Friday, October 31, 2008

My First International Geocaches

My travels recently took me to Alberta, Canada. I stayed in a city called Grande Prairie. This part of the country looks a lot like The Midwest of the US. It was very flat and all that was missing were the water towers announcing the town's name.

I had a bit of trouble with customs while I was trying to enter the country. They actually sent me into the immigration office to have me better explain my reasons for visiting Canada. The immigration officer was looking me up in whatever database and asked if I had ever been fingerprinted. I replied that I had. He ask why and I told him I had been in the Marine Corps. I guess that's why they were worried. It would only take one motivated Marine to take over the entire country of Canada.

As usual, I didn't have a lot of free time to go geocaching but I did manage to squeeze a few in. I found several within a mile or so from my hotel so I went for a walk one afternoon. My GPS was a bit jumpy and I did a lot of walking in circles.

I found myself in a little forest looking for a small geocache. The trouble with my GPS turned out to be too much for me and I had to DNF one. I then went for a travel bug hotel near "The World's Largest Sundial". It was hidden near the edge of a little pond. Again, I went the long and difficult way but eventually made the find. There were no travel bugs inside but I was able to drop off Flat Oprah that I had picked up in Massachusetts.

I've since found out that several places around the world claim to have the worlds largest sundial. Since I have friends in Canada, I'll trust that this is, in fact, THE largest.

A local cacher named Tons of Fun saw my find on one of his caches and offered to show me around some local geocaches. Unfortunately, I had spent all of my caching time. He had some geocoins that he wanted to travel back to the US so I did meet up with him. We talked caching for bit and we walked over to mystery cache he owned that the final was a couple hundred feet from my hotel. It was nice to meet him and wish I would have had more time to geocache.

On my last day in Canada, I noticed that someone had dropped a bunch of travel bugs in that TB hotel I had been to. I went back and grabbed my first yellow Jeep and a few geocoins.

Canada was good. It was a bit cold for this California boy. (Yes I know I'm from Illinois, but you loose your resistance to cold quickly, trust me.) It got below freezing and while it was fun to experience, it was nice to come home.


6 comments:

Norm said...

WOW! Canada, eh? Cool!

We have some Canadian speaking folks here.

Cool Photos. Glad you could make it up there.

Webfoot said...

Heh heh. I find it rather ironic that you traveled probably 2500 miles to get your first international cache, when you could have traveled 100 and accomplished the same thing. Very cool to get a different country under your geocaching belt. Also very cool to meet up with a local cacher as well.

P.J. said...

CANADA!

Well at least you got some caches, eh? You sure you walked a mile? No kilometers up there?

go_man said...

Oops, sorry about the trouble entering! Next time just let me know you're coming and I'll give Customs a call. :)

Wow! Grande Prairie, you WERE north! Next time you're in the area try to drop by Banff. It's a nice little town right in the Rockies.

Adam said...

is that the same Alberta in the song "four strong winds"? that was a nice story. :) i havent tried going international yet, maybe i will after the holidays!

if you have time, please visit my site at http://mygeocachenation.com

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