Category Archives: 2016 August – Geo-Caching Holiday

2017 Aug 16 – Day 13 – William’s Lake to home

I woke early with a coughing fit so we were up and breakfasted and on the road by 9:30.  Today was just a destination day.  We decided to pick up a few caches on our way home but only look for those on our side of the road right near the road.  We managed to find 15 before we got to Cache Creek.  From Cache Creek on we just drove.  John had ridden his motorcycle to Kamloops and dropped it off to get a recall done.  We wanted to get back to the motorcycle shop in time for him to pick up his bike on our way through.

So, there are no exciting stops or stories on this blog.  A few pics I took at various cache sites and not much else.  We are definitely in ranch country now.  Lots of grassland and scrub brush.IMG_4917 IMG_4918 IMG_4923 IMG_4928 IMG_4936 IMG_4943IMG_4947 IMG_4946 IMG_4951The last cache we found on our journey was at the site of the Parke Ranch just a few km north of Cache Creek.  We had to climb up a little hill beside the highway pullout and we were checking along the fence line, dodging this rock when I took a closer look at it.  A clever hide indeed.IMG_4948 IMG_4949 IMG_4953This was our 620 cache in 14 days!  Not too bad I say.  We had a wonderful time.  Geo-caching and road trips make great companions.  We will do some more of them I am sure.  Not as rabid as this one but the challenge of the power trails at Anahim Lake was too good to resist.  I am glad we took it on.  We had a lot of fun and saw a lot of the countryside there and in Bella Coola we would never have seen otherwise.

Thanks for joining the journey.

2017 Aug 15 – Day 12 – Bella Coola to William’s Lake

Our road trip/geo-cache holiday is almost over.  We found all the caches we had time to find.  And there are some left we can find on another trip.  It is always good to have some things undone or unseen on your travels; it gives you an excuse to come back.

We woke to overcast skies and had the truck packed and gassed up by 10 to 10.  It is 453 km from Bella Coola to William’s Lake where we will stay the night.  There were caches we did not have time to get on our drive down that we want to pick up if we can, plus #147 of the Freedom Trail Series to complete all the caches on the Anahim Lake Power Trails.  We also wanted to check again at the viewpoint at the top of The Hill of Heckman’s Pass for a cache we couldn’t find when we went down.

We reached the bottom of The Hill, and the start of the gravel road, an hour later.  It takes about 15 minutes to navigate The Hill and another 15 minutes to clear the Pass. (It is really quite astonishing how quickly you move up the mountain.  A couple of switchbacks from the bottom and you are wa-a-a-y up there.)IMG_4858 IMG_4860 IMG_4863 IMG_4868 IMG_4869At the top we pulled into the viewpoint again to look for the cache.  Still no luck (I messaged the Cache Owner from the hotel tonight to tell him/her where we thought it should be and if we were correct it was missing.  He/She messaged back right away to say that we were right and told us to log the find.  Nice.)  The view was quite different from when we drove down 5 days ago.  Then we looked out at the mountains and blue sky.  Today the valley was shrouded in cloud. IMG_4871IMG_4873We drove straight to the location of cache #147 of the Freedom Road Series.  Mr. Grizzly was not dining this morning although I am pretty sure I saw him in a creek a few kilometers before the cache site.  It was a quick find when you don’t have to go around a bear.IMG_4875 IMG_4876After we found the cache we went back to the Eagle’s Nest Resort to return our room key, which John had discovered in his pocked two days after we left.  We had a nice chat with Tim and his wife and headed into Anahim Lake to get a couple of the caches in the town before we hit the road to William’s Lake.IMG_4878We only stopped to look for caches that were near the road.  With the distance we had to travel today we did not have time to go 10 or 20 km down a side road or hike up a hill.IMG_4879 IMG_4881 IMG_4884 IMG_4885The only cache we walked a ways to get to was Towdystan Pictograph cache. It was only a 100 or so meters along a path in the bush.  Apparently there are quite a few of these paintings on rocks around the area.  They were painted to commemorate an important occasion or event in the life of a First Nation’s person.  The design is pretty much worn off but it was interesting to see anyway.IMG_4889 IMG_4891 IMG_4890 IMG_4892 IMG_4893At a rest stop near a water conservancy I spotted this guy on the back of the washrooms while hunting for the cache.  My what long antennae you have..

IMG_4896 IMG_4898IMG_4899 IMG_4900 IMG_4915We arrived at William’s Lake a little after 6:30 so even with the stops we made good time and didn’t get in too late.  Then it was dinner, photos, blog.  And now bed.


2017 Aug 14 – Day 11 – Bella Coola – Day 4

Today is our last day in Bella Coola.  Tomorrow we drive back up  “The Hill,” through Anahim Lake, and on to William’s Lake for the night.  Holiday is almost over.

There are a few caches in the area we haven’t found.  Two of them are missing and soon to be replaced by the owner.  Another one we looked for twice without success.  The owner is going to check on it.  Another is at the end of a strenuous climb to the base of a waterfall.  With my current lack of oxygen issue and coughing all night we decided to give it a pass.  But there is one cache we wanted to find.IMG_4857It is located at Blue Jay Lake, a 20 km drive into the mountains south of Bella Coola up the Clayton Forest Service Road that begins at the Clayton Falls we visited our first day.  We asked a fellow working on a grader at the parking lot to Clayton Falls how long it would take to drive to Blue Jay.  “The road is a bit rocky but I would say it would probably take about an hour,” he said.

Good enough.  The scenery is supposed to be gorgeous so we saved it for our last day.  We were on the road at 11:15.  It only takes about 15 minutes to get to the base of Clayton Falls Forest Service Road which begins with a steep grade and is a pothole riddled narrow gravel road through thick forest.IMG_4728 IMG_4730 IMG_4732 IMG_4836Eventually we rose high enough to see the mountains and they were glorious!  The road however, deteriorated rapidly and repeatedly.  It reminded us very much of the 8 km stretch we drove in Newfoundland that was nothing but rocks.  To be fair there was some dirt amid the rocks on this road but there was also water channels, ditches, washout areas, and craters.

IMG_4739 IMG_4742 IMG_4745 IMG_4748 IMG_4750 IMG_4758 IMG_4761 IMG_4762 IMG_4763The ‘pleasant summer day drive’ took over two hours; most of it in Four-Wheel Low.  We finally reached the summit and the trailhead to M Gurr Lake, about a 1.5km walk.  There were two lovely little lakes here which we admired before getting back in the truck for the ‘short drive’ to Blue Jay Lake.

IMG_4755 IMG_4756 IMG_4764 IMG_4769 IMG_4770 IMG_4777 IMG_4778Not.  We were at the summit.  Blue Jay Lake is on the other side of the mountain about 4 km down.  Well, nothing for it but to keep going.  As we descended we could see a  couple of large bodies of water through the trees far off into the distance and were thinking if they were Blue Jay and Grey Jay Lakes they were a lot further down the mountain than four so km.  We finally figured out they were the North and South Bentinck Arms; the main inlets leading to  Bella Coola.IMG_4783 IMG_4808We finally reached Blue Jay Lake and the location of the cache.  The last logged find was in July 2015 and the person had written that the cache was easy to find so they hid it a bit better.  Well, they hid is so well we could not find it.  We combed through all the brush and all the rocks along the entire roadway to the boat launch area where the cache was supposed to be with nary a sign of the Tupperware container that held the log book.  So very disappointing!  After an hour we finally gave up, but it was very hard to do.IMG_4786 IMG_4789The drive back down the mountain did take about the hour we were told the trip was.  Funny how going back always seems, and often is, faster than going up.   The mountains were equally impressive from the opposite direction.IMG_4815 IMG_4817 IMG_4820 IMG_4828 IMG_4832We traversed a couple of really bad patches on the road but I didn’t try get pics of them.  This hazard, though, was noteworthy enough to stop and record.  The hole is just off the middle of the road!IMG_4838 IMG_4839 IMG_4841When we got back down we found three more caches and checked back on one we couldn’t find yesterday that the cache owner was going to confirm was there on his lunch hour today.  Still no luck.  We did complete a two-stage multi-cache that we’d had trouble the other day inputting the second stage co-ordinates.  It was nice to get that Smiley after the disappointment of Blue Jay Lake.  IMG_4843 IMG_4846 IMG_4848We located a total of 25 caches in and around Bella Coola and we traveled many of the back country roads.  Caching brought us here and caching took us to many parts of the area we would not normally have gone to see.  We had wonderful weather, saw spectacular scenery and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  We will have to come back some day.IMG_4852

2017 Aug 13 – Day 10 – Bella Coola – Day 3

I was relaxing nicely in my bed last night and at 1:26 am, out of the blue, I started to cough.  AGAIN.  Kept it up for an hour and a half before it quit and I could get some sleep.  So-o-o annoying!

One of the nice things about having a cabin with a kitchen is you don’t have to go out to get breakfast. One of the disadvantages of not having to go out to find breakfast is you linger longer over your coffee before you get out the door to attack the day’s caches.

It was 12:20 by the time we got into the truck and headed down the valley road to the base of The Hill at Heckman’s Pass.  We decided to go to the end of the valley and work our way back to town in the hopes we could get most of the caches along the route done so we don’t have to stop to find them on our way back to William’s Lake on Monday.  We still have over a dozen caches to find between Anahim Lake and William’s Lake and it is a 480+km drive (300 miles) so Monday will be a long enough day without stopping in the Valley too.

On the way down the road we passed Table Mountain.  Amazing how smooth and flat that thick glacier appears.IMG_4673 IMG_4674IMG_4676 IMG_4677The second cache of the day was called Sandhill and it was hidden in a tree beside the road at an area that had been washed out in a river flood in 2010 when over 200 mm of rain fell in 36 hours.  The road was closed for over two weeks so the only way in or out would have been the weekly ferry to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island.  Hard to believe that the river rose high enough to wash out the road here.IMG_4678There wasn’t a cache hidden at Big Rock but we had to pull in and see it anyway.  This huge rock is called an erratic that was left behind by a glacier.  It split just a few years ago.  I bet THAT made a noise!IMG_4681 IMG_4682 IMG_4688 IMG_4683We crossed the road and walked a ways along the Kettle Pond Trail to see a few more of the big boulders that were deposited by two lobes of a glacier that retreated at the end of the ice age.  As with everything on the ground around here the rocks were covered in lovely green moss.IMG_4686 IMG_4687One of the caches we stopped to find was at a popular fishing spot where two men were standing on the bank fishing for the salmon that are coming up the rivers and creeks to spawn.  We saw this sign at several places along the river bank.IMG_4689 IMG_4690 IMG_4694The Nusq’lst Memorial Pole was the sight of a cache.  We had noticed this lovely totem before and I was glad for a chance to see it up close and read the story on the plaque.IMG_4697 IMG_4698 IMG_4699Our last cache – 12 finds and one DNF (Did Not Find – we searched and searched for it with no luck.  We hate giving up without the find!) – was on Walker Island Big Cedar Trail.  Now, these are BIG trees.

IMG_4708 IMG_4709 IMG_4710 IMG_4711 Several of them had a doorway cut into them and had been hollowed out inside.  Apparently the First Nations People used to to use the trees as smoke houses.  The trees are still living all those years later.IMG_4712 IMG_4713 IMG_4716 IMG_4719 IMG_4720 IMG_4721 IMG_4723


I stuck my camera inside and took a picture of the soot encrusted interior.


IMG_4725 IMG_4727It was a nice end to a good day.  We returned to the cabin at 7 where we ate the leftover pizza from last night, I completed yesterday’s blog that I had started this morning and then, like a good girl, I did today’s blog as well.  Tomorrow is our last day.  We intend to drive out to Blue Jay Lake to see the scenery and find a cache or two.





2017 Aug 12 – Day 9 – Bella Coola – Day 2

Last night was the worst night I have had since my asthma kicked up. I coughed and coughed and coughed and coughed.  Nothing stopped it.  Usually one T3 will shut if off in 20 minutes.  Even two didn’t work.  It was a long night.

Consequently when I did get to sleep I didn’t wake up until late.  I think it was close to 11:30.  John has caught my cold now and with me coughing all night and his own stuffy nose and coughing he didn’t wake up much before me.

I was weak as a kitten and moving slowly so we had a leisurely breakfast and finally left the cabin about 2 o’clock.  We drove back down the valley to the Nusatsum Forest Service Road which will take us to Odegaard Falls and Mt. Purgatory Lookout.  The falls are 24.6 km up the road and the lookout is 32.6 km.  It was another lovely sunny day so it took us quite awhile to get to the falls trail head due to all the photo stops.IMG_4507 IMG_4503Tim, at the Eagle’s Nest told us that the mountains in the Chilcotin Coast rival the Rockies for splendor.  We were at Anahim Lake and I had not seen anything near a spectacular mountain, so I disagreed with him.  I take it back, Tim.  You are absolutely right!  The peaks of the Coast Range are gorgeous!  Therefore this blog contains lots of pretty mountain pictures. IMG_4509 IMG_4512 IMG_4522IMG_4526 IMG_4538 IMG_4539The road criss-crosses the Nusatsum River several times and is navigable to the Odegaard Falls Trail head by car; if you take it slow.  There are some rough spots and it is narrow so if you meet another car, which, thankfully we did not, it would be tricky to get by one another.

Look closely at the photo below.  It doesn’t do the height of the mountains justice but just at the bottom you can see the grey-green water of the  Nusatsum River.IMG_4548Our first glimpse of Odegaard Falls. They drop 175 meters (525′).IMG_4553 IMG_4555 IMG_4559 IMG_4561 IMG_4562 IMG_4564 IMG_4565At the Odegaard Falls Trail head parking area there is a cache, which we found.  It was hidden in 2014 and we were the third people to sign it.  Obviously a lot of geo-cachers do not venture this far into the bush.

It is a 20 minute walk along a well maintained forest trail to the bridge lookout at the base of the falls.  There are quite a few footbridges and several of them have been re-built recently.  There is very little undergrowth in the bush; everything is covered in moss.  One of my favourite things.IMG_4570 IMG_4579 IMG_4585 IMG_4589 IMG_4588 IMG_4601 IMG_4591 IMG_4593 IMG_4596We only went to the lookout at the base of the falls, you can continue along the trail and get closer but we didn’t feel the need and we wanted to drive up to the Purgatory Lookout which was another 7.8 km of rough slow road.

The road from Odegaard Falls to Mount Purgatory is only navigable by high-clearance 4 X 4.  As we were hunting around in the trees at the Falls parking lot looking for the geo-cache a couple walked out of the trail and said hello.  They were looking at us curiously, obviously trying to figure out what we were doing, but they took a photo of the river and went on their way.  We hadn’t gone too far up the road from the Falls when we came to a rock-filled ditch we needed to cross.  Parked beside the road was a small car.  I said to John, “That couple isn’t hiking up to the lookout from here are they?”  It was a hot day, we were way up in the mountains and they probably had at least 6 km of uphill hiking to do.  It was now almost 5:30.

Sure enough, we caught up with them about three kilometers from their car and offered them a ride.   They very thankfully and readily accepted.   And their dog did not hesitate to hop into the back seat as soon as we pushed stuff out of the way to make room.IMG_4602 IMG_4615 IMG_4621 IMG_4618 IMG_4625 IMG_4638IMG_4634 IMG_4626 IMG_4639IMG_4649 IMG_4641 IMG_4651John thoroughly enjoys these back roads where he has to go in and out of four-wheel drive and navigate rough and rugged sections.  He got quite a lot of practice on the drive to the lookout.  The glacier is actually called Purgatory and it is on Mt. Styx, but Mount Purgatory is the popular name.  The view was incredible.  IMG_4655 IMG_4657We located the cache hidden in the rocks at the lookout, scrambled through the cottonwood brush to see if we could get a better view of another mountain and glacier which was blocked by the trees (no luck) and then got back in the truck to make our way down the mountain.  A trip that would take more than an hour even though it is just over 32.5 km to the bottom. IMG_4659 IMG_4660 IMG_4662Rachel was happy to have a ride down. When they left their car on the roadside they were hoping to hike to the lookout and back to their car by 8 o’clock and get back to their campsite to have a cold supper before bed.  We dropped them off at their car at 7 so she planned to make a hot dinner instead. IMG_4670IMG_4672IMG_4668 IMG_4669IMG_4672By the time we got to Hagensborg on our way back to Bella Coola it was almost 8:30.  The Shop Easy was still open so we popped in and bought some frozen pizza to have for dinner in our cabin.  By 10 pm I had checked my photos and selected them for this blog and it was bedtime. I was much too tired to write the text and put it all together.  Sorry about that.

2017 Aug 11 – Day 8 – Bella Coola – Day 1

After our six day marathon of cache finding we took a slow day today.  I have actually slept all night the last two nights without coughing fits so I feel much better.  We lingered in the cabin after a breakfast of coffee and peanut butter toast so it was after noon, almost 1 o’clock, before we ventured out.

The town of Bella Coola encompasses about three blocks.  There is the Bella Coola Valley Inn and the Bella Coola Motel, plus some B & Bs for lodging.  There is a good restaurant at the Valley Inn and a small cafe for your dining pleasure.  Ace Hardware, Co-Op grocery, an art gallery, a gas station and a few other shops.  Reminds me a lot of Salmon Arm when I was a child.

Bella Coola Valley stretches 80 km inland and includes the communities of Bella Coola and Hagensborg.  The valley is 100 km inland at the end of a very long inlet so the area is not plagued by the constant rain of the coast.  July through September is often dry and sunny and we certainly enjoyed both today.  The temperature hit about 30; nice and warm and comfortable for walking about.IMG_4425We drove out of town toward the coast, stopping at the old canary, and the harbour to take some photos.  The mountains just rise up in all directions.  They are spectacular. And the water was a very unique grey-green colour.IMG_4426 IMG_4435 IMG_4437 IMG_4439 IMG_4442 IMG_4448 IMG_4449 IMG_4450 IMG_4451 IMG_4452 IMG_4453We found the cache near the ferry terminal dock and continued down the road to find the cache at the breakwater.  We clambered around some large rocks, checking our compass headings, looked up and realized there was a man sitting in a camp chair on a boulder; either gazing out to sea or sleeping.  We tried to discreetly and quietly search behind him for the cache but he heard us and turned to say hello.  He was a Calgary stock broker that sold out his practice and moved to Bella Coola three years ago.  He loves to sit at this spot and watch the water, the birds and the seals.IMG_4461 IMG_4462 IMG_4463 IMG_4464He asked if we were in the area to go fishing but we said no and explained about geo-caching.  He became very intrigued and got up and started to help us search for the cache.  As a matter of fact he was the one who found it tucked back under a huge boulder.  He was quite tickled and plans to keep an eye out for other cachers who may come looking for it in the future.

After we signed the log we walked back past our truck which we had parked at the harbour and went to a roadside kiosk for some lunch since it was past 2:30.  Met a really nice lady and her friendly little dog and had a good visit while she cooked our burgers.IMG_4467With lunch over we continued down the road. The pavement ended about 100 meters past the harbour and the gravel road was full of boulder-sized pot holes. There were four caches down the road and near Clayton Falls so we found them as we  took in the sights.  The Falls is dammed higher up and provides hydro for the area.  It was a beautiful spot.IMG_4470 IMG_4473 IMG_4475We left the falls and drove across the road into the Clayton Falls Recreation Site for some more photo opportunities.IMG_4479 IMG_4480 IMG_4487 IMG_4499Some groceries were needed for our breakfasts over the next few days so we headed back to town, stopping to try find a cache with no luck and successfully finding another two.  Once the shopping was done we sorted photos and watched some Olympics until it was time to walk over the Bella Coola Valley Inn for dinner.  It was a lovely, scenic, slow day.


2017 Aug 10 – Day 7 – Anahim Lake – Freedom Road Series – to Bella Coola

We checked out of the Eagle’s Nest at 10:15 and drove west on Highway 20 to the Freedom Road Series #68 and began caching our way towards Bella Coola.

All went well until we got to cache #100 (there are 150 caches in the Series).  The signing log paper was soaking wet.  Geo-caches often have a special wipe dry paper that we daubed with Kleenex and held out in the breeze for a few minutes before we signed it and put it back.  But from then on almost every other cache was very wet,  many of the lids were loose but mostly it was because the little film-size containers had been laid horizontally in the hiding spot. With all the rain they have had lately water just seeped in.  This process of drying off papers and the need to re-construct many of the rock pile hiding spots severely delayed our cache find rate.  We had been averaging about 20 caches an hour.  It took us over 4 hours to find the last 50.

And to make matters worse new logging roads had been created right through Ground Zero of three caches, a big graded turn-around area slaughtered a fourth, another was missing and only small shreds of the log were found; and a sixth we could not find even the rock pile it was supposed to be hidden in.  We had to scramble around among our cosmetic bags to find little bottles we could put a piece of paper into and hide a replacement cache.  I have sent a message to the Cache Owners to let them know the new co-ordinates for these.  First aid by geo-cache finders is encouraged on these long power trails to help the cache owners with maintenance.

Amidst the Freedom Road Series of caches there are a few others hidden.  This one was beside Louis Creek and a gallon jug of water was nearby.  The object is to pour the water into the tube and the cache container floats to the top where you grab it. The tube has holes in it at various heights so the water flows out again and you can drop the cache container back down the tube for the next person to figure it out. Very cool!

IMG_2882 IMG_2883

IMG_4321 IMG_4323The underwater grass in Louis Creek.IMG_4326 IMG_4327 IMG_4333There was a second one of these caches hidden by the same fellow at Green River.  With the sunshine we enjoyed today the little lake and river were beautiful.

IMG_4342 IMG_4343 IMG_4338IMG_2884As we pulled up to a stop to find Cache #146 we notice a Grizzly grazing in the roadside clover about 150 meters ahead.  Cache #146 was about 20 meters from the roadside and there was a huge puddle between the road and the cache.  While I kept an eye on Mr. Bear John circled around the puddle and went into the small trees to locate the cache.

The bear left his lunch on the far side of the road and started walking to the other side. He must have hand an itch because he stopped in the middle of the road and sat down for a few minutes.IMG_4348 IMG_4350He decided he liked the clover on the right side and we were able to get some nice photos of him as we sat in the truck nearby.  My camera had decided to change it’s setting so my photos are not that good.  John got some great ones. Unfortunately to go get cache #147 we would have had to walk right past the feeding grizzly.  Being wise old folks we left him alone and will stop and get the cache on our way home.

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This is John’s photo.  He cropped it a bit but it is very nice and sharp.

We entered Tweedsmuir Provincial Park not long after we said good-bye to the bear and hadn’t driven very far when we saw this young black bear.  Again John got the best shots.  I still had not noticed the changed setting on my camera so all of my black bear pictures are black.

IMG_4384 IMG_2920 IMG_2924We found cache #150 at 5 pm.  YEA!  After we finished the Freedom Road Series we only took the time to find two more of the caches hidden along the road to Bella Coola.  It was close to 6 o’clock and we had some distance to travel yet. We’ll pick them up on our way home.

IMG_4387 IMG_4408This great mushroom was on the trail to the last cache find of the day.  I hadn’t brought along my camera when we went off into the bush to find it so I was glad John had his and was able to take this photo.

IMG_2937The Heckman Pass is home to The Hill, a narrow, winding 43 km stretch of road with 11% and 12% grades and a 9 km section at 18% that takes you to the end of the Bella Coola Valley.  This stretch of road was deemed impossible to build but local people built it anyway.

IMG_4404 IMG_4411 We arrived in Bella Coola at 7:30.  The drive down the valley showed some spectacular mountains on both sides of the highway.  Since the sun was low in the sky the glare made them not-too-photo worthy. But we are here for five nights so we will get pictures soon.IMG_4421 IMG_4423 IMG_4424



2017 Aug 9 – Day 6 – Anahim Lake – Beef Trail Bypass and Freedom Road

We continued our geo-cache odyssey under cloudy skies. Our host Tim at the Eagle’s Nest told us at breakfast that the weather is supposed to turn and it was to be sunny and warm today and for the next couple of weeks.  He lied.  We spent the day getting rained on every hour or so.  Nothing really heavy, nor lasting very long, just intermittent wet.  Good thing we had the waterproof jackets.

We drove down Highway 20 towards Bella Coola until we came to the intersection of the Beef Trail Bypass and turned to go to the spot we left off yesterday – cache #34 – and started hopping in and out of the truck every 200-300 meters, checking the backs of trees and rock piles for little containers with a piece of paper we can sign.

There has been so much rain this summer that any low spots in the forest are flooded.  We past this small pine tree grove in a gully that was full of water and all the trees are dying from the saturation.  The colours were pretty though.

IMG_4286 IMG_4287 IMG_4290 IMG_4291Yesterday when we drove down the road back to our hotel and again this morning when we came back up to the waterfall turnoff where we had stopped yesterday, we drove through two sections of the road that were flooded.  One was just a large puddle, but the other has so much water running out of the bush and over the side that it is washing away the gravel road.  About half of it is gone.  We told Tim at the resort about it and he was glad to know as they often send guest up that way to go to the Precipice and Hotnarko Falls.IMG_4292 IMG_4296This cache was hidden at a survey post.  Do Not Disturb.  Too funny.IMG_4300There is quite a lot of this type of  tall multi-pole fencing in the area.

IMG_4311 IMG_4310 IMG_4309This is Highway 20 out of Anahim Lake; the Chilcotin-Bella Coola Highway. Tomorrow we will be driving over 100 km on this road (and geo-caching, of course) before we descend down the 12 km hair-raising mountain side to the Bella Coola Valley and a few more kilometers to the town of Bella Coola for our five night stay.IMG_4307 IMG_4308This is the only wildlife we saw today.  I think it is a small hawk, but not sure.

IMG_4318 IMG_4319Our last cache of the day.  This is quite a large rock with a strip of velcro glued to the underside and a small bison tube attached containing the log.  People are so clever!

IMG_1281 IMG_1282We accomplished all of the geo-cache power trails we set out to do during our stay at Anahim Lakes.  We have 83 of the Freedom Road Series to get tomorrow, plus another dozen or so along the road to Bella Coola.  106 caches today, despite the rain.  As I said to John, “Stubbornness will get it done if nothing else will.”

2017 Aug 8 – Day 5 – Anahim Lake – Beef Trail Bypass

As I logged my cache finds last night I realized that I had hit the 1000 caches mark, so when we found our first cache this morning John took this photo to immortalize the moment – even though this was actually cache 1003.IMG_4203John is only three caches behind me so we documented his 1000th find at cache #137 of the Beef Trail Bypass.IMG_4201The Beef Trail Bypass runs roughly parallel to Highway 20 but joins the highway east of Anahim Lake at a sawmill.  We had come up to the back side of the mill last night on our way back to our hotel only to find a chain across the road so we had to do a longer detour to get back.  We were hoping the road may be open on a Monday morning but it was chained on the highway side as well.  John tried to find a small local road that cut across to Beef Trail Bypass, but had no luck, so we had to drive all the way back through Anahim Lake and take the Kappan Mountain Road to the junction and then go down Beef Trail Bypass to the sawmill to begin our caches of the day. This whole process took about 40 minutes so we didn’t find our first cache until 10:45.

There are 140 caches hidden along this road and we started at number #140 and worked our way down.  This would put us on the west side of our resort so we wouldn’t have so far to drive back at the end of the day.

We made really good time finding the first 45 caches but then we discovered that a different type of tape had been used to tape the wire to the bottle for hanging  (we were back to the little purple-lid pill bottles again) and it did not adhere as well as the camo tape we saw on the Kappan Mountain Trail.  We used our new roll of duct tape to re-tape ones that were in danger of falling and also re-hung some that had come free of the tape altogether and were lying on the ground in the open.  This first aid exercise decreased our find rate significantly.IMG_4207 It was a beautiful day today; bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds.IMG_4210 IMG_4211 IMG_4212 IMG_4215 IMG_4217 IMG_4219 IMG_4220This small tree had broken off and was leaning against another one squishing the bird’s nest –  but the cache hanging on it was still okay.IMG_4226At cache #34 we branched off the Beef Trail Bypass and drove about 3 km up to The Precipice and Hotnarko Falls.  The Precipice is called a mini Grand Canyon by the locals.  The cliff walls are 1000′ high in places.  The waterfall at this time of year is usually a trickle but with all the rain it was roaring as if it was spring run-off. IMG_4227 IMG_4231The really cool thing was you could walk right up to the spot where the falls drop off.  They tumble down into the valley below through a narrow cut to feed into the marsh/river below.  Really amazing.IMG_4237 IMG_4242There was a short series of caches on this little road called the Cookie Crumbs.  We found #11 at the parking lot and discovered that there was another cache called The Precipice that was on the other side of the waterfall gorge.IMG_4256

The cliff you see here is where we were standing at the top of the waterfall.


1oo meters or so down the road you could see two huge culverts that the water was diverted through and there was a blue-tape marked trail that led you to the other side of the waterfall and along the cliff face to the cache.  It was very cool to be able to stand beside the top of a waterfall, walk a short distance and then be able to clearly see the waterfall drop.IMG_4258 IMG_4263 IMG_4269 IMG_4270I loved the patterns of the foam in the water on the valley bottom.IMG_4266 IMG_4267 IMG_4272By the time we found the other 10 Cookie Crumbs caches and rejoined the Beef Trail Bypass it was after 6 o’clock. We called it a day – total of 117 finds – and headed back to the Eagle’s Nest and dinner.


2017 Aug 7 – Day 4 – Anahim Lake – Charlotte’s Web Trail

We were up a bit earlier this morning and were driving out of the resort at 9:45.  We stopped at the General Store for some cough syrup, Hall’s cough drops and a roll of duct tape to use to do some first aid on the cache containers if required.  Turned out that the containers on today’s trail were not the same pill bottle with a wire taped to it for hanging that we encountered yesterday.  We will keep the tape in our growing geo-cache kit; which now includes first aid supplies, tweezers, a long fine grabbing tool, paper, pens, some SWAG trinkets, a small roll of wire, some small containers, sun screen, bug repellent and a few other things.

Today’s trail, named Charlotte’s Web, began on Hooch Road which branches off Highway 20 about 7 km east of Nimpo Lake, which is 17 km east of Anahim Lake.  We found a cache at a turn-off that was the wrong one, then found a cache at the correct turn-off and commenced the Charlotte’s Web Trail at 10:45.  There are 130 caches hidden along this back road.  Hooch Road connects with the Charlotte Lake Road which then connects to the Beef Trail Road – hence the ‘Web.’

IMG_4142The horse herd that we saw as we drove back to the resort last night was out to greet us again this morning.IMG_4144 IMG_4145IMG_4174

This is the cache container we found all day.  There were only about five that were not like this.







We found the first 20 caches  by 11:50,  the next 20 by 12:50, had our PB&J sandwich lunch at 1:20, logged 60 caches at 2:00 pm, 80 at 2:50, 90 at 3:20, 100 at 3:50, and the last one at 5:40.  Cache #127 caused a significant delay in the program.  It was hidden ‘over head’ in a near-by tree. We looked up and down every roadside tree for about 20 meters without success and after over half a hour we gave up and made up a new cache and hung it ‘over head’ in the tree where our GPS kept leading us too.IMG_2744This area has also had a very wet summer. They usually get a lot of rain but it has rained a significant amount almost every day.  The big flower pots at the resort entrance have about 2″ of water on the top.  It began to rain as we drove down Highway 20 but stopped as we began our search and we had a very nice day.  Thick grey clouds passed overhead a couple of time but just kept on moving without soaking us first.IMG_4147However all this rain has created small streams on both sides of the road and several areas of the forest were like a marsh, just saturated with water.  This forced us to do a lot of puddle jumping today as all the caches were hidden in the trees or under rocks on the other side of the ditches.IMG_4150 IMG_4151 IMG_4152 IMG_4153 IMG_4154 IMG_4156IMG_4159IMG_4164The scenery was pretty much the same as yesterday – forest and occasional marsh ponds.  We saw a couple of tiny frogs, a nice butterfly and no other critters.  The Indian Paint Brush flowers up here are either pink or red, not the orange ones we have at home.IMG_4166 IMG_4169 IMG_4173 IMG_2749 IMG_4178

A second herd of free-range horses, many of them with foals watched us go by on our way back to the resort.IMG_4181 IMG_4186During dinner the sky turned a deep steel grey creating a nice effect on the lake.  There are over 360 pairs of mating pelicans that live at Anahim Lake and one of the large birds swam by.IMG_4188 IMG_4189 IMG_4192All in all it was a pretty successful day.  Our highest geo-cache count to date – 132 caches found.  Tomorrow we start the Beef Trail Road with it’s 140 caches. Wish us luck