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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

LMGA FYI - Geocaching International Film Festival 2013

On August 17th under the Aurora Bridge in the Freemont neighbourhood of Seattle, attendees of the 2013 Block Party had the opportunity to be a part of the first Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF).

We've distilled the event down to a few key moments, and included some of our observations.

 Over-all we had a great time and were absolutely amazed at the quality of the top 16 films that were shown during this event. The films came in from geocachers around the world and featured themes from the comedic to stories of how geocaching has impacted the lives of people in significant ways.

In the end, the experience motivated us to start considering how we might come up with a submission for next year's GIFF. Who knows, maybe with some time, talent, and the support of our local geocaching community we can come up with a group effort that gets onto that giant screen next year!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Groundspeak Geocaching Block Party 2013

This past weekend was "cache your face off" with the LANMonkeys, Donner, and Manta Rayz.
We headed to Seattle to experience our very first (and certainly not our last!) Block Party event and had an amazing time.

We even managed to bump into a handful of cachers from back home including Walkinbyfaith, l0cus, katcogo, Delta Dodger, Sweet Marie, PhilatSea, and probably some others I apologise for forgetting at the moment... there was simply so much to take in we were in event over-load! But we took ample footage to try and give at least some sense of the over-all experience for those who couldn't make it this year.

We tested out the seven "lab caches" from Geocaching Labs (Groundspeak R&D), visited all the newly placed permanent caches, enjoyed the first ever "Geocaching International Film Festival", and met many, many people - including a few "geocaching celebrities."

Check out our video for just a few of the highlights from this beautiful day in the Freemont neighbourhood of Seattle.

We will be releasing two "Special Edition" videos highlighting the GIFF & the lab caches to give you some special insight into those first time events if you weren't able to make it there. Here's our Lab Cache FYI video, just uploaded! Or if you were, you can check out our perspective on those. If you'd like to see those videos, make sure you follow our YouTube channel.

The event planners spun on the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" theme for a few different angles, and did a fine job.  The event itself was smoothly run with more than enough activity and sights to keep cachers busy morning through evening.

By the time the evening came around, we headed back off to our hotel and crashed hard, completed exhausted from the fun, sun, and caching company; we needed our rest because the next morning (Sunday) we were off to the Going Ape 2013 event an hour east of Seattle.

So for our very first Block Party experience, we'd really like to thank not only the folks at GroundSpeak who made the event happen, but the cachers from home who gave us so many tips and ideas of things to see & do when we arrived.

Thanks everyone,
The LANMonkeys.

"Cache safely, and cache often!"

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

LMGA 24 - Buttle Lake Boat Caching

Geocaching Tuesdays are back with our next adventure - geo-camping with the LANMonkeys and crew aboard the S.S. Tupperware on Vancouver Island. We camped in Strathcona Park and took our boat to "Sometimes Island" & "Buttle Narrows" before we had time for one last "Re: Buttle."

Buttle Lake is an area I used to camp in quite a bit as a kid, so it was really fun to come back and bring my whole extended family for a week of fishing, camping, star-gazing, hiking, and - why yes - even some geocaching!

Th weather was perfect up to the last night when we had just a bit of rain before we had to pack up, but we can't complain. In this episode we share with you the caches we went and grabbed by boat not far from the campground.  In a subsequent episode we'll share our fun family drive down to the south end of the lake where we visited Myra Falls and several other caches on our way there.

Caching in Strathcona Park can be an amazing fun time, but the size of the lake (Buttle is the largest lake on Vancouver Island) and the park in general means you'll need to dedicate a couple of days to it. Fortunately, the weather here is generally fairly moderate as you're immediately east of the mountains.

Thanks for watching. Cache safely, and cache often!
The LANMonkeys.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Manning Park FTF Adventure

Thanks for your patience between blog posts - we had a major technology melt-down about a month ago and lost all our upcoming content. :(  In the meantime, we've been having some amazing geocaching adventures and recording new content that we'll start sharing again now.
First up is our recent overnight to E.C. Manning Provincial Park where the LANMonkey's and Manta Rayz decided to try a 21km return hike in an attempt to get a First to Find (FTF) on a cache (Oh Brother) at the summit of First Brother mountain.

 Manta Rayz, Piggy, and the LANMonkeys headed along the trails with LOTS of water and bug spray - both mandatory for this hike. Up at just over 2,000m we enjoyed the views from N49 09.166 W120 46.034 and then continued along to where Fat Dog Creek/Fat Dog Trail connect. We hadn't really heard of Fat Dog Trail before in our years of hiking the area, but it's apparently a cross-country ski trail, without a trailhead marker at the junction, but it was marked on our GPSr maps. There is also an alpine pond nearby at N49 09.413 W120 46.381 that likely has a name but we just call it "Fat Dog Alpine Pond."

So we made it to the trail junction for First Brother, and Manta Rayz was not impressed by the last kilometer ahead of us. At this point we were at about 2,100m and had at least another 100m vertical to go. Up we slowly pushed amidst some nasty horseflies and deer/blackflies, along the ridge with an amazing view down to a small lake, and then some tricky rock scrambles in the last bit; we had to push Piggy up one or two spots and assist him down, as these bits weren't really dog-friendly territory. Piggy is accustomed to some climbing though.

Soon we were upon the summit post, but not yet at the cache location - "another 30m to go" Mrs. LANMonkey announced. Out came the video camera to capture the moment of truth for YouTube, as Manta Rayz searched about at ground zero and made the find. We held our breath as the log book was removed from the cache...