History, a driving force – it is said if we don’t learn from it we’re bound to repeat it – Jordy & I go up there so often that we often overlook the beauty of the remains as they slowly decay – only through taking a friend up there did we get to see it from the perspective of one who is in fresh awe of it – Yes this is a long blog – read what you want and skip what you don’t, either way enjoy!
A little over a week ago Tjguy98 took Scruffster on a one day tour from Maple Ridge, Manning Park, Princeton, Tulameen, Brookemere and then back home over the Coquahalla (ha you had to pay toll) – this trip sparked something in Scruffster – a desire to see the history more & to have more time to see the Castle and the Coal History. The day after that trip I was talking to Scruff and he sounded so excited at the trip and in awe and mentioned that he so wanted to see the Princeton Castle but didn’t get to ... that and the fact that they didn’t see the note we left them in the cache at the house.
Monday night arrived, and what to our wandering eyes should appear but 8 new little green boxes in Coalmont & Princeton – well there were new caches to get and I turned to Jordy (who is very stressed from trying to play in the grownup world too much) and suggest taking someone up to the cabin – and a plan in born – it did take some convincing of the intended victim of a Turtle Caching weekend – and some bribery did occur – but worth every bit of it (amazing what the promise of Sausages, Steak & Asparagus will do for someone) The countdown began!! – 72 hours, 48 hours, 18 hours, 5, 3 blastoff!!!
Friday at 4:30 arrived, Scruff was here, TB’s were ready & we were packed with a surprise – he he MINI-MI for Scruff – (we’ll let him tell you about him – but apparently he’s got a Pirate Bed now and likes Bananas!)..
We then headed up the Coquihalla watching the guys “tape” over the cost to use the toll booth – now it’s just “_____ Booth”. We didn’t have to do the cachless bypass on the way there, we did a quick stop at the cabin to turn on the water, unload the jeep and then we were off on a night caching FTF adventure.
Picture this, the cache states “night caching not recommended” – however we will not let this deter us - Mr. Turtle with a flashlight, Scruffster in the Middle and Me in the back lighting the way.. did you know when you sit on windfall it can poke you in the butt.. We all learned that the hardway. We were so hoping to get the FTF on at least one of them – alas we missed out. Think Scruffster said it best..lol
"Just what part of NOT RECOMMENDED FOR NIGHT CACHING don't you understand," I said as we stumbled up the very overgrown remains of what might have been a road. But there we were -- two flashlights and three cachers -- two of whom were very determined Turtles. You see, if there was one FTF to be found this was going to be it. Alas, no FTF was in the cards for us on that dark night. And no FTF prize either. Poor Mr. Turtle. I still see him in the glow of the flashlight crumpled in utter despair on the compressor pad. Missing the FTF prize shattered his dream of buying Home Depot remote controlled car disablers that automatically activate when new caches are published. Is there really such a thing??? I want 20. I miss too many FTFs.
But the history was amazing here – we have two sources to recommend for history on the area Mozey-on-inn & Blakeburn, forgotten ghost town
We did 3 midnight caches.. he he and when we got the third one realized that Ron49er and Agate47 had cleaned up every FTF in the area (all 7 of them.. sigh) but they were fun.. when we got to the third one we were starting to miss photographic moments so we headed back to the cabin for snacks and some downtime – this was at about 11 PM – we all settled in for a long “nap” and Scruff was up well before us – apparently he woke up at 5:30 and communed with the Dingo, Twitchy and the Twins, and the bluejays (who have eyebrows) later he walked into town cuz he had to see the store.. and he found the shoe trees that have replaced the dead shoe tree.. (Should I mention the skunk shoes..)
When he made it back, we were just getting up and made a yummy breaky of bacon, sausage, Cinnamon French Toast (yes we eat like that every weekend) and Rigs the Dingo joined us (think Scruffy fed him more then himself..lol) and then we were off to a few caches then to Princeton to see if we might get the Electric View FTF – (which we missed) and then to the Princeton Castle – I’ve never seen two guys have more fun playing.. lol
But I got my revenge he he he he
We then headed back to Princeton with a few goals in mind – first grab a few caches on the way up – but to show Scruff the Peak of Loadstone Mountain and the 360 degree view it offers – we made it in perfect timing – Then we headed down checked out our Let’s Shack up #3 & we heard hoots and hollers and had to go check them out – and when we did – a ZIP LINE!! He he and guess what I caught on tape..
We then ventured on a bit further and found my beloved Muppet flowers!! – I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard as I did watching the two of them play with them.. he he
Then it was back down the mountain with a stop in at the Mozey-on-Inn where the couple that placed all the new awesome caches live and see the Inn that they run – the work they have done is absolutely amazing and awe inspiring – I wanna retire!! We spent some time visiting and Scruff was in awe at the history and research they’ve done – It was so amazing seeing him so captivated by it – and it’s inspired me to start a new blog (in my spare time) attached to this that will feature the history only.
We then made a quick stop in at the Coalmont Hotel, which has some amazing history to it, then ventured home – Dinner still needed to be made! We do up the Steak, Asparagus, Ceaser Salad & Prawns and have a feast fit for hungry cachers!! Delicious it was – we then put in the movie MASTER OF DISGUISE.. he he (turtle turtle)
Next Morning we get up and soon the phone rings – it’s our friends at the Mozey on Inn (so thankful someone up there has computers) with news that a new cache was placed – so we raced up to see it!(ok claim it) – Thank you – we finally got our first FTF on the weekend at Blakeburn Bottom, then we continued on the history tour – seeing the Blakeburn Coal Shoots, the rootceller, the coalpit, then Jordy had a slight remembery of the tramlines as a kid – so it was.. let’s just see what’s down this road.
We saw the first one – amazing to see it still standing, he said he was done but just wanted to go a little bit further (famous last words.. lol) and off the adventure goes – one then another then another – so neat!!I think we found about 20 all together and have our idea for our first Multi-cache. We also saw the City boy learn to open a farmers gate.. he he
The really neat thing about the old timers that live in this area is that as long as you are respectful you can cross their property – they only ask that you don’t let the cows out, or stir up too much dust if passing by their house. Jordy kept calling Walt Smart by the name of “Wilf” every time his name came up (he is a local old-timer with so much knowledge of the area) – after getting home and doing research – turns out Wilf was a foreman that was left to shut down the coal mine after the explosion – Guess he was hearing things from the other side.
We then went back into Coalmont and grabbed the last new cache and jordy walked across the river for us – then we took Scruff up to the Tulameen Lookout – then alas it was time to head home..
I know I’ve rambled on for far too long – but it was so much fun – apparently Scruff doesn’t go away much, so for those that know him wanted them to feel they were there. An amazing weekend – with an amazing new friend..
Stay tuned – we are planning an event in Tulameen (a poker run) for next spring as soon as the snow goes – it will be able to be down with a car as long as you don’t mind the dust – and you will be able to camp at the cabin (sorry the couch is spoken for..lol)– or we can recommend places to stay.
Hope that Mini-mi is sleeping good in his pirate bed and yes what happens in Tulameen Stays in Tulameen..