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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.