Monday, June 23, 2008

Geocaching the Hard (but best) Way - the Spirit Caves Trail

Don't get me wrong... I love 'easy to find' geocaching. The "drive-up and grabs" that you can get without barely leaving your vehicle. Those are the type of caches that bring up your numbers and let you log another find when you don't have time to spend all day caching. I have hidden a few of those myself to tell you the truth. But those are hardly the ones we remember, are they?

From the very day I read that there was a cache hidden in the Spirit Caves above Yale, I was intrigued and knew that one day I would have to find that geocache. So many times we had driven through the canyon and had seen that little sign that says "Spirit Caves Trail" but I really didn't have the motivation to go there until now. It's amazing, even to me, that all it took was a little piece of tupperware to get me up there.
My two friends and I finally set a date and looked forward to a hike to remember. We were not disappointed.

The Spirit Caves Trail is a climb. There is no other way to describe it. From the moment we left the road we were going up. I am not a good climber so I sure was glad that my friends were patient enough to wait for me every 15 minutes so I could catch my breath!

The trail went through some gorgeous open forest and zig zagged it's way higher and higher. It took us about 2 hours to make it to the lookout where we grabbed some lunch, enjoyed the breathtaking view of the canyon below and of course, took lots of pictures of Yale and the Fraser River.

After that nice pit stop we went on to the caves which was only about 15 minutes past the lookout. The directions that the cache owner posted in the cache notes were right on and we found the correct cave entrance within a few minutes. After that it was a different story. With flashlight in hand I squeezed my way through the cave entrance. I was just happy that I checked out the cave before I ventured inside. The cave floor right at the entrance was lower than anywhere else in the cave. In order to get inside you had to lower yourself in while stretching your legs over to the ledge across from it. I'm just glad I have long legs! Carol came inside the cave as well (Joan decided she'd brave it outside) but it was soon apparent that she wasn't going to make it out the way she came in. Her legs are a lot shorter than mine.

While I started hunting for the cache Carol started looking for another way out! Now the task was to find the cache. The cave was not too large but still enough crooks and crannies to make the searching interesting. Every time I shone my flashlight in another spot
I was certain this would be the place or a bat would come flying out at me! Finally, in a very dark spot, I noticed a few big rocks that looked a little too perfect to me. WooHoo!! I have never been so happy to say those words... " I found it!"
So 4 hours and 6km later we can claim another find. I know that if we had stayed home and gone caching around the valley we could have found 20 caches in the same time and saved ourselves a lot of time and effort. We wouldn't be sore, tired and filthy but we also wouldn't have made some amazing memories. Now when we drive through Yale I can say, "Did you know I climbed that mountain? There's some amazing caves and a geo-cache up there you know."


Sarah said...

Hey Dawnelle! You started a new blog!! Love it :)

cosmiccowgirl said...

That is an awesome story. I love the pictures. Isn't that the cool thing about caching - inspires you to go to those places you drive past but have never had sufficient reason to venture in?