Last weekend Mrs. LANMonkey & I spent some time geocaching in West Vancouver - or more accurately, a couple of parks in the West Vancouver area. We had beautiful weather and some amazing views and fun geocaches. If you haven't hit up these areas yet, read on for some insights and tips on how to make this a very enjoyable geocaching experience - you may even be able to convince your muggle friends and family to join you!
The first stop was somewhere where I've spent A LOT of time over the past several years (most notably 2008-2010) and always enjoy visiting - Cypress Provincial Park. As many likely already know, the Cypress Bowl Recreation Area is often mistakenly referred to as "Cypress Mountain" but there actually is no Cypress Mountain - two mountains make up the ski/recreation area. Black Mountain and Mount Strachan form either side of this amazing recreation area. Those aren't the only mountains involved in the area, but they are the primary ones.
Our trip up into Cypress was a brief one on this visit as we had to get Manta Rayz to the Nanaimo-bound ferry, so we stopped for three caches - jearsy's EarthCache at the lookout (GC3YFBG), "Hollyburn Chairlift 1951" (GC4D9MN), and just a little further uphill near the picnic area, a rare large traditional, "On Top of the World" (GCMYAG).
As always on a beautiful day the view from the lookout was absolutely amazing - and I've seen this view all four seasons! Honestly, I never tire of it and the variety it provides year 'round.
Once caution for anyone who hasn't visited this park in the summer (aside from the usual bear cautions, etc.) is to watch for bicyclists. This is an extremely popular road to ride up and down, and while most cyclists are courteous, cautious, and responsible, it only takes one inattentive driver or rider for things to end poorly.
After some quick cache grabs and a swapping of TBs in GCMYAG, we headed to the ferries, made the mad dash to get Manta Rayz safely off on her own adventures, and then headed for Point Atkinson or "Lighthouse Park" in West Vancouver.
Due to some clever navigation by Mrs. LANMonkey, we were able to walk the entirety of this very well laid out park in only a few short hours and grab all but one of the caches. We were stumped by "Cedar View" (GC1FXHH) but once we got home and read through more of the logs, we realized why we couldn't find it. So that means we'll need to go back again sometime!
Over-all the park was amazing, with more incredible views - at least four of the caches take you right to view points, each with a unique view out onto the water.
In addition, this park has not only your usual collection of traditional caches in a range of sizes, but one rare virtual cache - Point Atkinson Lighthouse (GC707C) - and an extremely enjoyable "mystery" cache - The Lost Treasure of the Boundless II (GCNCJJ) that requires a little research before heading to the park or a good data plan to do your research in the field. Once you've solved this puzzle, you'll absolutely love the final - fairly easy to find & creatively fun.
Once we had completed about half the caches we started to find a familiar name in the logs (RumRunner1) and realized that we must've passed each other on the trail at some point and didn't get a chance to meet. Ah well, we hope you & your caching crew enjoyed your visit to the park as well!
So if you haven't visited one or either of these sites before for a geocaching adventure, make sure you do while the weather and views are still as impressive as they were this past weekend!
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"Cache safely, and cache often."