Five in an Hour

SPOILER WARNING:  While I’m careful not to give away too many specifics about a cache, it is always possible I might mention details you don’t want to know. Proceed accordingly.

Credit River - Running High & Fast

Credit River - Running High and Fast

I decided to try visiting five caches in an hour Sunday morning. Of the five, one I had never been near before, one I had scoped out while driving by, one I had visited before, and two I had tried to find before but failed. This wasn’t as challenging as going to five new ones. All of these caches were within two kilometers of home, three along the same stretch of the Credit River near a gravel path. Things got off on the wrong foot when I decided to take a short cut which unbeknownst to me took me away from the first cache I planned to go to. That was OK. I had to come back past it, so no time was lost.

I tackled the first stage of a two stage multicache, GC15F1A – Bike Along the Credit – Tillsdown Park, which went quickly. I had tried this one once before but the information needed from a sign to do a calculation was missing due to vandalism. The sign had been replaced and even though it had been paint balled sometime recently the information was legible. After a few quick calculations and plugging the coordinates into the GPSr, I discovered the final location was back the way I had come. It was on to the next cache, and I would get the final on the way back.

The next cache, GC14HX1 – Meadowvale Micro Mystery Tour – Tree Protector, was a repeat visit. It was one of my earlist finds when I first started geocaching, and in my exitement of having found it I failed to collect a clue needed for the Meadowvale Micro Mystery Tour series. I didn’t remember the exact location, but it only took a couple of minutes to find. I made note of the clue I needed from the top of the log paper and set off to get the final of the multicache and the one I missed on the short cut.

I lost a few minutes when I spotted a deer about a 100 metres off trail eating some leaves. I hadn’t seen deer along this stretch before and I didn’t want to waste the opportunity to watch it. The deer never noticed me. It leisurely walked around for about five minutes before it wandered behind some bushes. This time I managed to get a better photo.

Deer Near the River

Deer at a Distance

Deer Zoom In

Deer Zoomed In

This is when I made some mistakes. The GPSr told me the multicache final was closer so that’s where I headed first. As I went down the path I realized I was farther along than expected. The distance to the multicache final was closer in a straight line from where I started, but the winding path took me past the other cache on the way. I had to double back to get it which I did. This cache, GCK434 – Parking on the Credit: Hyde’s Mill Hollow, had eluded me once before. It wasn’t going to this time, although I did my best to miss it! I kept wandering around in the cache location with my GPSr readings fluctuating. I don’t know if handheld receiver’s designed for trail use are better, but this is a shortcoming of the automotive type GPSr’s that don’t require the pinpoint accuracy. When you are looking for a tree in a forest and your GPSr changes from 1 metre to 5 metres while standing still, it makes things harder. This is were good hints come in. I kept looking in places where the hint from the cache posting suggested I would find it. It took me a few minutes to realize the hint I was using was for a different cache! No wonder I was having trouble. Once I used the correct clue, I found the cache in about a minute. I knew I was no longer going to get five caches. I just hoped I had time for the multicache final.

Off I went to the multicache final. After a minor detour into some bushes, I doubled checked the hint for this one. After a few seconds of thought I knew wht it referred to and immediately went to the right spot. This was a great example of how a good clue makes you think but helps a lot when needed. The only problem with the final was the location near the path in clear view of passers by who could sneak up due to a blind corner in the path. One of the challenges of geocaching is to do it stealthily so no “muggles” know what you are doing. I retrieved the cache from its hiding place and moved to a picnic area where it looked liked I had stopped for a snack. I signed the log and checked the loot. I took nothing which is what I usually do when I’m on my own. My daughter likes to take some “treasure” when she is with me. I left a bookmark, closed the cache, and slipped it back into its place after waiting for a jogger to pass.

After a quick walk home, I had managed to visit three caches in a hour; door to door. The other two caches will be next.


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