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Geocaching and Hidden Creatures pt. 3

Good morning everyone.  This week's fun fact is most found Letterbox Hybrid Caches in Manitoba during the Hidden Creatures promo.  They are: manymoos with 19, GG&J and myself with 16, Hakliva with 15, and QuiltinAnnie with 14.

Last week I wrapped up my two day adventure with Hakliva, completing a geo-art that was started in April, and finding unique field puzzle caches.  In total , for me, 159 caches logged as found.  5 DNFs (2 have been confirmed missing and disabled since by that particular CO and 2 others have since been replaced by a different CO), and three notes on challenge caches that I didn't quite meet the requirements (I have since met the requirements of one).  That isn't the end of the adventures I would go on during the Hidden Creatures promo.

There's one cache, just Northeast of the city that appears to be in the middle of nowhere.  No roads leading to ground zero, no real way of getting there other than marching thru fields.  It's been on my radar for awhile now and I was now determined to find this cache.  As I checked into details, I notice it was last found October 25, 2016.  I asked Hakliva if she was interested in getting this lonely cache.  She was up for an adventure.  I happen to be passing by the area a day or two before our planned day, and was able to scope out the area.  The closest and easiest way to GZ was by a path (at least it looked like a path on Google Maps) about one kilometer (about .6 of a mile) to the South.   We met up after our work days and did a loop going North up Main St. through Lockport, MB, and South along highway 59.  I found some caches that Hakliva already found, she found some I already found, and eventually made our way to the starting point for the lonely cache (Lost GC4QCF8).  It turned out to be a really nice walk to GZ as we chatted the whole time.  The cache itself was quickly found and surprisingly in very good shape considering it's been almost two years since it was last found. 
We also did a couple of field puzzle (gadget) caches....
….and spent time searching for a (we believe it to be) non-existent ammo can.  How hard can it be to find an ammo can in the woods?  This would be our only DNF of the evening.

Our next big adventure would be two weeks after our original Hidden Creatures adventure.  On a Saturday, Hakliva, myself and Jesterphox, along with her geo-pup Ash, headed out to the Whiteshell Provincial Park in the Eastern part of Manitoba at the Ontario border.  Hakliva wanted to do a hiking trail that consisted of some older caches.  I had done this trail but somehow managed to miss out on a single cache at the very far end of the trail, (Old Stone GC8643, published in August 2002).  We tackle the trail and eventually made our way to the old cache where we found the original logbook inside.  It is so cool to find old caches like this and still have the original logbooks.

Once that trail was done, we went into Falcon Lake for a few caches before moving East, grabbing more caches along the way.  Jesterphox was driving, I was navigating/researching, Hakliva was helping navigate from the back seat, and Ash was being a good pup.  Our real adventure was waiting for us.  As we approached each cache, I would pull up any info I could from the geocaching app.  When last found, hints, or anything in the description or past logs that could help speed up our search.  As I was gathering info on the next cache, I noticed it was recently published but not found yet.  An FTF for us??  We have to get this before the FTF hounds from the city come looking, and we know they will.

After some running around trying to find a way to GZ, we determined that it was on private property between cottages and the lake.  With all attempts exhausted, we asked if we could pass through someone's yard to get to GZ.  This took us to a rockface amongst trees.  We were getting closer to GZ, but not seeing anything that matched the cache description.  The cache itself has a person's name in the title.  Getting closer to another cottage, Hakliva decided to talk to the people there.  We had done the same at the yard we passed through and they didn't know of anyone by that name.  At this particular cottage, we didn't just find someone who knew of the geocache and the person it's named after, but we found the owner as well.  After a very pleasant discussion with the CO, it was determined that the coordinates were off.  The CO had used an actual GPS to get the readings and tried to translate the coordinates into the coordinates we use for geocaching.  The coordinates were about 9.5km away.  Basically at the Earthcache that's on the trail we started our day at.  They also had one other cache that was published.  We were able to translate those coordinates.  The posted coordinates were about 15km away from where the actual cache was placed.  With the correct coordinates for that cache, we attempted to locate that FTF.  No such luck for us that day.  Tired and worn out, we decided to head for home.  One last stop for my sake.  Find the cache at the Longitudinal Center of Canada.

One last adventure.  The next day, I teamed up with Auntie Mo to do some Letterbox caches, and Earthcache and a couple of traditionals just West of the city in Headingley.  These Letterbox caches were not the basic, go to the coordinates, find the container and you're done.  You had to walk a certain distance at a certain degree from the posted coordinates to find the cache.  I actually enjoyed this type of set up.  It involves a little bit of orienteering with geocaching.  A final to a field puzzle was also along the way as we made our way down a field to our destination.  Back to where our hike began, we pondered what the answers could be for the Earthcache.  Before leaving, we did one more traditional cache.  Owned by Trove Chasers, we knew it should be a good cache as all of the Trove Chaser caches are.  What we were not expecting was an ant hill at GZ.  We couldn't stand close to the host without ants crawling onto us.  We persevered and got the cache signed and replaced.

That concludes my Hidden Creatures adventures.  I logged 232 caches as found during that time.  125 mystery caches, 16 Letterbox, 1 Earthcache, and 85 traditional caches.  Not a bad haul.  You can catch Hakiva's video version here > https://youtu.be/BFpxru29_Gk Until next week, be safe, enjoy, peace out, and have fun.

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