Monday, 17 March 2014

Two words

So the purpose of today’s “local drive east” was an interesting one. HB has recently introduced me to the concept of geocaching.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, well HB has a T-shirt that describes it as “using million dollar satellite equipment to find Tupperware in the woods”. For a more complete description try here or the official site here.

Urban geocaching is incredible fun. Places that you walk past everyday hide a veritable treasure trove of finds. The trick being to locate them and sign the log without being spotted. HB and I spent a fun morning locating caches within a very small local radius. As we looked online for likely candidates we realised that one site is actually visible from our window!

More rural locations though take on a whole other dimension in this weather. We set out, WMAP, HB and RTH on our drive, set on finding some more caches.

OK, if you are unaccustomed to our weather foibles, I have two words for you. Snow Banks.
Now HB is not a stranger to unforgiving terrain, or wildlife for that matter (interesting story about caching in Florida and a closer-than-you’d-really-like encounter with an alligator) but even he isn’t used to the sheer volume of snow we get.

What appears to be a simple “drive by” according to the website turns into a little bit more of an epic adventure. Often the “easily accessible” cache is the other side of a mound of snow, often the mound of snow is taller than me.

HB was also introduced to different types of snow, specifically compacted vs not. Compacted snow is fairly easy to walk on, non-compacted means you risk disappearing up to your knees in the white stuff. And this is exactly what happened, our foraging occasionally punctuated by yelps of peoples’ legs disappearing into the wild white yonder.

Apparently RTH and I can consider ourselves seasoned geocachers now as we both have sustained injuries associated with the hobby. I have scratches on my scalp from ducking through tree branches and RTH has managed to stab his palm with some sharp ice.

Even the more tame sites prove a little challenging this time of year. A bench in a village park, should be easy to spot you’d think but as we stomped through it, I read the description out loud. Hmm, that’s a little worrying, “Guys?! I think we’re standing on a pond. Can you hear creaking?”
Fortunately we didn’t end up in the pond, but we didn’t exactly stay dry either. Waterproof boots are fine, until the snow enters them from above.

190 kilometres and 8 caches later (would have been more but some were obviously not winter accessible) we returned home; exhausted, a tad damp but happy.

Two words summing up the day: Awesome fun!

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