I headed out Sunday afternoon with some teacher friends to introduce a couple of them to geocaching (one had gone caching with me before). We met up at P23 on Dolman Ridge Road in Mer Bleue and donned our snowshoes.
The first cache we tried was A poplar rest spot (GCKGHY), a traditional cache hid in some trees a few metres off the road. We followed a suspiciously convenient set of foot prints and spent a few minutes checking out the various possible locations before spotting the cache. I left my traditional mini-Sharpie marker and picked out a small rubber duck that is the trademark signature item for some other friends who geocache. We signed the log and headed back to the road.
The next closest cache was the first waypoint for Horsing Around! (GC11M7B), a multi-cache. For those who don’t know, multi-caches are geocaches where you go to the first waypoint and find a tag (usually) with the next set of coordinates you have to visit. Sometimes, there’s only one redirect, like my GAG6 – Take The High Road (GCNBXX). In this case, however, there were six or seven tags that we hunted down over the next hour.
Finally, we came across a toy horse in the middle of a field and figured we were at the cache rather than yet another redirect. A little searching revealed the cache container near by. We excavated it from the snow, traded some swag, signed the log and took some pictures with the horse.
Looking at the GPS, we decided to head off through the woods to a traditional cache a few hundred metres away in a clearing in the forest called GAG10 – Gnomes Catapult (GC12F4G), which was placed for the Go And Get ‘Em 10 event held last spring.
Trooping through the brush, we came across a single set of cross-country ski tracks in the middle of nowhere that passed right by the geocache. It appeared that the skier stopped at the cache, but it doesn’t appear they logged it.
So, we opened up the container and made some swaps, took the obligatory pictures and headed back to our cars. On the way out, we came across tracks in the snow made by a field mouse or a vole that ended in what can best be described as a "splat". Surrounding the splat were feather prints, so I assume that the little creature was snatched up by an owl or hawk that was looking forward to a fresh dinner.
The area seemed to be a popular hunting ground because a little bit farther along we came across a similar crime scene, except that here two tracks went into the splat, but only one came out.
Mother Nature can be a harsh mistress, can’t she?
More pictures from this outing can be found here.