Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Texada Island - Our Happy "Caching" Place

Well we just got back from Texada Island. Our 5th visit and it was of course just as wonderful as it's always been. We rent the same little place with an incredible view of the ocean right beside Shelter Point Park. It's quiet and peaceful and we just renew & rest.

There is only one thing wrong with our perfect retreat now... there's only one more cache left on the island for me to find!

So I thought that I'd write this post as my "How to Cache Texada Island" entry. If you are planning a trip to this wonderful place and you want to do some caching this should help.

There are 12 caches on the island and there isn't one that I wouldn't recommend. But first you need to get there. If you're coming from the Lower Mainland of BC and you'd like to cache along the way you probably want to do a couple of pocket queries for the trip. You are most welcome to use my public query. It's called "Horseshoe Bay to Powell River." It will give you every traditional cache that is within 2.5km of the 101 Highway.

The trip to Texada is a beautiful road trip but it's also a long one. As the crow flies it would be pretty short but, well where in BC can you travel as the crow flies?

You'll need to take three ferries, one from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale... then drive about an hour to Earl's Cove where you'll take a 40 minute ferry ride to Saltery Bay. One more 30 minute drive to Powell River and you're almost there. A 35 minute ferry ride to Blubber Bay brings you to Texada Island, the Emerald Island. Welcome.

1. The very first cache is GCRMDY - Blubber Bay. This cache is just a few metres from the ferry terminal in some large boulders. Save it for when your waiting in the line-up for your ferry ride home.

2. The next cache is GC1C1QR - Texada Geo Guide. This is the cache that you want to grab first. It's absolutely brilliant in that it has a printed guide for every cache on the island. I really think we need one like this for the lower mainland! Kudos to Batwinged Hamburger Snatcher for coming up with this great idea. Perfect for the cacher that doesn't have any time to waste in an area that they may not know very well.

3. Glass Beach - GCXZPW, is next and it is one of my all time favourite caches. In 5 years of caching I've never enjoyed a site more than this spot... not so much for the scenery, which was awesome, but for how this spot touched me in a personal way. You can read more about my experience at this cache here. Don't miss this one.

4. After Glass Beach is a multi GCW6D8 - Nearly Cache a Woozle. This one involves about a 20 minute hike so I'm sorry to say that we had be putting it off, every year we'd say we'd get this one next year! But this last trip was the time and we found it on a beautiful cold day and so glad we did. What a great cache and why did we put it off? Make sure to pay attention to all the pink flagging tape. Once we got to the cache site we had a special treat - about 50 sea lions playing in the bay! It was awesome.

5. GCVEE4 is called Texada's First Macro. The view from this spot is wonderful and the history lesson is well done. Just make sure you don't drop the cache.

6. Turtle's Rock is the only cache we haven't attempted so I guess my advice for this one will have to wait until next year.

7. Pocohontas Bay - GCRTX8 is next. What a beautiful drive through green forest down to the ocean, though it is best taken with a 4x4. Follow the directions on the cache page and you'll have no trouble. Make sure to take your camera as we saw many birds at this spot.

8. Post to Post - GC11WW0 is a very well done multi that begins at the RCMP detachment at Gillies Bay. Stage 1 begins at some some great local artwork and then stage 2 & 3 are just a short walk away. The final is in a great container and was fun to find.

9 & 10. After caching in Gillies Bay travel down the road a bit to Shelter Point Park to find the next two caches. Gnomes Shelter - GCR2G1 & The Boardroom GC11RY9 are on the great trail in this park. You'll see amazingly huge old growth trees along the way. I was in awe. After finding these two caches make sure to take some time to go down to the beach. The beaches on this part of the island are made almost entirely of small pea size pebbles. When it's quiet the waves on shore make a beautiful tinkling sound. And if you're very observant you may find a Texada Island flower rock. This is the only place in the world where you can find one.

11. As far as I'm concerned Lily's Lookoff - GCVKFR has the best view of all the island caches. Take your 4x4 and don't forget your camera.

12. Cache Anything Bob? - GCVKF9, at Bob's Lake, is a great place to camp if you don't mind Forestry Campsites and/or a perfect spot for a picnic. We sure enjoyed this cache... beautiful spot, even in January and a great drive to get there. The hiding spot was a bit of a challenge but if you use your geosenses, or you bring along your eagle-eyed hubby like I did, you should have no trouble. Just look for the inukshuk, hopefully he's still there when you are.

And that's it. 12 wonderful reasons to visit Texada Island. We hope you enjoy your visit as much as we have enjoyed our visits. Can't wait to go back.