Geocaching is alive in the WWR!
Written by Serina Gesner
Geocaching is a term that until very recently was completely unknown to me. This changed when I decided to pick up a 2015 Activity Guide, which can be found at many of the local businesses in the Lakeland area. Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunting game, taking place all around us, all the time! Check www.geocaching.com or download the app on your smart phone to get started. The app uses the location function on your phone to find geocaches near you. The GPS on the app aids you greatly in your search by showing a pin on the map telling you where to look, and notifying you when you are approaching the hidden location of the geocache.
I was delighted to discover the number of geocaches hidden in the Lakeland area, many of which you may have unwittingly gone past a hundred times before. Upon examining the locations of the pins I knew I was sure to have a wonderful time searching forthem. We started with a cache at the west side of the Village of Christopher Lake. I felt quite confident when we set out, as I grew up in the Lakeland area and had been to many of the locations before this. Despite the seeming advantage, it was indeed my friend Ben who found this first geocache. We were impressed with the accuracy of the GPS location, it was a quick and easy find, and a great start to our hunt! We proceeded to look for the geocaches around the Bells Beach area, finding two more before relaxing on the beach.
My second excursion took me to the Christopher Lake Nature Area first. (Located off Hwy #263 just a few kilometers west of the Christopher Lake Village) Parking was conveniently available quite close to our destination. This time the cache was an old ammo box that was stashed just off of a path. Before we set off to the next location we left our marks in the little logbook provided, and traded knick-knacks in the box with some we had brought with us. We left some glass artwork that was handmade by local glass blowing artist Anthony Prokopie, who was my searching partner on this occasion. All the caches we found together hold a sample of his beautiful art work.
The next few pins were in a convenient line of sorts, keeping us on the roads that loosely follow the borders of the lakes, a pleasant drive in itself. We hit a few spots near Neis beach before taking a break and grabbing some ice cream from Sunny Side Market. We then set out for “the island”, which is really a peninsula on Emma Lake. When we got to the forested area on the lake we discovered that both of our phones were dead, and with them any assistance in finding the two “advanced caches” hidden here. We did at least remember the general locations of the pins, so we had an idea of where to start. After some hard core treasure hunting we are proud to say we found both island caches without the aid of GPS!
If you do decide to go out geocaching, be sure to bring with you; a pen to sign the books, lots of knick-knacks to trade, and of course sun screen and bug replant. Geocaching is a terrific way to spend your time exploring and discovering new, and even old places, but remember to be prepared for anything! This activity will take you into nature, and all the appropriate considerations and precautions should be taken. Good luck in finding these geocaches for yourself! As an added bonus, if you manage to find the ammo box hidden on “the island” you can contact the email left there for a prize of some custom glass art of your own!