Monday, 17 August 2015

Sharkz Store Grand Opening

On the 17th of August Landsharkz hosted over 110 cachers at “Who Needs a Reason to Party?! - GC6011V” their Grand Opening event for Canada’s first brick and mortar geocaching store "The Sharkz Store".

Of course we were in attendance and we had a fantastic time meeting local cachers old and new, and hanging out with Martemous who is a Groundspeak Lackey and the Geocaching HQ Ecommerce Operations Manager. In fact I had a very interesting discussion with him about the different items Groundspeak has sold over the years, what worked and what didn't, and etc.

They had games with prizes for everyone in attendance in store and at the Fire Hall around back. Tieka the Canine Landshark was happy that a few GeoDogs came along and that so many cachers checked out her shiny new trackable Canine tag. They even took a moment to introduce the community to their team of hard working employees, and special thanks were given to out to Christie (The Geo-Travelers), Brett (The GO! Team) and Amy for helping make this event a success!  That's right I am now a part of the Landsharkz team, so expect to see me in store sometimes.  However I am more their new container camouflage painter, so a lot of my work is done behind the scenes.

Special mention goes to event volunteer cacher Finnegan’s Mama who is a long-time friend of Mrs. Landsharkz, and who surprised Mrs. Landsharkz by flying in from Red Deer for the event and helped out the entire day.

Thank you everyone for coming out and celebrating with all of us at the Sharkz Store, and thank you to the Esquimalt Fire Department, the Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses for their contributions as well!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Adventure That Almost Could! Which Resulted In....

In our last story we told you about AnnieMaroo's D5/T2 CITO event.  To get that exact same combo and souvenir we intended to find another cache all together.  The original plan was to get a mystery cache called "802.11 - GCZ4JN" a mystery cache by Big G.  We had solved this one several months ago, and in turn found out that our caching friends Tadrew and Nelta had done the same.  All parties were very eager to go and get this one, so a date and time was set.  We had also decided to include my father Postie Bear in this little adventure and so and invitation that was happily accepted was offered.

The day we chose quickly arrived, and everyone was excited to go.  But there were some small changes that needed to be dealt with first.  As you may remember in a past post from April "2015 CITO Weekend & One Busy Day" Tadrew, Postie Bear and I went for a 9 cache type day to qualify for a specific challenge cache here in Victoria BC.  Well since on the day of this adventure AnnieMaroo was hosting another CITO, Neltra wanted to exploit it and go for her 9 cache type day too.  So our timings had to change to accommodate this.
This was no biggie, since I could use the extra sleep in seeing that I did a 16 hour day at both my jobs the day before.  Mrs. GO Team and I headed out the door after having the sleep in, and rendezvoused with Tadrew, Neltra, and Sunnie (Tadrew's Geo-Pup) at the arranged spot to head to our objective.  Postie Bear was already in the city we needed to get to waiting for us, so we zoomed up as quickly as we could so he wouldn't need to wait that long.

When we arrived we didn't waste any time, Postie Bear jumped into the Jeep and away we went!  However, what we hoped wouldn't be the case was the start of our demise.  The fire gate to the area we needed to go was closed, so we could not drive to the cache.  Not wanting to give up we started the trek on foot, but none of us were truly prepared for the 12km round trip hike up and down hill nor the pouring rain that came soon after we started.  Defeated we all turned around and headed back to the vehicle.

Now some of you could be asking why are you sharing a defeat story.  Well that is because it needed to be shared, and because it lead to a decision and something else.

Turns out the very next day Neltra was hosting her very first geocaching event.  The decision was made that my dad would forgo going home to Comox that night, and instead come stay the night at our house so he could attend the event.  So back to Victoria we went.

That morning dad and I grabbed a bite to eat at A&W and headed to Langford Lake to meet up withGZ.  There we found a bunch of our geofriends hanging about having a great time chatting and discovering trackables all in the beauty of the scenic view the the lake provided.  I had a great time seeing and chatting with geocachers I have known for a long time now, as well I enjoyed meeting the few new faces that were in attendance too.
the rest of the crew.  When we arrived we noticed Pat of Pat&Rob sitting in her car knitting, we had a brief chat with her and headed down to event

After the event was done a small group planned to go after the caches on the islands in the lake.  They asked me to assist them in planning a good put in location for their dinghies and other flotation devices.  So with a little strategy they are armed with a plan and ready to go.
But before we all parted we grabbed a few caches that were nearby and parted ways.

Thanks Neltra for the fun event, it was a great first event and we hope you host more.  

And thanks everyone for reading our stories!  Be sure to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages (links a the the top of the right side bar) to interact with us further.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

A CITO That Does Dual Duty

Hi everyone, wow I have to admit we have let time run by and have also let ourselves get behind on our stories as a result.  The Geocaching Road Trip '15 is still in full swing, and some adventures have taken place to result in us getting a few more of this summer's souvenirs!

First up was AnnieMaroo (Victoria's queen of CITOs and Earthcaches) CITO (Cache In Trash Out).  I have to admit when this one popped up in my notifications email I was puzzled.   The event "Invasive Removal: Broom and Blackberry Vines - GC5WQWD" was listed as a Difficulty 5 Terrain 2 event.  Personally I had never been to a CITO with a difficulty of 5, so curiously I read the listing and found that what she stated in the listing would technically allow for it to have that rating.  It stated:

1) You needed to use your brain and identify two different invasive plant types (Scotch BroomHimalayan Blackberry). So you had to use your brain and not kill the wrong plants.

2) You needed to know how to use specialty tools to properly extract the invasive plant.

3) And you needed to be able to devote 2 hours of labor to the job.

All good enough reasons for the rating.  But what we had in store for us when arrived is what really allowed it to be difficulty 5!

Now before I get started, this particular event was going to be giving us two of our Road Trip '15 souvenirs.   It would so score us the "High Five for the Earth" souvenir for attending a CITO or logging an Earthcache.  The second souvenir it would give us is the "Let's Get Extreme" souvenir for finding any difficulty 5 or terrain 5 geocache (or consequently in this case event).  Now I admit many would challenge the legitimacy of this event's rating, but I assure you it was deserved.

I Mr. GO Team arrived early that morning to the event location.  The morning sun was already hot, and was promising us that it would only get hotter.  When I pulled into the parking lot for the event location I saw our event's host walking down the trail pushing a wheel barrow full of tools to the actual GZ (ground zero) of the CITO.  I decided to hang out in the parking lot a bit waiting for others to arrive, but after 10min of waiting no one had showed up.  So with that I decided I would head over to meet up with Annie.

As I walked down the trail I looked upon familiar locations of various geocache hides that have scattered this trail in the past.  Filled with nostalgia I stopped to snap a few pictures with my phone, and then proceeded to find AnnieMaroo.

I arrived to find her sitting in the shade of a benched shelter overlooking the bird sanctuary in the distance.  We chatted for a
while, and soon we heard the sound of many feet walking down the trail.  This signified that the rest of the workers were on their way to us.  After a quick introduction by AnnieMaroo about what we were to do, what to focus on and what to avoid, we were ready to tackle the the job at hand.

Looking at the small hill we were to work on one could see that it was 2 Terrain, so this matched perfectly.  However what lurked
below the the tall grass as a maze of pot holes, and blackberry trip lines.  Everyone got to work snipping away at the blackberry vines and trying to not get snagged.  Avoiding getting snagged was something all together different, it is like these plants have a mind of their own.  No matter how hard I tried  I always found myself getting all caught up, and this resulted in numerous scratches even through my pants and shirt.  And for those that wore shorts and t-shirts, wow there was some blood loss!

 After 2 hours of tireless work in the blistering heat and tons of lacerations, the event end was called and we all headed back to the little shack.  The whole team had only made it halfway up the hill, but we did make a difference in how much Himalayan Blackberry still had a foothold on the hill.  However the Broom wins the day, as we never made it up to the top of the hill where it lived.

After getting back to the shack and sipping on some water and cooling down a bit, we gathered for a quick group photo and dispersed for the day.

Thank you AnnieMaroo for the CITO event and for the two souvenirs it unlocked for us.  To the attendees, it was nice to see you all again.  And to my readers, thanks for sticking around and giving the blog a read.  Without you this blog wouldn't exist, so I appreciate your readership!