Facing Nature on the Geocache Diet

A few notes and thoughts from the Geocache Diet

Not the bear I saw!

Most of my hiking adventures have been in bear country.  Many of the caches I have found this year have logs from other cachers warning of bear sightings.  I have been on so many trails this year and yet I have only seen one bear while driving on a freeway on my way to a hiking trail.  In my life I have seen many, many bears but always from the safety of a car, boat, or train and never with the vulnerability of being on foot.  I can say that I was due to stumble upon a bear.  I fully expected to be in the middle of nowhere all by myself and come face to face to a bear.  I didn’t necessarily want to have this encounter but I did expect it to happen.  I avoided certain trails at certain times as a precaution but on this day it was going to happen.  I did see a bear while hiking but it was not in the middle of nowhere, it was in a pretty well used park, and I was not alone.  I had run into other cachers earlier in the day and we had continued our caching outing together.  We were 100m from our car when a bear crossed our path.  For me it was a flash of black about 30m down the trail.  We waited until it was obviously gone and we walked back to the car.  We did see it one more time as I said goodbye to my fellow geocachers but it obviously did not have any interest in us.  It was kind of an anticlimactic way to have my first on foot encounter, not that I wanted a confrontation or anything, but now I feel like a real wilderness cacher.  Now that this has finally been crossed off my life list I will probably see bears all the time while hiking.

You know you are an avid geocacher when you start using cache names as directional landmarks.  Do you know where Sally Brown lives?  Oh sure you turn right pass the Sport card cache, near the park that has the ladybug cache and the Girly Girl cache.   Oh, Ok, I know where you mean.   We also use caches as a time reference.  When was the last time we were in Ladysmith?  It was when we did the Knight’s clock cache, remember.  Oh right…good times.

Sometimes when I get bogged down from everyday events I need a wake up.  I find the best wake up is to go outside and let nature give you a big kick in the teeth.  The other night I was feeling fatigued, frustrated, and a little down in the dumps.  I am never proud of myself when I feel this way as what do I have to complain about.  The solution that day was to get some fresh air.  Luckily when you live by the ocean, in Canada, in December the air can be very, very fresh.  It was dark, pouring rain (I mean buckets), and the wind was blowing (I mean pounding the town).  I decided that I needed to get out and let nature  knock some sense into me.  I was only out for about a half hour but boy did it do the trick.  Walking along the waterfront in that weather was awesome.  I powered my way besides the clanging boats trying to keep myself upright as I was getting pounded by the rain (it was what Forrest Gump would call sideways sting-ging rain) and it was fantastic.  Back home I went and quickly to a hot shower and off to bed not worried at all at what type of day I had.  It is great to be alive.

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