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.
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!
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!