Thursday was "12 of 12" day (you can check out our photo set here. Thursday was also the day that 90 new caches were published for Calgary’s Cache and Release Winter 2009 (CCARW09) GC1KX78 event. While the GeoKids were practicing with their tae kwon do demo team, Mrs. GeoK teamed up with Sears Tower to start solving puzzle caches, managing to confirm corrected coordinates for 5 geocaches before leaving the dojang to head home and solve more puzzles. With the aid of facebook friend, Mrs. GeoK and Sears Tower solved all puzzles that could be solved before the 5:30 pm Friday start to the 24 hour "go find them" phase of the event.
Mr. GeoK and Sears Tower planned their evening to be standing beside one of the new caches at 5:30, so they could claim at least one FTF. They were out for only 3 hours, but managed to gain a total of 3 FTFs while finding 21 geocaches. They ran into several other geocachers on the trail before calling it quits around 8:30.
Meanwhile, Sears Tower managed to get photos of the 12 puzzles contained in the "Mystery Machine" cache to Mrs. GeoK, who was busy at home trying to decipher this second tranche of puzzle caches. Her success rate was 67%, which meant we had another 8 potential finds on Saturday morning. We’ll have to revisit the "Mystery Machine" to take better photos of a couple of the puzzle cards and will, perhaps, need to download some barcode and semacode apps onto our smart phones in order to solve the rest.
Saturday morning, Mr. and Mrs. GeoK headed out around 9 o’clock, for a few hours of caching "sans GeoKids". Our first stop was at one of the "Mystery Machine" puzzle caches in nearby Griffith Woods. Imagine our surprise to find we were FTF!!. A short while later we were at Bowmont Park, in northwest Calgary, slipping and sliding on the ice-coated trails as we made the approx. 2 km (return) trek to locate and log two geocaches hidden near the banks of the Bow River. Mrs. GeoK paused long enough to snap this photo of the Bow River, which is slowly emerging from its winter blanket of ice and snow…
By the time we headed home for a long, relaxing lunch, we’d found a total of 10 geocaches. Many of these required a long walk, a climb up (followed by a scramble down) a steep hill, a marked contrast to the park ‘n’ grab type caches that Mr. GeoK and Sears Tower found Friday night.
The GeoKids joined the hunt after lunch, ‘though oldest GeoKid came most reluctantly. Fortunately, we had a brand new episode of the Vinyl Cafe podcast to lighten the mood during the drive to the first target cache; this tactic was more successful that we’d dared to hope – the reluctant GeoKid joined the hunt for the first post-lunch cache. We encountered Sleepy_hollow at this cache and parted ways promising to meet up again at the wrap-up dinner. Our next target was a Sleepy_hollow hide, well-hidden in Nose Hill park. The find was a bit challenging, as the corrected coordinates were derived from 3 intersecting projections. The conditions were also a bit challenging – muddy, icy trails with howling winds on the way back to the parking area.
Mid-afternoon we went after GC1N94Y in north Calgary. The path was soft, and very muddy in some sections, but there was a nice big ammo can at the end of the trail. We passed this very strange looking pipe outlet during our walk to the hiding spot.
Around 3:15 (we thought) we went searching for another "Mystery Machine" puzzle cache and were shocked to discover we were second to find on this cache. At our 21st cache for the day, which we thought we were finding at about 3:45, we read the preceeding log: "Found by Homann Hunters at 4:44 pm." WHAT?!? We quickly realized that Mr. GeoK hadn’t adjusted the in-dash clock for Daylight Savings Time. Since the clock in the MDX is connected to individual key fobs, Mrs. GeoKs’ time adjustment didn’t carry over. We quickly changed plans and headed west towards the wrap-up dinner, making 2 very quick stops to find two more "Mystery Machine" caches enroute.
Several cachers were already filling tables at Nick’s Steakhouse & Pizza. We claimed an empty booth, placed our order and then enjoyed swapping stories with the other attendees. High finder honours went to Neko&Hiiri, who managed to log 82 smileys for the 24 hours (they didn’t sleep at all). Most hides went to bish0p. Many other prizes were awarded by event organizer Shearzone. Thanks for the great organizing job Kenny! We only got a couple photos at the wrap-up, so hopefully there will be some more posted in the "attended" logs on the event page.
Our final stats for the event: 45 finds, 1 DNF and 4 FTFs in 10 hours of caching.