Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Great Coal Rush!

From the 15th to the 18th of May, the full Doonchak Clan, along with Derlwyn (Kiel and Aimee), headed up to Tulameen, BC for what was being billed as the MUST ATTEND geocaching event of the year. The Tulameen Turtles had organized a large poker run type ralley event in the towns of Tulameen, Coalmont and Princeton, as well as in the remains of some ghost towns in the area. Not only was the event a blast, but it was a full and exhausting weekend of fun! What follows is a blow by blow account of the 27 caches and 3 events that Joel (Doon) completed over the course of the weekend. Chak (Tamara) and the Geo-Baby (Jacob) were not present at every cache, but they were there in spirit!


Home Base - GC18F6B

Well....here we go.
The full Doonchak clan, along with a couple of Derlwyns, were here in Tullameen for a little something called The Great Coal Rush.
Our first stop of the weekend, after a nice drive from Coquitlam, was at Home Base, where we meet up with the Turtles so we could gather the information needed for the weekend of fun.
Maybe one day, this cache will be included in a history tour of the area as the place where some great Geocacher's lived!
An easy find...though stealth may be required when people are camping 15 feet away from the cache

Weekend Cache #1

Rockin' Downtown Tulameen - GC1BMRR

After getting all setup at our nearby cabin, we decided to head on down to the General Store to pick up some 'pops' for later that evening.
We decided that it would be a good time to get the event started, as we grabbed our first event cache of the weekend.
The find was made easier as we have seen this type of Turtle hide before.
A quick grab and we were soon off back to the cabin with beverages and snacks in hand!

Weekend Cache #2

The Old Tulameen Graveyard - GCQ2HQ

After a stop back at our cabin, we decided that now would be a good time to see how well the all-terrain stroller, we had just received, handled while geocaching.
We were actually staying just a few hundred meters away from the Graveyard, and it was a fairly quick walk after we figured out which road we needed to take.
We took a walk through the Graveyard, taking note of the information in the book about how 'Green' burials were being used at this site.
Once through the graveyard, Doon and Mr Derlwyn went up the last few meters to retrieve the cache....and what do you know...we gathered our first playing card of the weekend!
An interesting spot, and I am sure there is alot of history buried in this place.

Weekend Cache #3

School Hill - GC1F1D4

After our stop at the Graveyard, we headed towards this cache, wondering if it was going to be possible to push the stroller up the hill. Chak and Miss Derlwyn quickly decided that it was a no go, and so Doon and Mr Derlwyn took off up the hill while the Girls and Geo-baby Jacob headed back to the cabin.
Perhaps this climb was foreshadowing another climb that would happen a few days later, but it was alarming how tired I was after that short haul up the hill.
We meandered around for a while, a little unsure of which way were were going, but we soon had our bearings back and made our way to GZ.
I must admit, finding caches is made much easier when each cache is marked by an ammo-can next to the hiding spot....maybe we can make that a requirement going forward?
Another card pulled, another log signed and we were soon off, back towards the cabin and a rendezvous with some cachers at the Opening Night Meet and Greet.

Weekend Cache #4

Coal Rush - Friday Night Meet & Greet - GC1JHV4

If was already getting dark as we made our way through Coalmont into what remains of Granite City for the Meet and Greet.
We parked and made ourway to the fire that was being built....a hunger for hot dogs growing stronger as the minutes passed.
We chatted with a few folks....most of which were more interested in the very cute Geo-Baby Jacob then in us boring adults....but who can blame them
Had a nice chat with Malibooboo, very nice to meet you after seeing your name so many times...including on a Mailbox Geocoin I had in my possession.
Soon though, Geo-Baby Jacob expressed his desire to return to our temporary home for the night. So we left, still with the hunger for hot dogs, as we had forgotten our roasting sticks back at the cabin.

Weekend Cache #5 / Event #1

Princeton Museum - Without Them All Would Be Lost - GC1J928

Well, it was day #2 of The Coal Rush Weekend, and Doon and Mr Derlwyn's plans of getting up early to hit the caches was foiled by the warm beds at our cabin.
Since we needed food, we decided to head into Princeton to start our caching day and grab the essentials.
Our first stop of the day was at the Museum, and were were not alone. During our time searching here, at least 3 other groups of cachers came along. Derlwyn soon had the cache in hand, and off we went into the Museum to both gather our playing cards as well as take a walk through this interesting little place.
The hosts inside were very welcoming and we soon had the card in hand. However, the lure of a working telephone soon had us calling each other from opposite sides of the room! We spent some time looking around...I especially liked the 3D map of Princeton and the mines underneath it.
We soon realized that other caches were calling our name, so we said our Thank You's and Goodbyes and jumped back into the car...armed with maps and directions to a castle and our next stop....

Weekend Cache #6

i Clues to our Treasure - GC140YK

On our way to the castle, Derlwyn pointed out a cache he had gathered on a previous trip through Princeton. With the dual purpose of getting a cache, as well as hopefully getting some maps of the back-roads / FSRs in the region, we headed towards the Information center.
So....I guess my next question would be....what sort of Information Center for tourists is closed on the weekend?!? lol.
We still stopped to grab the cache, and in the process I may have grabbed Tetanus from the rusty nail that stabbed me during retrieval, but the cache was soon in hand and we were off again, chasing tales of a castle nearby.

Weekend Cache #7

Princeton Castle - GC15VTE

With the Tetanus possibly still pumping through my veins from our stop at I Clues, we made our way towards the castle.
We stopped at the head of the TCT entrance so that Geo-Baby Jacob could get his 'feed' on. The rest of us merrily sat around (or in the case of Miss Derlwyn, practiced some dance moves...yes..we all saw you [;p] until Jacob decided we were allowed to continue.
We trudged down to the cache location, with Geo-Baby being carried in various arms during the trip and search.
Well...doesn't there always seem to be that one cache that everyone else finds in 2 minutes, but it takes you 45? This was our head-slapper of the weekend.
After an exhaustive search spanning a considerably larger area then it ever needed too, the cache was found....of course Doon was back at the car trying to call the Turtles for some life support during this time...so I can't actually relay what happened when it was found...but I like to imagine much rejoicing and clapping of hands. Of course, it was in a spot that we had looked about 62 times before...maybe it teleports?
After replacing the cache, we drove down to the castle and it was quite a site to see. Into the office we went where we were greeted by a comely wench (can we say wench on Geocaching.com...?) who proceeded to serve us with our cards and then ask a myriad of questions about the event. I think that perhaps someone paid her to delay all other cachers for as long as possible , but we were soon on our way again and off to more adventures!

Weekend Cache #8

Choo Choo - GC1M3MN

After the almost debacle at the castle, we decided to Choo Choo Choose this cache as our next destination.
We tried to drive as close to this cache as possible, and we managed to find an area that allowed us to park and scramble down a small hill close to the cache location. Chak, Miss Derlwyn and Geo-Baby Jacob stayed behind so Jacob could get his feed on again...he eats like Daddy!
Little did we know that we would need to come down this way again later today....but hindsight is always 20/20.
The tunnel was an impressive site, though a slightly somber one as well with the memorial very close by. It made me wonder if the child had an accident on this very tunnel I was about to climb up .
A quick scramble up the side and we were soon up on top of the tunnel, and Derlwyn soon had the cache in hand.
This was a very interesting spot, and seeing the remains of the wooden supports over the concrete tunnel made me wonder if there was more history to this spot then what meets the eye.
We quick scramble down and we were off to another adventure, this one of the Subway variety as we were VERY hungry and needed some food.

Weekend Cache #9

Aug 13, 1930 - Victims of the Blakeburn Disaster - GC1C81D

After a hearty lunch of the Subway variety, we took off in the direction of another Graveyard. A few bumpy kilometers later and we pulled into the drive. The spot that stood out for me was the pyramid marker near the entrance. I am pretty sure it was the sister to another such marker I saw in Princeton.
As we neared GZ, we pulled up behind another car and recognized a couple of friendly faces accompanied by a couple of new ones. We said our 'wazzups' to Graf, Kowgirl Katie, Malibooboo and Gearhead and vowed to see each other again later that night at the poker event. They gave us some directions towards the cache and then they were soon off.
Chak stayed in the car with Geo-Baby Jacob as it was getting quite hot and we didn't want to cook our child!
Doon and Mr/Miss Derlwyn began our search for the micro and had no luck for the first 10 or so minutes. After awhile, Doon made the find in the spot he had already looked at multiple times. Such is caching
Back to the car we went, knowing that our next destination was going to be a multi-cache involving a long walk.

Weekend Cache #10

TCT Princeton - Silver will get you Red - GCD4E4

Back towards downtown Princeton we went, having driving past our first destination for this Multi already a couple of times today.
Armed with a hint from Malibooboo, we left Chak and Geo-Baby Jacob in the shade of the car and started working over the fountain in the hopes of finding our first clue.
It took some time, but soon Miss Derlwyn found the container and the location of the final stage of the cache....and wouldn't you know it....we had to walk right under Choo Choo to get it. Efficiency was not our friend on this day!
We loaded back up into the car, and headed towards the TCT, hoping to cut off as much of the walking time as possible in the mid-day heat. We found a suitable location, pulled down the stroller and we were soon off on our walk.
Going through the tunnel was pretty neat. It was never dark enough to be really scary, but it was still eerie in places....mainly the places where we almost stepped in big piles of poo .
Once through the tunnel, we made our way onto the bridge and saw some folks that sure did look an awful lot like geocachers coming towards us. Graf, Kowgirl Katie, Gearhead and Malibooboo....along with another group of 3 cachers that I don't think we got the name of, were making their way back from the cache. We shared a chat, and gawked at Gearhead's body art TB and then parted ways so we could continue on.
Geo-Baby Jacob was sleeping through the walk, so the rest of the walk was fairly uneventful in a good way, and we were soon upon the impressive geological site near the cache. We left our names on the wall using the rocks and continued on towards the cache.
As we neared, a group of quaders pulled up and proceeded to wait until we, who they assumed were muggles, passed on by. Once we both realized that we were cachers, we shared a brief talk over the cache location before parting ways and heading back towards the car.
Geo-Baby Jacob woke up soon after departing the final location, and decided that he was not happy leaving nothing at this geocache. He proceeded to throw two pacifiers out of his stroller...only one of which we retrieved. Silly little man [;p].
We returned to the car, hot and sweaty and in need of bathroom breaks, water and diaper changing. Our next stop was to be Overwaitea, which, in reading the newspapers that came with our package, has been around for MANY years...though I am guessing not all at the current location?

Weekend Cache #11

The Great Coal Rush - GC1HMDA

After leaving Overwaitea with food and a changed Geo-Baby, we quickly stopped at the first location for Meet The Cacher, as we did not intend on returning to Princeton again this weekend. Derlwyn grabbed the tag after being directed by a local a few houses away. Back into the car, and we were off.
After dinner, we packed up and headed to Home Base for the GeoCoin Poker game. Once we arrived, the girls enjoyed a beverage or two before heading back to the Cabin to enjoy a rented movie and leaving the men-folk to gamble away the coins they had imported from Germany specifically for the event.
We were shocked to see the prize breakdown. I had expected everyone to leave with at least one coin, but this was going to be some HARDCORE geocoin poker tonight with only the top 4 players leaving with any coins.
I was at a table with Best Red, Teskelly, Catapult Jeff (hereby referred to as 'The Ringer' or the 'Fake Newb'), Gearhedd and A Turbo Kid (didn't get the real name) and the game soon started.
As luck would have it....I had none, and was dealt nothing to play with for probably the first 50 minutes. I was dealt A/K and went all in, hoping beyond hope that I would hit something that would make me a player again. Of coruse, when you hope beyond hope, you end up with no hope and lose all your chips. The Ringer had me beat. I don't remember with what exactly, but whatever it was I was out.
Realizing that I needed another chance at victory, I bought back in using two loaner coins from Mrs Turtle...who must have done some good sales that night on rebuys .
I was back in the game....only to be dealing with the same junk I was before. A/2 was the first highcard I had been dealt in many hands, so I pushed all in again when i paired my A on the flop. It was me against The Ringer...and of course, when you are against The Ringer...you lose. He pulled out his straight on the River and I was once again out of the game, this time 4 coins down and still no closer to that beautiful templar coin that I was now kicking myself for having entered.
Derlwyn was fairing much better this time around, after his own re-buy, so I went inside and chatted with Kris and Jordy for awhile. Derlwyn managed to place in 5th place, which won him 2 coins, which he promptly gave back to Kris after borrowing them to re-buy back in, heh.
We jumped into the car and headed back to the cabin, hoping to be able to make it back in time to have a fair. Alas, Geo-Baby Jacob was already asleep and it was time to hit the sack. However, this time Doon and Derlwyn vowed to wake up early and make it to some of those out of the way caches that are not Geo-Baby acceptable.
Another great night and lots of fun was had.

Weekend Cache #12 / Event #2

Mullin Coal Mine - GC1J91W

True to our words, Derlwyn and Doon were up at 7am and out the door, hoping to grab a few of the more 'rugged' caches up for grabs this weekend while the Girls and Geo-Baby slept.
We had picked this cache, along with two others, since we figured we could wrap them up before the 10am deadline in place for our return. Given that we have only ever come back from caching once on time...I didn't like our chances.
We drove down through Coalmont and up the first FSR that my little Sunfire has ever seen. It performed fairly well given the circumstances and we were truckin....well car'in, along fairly well. We reached the '6 board' and took the upper road, not being sure which way we needed to go. We soon had big trucks that looked unhappy to be behind a Sunfire on a mining road coming from behind. We motioned the trucks past, but stopped the first one to ask how to get to 'Blakeburn'. He told us to go back to the '6 board' (His term...not mine) and take the lower road. So down we went.
After more then a few turnarounds and some confusion, we finally found the right road in....being guarded by a fairly large puddle. Derlwyn measured the depth of the puddle with a large stick, and given it's shallow nature, we were soon off down the road, avoiding rocks and logs left and right.
The site we pulled up to was something to see! And we parked and started making our way up the side of the slope towards the cache. After a short search, we soon had the cache in hand and headed off to the lone puzzle cache of the weekend, Gotta Go #4.

Weekend Cache #13

Gotta Go #4 - Blakeburn Style - Behind Which Door? - GC1QKBG

From the Mullin Coal Mine cache, we trekked uphill towards the starting point for Gotta Go #4. I was quite happy to see that, once we arrived, it looked to be all downhill....of course, that would mean an uphill climb would follow...but men are not great at long term thinking at times like this.
We made our way down, following the welcoming green tape whenever we saw it. We soon found ourselves however on the wrong side of a large ditch, so back up a ways we went to get to the other side.
Once on the other side, it was not too long before we spotted the first outhouse of the outhouses. Beyond that, the others were soon in site as well. You wont get any spoilers from me, but suffice to say that we found the cache fairly quickly once we were on the site.
It's surprising how well some of these buildings have held up! We took some needed rest and used the outhouse for it's intended purpose (I kid....of course ) and after a few photos, we were once again on our way....knowing that time was our enemy if we didn't want the girls to be later this morning.

Weekend Cache #14

B09: Lover's Leap - GC1QKBA

Coming down the hill from Gotta Go #4, we continued along the beautiful trail that edged along the cliffs.
We passed at least one trestle along the way to the cache, and it is amazing that these structures still stand today!
Once we reached the location of the cache, we were greeted with quite the site! What a view! I scrambled down to look under the trestle, as my GPS was pointing in that direction, but Derlwyn had the right idea and soon had the cache in hand.
We of course took the opportunity to snap some pictures of this great spot, before we had to head back up what was sure to be a grueling climb. At the time we didn't know that continuing on would take us to two other caches, but even armed with that knowledge, we had to head back for breakfast.
The climb back to the Mullin site was as hard as we expected it to be, and I was in full on huffing mode when we reached the top. Nothing like a good hill climb before breakfast to wake you up!
Back in the car, we headed back down the FSR wondering if we were going to make it back in time. We actually made really good time and we were pulling onto 2nd street in Tullameen about to be on time for only the 2nd time ever....when we spotted Curnews and pulled over to have a quick chat. It turned out that Mr Curnew (Jeff I believe) had beaten the 'Fake Newb' other Jeff and had taken home the grand prize coin haul. I longingly got to hold the Templar coin one last time, and took down the tracking number for future discovery when it is activated. Congratz on the win and the coin haul!
Only being 5 minutes late, we did not receive any wrath from the girls, and I made a big meaty breakfast to boot. Fuel for the day of caching to come.

Weekend Cache #15

TCT Tulameen - Otter Lake Trestle - GCXM0N

After our hearty breakfast, we packed up the car and headed out for some group caching.
Our first stop was going to be, what we figured at least, an easy one. We made our way down the road to Otter Lake and hoped out figuring that we would find a TCT trailhead near the shore of the lake. As we have been many other times in the past, and probably will be in the future, we were wrong.
We were standing on the shore, looking at what we knew was the cache location, but had no easy way of getting there. We tried to walk along the shore, but the path of least resistance would have been a very wet one, so we went back to the grass.
Leaving the girls and Geo-Baby (who was....once again....getting his eat on), we jumped back into the car and looked for a trail entrance. We found one not to far away and we were soon making our way down the TCT towards the cache. Lots of quaders around, and when we reached the cache location we had some muggle company, but we managed to make the find in super stealth mode anyways, and soon had another card in hand.
I stood on the bridge waving to the girls for probably 5 minutes before someone at the lake let them know that they 'men-folk' were waving like crazy people. We got a small wave back and then they went back to fawning over the Geo-Baby.
I left a TB in the cache and took nothing and soon we were on our way back to the car. When we reached the car, we were surprised to see the girls walking down the street towards us. We loaded up the car and off we went, intending to finally grab a cache we had driven by at least 6 times in the past couple of days.

Weekend Cache #16

The Dead Shoe Tree - GCY05H

We had passed this cache many times over the past couple of days, and we were concerned that this was going to end up being that cache you keep saying you will grab next time...and then never end up grabbing before you leave. Determined that this would not be the case, we pulled over to the side of the road at the first shoe tree and began our search.
We had seen a few other cachers at this area over the past few days, but that didn't help us any in finding the cache. The search took a few minutes, but Derlwyn soon had the cache in hand. Now to find the cards.
As we walked towards the other shoe trees, a herd of other cachers showed up and we found the cards together...oddly enough...under another shoe tree.
I think what made me laugh the most was not that people woudl throw their shoes up into the trees....but that they didn't keep it to only one tree .
Having prevented disaster, we piled back into the car and headed off to Home Base to turn in our cards from the caching so far that day. A nice quick chat with the Turtles and we were off again, this time into Coalmont!

Weekend Cache # 17 and Overall Find #250!!!! (This means Doon is allowed to buy a Geocoin!)

Hattie's Place - GC1FK0V

We pulled into Coalmont and parked in front of the Mozy-On-Inn to grab the 2nd step of Meet The Cacher before heading over the Hattie's Place for the next cache. We had a nice chat with Mr. Mozy while grabbing the tag information and then started the trek over to Hattie's Place with the whole crew in tow.
In reading about the history of this cache, it's hard to beleive that in the history of a town, only one murder has taken place, but I guess that is big city thinking for you .
As we neared the site, we wondered whether or not the properly that was for sale to the right of the cache location included the site where Hattie's house once stood.
Once at GZ, we spent some time reading the plaque and taking a few pictures before we grabbed the cache container. I left a TB here and took nothing but a sense of history at an interesting location.
It was getting hot out, but we figured we would do one more cache on foot before loading back into the car....or so we thought!

Weekend Cache # 18

Days Gone By - GC1GGM4

After Hattie's Place, we walked down the road to where we thought we would easily grab Days Gone By. We crossed the bridge and started up the hill....but quickly realized that this was not going to be a nice leisurely walk with the stroller in this heat. There was a brief debate over whether or not Derlwyn was going to run to the car himself, but we ended up walking back as a group.
The girls stopped to use the restroom at the Mosey Inn and Derlwyn and I, with Geo-Baby Jacob went over to the Coalmont Welcome sign to knock off another photo for the Photo Challenge cache.
Soon we were all back in the car and heading up the bumpy road towards the cache. We made the right decision in not trying to walk, as it was actually quite a ways up the road. We found the correct turn-off and we soon were at GZ with the cache in hand. A neat hiding spot for sure and another great cache found up on this service roads. Doing these caches is making me want a jeep or something .

Weekend Cache #19

Wooden Monster - GC1GH7M

After Days Gone By, we realized we were on the right road to make a go at this cache. I think we tested the limits of the Sunfire along this road, but it seemed to survive the trek. If the tires all fall off the car on the way to work on Tuesday however, I think this cache will be the one to blame .
Once we found the right road in, we parked a few hundred meters out. Guess what...Geo-Baby Jacob needed to eat...he keeps doing that...go figure. So the girls stayed behind while the boys went to go find this Monster.
After a short walk, we saw the remains in the distance. From far away they are quite a sight!
We made our way to GZ and as we neared the cache I almost speared myself with some metal wire that lay on the ground....ouch.
The cache was very quickly in hand, and we snapped a few photos before heading back to the car.
Geo-Baby was still eating when we returned, so we chilled out for a few....well....more like heated out for a few minutes and then packed up again to head into the remains of Blakeburn!

Weekend Cache #20

Blakeburn - GC1ED5T

After heading down one bumpy road, we were soon heading back up another. Before we could venture up the FSR however, we had to make a quick stop in the Granite Creek Cemetery to grab a picture of Hattie's grave for the Photo challenge.
We found it interesting that parts of the Graveyard were fenced in. We assumed those were family plots, and the graves contained inside seemed to confirm this. These small town cemeteries are very interesting...so very different then what you are used to in the city.
We were soon back in the car and heading along the FSR towards what remains of Blakeburn. We were somewhat familiar with where we were going from our expedition earlier in the morning. We were soon at a pulloff from which we could attack three caches. The first of these was Blakeburn.
After a quick walk down the trail, we came upon quite the site. This was by far the most impressive remains we saw during the weekend. You can really imagine what it must have been like when it was operational.
Mr/Miss Derlwyn went to fetch the cache, as Geo-Baby Jacob was being carried and the trail looked a little precarious. We snapped a couple of pictures while they grabbed the cache and we were soon on our way again, another lesson in the history of this area learned.

Weekend Cache #21

Downtown - GC1GGK8

From the Blakeburn cache, we continued along the obvious trail....though we did pick the less desirable upper route versus the pristine looking lower trail....I blame Derlwyn...it's nothing new.
As we neared GZ, it was almost impossible to believe that this was once the site of a town. Sure there are some remains, but looking at the pictures and trying to place all that here seems almost impossible. It really makes you wonder how long it would take nature and time to reclaim the cities of today....longer I am sure....but eventually I imagine the same thing could happen.
The cache was quickly retreived, and I read through the history left in the cache to note that the hiding location used to be the Steam Plant for Blakeburn....amazing. So much history here that I bet 99% of the people in BC know nothing about. I am glad to now be a part of that 1%!

Weekend Cache #22

Meet Miss Mary McKay – of Shaughnessy Division - GC1J922

After two relativly easy finds, we decided to go for the last cache within walking distance of the car, despite the warnings of a possible bushwack to the cache.
We made our way along the trail, and soon realized that the only way to GZ was up the slope and into the bush.
Chak and Geo-Baby Jacob would need to stay behind, so Miss Derlwyn remained behind as well, and Doon and Mr Der were soon bushwacking our way along.
We each made our way towards separate buildings, getting cut up and whipped as we went. I had no problem with the bushwack...sometimes its nice to have to work like this for a cache...especially when the reward is such a interesting location.
The building I checked was empty, and Derlwyn was having no luck on his end either.
We also were starting to get the calls for a bathroom from the girls. We couldn't complain though, it had been a few hours since the last stop and that was probably a record for this motley crew!
Derlwyn was getting frustrated, but I pushed him on towards the last building. Sure enough, the cache was located. Unfortunately I never got to see the final location as I was making my way towards the cache when the requests for a bathroom turned into demands.
Needless to say we were soon back in the car and heading towards Coalmont. We stopped at the Saloon for a potty break before heading back into Tulameen. A quick stop at Meet The Cacher spot #3, along with a stop at the General Store for Ice Cream and a Web Cam shot for the Photo Challenge (Thank you Mosey-On-Inn for the help with that one) before we were back at the cabin making some food for the pot-luck. It would seem that our event caching was over...as it was only a short time until the Awards dinner...however, Derlwyn and Doon were hoping to sneak out to grab one last cache.

Weekend Cache #23

B09: Meet the Cacher! - GC1J91X

Points 1 - 3 were gathered earlier in the weekend while doing other caches. We had just returned to town from some Blakeburn caching and we hoped to knock this one last cache off the list before the wrap up dinner.
Back at the cabin, it looked like the Potluck food was under control, so Mr Derlwyn and I rushed out the door with the promise that we would be back in 10 minutes. We figured it we could grab spot #4 in those 10 minutes, we could find a way to grab #5 and the final in small increments before dinner.
We rushed out of town towards spot #4 and had a nice drive around the lake, looking towards some of the other locations we were unable to hit during the weekend.
As we reached #4 GZ, we were unsure if we should pull into the drive or not as there were folks outside one of the possible houses. We decided to park on the road, and started searching across the street for the tag. The folks outside turned out to not be the cachers, but they knew where the tag was and shouted out to us where to look. With spot #4 in hand, we headed back into town.
Spot #5 turned out to be about 5 doors down from where we were staying, so we decided we would knock that off before we went back to the cabin. We ran into the Mario Bros at spot #5 and we quickly had those numbers as well.
Back to the cabin we went....but the food was already made, and permission from the powers that be was granted for us to go and gather this final cache.
Off we went, curious as to where this final location would be...since it seemed to be pointing us back to the Turtle's Home.
As we neared the final GZ, it seemed like we were heading back to spot #3....which...once Derlwyn looked at his GPS...we were. A smack to the head later and we headed back towards downtown Tulameen and the proper location for the final cache.
As we neared the final location, we saw that Mario Bros were already there and trying to find the cache. Derlwyn made up for his previous mistake and soon had the cache in hand. It was a bittersweet find as I knew that with this find, the event caching for us was over.
I left a TB that I felt was appropriate, since it is covered in the names of fellow cachers, including some that were up at this event (Malibooboo and 911 Turbos to name a couple).
We drove away and within a few minutes had the 4th or 5th Derlwyn "OMG Where is my GPS" scare of the weekend. Unlike the other scares, this one was actually real, so we turned around and went back to retrive it.
Once back at the cabin we got ourselves ready for the walk down the street to the wrap-up party.

Weekend Cache #24

Coal Rush - Dinner & Awards - GC1JHV5

We walked to the wrap up event from the cabin and it was already a semi-full house when we got there. Prizes were all lined up at the front, and food was being organized in the back. It had all the markings of a well organized wrap to a superbly organized weekend.
We took seats near the front, being the keeners that we are, and soon things were underway. Kris took the stage to loud cheers from the crowd and then got cheered even more when she told everyone to go eat. Us cachers like our food.
There was a big spread, though two main dishes, chili and pasta salad, dominated the menu. I filled up plates for myself and Chak while the Geo-Baby Jacob ate his dinner. The food was good and soon it was time for the main-event...awards and prizes.
I was amazed at the number of people who managed to get royal flushes. I wonder how much behind the scenes trading went on to get those together . Prizes were handed out, with trophies and certificates for some of the more unique accomplishments of the weekend....such as almost hacking through a tree with a Swiss Army Knife. Much cheering occured and then the door prizes were handed out. Some people made out with a huge haul. We managed to win a Landsharkz Adventure Guide tag, which we plan on using to spread the news about Tulameen and whichever event will be the sequal to the Coal Rush Event. Thanks for the prize!
We had one last Coin to pass along, so I passed off the Triple Dragon coin to Malibooboo to take back up to the Prince George area with him.
After the awards went out, we stuck around for awhile to thank our hosts and say a few hello's and goodbyes, but I had promised Chak a fire this weekend (we had yet to have one) and I needed to make good on that promise, so we headed home to roast mallows and dogs. The event may be over, but we still had some caching plans for the next day.

Weekend Cache #25 / Event #3

Tulameen Photo Challenge - GC1J92A

After a long sleep, the full crew woke up and proceeded to pack up our belongings to head on home. It had been a great weekend, and the cabin we had rented had served us well...almost too well on Saturday morning as it's comforts prevented us from getting the early start we had wanted.
After we were packed and had eaten our breakfast, we agreed to go and grab the Tulameen Photo Challenge cache that we had been working on over the weekend.
Our first stop however was once again at Home Base to meet up with the Turtles one last time. Mario Bros were just leaving when we got there, and a few tents were still up in the yard, but it looked like most of the cachers were already on their way home.
We thanked the Turtles again and left our small (VERY small) bag of empties and headed off in the direction of the cache, armed now with the knowledge of the proper road to take.
We had two cars for this cache, as after this Derlywn and Doonchak would be going their seperate ways and heading home.
The FSR was bumpy, but again I was happy with how the Sunfire performed on these roads. I am not sure that Geo-Baby Jacob always agreed, but it tended to rock him to sleep after awhile .
We soon came to the lookout where the cache was hidden. I passed the GPS off to Chak as she had yet to actually find one this weekend with all the Geo-Baby work she was doing. Such a good mommy she is!
Turns out Miss Derlwyn beat her too it, as the cache was soon in hand. I never did see the final location, as I was snapping pics of the great view, but Chak signed us in.
With that cache found, it was time to say our goodbyes. Mr/Miss Derlwyn needed to head back quickly to get some stuff done, while Chak and I were in no hurry, so parted ways at the bottom of the FSR and with that, Derlwyn was gone and the Doonchak's were on their own to find some adventure!

Weekend Cache #26

Someday of the Week - GC15G9W

After filling up with gas in Princeton, we flew over to the Crow's Nest highway and headed towards home. I had PQ'd the route from Tulameen to 'da Wack' so we were armed with enough caches to keep us very busy.
One thing I do find however, whenever we try to cache while driving, is we inevitably drive by so many caches while trying to decide whether or not we are going to stop. Turnaround Cache was the first victim of this on our drive home, but I soon queued up Someday of the Week and we vowed to make this stop.
Luckily, the cache location was attached to a nice big pull-off area, so we easily pulled in and parked near GZ. I once again handed the GPS to chak, determined to get her a cache for the weekend. Sure enough, she had it in hand a few seconds later, and with a smile on her face, she had a find!
We signed the log-book and after checking to make sure that Geo-Baby Jacob was still asleep, we were back in the car and heading towards Manning Park, sure that we would be able to make some easy stops along the way!

Weekend Cache #27

Hope Slide Earthcache - GC1626F

After the successful stop at the previous cache, we were feeling good about our chances to grab a few more roadside caches before we hit our final caching destination of the weekend. However, with Geo-Baby Jacob sleeping, we knew that only park and grabs were going to work.
With that in mind, we zoomed past cache after cache that required us to go for even a 5 minute walk, despairing that we were missing out on some great views and locations, but not wanting the trade off of an awake and grumpy Geo-Baby.
As luck would have it, no cache fit the bill, and so we arrived at our final destination of the weekend, the Hope Slide.
The skies had darkened on our approach, and the wind was REALLY cold by the time we got out of the car.
It's hard to beleive, but I had never actually been to this spot before. It was quite a sight to see, that is for sure. You really can tell pretty much exactly which portion of the mountain came down...I can't even imagine what that must have sounded like.
Geo-Baby Jacob was hungry, so Chak was in the car feeding him while I gathered the information for the Earthcache, as well as a couple of pictures.
So much rock, and in a few minutes I would be searching through it looking for what was pretty much a needle in a haystack.

Weekend Cache #28

Beyond Hope - GCGTT7

After gathering the information from the Earthcache, I checked in on Geo-Baby Jacob, who was still enjoying his bottle. With that, I took off to grab the other two caches in this area.
Not much of a story with this one, just a quick grab as the wind died down. There was not many people around at this point, so the grab was easily made and then I was off to climb over the rocks in search of the next cache.

Weekend Cache #29

Hope Landslide - GC1EZZC

I was expecting this to be a much longer search then the quick grab I had just made at the other cache located near here...and it did not disappoint.
I made my way carefully to GZ, figuring that after a weekend of hiking and off roading with a Sunfire, that the last thing I wanted to do was wipe out on the last cache of the weekend!
Once near GZ, I began my search. Looking here, there and everywhere. After 10 minutes or so or searching, I took a gander at the hint, and I must admit, it tricked me pretty good. I searched what I thought was every possible option based on the hint, but was having no luck.
As I begun to get a little frustrated, I heard the pitter-patter of fellow caching feet near the location. Peppy and PD21 arrived on the scene, and I headed over to say hello....when there it was...dead on to the hint...just not in the way I was thinking. Calling out that I had made the find, we gathered around to sign the log. High Maintenance and ILoveVacation arrived shortly there-after as well and we had a Ge-Reunion only a few short hours after all leaving the same event.
With the cache replaced, and the logbook signed, we headed back to our cars. Chak and Geo-Baby were done, and waiting for us as we arrived. PD21 helped us grab a group shot for the Earthcache, and I had a nice chat with High Maintenance about a coin that she was designing....looks great...I love new shiny things! Soon though, the lure of home caused for us to part company, and we were loading ourselves back into the car.

Weekend Cache #30...last cache of our great weekend at The Great Coal Rush.


Whew, that was a mouthful. As you can imagine, we were all exhausted upon our return to Coquitlam....and of course the rain was here waiting for us after 4 perfect days up in Tulameen. The event was amazing, the caches we tons of fun, the folks we had a chance to visit with were all wonderful and we have memories that we will never forget....especially now that I have written them all down!

Thanks so much Turtles for the hard work....I hope you know how much it is appreciated. We are all so lucky to have quality events like this in our area...spoiled might be a better word.

T - Memories, scrapes, possible tetanus, a sunburn, a new found appreciation for small towns and their history, and a perma-smile.

L - Blood, sweat, a soother somewhere on the TCT and a bunch of pasta salad because we made WAY TOO MUCH!

Until next time....Doonchak out.