Here are some more notes and random thoughts along the Geocache Diet Trail
I really enjoy some of the creative names geocachers give to their caches. Some names give you subtle cryptic hints to what you will find like a fake rock or a ceramic chicken while others guide you to look up a tree, behind a signpost, or under a bench (where someone is always sitting). Some names just make you laugh with some clever pun or observation about a funny looking landmark (tee hee). Sometimes however the cache names can make no sense at all. One morning I was up really early to get some work done and a new cache popped up. I had told myself that if this happened I would not go out to be the first to find but when I saw the name of the cache I quickly changed my mind. The cache was called SharkyMermaidia and I thought WOW!!! I cache about sharks AND mermaids. This has to be cool!!! I thought it a bit strange that the coordinates put me inland and not by the ocean but it just added to the intrigue. I was the first to find this nice plastic container in a stump with no shark or mermaid trade items and no evidence of what would be an epic battle. I still think it is a cool name and it was a nice break from my morning work. Maybe next time I hide a cache I will try and confuse people by naming it something like ‘Froggy Jellybeans’ and make it a bug shaped container with key chains in it.
Finding geocaches can be a wonderful challenge on its own but once you start finding a bunch you can look for some challenge caches that add another layer of fun. Simply put these caches require you to find a variety of caches fitting a certain criteria before finding the challenge cache. On Vancouver Island I have found a few interesting challenge caches like the Vancouver Island ABC cache which require you to find a cache that starts with every letter of the alphabet. The Know your Vancouver Island Cacher Challenge wants you to choose certain cache hiders and find 3 different types of caches (puzzle, multi etc…) for each one before logging a find. The toughest I have seen on the island is the Topographic challenge which requires you to hide or find a cache on every square of the topographic map of this very rugged island. This is not easy and I think I will wait for the kids to be a bit older before trying it. I have all caches needed to go and find the ABC cache and now I just need to travel down island to get it.
Another challenge I have started for myself requires finding caches of all different difficulties. I am a statistics freak and I do like reaching some numerical goals with geocaching even though I am not interested in finding hundreds of caches in one day. Cache owners will rate their geocaches by how difficult the cache is to find and how hard it is to get to its location. Caches are rated from 1 to 5 on their difficulty and terrain by the half point. A cache that has a difficulty/terrain of 1/1 will be easy to find and right off a wheelchair (and stroller) accessible trail. A cache that has been rated as a 5/5 may require an impossible puzzle and a gruelling trek, climb, swim, paddle, or who knows what just to get to the cache site. I have yet to find a 5/5 or too many tough ones but my newest challenge is to eventually find every single difficulty and terrain combination. There are 81 combinations to be had and so far I have found caches with 37 difficulty/terrain combinations. I have a lot more work to do before I finish this challenge and it may take a while.
On that note… I gotta get a boat. The rule is that if you need to use specialized equipment (like climbing, caving, or marine) to find a cache then the terrain automatically should be set to 5. Most of the terrain 5 caches near our home are on small islands or perhaps attached to buoys. To complete the 81 combinations I need to be able to get to some of these water based caches.
That is all for now. We have been busy enjoying summer and working hard on a new idea. I have still been getting out each day for a hike and finding some pretty cool geocaches. I need to do some research around Vancouver Island in the coming weeks for our newest project so I am excited to get to some new areas for geocaching in between the official stuff. Not only are there so many great caches to find there are so many incredible hikes that are just calling out to be discovered.