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 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!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

3IEE Mega Event Day and More!!

If you read my last blog about the 3IEE mega event weekend, you will know that the night before I came up to the exhibition grounds to check in so that when I arrived today I could get right to work.
Mrs. GO! Team and I had woken up pretty early after going to bed equally as early so we could make the drive up here to start our shifts.
While Mrs. GO! Team didn't start to much later, I had to start at 8:30am and help with parking.  Being one of the first to arrive I got to choose where I wanted to be, so I chose the VIP parking area.  This was actually kind of fun, as I got to map out how I wanted the parking to work.  I had designated my own handicap and vendor parking area, and created a nice parking grid for the VIPs (a status purchased when registering online!
It was while doing this that I got to meet Jeremy Irish (see history of Geocaching HERE) and his family.  The best part was that he gifted me a personal trackable which looks like the 11th Doctor from Doctor Who inside his TARDIS that says "GEOCACHING" where it would say "POLICE BOX".  Jeremy, if by chance you are reading this THANK YOU.  It was an
honor and your gift was unexpected and appreciated!

Unlike when we went to Island Spirit in 2012, I had an agenda!
I had been thinking the day before how I could use the fact that there was Mega and a regular event the same day and go try and beat my previous record of 6 cache types in one day.  Looking at the map of the Cowichan area I realised I could beat it by only one because were no Webcam, Wherigo or Virtuals in the area that hadn't already been done by me.  This meant 7 types would have to suffice!  So after I finished my parking lot shift I booted it down to my car to get out and find a Traditional, Multi, Letterbox and Earthcache.  Personally I felt like I wasn't going to make it before I had to be back, but I surprised myself and had it all done and back at the Exhibition Grounds in just over an hour.

So it was a good thing that my running around took as little time as it did, because I was able to get
back in time to start my shift on the Trackables Table.  This was the best part of my volunteering, as
it allowed me to discover tons of trackables when there was none to bag and tag.  I shared this shift with lookernl, and I think we rocked it here.  I allowed myself to work an extra 30 minutes because with me using the shift to my discovery advantage I felt I owed it to the event coordinators that I actually put in the extra time.  But when NavyAviator arrived to relieve me I happily left, because it was time for me to spend my money on some trackables  at the Landsharkz and Worldcaching booths.  I bought myself 2 trackables, a 2014 HQ Logbook Coin and a Achiever Coin from the Seven Souvenirs of August.  And I got Mrs. GO! Team a Gift of Love suncatcher trackable and a trackable tag, both featuring her favourite mascot Signal the Frog.

Some of you may be asking where Mrs. GO! Team was during all this!?  Well the answer is simple, she could be seen walking around talking with friends and spending time with the various dogs that were at the event.  But when she was working, you all saw her as a certain green mascot giving hugs and high-fives to everyone!

The rest of the day progressed naturally as I visited with friends old and
new, swapping caching stories and caching up.  Soon enough came
time for the prize draws, where the lucky winners won great items from the various vendors participating in the event.  Chris & Helen from Landsharkz drew and handed out the rewards, and all the while I snapped a few pictures.  And then to my complete surprise my ticket number got called, and I won a couple of great geocoins from Landsharkz.  There were many other winners of course, but sadly I didn't catch who they all were.  But all the prizes were pretty cool, and I am sure everyone that got something will enjoy it very much.

After all the prizes were given out everybody lent a hand to clean up and setup for dinner.  Mrs. GO! Team and I didn't purchase meal tickets at the event because we had our minds set on the Nachos Grande that is served at our favorite local restaurant called The Dog House. So once the event hall was set for dinner we rushed out so that we could eat and be back in time for clean up.  We got our food very fast and ate at a decent pace and when done we headed back; however, when we returned the clean up was done.  So to make up for missing it we lingered and did a little loading for Landsharkz instead.  And that was it, the Mega was done!  But not the whole day, as there still was the night event "3IEE - Waning Harvest Moon Flash Mob - GC5CC0V", and the two night caches we planned to do with G-Force and A-Team which would give us the seven cache types for the day.

When we arrived at McAdam Park some cachers were already in the area waiting, so we took the
time to team up with MARICKY and Mr. Wilson to grab a couple of quick caches in the area.  When we finished that we meandered over to mill about on the trail near GZ.  Not too long after NavyAviator (the event CO) showed up and set up his table, all the while we the attendees chatted and made plans for that night or for the following day.  It was then that we gained two more people (Neltra & tadrew) to join us for the night cache expedition that we were going to do afterwards with G-Force and A-Team.  That's when the whistle blew and all descended down to the table to sign the log for the event.  We were then instructed set up along the little hill and arrange ourselves for the group photo, a few snaps of the camera and the event was done.  Back in the parking lot our night cache team quickly discussed our plan, and then headed toward Shawnigan Lake.

Our team met up at the Shawnigan Lake Legion Hall to start our night quests.  First on the list was "The Cache-Keteers Night Games- HAGX - GC4X75G", which literally started right there.  This was a fun walk through a wooded area that had BMX obstacles to go under and around, which also led to a power cut and its connecting service roads.  We had lots of fun walking through this area and seeing all the beetles that were crawling about, and the cache was a quick find at the end.  After that cache we zoomed on over to our last one called "Something Wicked This Way Comes -Night Cache - GC49GWP".  This one was a bit shorter than the last one we did, but you really had to pay attention to the instructions and your intuition, as there are quite literally firetacks (reflectors) everywhere. This trail was very rooty and one would have to watch their footing while walking here, it was a fun walk and this too once we got to the end was a quick find for the team.  After a quick attempt to find a nearby traditional (we had to DNF it) we made our way back to the vehicles, said our thanks and good-nights, and headed our way home.

This marks the end of the 3IEE Mega Event part of the weekend!
There were a few more activities the next day, and I will save those for my next blog entry.

Thanks to all the volunteers at 3IEE, without you the event would not have moved as smoothly as it did.  A super huge thanks to the coordinators, your planning skills and ability to put said plans into action are out of this world.  Thanks also needs to be given to the COs of the various satellite events, you helped make this weekend be a little bit more diverse and that much more fun!  And to the attendees you all were so much fun to meet and chat with, thank you for coming out for this fun and educational event.  And lastly to our night cache team, thank you for the great adventure!

Stay tuned for more to come!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Early Registration Event for 3IEE

Hi every one!  As most of you know this last weekend was the 3IEE (3rd International Earthcache Event) Mega in Cowichan BC.  Due to the nature of this kind of event (Click HERE to learn about Mega Events) it sort of takes over an entire weekend, and would make for an overly large blog to write.  So I figure I will write about it as a three parter!  As usual remember all words highlighted in blue are links to other pages, and all pictures can be viewed larger by clicking on the image.

Lets start at the beginning.

On Friday October 10th, 2014 was the Cache-keteers' early registration satellite event "Welcome Earthlings - Registration Event - GC58NFE".  Mrs. GO! Team had to work that day, but I got it off for the simple fact that we both would be volunteering at the Mega the next day.  This meant that it would be prudent to pick up our registration packages and volunteer shirts prior to the big day.  This was also a good time to come and go through the process for those that just want to jump into the fun the next day, or for those just wanting to check in tomorrow and run out to cache in the Cowichan Valley. 

Thankfully my drive up was not impeded by any of the heavy traffic that can form early from Victoria to the Malahat (our only quick route to anywhere north on Vancouver Island) on the Friday of a long weekend.  And because of this I was able to make very good time to the Cowichan Exhibition Grounds where the event was taking place.

When I arrived I happened to be a bit early for those wanting to do what I was there for, but they needed help getting the VIP packages set up!  So SoobaxM of the Cache-keteers set me up to run the gauntlet and get some peoples packages all set up, which I was more than happy to do.  And when it became time for me to do the run for us, I headed back to the beginning to do it all again.

It was a nice little event and I got a chance to meet with many of my local Vancouver Island caching friends, as well as many of the people I got to meet and befriend at the Island Spirit Mega Event in 2012. Of course another favourite part of the event was sitting with Kyle.Ruttan and looking at and discovering a ton of trackable (a little guilty addiction of mine)!  Also got to run around and fill out my geocacher bingo card, what a great icebreaker!!

Soon it was time to head out and get ready for the next day, so I jumped back in my car for the drive back to Victoria!

A big thanks to the Cache-keteers for hosting the event, I think it went very well.  And thanks to everyone that came!  Also thanks to all my readers old and new, without you this blog would be nothing!

Stay tuned for more to come soon!!