just one blog entry!  And I am not even done yet...  Sadly I was too distracted to take many pictures, so I have borrowed a few from the event page gallery!  Be sure to stay tuned for more stories about this amazing geocaching weekend!

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