Monday, August 9, 2010

Discovering Cooking Lake

On Aug 7, 2010, we headed out to a place many geocachers have talked about; Cooking Lake and Blackfoot Rec. Area. It was a great experience from the moment we got there. Being new, we wandered over to a map and tried to figure out where to go. We were quickly apporached by a friendly Host who directed us to the right paths and told us some of the structures we might encounter along it. Our first few caches along the well groomed trails were challenging only in the fact that there were swarms of mosqiutoes hiding out in the bushes, waiting for some crazy fool to come close enough... AKA... us.
We were impressed with how maintained the trails were and how there were pit toilets and shelters all along our journey. We managed to make it to a shelter about 6-7 kms from the stagging area where we found more toilets and a fresh water supply... they really know how to take care of a hiker/biker out here.
The highlight of the day came when we were riding down the trails and came around the corner. We quickly stopped and stood in awe as a male Moose strolled less then 40 ft away from us. At first he watched us intently, but when we didn't move he just went on eating leaves, every so often checking to see where we were. After some time he wandered back into the bushes, but this was not the end of our encounter. A female moose decided to be brave and follow the male. She crossed the trail even closer to us and then away she went into the bushes again.
We managed to grab 9 of 10 caches... the one that got away was in the middle of a mosquitoe infested, thorny bushed area, 200ft from the trail. The sad part is, we were the first no finders of that cache ever... rats. Probably one of my favourite caches of the day was a huge keg sized cache. Funny thing was it was classified as a regular...but it was clearly a large... still it was a great experience.
We both highly recommend this area for caching and hiking/biking and we will be back.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Jasper-Banff Cache Adventure

At the end of July, Joe Teton joined us and Anyatoo as we went off to Jasper and Banff for the weekend. On the way to our first stop in Jasper, we stopped in Hinton to show off a few of the local caches. Once in Jasper, we traveled to Pyramid Lake, the summit of Whistlers Mountain, and around the town-site collecting memories and caches. After two nights, we headed south to Banff, stopping along the way to visit wonderful locations with a few of them having caches and earthcaches. We spent two nights in Banff as well. The first day we headed back to Lake Louise via a secondary scenic highway again stopping at many locations and finding various caches, including a cache hidden in an old 1930's car that was abandoned long ago. That night we tried to go to the Banff Upper hot springs but were turned away due to someone blowing chunks in the pool. Then a big storm rolled in and we hid out in a Boston Pizza. While there, Torran turned on the GPS and discovered a cache across the street... we just had to go get it... after supper. The next day we headed home stopping by some Drumlins for a quick cache... last one of this trip.