New souvenirs

7 01 2016

Goodbye 2015
What better way to end 2015 than a geocaching event just a few hundred meters from home? After eating a great New Year’s dinner courtesy of Gefle Gourmetservice it was great to get some fresh air and exercise. We walked up to the top of Hemlingbyberget where Nyårsevent at the top of the hill was taking place. Just a couple of cachers were there when we arrived but before midnight the numbers swelled and our group was surrounded by hundreds of muggles who came to view the fireworks over Gävle. It was great to see that cachers from Uppsala and Stockholm made it up to the event.

Vallafrun, Olleoljud, Eligirly and Team Ese sharing the FTF with me.

Vallafrun, Olleoljud, Eligirly and Team Ese sharing the FTF with me.

Yari had just published a new cache, Toppen Stället so was my final cache for 2015. Fantastic! It was also great for Eligirly who was with a little group who got the FTF as it was here first one ever.

Hello 2016

Of course, once New Years Eve was over and a new year started I needed to find a cache or attend an event to get the second souvenir. I had planned to attend the New Year’s event at Gavelhyttan as that is the site of my first placed cache from 2003, but I ended up finding two nearby mysts that I had solved some time ago. I had a pleasant walk close to home and was surprised to see that I wasn’t the first person to log a find here on New Years Day.

First cache for 2016

First cache for 2016

So now a week into 2016 the temperatures have dropped (-20 C this morning) and we have about 10 cm of snow. Winter has finally arrived. It probably won’t make a huge difference to the number of caches I have been finding over the past few months.





A mini power trail on Gavelstigen

30 12 2015

As I walked away from High Tech Countryside Letterbox #2 I wondered why I hadn’t been taking any photographs. When I was at the starting coordinates for this cache yesterday it was – 10 C, the sun was shining, the skies were blue and the road was dry. Today it was – 2 C cloudy and the road and all the surrounding trees were white with a heavy frost. The road was really slippery and walking through tall grass with just office shoes on wasn’t the best of ideas, but as I was on a lunchtime caching run that’s what I had on. The components of the cache were all well made and I should have taken photos just so I would remember what it looked like. It was well worth the visit.

Once the cache was logged I headed off for Årsunda and Gavelstigen, the road that cuts across to Hammarby. That’s Gestrike – Hammarby of course. Forty years ago the road was just a gravel cow track that was great to drive along and pretend I was a rally driver. Now I am more sensible and treat the sealed road with great respect. All the bends are still there but there is more traffic than before. A number of the Julkalender 2015 caches are placed here so I was able to treat them like a mini power trail. After I logged my finds and looked at the geocaching map I saw that I had missed
Julkalender 2015 – Dan före dan as my downloaded PQ was from a couple of days prior to that.

I then finally stopped and took a couple of photos before rushing on so I could get back to work for the final few hours of 2015. Of course the giant pine still has it’s growth at the top and has always seemed to be this large.

Frost

Frost

Giant pine with growth near the top

Giant pine with growth near the top

HAPPY NEW YEAR!





Dan före dan or lunchtime caching

23 12 2015

It’s the day before Christmas Eve (dan före dan) and the office is quiet as most people seem to have chosen to have a long Christmas and New Year’s break. There is no snow and the real Christmas feel isn’t there. However, sunny days, temperatures above zero and no snow make geocaching easier. I felt that I needed to get some fresh air today and decided that it would only take half an hour or so to drive north east out of Sandviken on the old road to Valbo – Bäckvägen and grab a few caches.

Bäckvägen - lunchtime caches.

Bäckvägen – lunchtime caches.

With the exception of the first cache the others I found were in SE81293’s Julkalender 2015 series. The others are to be found between Hammarby and Årsunda plus Årsunda and Främlingshem. I can see another couple of lunch time trips coming up.

I read in Ironhawk67’s log for Julkalender 2015 – 2 dagar kvar that the road was really icy and I know from past experience that it can be a tricky road in winter. It was icy and as I rounded the final corner before Ett gränsfall I saw that someone had really “överskridit gränserna” and pushed their car beyond it’s limits. No-one was in the car but it must have been a shocking experience. All the Julkalender caches were placed close to safe parking spots (thanks Peter) and despite them all being bisons and one with off-coordinates they were all easy to spot.

The driver has pushed himself over the limits - överskridit gränserna.

The driver has pushed himself over the limits – överskridit gränserna.

The forty minutes it took me to find all the caches and get back to the office made my afternoon a lot easier to get through.





One down, two to go

14 12 2015

Despite this being the middle of December winter is not really closing in. There is no snow and temperatures above zero are forecast for Christmas. Today I needed to find a cache for my “cache on every date of the year – round 2” activity. During November I was able to find caches on the dates of interest either on my way home from work at the beginning of the month or as the daylight hours diminished, on my way to work during the latter part of the month.

My goal will hopefully be met after three more finds, the one today and then two in February, on the 13th and finally on the 29th. As the sun doesn’t rise until 08:55 my journey to work is in the dark and of course as the sun sets at 14:37 it’s completely dark when I go home. In order to cache in daylight I had to do a quick lunchtime cache. The positives for today were that the sun was shining despite it just being a few degrees above the horizon and that there was a cache just a few minutes drive from my office. The negatives were that it was -7 C and a hard wind was blowing. Oh, and that I didn’t have the coords in my GPS and I realized as I left the office my smart phone needed charging. I happened to be driving past GZ a few months ago when cgocgo was placing the cache, even if I didn’t realize what he was doing at the time. I should have stopped and got an FTF but I suspect it hadn’t been published then. At least I knew what kind of object hosted the cache.

Ice piling up near the shore of Storsjön by the wind blowing across the open water

Ice piling up near the shore of Storsjön by the wind blowing across the open water

When I reached Sandvikens Jernverk #3 – Kraft 2nd Edition there was good parking and the hint gave me only a handful of places to search. With the wind howling across the open western stretch of water in Storsjön and the sun shining right into my eyes I located the cache in the last place I looked. Doesn’t that always seem to be the case? So with frozen fingers I signed the log strip and hurried back to the car where I turned the heater up to full and drove back to work. Another one ticked off and just two to go. Now I’m looking forward to a few days off work at Christmas and hopefully a chance to spend more than half an hour caching.





Odds and ends in October and November

1 12 2015

The past few months have been characterised by an intensive time at work and other activities at the weekends such that geocaching has been put on the back burner. It hasn’t completely dried up but is at a real low. During November I found the odd one or two caches as part of my quest to find a cache on every date of the year – round two, Not caching in November can be understandable when weather and light conditions are taken into consideration but that doesn’t explain why I only found three caches in the whole of June!

After a great start in January (NZ) autumn has been really quiet

After a great start in January (NZ) autumn has been really quiet

During October I had to make an effort on the 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 17, 19, 23 and 24th days of the month. In total I found 11 caches so just 2 more than the absolute minimum required.

During November I needed to find caches on the 3, 4, 10 and 28th days so here again a total of 5 found caches only meant one more found than the minimum necessary.

Many of the caches found in the past two months have been at Rörberg. A short series of caches there has been convenient for finding a cache when I needed to. In October I could stop there after work but in November I had to make my finds in the morning in order to be caching in daylight. I have even saved one for 14th December!

A handy series of caches in Rörberg

A handy series of caches in Rörberg

One interesting departure from the above series of traditional caches was during the weekend of 7/8th November in Sundsvall with my partner. It was not intended to be a geocaching weekend so it was a bonus that there was an event on that Saturday. Under Hökens vingar kom #2!We met a friendly group of geocachers and learnt that the half hour event was just the precursor to a longer activity related to Sundsvalls orienteering club. This was a reoccurring event where a geocaching orienteerer had made a geocaching specific course that was highly prized by the geocaching community in Sundsvall. We were not at all equipped for such adventures but were pleased to meet the local cachers from who we got some great tips on caches to look for on future visits

The last date in November where I needed to find a cache was the 28th which was fortunately on a Saturday so instead of just grabbing a quick find on my may to or from work I was able to spend the morning with some of my geocaching friends, madchicken, Ironhawk67, Slas and Susen! We had three hours to find caches but no plan other than making an attempt at a new cache where there was still an FTF chance even a few days after the cache had been published. We arrived at Ornitologernas stugaand parked within meters of GZ. Slas spotted some objects in the area that seemed to be related to the cache which we could easily see in the nearby pinus sylvestris, so we had a couple of clues right from the start. The challenge was to get to the cache which was a well built small scale “summer cottage” built in the tree. With the aid of my telescopic ladder and Slas tree climbing skills we were able to use the clues we other in the ground personnel had collected to break the code and get into the cottage. The quality of the cache and logbook deserved a favourite point. An additional bonus was that this was an FTF!

A couple of ornithologists perched in a pinus sylvestris

A couple of ornithologists perched in a pinus sylvestris

From there we walked a couple of hundred meters to another of netski1985’s caches. Primus kvadratus. Both madchicken and Ironhawk67 had hunted here earlier with no success. susen! found the cache lying on the ground so the difficulty rating was a 1 instead of the published 2.5. After adding our nicks we replaced the cache were it was supposed to be ready to confuse the next hunter.

We left Bonhus and headed for Hille where an Urban Exploration (UE) cache was waiting for us. The Old Pump Station. Here we had to hunt for three clues by finding three objects shown on the cache description page. The first two were not too hard to find but the third one was well hidden so a lifeline call was made so that Slas could get a photo of the clue without falling into the black liquid below him.

Slas concentrating on not falling into the black liquid below

Slas concentrating on not falling into the black liquid below

A quick couple of stops were made on the way back home so that a couple of the team could log a cache that they had on their lists and an attempt made at an unusual field myst. We solved the puzzle but weren’t successful in finding the cache despite getting to GZ. A return visit will be needed. All in all a morning well spent and a reminder that I need to get out geocaching more often.





International Earthcaching Day

12 10 2015

International Earthcache Day 2015 souvenir
One of my favourite type of cache is the earthcache, as I have always had an interest in geology. They come in all kinds of environment, usually in places of natural beauty but sometimes in an urban or industrial landscape. October 11 was International Earthcache Day 2015 and luckily enough there was an earthache in town that I hadn’t found and could log. Thanks Olle for an informative earthcache within biking range. Diabas i Gävle The next closest would probably have been in Falun or Hedemora!

There are surprisingly few earthcaches in the area considering the mining activity near Hofors and the effect of the ice age and just the great variances in the geology if Sweden in general. To be more precise, there are just five in roughly 2500 km2, two of which are mine. I created the first one over ten years ago then for some reason other priorities took over and nothing more was done in that area. I have intended to create an earthcache at an old manganese mine near Storvik and have all the relevant information but not collated it yet. Maybe something to do in the dark months of winter.

Lots of empty space between the earhcaches

Lots of empty space between the earhcaches

However, due to a “Needs maintenance” log on my first cache Gavelhyttan I discovered an interesting geological object that I didn’t previously knew existed and it sparked off enough energy that I promptly went home, did some research and created my second earthcache in the area, Storsjön Konglomerat This was in good time for this years International Earthcaching Day.

As a result of me placing it, my third earthcache, and having found more than twenty (actually more than 100) I qualify as a Platinum Earthcache Master. I duly sent in my application but had no response so I had to fill in that tricky web form again.

Anyway, I have enjoyed my earthcaching activities over the past decade and am happy that in addition to the great experiences I have had that it has also resulted in the Platinum Earthcache Master icon.

Yes, I am now a Platinum Earthcache Master!

Yes, I am now a Platinum Earthcache Master!





Geocaching with muggles

23 09 2015

We have some very good friends that are muggles and from time to time they have expressed an interest in understanding what geocaching is. They are active people who enjoy treking so we suggested that we visit a couple of caches in the area so that they could see what it was all about. When I mentioned that one of my early caches was placed on Mårtensklack, a hill that is all of 274 meters not that far away from us they wanted to try geocaching as soon as possible. Considering that it is the 10th highest spot (or thereabouts) in the county of Gästrikland and the highest is at is Blacksås at 457 m you can see the attraction for “conquering” it. :-)

It was agreed that we would spend Sunday geocaching and that the search would start with a walk up to Mårtensklack starting at the railway near to road 272 then a further hunt at the area around Rönnåsen just to the north west of Ockelbo. It is possible to drive to within a couple of hundred meters of Mårtensklack due to a number of new roads in the area made to service the wind turbines that have sprouted up in the area over the past few years, but they wanted to walk the 2.5 km up to the summit. The first half of the walk is a fairly wide and flat track but at the halfway point it gets smaller and steeper culminating in quite a steep climb for the final part.

Mårtensklack

Mårtensklack

After a brief pause at the summit to look at the view, which is basically forest as far as the coast some 30 km away with the only distinguishing mark being the paper mill at Korsnäs, we hunted for the cache. I had already handed over the GPS after explaining briefly how to switch from map to compass and back and how to zoom in and out on the map so I hung back while our muggle friends took the lead. When they were about 5 m from the cache they looked lost for a while but I repeated the hint “At the base of a large rock” and as there is only one large rock there it didn’t take long for the cache to be found. The looks on their faces was pure “YES, I’ve found it!”

YES! We have found our first cache!

YES! We have found our first cache!

The walk back down to the car was followed by a five minute drive out to the main road and a pause at a new cache, this time a micro Flora #3 – Larix. Again, it was muggle Hasse who found it. From there we drove up to Rönnåsen just to the north west of Ockelbo. It’s a forerunner to the ski slope at Kungsberget and was quite popular decades ago. The cottage there was one of the early designs of the British designer Ralph Erskine who lived and worked in Sweden for most of his life. We enjoyed the view over the valley running between Ockelbo and Åmot as we ate our picnic washed down with strong black coffee. Typically Swedish of course.

Caches we found at Rönnåsen

Caches we found at Rönnåsen

From there we wandered down the hill to Semester 2013 located close to the “bear cave” rock. The tree cover was quite heavy and we ended up trudging up and down the steep hill a couple of times before I pulled out my smart phone and brought up the spoiler picture. We weren’t too far off and this time it was Lisbeth who found the cache. From there we started to head down the road towards Ockelbo and went for the multi cache Rönnåstrappan” so they could experience another type of cache. Nearly one hundred steps later. (you didn’t think I was going to tell you the correct number of steps did you? :-) ) we got to GZ where I let them hunt for the cache. The terrain was quite uneven but they did well. Knowing the CO Ironhawk67 helped me localise the cache when I was asked to help. His caches always have good coordinates and a well thought out hint. It didn’t take long to find the cache, which was in plain sight if you came from the right direction. Needless to say, a direction that you wouldn’t be coming from normally.

Another find in "interesting" terrain

Another find in “interesting” terrain

That done we ascended the many steps back up to the road and moved down to Rönnåsen 2 – Klapperstensfältet where we were amazed at the extent of the shingle field. The clue for the cache was “Under a stone – muhahaha!” (and luckily a little more). Judge for yourself if you would like that hint.

Not so easy under foot

Not so easy under foot

With the full hint Hasse nearly ran to GZ to grab the cache, and yes, it was in the right spot. The shingle field was really worth the visit. We now considered that we had had enough for the day and headed home to Gävle. Do we have some converts? I don’t know. If it is combined with treks we may have. I can’t see them climbing trees or hunting for boring micros on power trails, but you never know.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 183 other followers

%d bloggers like this: