Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What 2000 Caches has Taught Me

I am sure that Tony, my skeptic (here he would say 'realist'), my "the-glass-is-half-empty" husband, was sure that this "geocaching thing" was just another phase that I was going through. And I have to admit that he did have reason to think that. I have gone through a few phases (OK, a lot of phases) during our marriage...ceramics, tole painting, plastic jewellry and countless cross stitch projects, just to name a few. But after nearly 4 years of exploring and hiking, seeking and finding... well, I don't know why but geocaching is still as fun for me as it was when I first started.
I would really like to tell you why. Why has this hobby 'stuck' and the others haven't? Not sure but here I am celebrating 2000 finds!!

My 1000th find was just Tony & me in Vernon, my 1500th was with my friends Carol & Joan at the remote Crater Lake in the Cariboo. This time I wanted to include as many of my friends as I could who have helped me get to this point.

It wasn't easy to arrange.. between work schedules and days off we finally came up with March 13th. The day dawned bright and sunny... NOT! This is the west coast in March after all... we haven't seen the sun in, well I don't know how long.

So, after church on that Sunday, we all met at my house. We brought the appropriate and requisite rain gear. My friend Lorraine had a bright blue suit from the Vancouver Marathon. I only mention it because Lorraine can barely say the word 'marathon' without grimacing let alone participate in one...but I digress.

The spot I chose for my special day was the Cheam Wetlands... quite ironic since we were trying to say dry! Really, this was a beautiful spot, a birders paradise. Apparently up to 200 different spieces of bird have been spotted here. Cheam Lake Wetlands became a park in 1990 and is popular for hikes, picnics, and or course, bird watching. The 93 hectare park is recovering after being mined for marl limestone deposits for 50 years beginning in the early 1900's.

My 1000th and 1500th caches were both Traditional finds so I decided that this one needed to be different. I LOVE earthcaches and so I chose the Cheam Lake Earthcache to be my milestone. Earthcaches are always so rewarding because, in order to get that smiley, you usually have to meet quite a few requirements and usually I learn something that I never knew before. This one had five requirements... not too bad and not too hard. We were doing well when suddenly I noticed that we had to find some 'marl' and post the coordinates of where we found it!! Trust my friends to rise to the challenge... the hunt was on!

I had never heard of marl before today so I had no idea what we were looking for. We re-read the cache page notes and then started looking. We finally found some near another cache site. Marl is like clay only kind of spongey. We were celebrating the find when I realized that this was it... 2000!! "This is it" I said, "We need to take a picture!" That's when my friends surprised me. Joan had made a wonderful banner just for the occasion! We took a bunch of pictures and I did a little dance on the trail right there. Yes, I am a dork.

It was a good day, actually a great day. Not only because I reached another milestone in this hobby that I love so much, but because I was reminded about how lucky I am to have such great friends to do this with me. They have been there with me on so many hikes and walks, on trips into caves and under waterfalls. They have been bruised & scraped, fallen & tripped. They've (very reluctanly) eaten lunch in parking lots and have bushwacked through unrelenting blackberry bushes. They did all that and more just for me.

I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate 2000 caches.


Craftmum said...

Cool story, Dawn; congrats, and thanks for sharing your special moment. I had to laugh at your opening line, because I call Dallas a skeptic all the time, and he says exactly the same thing: "I'm just a realist" Just one more way those guys are alike; too funny!

Eddie said...

A very BIG congrats on number 2,000! Happy to see you reach another major plateau in your latest passing "phase". I'm sure hubby thinks this phase will pass too, it's just taking a little longer than the others!

Again, congrats and hope to run into you again on the trails!