About 3 months before Tony's 50th birthday I asked him if he wanted to do anything special to celebrate. I already knew that a party was out of the question (I tried that for his 30th.... it wasn't pretty) and so I suggested maybe a trip somewhere special. Cancun? Hawaii maybe? He said, "I just want to go fishing." (deep sigh...) "OK, it's your birthday."
As our trip got closer I realized that we were going to reach another milestone while were away. I was going to find my 1000th geocache! Now that may not seem exciting to you, but to anyone who is a serious geocacher this is a big deal. My 1000th... it had to be a good one.
So the planning began. We never travel anywhere without a plan. After doing a little bit of research (and seeing the massive Lake Trout that were hauled out of there) Tony decided we should rent a cabin on Echo Lake. Vernon is only about 45 minutes from Echo Lake so I started looking at all the caches there. I wanted my 1000th find to have all the qualities of what I love in a good cache....a hike, a view, a good hide and a special place. It seemed impossible but I found it in a cache called "Stones Throw." On top of all those things there were even some pictographs on the cliffs above it that we hadn't found yet. Perfect.
(click on the balloon for photo descriptions)
Echo Lake is beautiful, set in the Creighton Valley, and just remote enough to make Tony happy. The cabin we rented was rustic (ala Jed Clampett) but right on the lake... just perfect for a redneck type celebration. The next morning Tony was up with the birds (actually I think he was up before the birds) and was positive this was the trip he was going to catch "the big one." Hours went by and nothing, barely a nibble. He did catch a few little Kokanee but he didn't even deem those worthy of mentioning. After a day and a half he was getting so discouraged. And then, while I was making breakfast the 2nd morning, I heard him whistle from his boat. I looked out the cabin windows and there he was, standing up in the boat, holding the biggest Lake Trout I have ever seen! For a man who lives to hunt & fish, I couldn't have given him anything better to commemorate his big 5-0!
So, now that the mega fish is caught it was time for me! We headed to Vernon right after breakfast. Now, I still had 11 caches to go before my 1000th. No problem, I thought, but it didn't take long to see that maybe it was going to be a problem. We barely had started and already I had 5 DNFs!! Now it was my turn to be discouraged. I was ready to call it quits... it was hot and muggy and I had lost heart. But my wonderful hubby, who was still on his mega-fish high, encouraged me. "Let's do this" he said. And we did. Finally we were off to find my 1000th cache.
The cache I picked (Stones Throw - GC1AEFH) is on the East side of Okanagan Lake. Starting off at Tronson Road, high above the lake, we first made our way down to the pictographs. Wow! That was quite the descent and a little scary but we finally found them hidden away on a cliff. After the requisite photos, oohing and aahing, we continued down to the beach below and to the cache. It didn't take long and we came out at the most beautiful rocky beach, completely deserted, and ready for the search. A little bit of hunting, poking and prodding and there it was! 1000! What a perfect day.... for both of us.
So that was our Celebration trip! We made some awesome memories, travelled where we had never been before, reached a couple of milestones and logged another trip to remember.