Day 76 – August 21 – Winkler, MB

Today and tomorrow are geocaching days. We planned to find caches on this backroads cross-Canada road trip, and we have found quite a few, but we expected to have been caching more than we have. Between driving time and stopping to see things time we have only picked up a cache here and there. So we came to Winkler to spend two days finding geocaches.

Last night while I wrote my blog John made up a list of caches to find and we headed out an hour or so after breakfast. There were 30 caches hidden on hydro power poles along a gravel road so they were our first goal. The electric company is changing out the poles for taller ones so three of the hides were gone with the old poles. We found all the rest though.

The fifth cache we found today marked my 5,000th find since we began caching in May 2015.

To date, I had found 10 more caches than John, so a little further down the road he got his 5,000th as well.

After we completed the 30-cache trail we drove to neighbouring Morden and had lunch at a park before heading south to Woodhenge. Along the way we found six cute hides. Someone likes to make things.

Called Jimmy, but should probably be Jiminy for Jiminy Cricket from Pinoccohio

This cache was called Bouncy Bunny. The ears and front legs move and the entire bunny moves back and forth on the back legs.

Next we had Arnold the pig from the old TV sitcom “Green Acres.”

The chicken cache was Pat. The wings move and the chicken rocks forward and back on the legs.

Followed by Chrissy the cow.

And finally Rambling Rose, the skunk. The tail lifted up and down. Very cute and very clever.

The Winkler area is old lake bottom and Morden is on higher ground so we actually went up a hill!

When John was looking at the geogcache map to select some caches to find, he saw an earthcache called Woodhenge. Earthcaches have no container with a log paper to sign. They are places of geological or geographical interest. When you go to the co-ordinates you will be asked to submit answers to questions about what you learn in the write-up or information boards or personal observation. Only after you have sent the required answers in a separate email to the cache owner do you log the cache as found. We like Earthcaches because we always learn something as well as stop at places we otherwise may just drive past. As soon as John showed me what Woodhenge was I said we had to go find it.

Woodhenge was created over several years by an art teacher from Morden named Marcel Debreuil. He had been to Stonehenge in England a couple of times and decided to make his own stone circle in Manitoba. He searched for large boulders (erratics left behind by long ago glaciers) in the Manitoba prairies and built a massive Stonehenge-like circle on his property which he called Woodhenge. This overhead image shows what it was like when Marcel owned the property and kept the field mowed.

None of the rocks were located too far away. Most he just found and moved, some he actually paid for. The stones are set in circles divisible by 7. The outer ring is 49 stones and the two inner rings are 7 stones each for a total of 63. He selected each stone for its unique features. There are specific stones dedicated to each of Mr. Debueil’s family members, but he passed away in 2011 so no one knows which they are any more. The new owners have the property posted with No Trespassing signs, but the person that made up the Earthcache obtained permission for geocachers to go and see it. Trees and grass have grown tall so it is not readily visible from the road which helps a lot to keep it undisturbed and preserved.

They are not exactly little! I liked this one because it had a pink quartz vein all the way around it.

I climbed up on one of the shorter, flatter ones and tried to get a couple of photos that show the size of the outer circle.

This one has so many different colours.

This is the only stone that had flowers growing near it. All the rest just had tall grass.

The inner seven. The low one in the center has fallen over. If you look at the overhead photo that I took off the internet you can see that it was originally standing.

I thought it was awesome. The man made himself a huge project and I am glad John saw the cache on the map so we could visit the place.

It was about 30° all day and we had been in and out of the truck finding caches for about five hours so we headed back to the hotel and a cool shower before dinner. More geocaches to find tomorrow. Today was fun!

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