Continuing my series where I revisit each of the Geocaching Souvenirs I have earned and reminisce about how I came to earn it…
My first cache in British Columbia was GCY3VC “Forum Lake” which I found on May 18, 2007. The story started the previous September, however.
A posting on the local forums first brought this cache to my attention. For eight months I watched the cache listing, hoping no one else would find it. You see, it wasn’t enough for me to find this cache — oh no, I wanted to find it before anyone else. I don’t know why, but the cache became an obsession for me.
After watching and waiting all winter, I finally decided to make an attempt for it in May of 2007. The hike started easily enough at the Akimina Pass trailhead on the Alberta side of the border. There was some snow and a lot of mud but nothing unexpected or too concerning. However, by the time I crossed over the border into British Columbia the story was rapidly changing.
Bare ground was getting harder to find. The snow was more plentiful. As the elevation increased the likelihood of reaching Forum Lake was diminishing with each step.
There was a small ranger station about 1.5km from the cache. By the time I reached there the snow was becoming a major factor. It was often crusty enough I could stand on it but when I broke through the crust I would immediately sink up to my waist. It was very tough going and anyone with more intelligence would have turned around and come back some other time. Of course, you remember I mentioned this cache was an obsession for me, right? I carried onwards and upwards.
There was no way of telling where the trail actually went, so it was pretty much a straight-line approach to the cache. There was a small partially-frozen creek that needed to be crossed and some other route corrections along the way, but eventually Forum Lake came into sight.
I was most relieved that the cache was hidden under some tree cover and the snow had melted away from the area making it an easy find. Believe me, if I had to stay up there until the Spring thaw came before I could find this one I would have waited. I’m sure glad it never came to that!
The hike down was much more rapid as I was able to slide on the crusty snow and essentially toboggan down much of the way. Back at the trailhead I was wet, exhausted, and deliriously happy. It was my 20th “first to find”, my first cache in B.C. and one of my most memorable geocaching experiences to date.