Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Snapping Shots of Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows

ABOVE: floats for fishermen's nets await their turn to bob in the Fraser River

Annette and I took advantage of a nice sunny day and the later daylight hours to take a few photos in the Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows areas alongside the Fraser River.

One of the places we went was a working dock for fishermen; small fishing boats tied up at the rivers edge and no frills marine shops on the surrounding roads let you know this was a blue collar area.

The second was a new subdivision at the end of Bonson Road in Pitt Meadows; this was the site of an old lumber mill. The site has been reclaimed and the contaminated fill trucked away, to be replaced with cleaner land. Many new smaller homes and townhouses have filled in the landscape; a walking trail at the river's edge, along with an open grassy area provides the families access to the Fraser River to sit and view the working boats go buy. A great view of the new Golden Ears Bridge can be had here as well....

You may view the photos by clicking here to go to my Flickr account.......ensure you click on "slideshow" in the upper right corner to start the show................if you want to see the captions for each picture, move your mouse to the upper right of the picture area and click on "Show Info"

Monday, March 23, 2009

New West & Surrey Caching

ABOVE: Caboose at Carre Heritage Square in Mallairdville

Had a fun filled day of caching with Bowser98, TRWFAN, and MrTJ in the New Westminister and Surrey areas on this past Sunday, a glorious sunny day on one of the first days of Spring.

We met up in New West at Moody Park to look for a couple of caches there, then we moved through New West picking off several more caches before we headed over the bridge to Surrey.

One of the nicer places we visited was earlier in the morning while MrTJ and I were on our way in from Maple Ridge. We stopped off in Coquitlam in the Mallairdville area so I could grab a cache at the Carre Heritage Square, the centre piece of Mallairdville celebrating the French heritage of the area.

You can find a good write up on the history of the area here

This is a living museum, with several original buildings on site, such as Mackin House and the CPR railway station. The local community have done a wonderful job of presenting the history of the area through means such as informative sign boards on the grounds, plus they have various activities through out the year.

Let's zoom back over to New West where we continued picking off caches around the Royal City, then we caravanned over the Patullo Bridge to continue caching along the Scott Road corridor.

On the trail in a wooded area on our way to the cache called "Hmscherlic Speaks" we came across a male Pileated Woodpecker who let us get very close to him; I took the opportunity to shoot some good close up video of him pecking at a small stump. As for the cache Hmscherlic Speaks, well, that's a whole story to have to read the log write ups from the various cachers; go to GCZV20 and view the stories written about this cache!

Another of my favourite places to visit during the day was Burns Bog; there are two caches there we had not yet done. And being no fools, we knew it was a lot better to go in the cool weather, than in the warm summer months. The last cache we did here was called "Plasma Bandits", and they lived up to their name. We were swarmed as we searched for that cache, so today was the day we picked to find this one before the little pests awoke from their winter slumber.

On the day we searched for a total of 21 caches, with 19 found and two DNFs where the caches had been muggled...not bad for the amount of driving involved....

As usual, it was more fun to get out and stretch our legs than it was to add up the numbers to our creds; having said that, I was glad to finally get to the 1600 mark. With the poor weather and the snowy winter, I had been hovering around the 1580'ish mark for what seems like forever. Glad to get that minor milestone out of the felt like a little hump I just couldn't get over...not irritating or annoying, but still satisfying to get past it nonetheless....

Video can be viewed by clicking in the centre of the image below: enjoy!!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Fear Caching 101

Hate sticking your hands into dark crevasses looking for a cache and instead find something gooey and warm? EWWW!!

Well then, you would have hated this caching event - it was all about bugs and goo and dead things and squirming live things - some which may have been edible!

The twisted genius of a cacher known as Pearlwind, backed up by his equally sick compatriots The Tulameen Turtles held a caching event called "Fear Caching - 101"!

The event was all about conquering your fears of wiggly, gooey things by making you stick your hand into ammo boxes filled with all kinds of things from broken glass to squiggly worms, and some other substances that defined identification, (I hope it wasn't pureed bug guts)

This was all in an effort to find 10 clues that would lead you ultimately to a cache hidden on the grounds of the hotel where the event was held. In the cache was the secret combo to the small safe back in the meeting room.

Part of the search involved going up to room 239 where a suicide had taken place; a desparate cacher had gone mad from his last DNF and drowned himself in the in-suite jacuzzi. Not sure when he had done this, as all that was left was just his bones. Of course some sick individual had stuck some tags on the poor fellow and made a TB out of him!

Many cachers trooped up to the room to search for clues; once there you had to A) read the suicide note, and B) phone the room's voicemail box to retrieve another clue.

If that wasn't enough for you, there was a scavenger hunt to be done; pretty sure it involved sticking your hand into a small hole in an 8 foot stump; inside the hole was bugs, lots and lots of bugs, all squirming in their own juices.... cough, cough, haaaack....sorry, must have been a bug in my throat.

Not real bugs of course, but those brave enough to try were rewarded with slimy hands that took for ever to wash off...that part was real!

There was a great turn out for this event, as it seemed to strike a chord with all cachers who could honestly say "been there - done that" when it came to the icky, unidentifiable stuff on your hand after you have reached under a rock or in between tree roots.

Of course, the ones that had the most fun were the kids - all that yucky stuff was pure heaven for them, and they were the bravest of the lot.

It was a momentous undertaking by Pearlwind to stage the event, and one had to slow down on the hunt to really appreciate the attention to detail both in the main event room, and up in room 239. That's not to mention the other clues hidden around the hotel in various public areas.

Every one raved about the fun they had in their Attended logs on the cache page, and all agreed that it was one of the most fun events they have been to. Caching is a family sport, and this event was made in heaven...err..hell just for the little ones.

You can view the video by clicking on the image below...