Monday, June 23, 2008

Indulgent Moments of Tantlizing Tension

That's what geocaching is to me.. it's indulgent, tantalizing, almost like those really hot summer days when you can't breath - and someone stands above you with an ice cube and you can imagine that first drip drops on the nape of your neck the tension it creates while you wait, just the anticipation of it sends shivers up your spine but it feels so good.. if you close your eyes you can feel it even before it begins.

Life - should be like that, it should be delicious, enjoyed, indulged in. Take it to the brink where you sit there and look over the cliff and wonder what will happen should you just take that step.. too many people sit back and let the normalcy of the world and mundaneness take over - Really when we're gone what will we leave behind? Well if I died tomorrow there would be 450 little log sheets saying I was there - lots of little TB's with our names on them.. and memories shared.

As I sit back and ponder this life, and what I remember about those that left before me and those that are soon to go - and realize I've made the right choices - Take for example this weekend - no sleep and all play makes for an amazing tour!.. sit back and enjoy the ride.. The pictures are from the last two weeks but the story from this one..

That 5 AM alarm goes off, and they stumble out of bed heading off to that dreary day of work - why? Oh yes - a weekend at the cabin.. sit on the deck and have a cold glass of lemonade while soaking up the rays.. maybe go topless, the Yeep that is.. and christen it with some good exploring - little did they know the adventure that would await them that night - ending in a 26 hour day..

They think on it - there's a new cache up there.. they haven't had a reply on if they can go get it.. it said it was for a poker run - hmm well maybe we should - maybe we shouldn't in the end you know what side will win - they opt yes we'll get the cache - but it shouldn't be too long - the back road map book shows it right there. Perhaps we should start off through Manning? grab some of those.. yes they both concur..

Well 7 PM rolls around and they're finally ready to leave the house - head up to Hope and have their first DNF - what.. a DNF - hmm perhaps our turtles should learn not all caches are on the ground again - amazing what happens when you read the cache page before you go.. but alas we read it after we went - and lesson learned twice this weekend.. They meander on up the Crowsnest grabbing a cache here and a cache there - til they get to the Cascade lookout - when what to their wandering eyes should appear but a miniature astronomer and all his gear..

Telescope and Jupiter hand in hand - we saw the rings around it, but there was no fan.. ok poetry quitting.. lol

We got to the lookout, and yes we DNF'd (we did find all the other caches between though all 5 of them that were left) but the guy up there helped us look - and we got to look through his telescope - this was at about 11 at night and the moon was amazing! Saw Jupiter - think this is my first ever time looking through a telescope at night time at the top of a mountain - breathtaking is all I can say..

We then decided to head up to Princeton and go grab our FTF cache so we can get to bed.. well it never is as simple as one things is it - we started the hunt for the cache at 1:30 - claimed it about 5:45 AM.. here's the video after the find..

And here's the blog - Yeah.. FTF!!! we are a bit excited - not sure if we should log this as the 20th or 21st as it was a bit of both days.
Only our 2nd FTF - but again took us 5 hours after we got to the start point to claim.. :)
We thought we knew where the coordinates took us, we compared to back roads book and gps map - well they sometimes aren't 100% accurate - we headed up the first option out of Princeton and go up the long road to where we know it has to be - now it is 1:30 in the morning and we are a bit tired - but still up for the hunt - we disturbed some poor cows who were trying to nap - but ventured on past them - we followed our instinct - which got us to 910 meters from the cache as the crow flies - not good enough - don't feel like walking in the dead of night through bear and cougar country under extreme darkness - so figure the next road has to be it
So reverse out, and go down the next road.. nope that gets us even further away.. hmm ok back to the next plan - so go back up the road and try it - nope that's 1.3 km away - hmm let's try another route - we try about 7 different ways and finally decide that it's just not going to work at about 3:45 in the morning - so head out - on the way back (it's not getting light) we notice this flagging tape hanging from a tree that says polaris..
Hmm thought - isn't that an ATV thingy? well we follow our instincts and listen to the tap and then see a sign that says - ATV HOME - and realize that we're probably at the end of the poker run - perhaps it's on the other side of Princeton.. arrgghhh - ok plan b.. so we head back into Princeton and get gas (jeeps eat a lot of it you know)..
We then head up the other direction - and Jordy says I know where the road is - and he starts heading up it.. nix says Kris - wrong road - so again we turn around and try the last possibility - (if it wasn't it we were going to go home to it's now nearing 5 AM) so we head up the road and see more tape this time Canam tape - this time we knew we had it - so we followed the tape up this long road - till we come to a dead end.. hmm we think the tape has to lead to a route (why didn't we think of this on the other side.. lol)
So we turn around and find the other little road.. well quad route it is - along a fence line.. we follow up the fence line (at this time thinking terrain 2.. can't be oh well it's worth it) - getting closer we hit 910 meters, then 700 (now it's daylight and kris is saying - I don't care how close we get I'm walking) then 500, 300, 100 and then 50 and the perfect little FSR appears before them.. lol
Shaking head they now know which road it is that gets you there with a terrain 2 - however it would never have been as fun or as memorable.. it's now about 5:45 in the morning - The clue made it an easy find once we go there - thank goodness.. :)
Took only our memories and left a log that probably will read strange as we were over tired - but an awesome way to start our summer!! -- Now back to the cabin for the adventures tomorrow.. :)

But worth every moment of it - exhaustion and all.. we went and took the 20 minute drive back to the cabin and slept til noon then got up - realized it wasn't going to be sunny and decided to grab the tent, lock up the cabin and see what other adventures were in store for us - we went through Keremeos, Cawston, Osoyos and ended up in Oliver grabbing some neat caches that hadn't been visited so far this year, found a TB along the way who had been locked up since October as well. Loved the hike we made up there (yes those are TB's hanging all over me)

.. then had to go find camping accommodations for the night. Well first we had to find the FSR road (remember we don't do campground) and the book and gps weren't exactly matching 100% so took us a little bit - but we persevered and found an awesome sight!

Now they say Red in the morning sailors warning red and night sailor's delight..

Lots of firewood, and a nice little clearing - there had never been a fire pit there before - so we made one (ok I was the one insistent on the rocks - as if they really do a lot of good.. but made me feel better) lots of wood and we put up the tent. Never underestimate the value of a goooood tent - at this point I am thrilled that he had a good one and not a cheap one. Now have you ever slept outdoors in a thunderstorm? Talk about Tension..

We were woken up about 2 hours later, wishing we had the camera with us, that red at night sunset was a bit disconcerting.. picture scene..

You're all cuddled up in your tent, fell asleep to the sound of the crickets and nature noise and get woken up by the ground shaking beneath you, the thunder claps around you and you can almost feel the energy from the lightening bolts go right through you - the rain pelts down in buckets on the tent, and even with your eyes closed under the sleeping bags you can still see the flashes of lightening and the thunder comes right at the same time - so you know it's right next to you.. The lightning goes and the thunder booms again .. and you feel the ground shake again..

That is what makes a tantalizing moment where you can taste life, kind of like the poison oak run in - wouldn't want to repeat it - but wouldn't give it up for the memories it brings.. in the morning the sun was out and you couldn't even tell it had rained (except it washed my mud off of the Yeep!!)

We quickly packed up and headed back down to Oliver so we could move on with the day, grabbed a few caches in nature reserves - absolutely beautiful spots! But think we saw the neatest thing to date.. :)

She was only about 30 meters from us, wish we would have had the radio down a bit. After she walked past we watched her and she had meandered further down the road - she crossed but we couldn't see the baby - she paused checked that no traffic was coming, or threat to the baby and then signaled her to come across - amazing!

After that moment we continued on up our litte road to another reserve and hiked the 2 km into the cache up the incline training hill to find out there was an observatory on the other side - wonders never cease.. lol apparently there are also rattle snakes in the area -but think about that snake bite kit - not sure how well bear spray will work on them.. lol - oh well what we don't' think about can't hurt us..

We found yet another benchmark on the trip, must get waymarking caught up soon.. running behind on that.. lol still haven't finished the cali trip.. signed some amazing logs - got to wear my hat! We grabbed a few more with one goal in mind.. to get to 450 by the end of the day.. We managed to claim the cacheless by-pass mid-way point. Of course had to try both attempts at it, as we had figured that we couldn't make it the first time when we found snow - not realizing it was only 180 meters of it - and couldn't' have won the battle. Funny this cache was supposed to have been our 2nd one - and it ends up marking our 450th.. And it was still a bit of a tension getter - we had seen a bear only about 300 meters down the road - so we made this one as quick as possible.. lol

An amazing trip - but I know you're bored now and as we know I can type for hours - so will leave you with a thought - as I raise my glass of batteries and cheer to my view on life - it isn't for all and that is good - but for me without challenge in all aspects, physical, intellectual, personal life is not worth living - and to stand outside the fire - I am incapable..

1 comment:

Eddie said...

Wow, now I know why you needed to catch up on your sleep! What a great adventure, a real spur of the moment "let's do it" type of weekend. Those are the most fun by long as you get out of the bush by Monday! :)

And you even snuck a little bit of bush drivng in there too...I liked that part (VBG)!

Great write up, definitely an inspiration to thos of us who may want to plan every thing out first...