Continuing my series where I revisit each of the Geocaching Souvenirs I have earned and reminisce about how I came to earn it…
“Souvenirs are virtual pieces of art that you can discover and display on your profile
page. They are associated with a particular location and may also be bound by time.”
When the Geocaching Souvenir for Saskatchewan was released, it caused a minor controversy in the Canadian geocaching population. It featured a beautiful river winding its way out of a backdrop of majestic mountains. Now, Saskatchewan may have some wonderful rivers and majestic vistas, but it certainly does not have any mountains! The artist had seen a photo of the North Saskatchewan River (taken in Alberta) and assumed that the province would look very similar to the river with which it shares a name. Oops! The last thing someone from Saskatchewan wants is to be mistaken for an Albertan.
So, much like the original artwork for the souvenir, my first attempt at Geocaching in Saskatchewan was also a minor failure, ending with a “Did Not Find” on a cache called “By The Lake“. That was an evening excursion on June 30, 2005 during our annual Canada Day weekend at Saskatchewan Beach at a cabin owned by my former in-laws. My log made mention of the mosquitos and how we gave up hunting after 10-15 minutes. It turns out the cache was missing and was Archived later that year. The owner of the cache hadn’t logged onto Geocaching.com since May of 2003 and disappeared from the game, after finding one cache and hiding eight.
So, I wouldn’t earn the Saskatchewan souvenir until later in 2005. There were no mosquitos to battle because that first Saskatchewan find would come in December, this time on our way to Saskatoon — again for a visit with the former in-laws.
I always enjoy traveling at Christmas, especially to visit family. I find there is something magical about a road trip around the holidays. While going to Saskatoon at Christmas wasn’t nearly the tradition that the Canada Day weekend at Sask. Beach was, I certainly welcomed the opportunity.
There isn’t much along the highway between Hanna and Kindersley, and back in 2005 there weren’t nearly as many caches at every roadside turnout so seeing a cache appear on the map was a pleasant surprise. With all the trips we had made to Saskatoon over the years, this was the first time we ventured away from the fast food joints the lined the highway and actually drive into the town.
The cache was a quick find in a small park. The only notable thing I remember from the caching experience was the small group of young boys who were playing in a tree fort in the park and were making rude comments towards us — at least we thought they were; they were a bit of a distance away and we couldn’t hear exactly what they were saying, just the tone of the words.
It was a quick find and we signed the log and then got back on the road, opting to save the other cache in town for another trip.
The cache was “Kindersley Surprise” (GCNBQB) and had been hidden earlier that year. The cache would be found 59 times during its lifetime, the last one coming in February of 2008. It was eventually archived in July of 2008.
Since that first Saskatchewan find, I have added another 102 caches to my Saskatchewan Geocaching resume, including five last summer with my amazing fiancée mle520. I look forward to many years of caching in Saskatchewan with her and making new memories together.
I found it interesting to note that a new cache “Jurassic Creek” (GC3E829) was hidden in March of 2012 in almost the exact same spot. Everything that’s old is new again…