Monday, August 26, 2013

Caching in the Nahatlatch Valley

signing the logbook
 OK... I have to admit, I've always been jealous of cachers whose significant other is also into caching but today was my birthday and Tony, my husband, knows that this is the one day I will say... "I want to go geocaching all day with you and I don't want to hear any complaining." He gives me a major sigh and then goes out to pack the truck.
love our truck
Fortunately for me, he's totally at home in the woods, he loves exploring logging roads and he also owns a great big Ford F250 4x4. When I need to get up to the top of a mountain, he is my hero.

So today, on my birthday, we decided to head up to Boston Bar. The plan? Getting up to the Nahatlatch Forestry Lookout Tower and grab all the geocaches along the way.

See the tower?
We left Aldergrove at about 8am and were in Boston Bar by 10. Crossing the bridge into North Bend, we turned onto Chaumox Road and soon arrived at our first cache of the day...NV Series - The Fairy Ring Field (GC3PQQH). The NV Series (NV is short for Nahatlatch Valley) is an awesome bunch of caches put out by the Hannilake-Harrisons. I was very impressed with each cache we found in this series... the hides were inventive & creative, they were clean and filled with interesting swag and they were all hidden at safe pullouts along the road. One hide (GC3PRX7) was especially well done but that's all I'm saying! You just have to see that one for yourself!! Then, surprise, surprise I even got a FTF! (GC4E5JE) How cool is it to be first to find on your birthday? Only a true geocacher can appreciate how special that was for me.

Amazing view from the top!
So it was all smooth sailing, finding cache after cache, until we tried to find the road up to the forestry lookout. We had read some previous logs that mentioned that the road up had been a bit hard to find but we thought "we have our mapbook... we'll be fine." NOT. Turns out that the BC Backroads Mapbook is not quite accurate in this area and we ended up taking the wrong road for a while. DO NOT take the road to Keefers... take the road to "Wilderness Ranch" and you'll be good. In hindsight I should have printed the satellite map from which would have been very helpful at the time.

Tony and the tower
Once we found the right road I was so excited and I was also very glad I wasn't driving! This is definitely a 4x4ers dream road and takes some skill to navigate. There are some serious hairpin turns, some major boulders to navigate around and quite a bit of deadfall after the tower. If you have a big truck we would recommend that you park at the tower and then walk to the last three caches in the series. We just made it through the deadfall with only inches to spare. There is nowhere to turn around at the last cache so you will have to back up for quite a while unless you continue forward about another 800 metres down the road. We found a grassy spot there that was big enough for our truck.

The Nahatlatch Forest Fire Lookout was rebuilt by the Four Wheel Drive Association, SWATT, some geocachers and BC Rec Sites & Trails. What a project to undertake! Wow.
The "Rebuild" geocaching series was created by Trixnbun in honour of the rebuilding of the Lookout Tower and the entire series is such a great tribute. The hides are not difficult and I love that the hints are good so that there is no unnecessary wear & tear on the environment. Every once in a while we'd get a glimpse of the view of the Fraser Canyon and it would just take our breath away. Finally we arrived at the lookout and we were so excited to see the brand new rebuilt tower. The view from this spot is truly amazing. I'm sorry to say the pictures just don't do it justice. You have to see it in real life. Spectacular.

Making lunch inside the tower
After a great lunch (with birthday cake of course) inside the tower we finally decided it was time to head back home. 26 caches later we are a lot more tired, a little more bruised and I was, apparently, another year older!

And it was SO worth it.

1 comment:

Eddie said...

A Belated "Happy Birthday" to you, and congrats on your birthday FTF as well! :)