International Geocaching Day

23 08 2011

Now that I have been back at work for a couple of weeks not a lot of my free time has been set aside for geocaching, but the few that I have found have nearly all been out in the forests and meant that there were walks associated with them. No drive-bys in other words. I learnt yesterday that the new series of caches that were released a couple of months ago with the County Council to promote the national parks in the area were done by an experienced geocacher – Apeshaft. It’s a great initiative to increase the knowledge about the parks and get people to visit them more often. Many of them are only reachable on certain of the many forest roads that there are in the area as many of the other roads have barriers across them and only allow logging vehicles through. The grey track of 19.6km is the way I drove out and the 13.8km orange track is the way I drove back as I was lucky that the barrier just north of C13EWD – Butterfly Road was open.

Lots of gravel roads in the forests

As the map shows there are a few caches in the area, all of which I have found at some time or another. After the visit to Långhällskogen I continued on to Bear Lake which also entailed a walk of 45 min to and back from the cache. It was a warm sunny mosquito free evening so the 4km walk was very enjoyable.

A new cache – Shining Bird – was released on Friday morning, just a kilometer from my home, but I was at work 30km away so there was nothing more to do than wait until SR88 had logged an FTF for the cache. I was very surprised to see that another four cachers found it before I got there. It is located in the forest just off a track joining two roads so theoretically an easy find. I decided on Saturday morning after running a couple of errands to look for the D1.5/T3 cache. The only thing was that it was pouring down so that the tracks in the forest more resembled streams. Oh, and I didn’t have my GPS with me, nor my smartphone. I didn’t even have a watch on me. Needless to say the quick walk into the forest wasn’t as quick as I expected but I found the cache which was an achievement I am really pleased with. Slas who I did some caching with on Sunday said it was difficult to find even with a GPS!

It was nice to learn that I found the Shining Bird cache on International Geocaching day, despite the torrential rain, and that another geocaching souvenir would be added to my measly collection.
My geocaching souvenirs
Does anyone out there know if there is a listing of all the souvenirs?`

In addition to geocaching I am also an amateur radio operator(call sign SA3ARQ), mostly interested in the use of radio in digital communications (e.g. Connecting my GPS to a radio and through APRS showing my location on Google maps – ) or in connection with rally competitions or as on this occasion in a portable contest.

Anyway, once we were done with the contest Slas and I decided to pick up a few caches on the way home. There is a major river in Sweden called Dalälven and at the small village of Gysinge known for its manor house and mosquitos we decided to look for a few caches. As I have found some caches in Gysinge on earlier visits I watched Slas find a cache on his own under the observation of the geocaching team from Motala called helnot who had just found 2 & 2 är 4. The favourite of the day was
En gång en lång en closely followed by Inte så lång. In 1900 the Sala – Gysinge – Gävle railway was built and to cross the river Dalälven two long bridges had to be built. Rail traffic stopped in 1972 but the bridges are still intact and it is possible to walk across them if you watch your footing and don’t start looking at the views unless you are standing still.

The 111 year old railway bridge over Dalälven that we crossed to get to the cache.

Slas crossing Dalälven on the old railway bridge

Following on from the caches we found in Gysinge we stopped once again in Hedesunda where Liljekonvaljdungen was quickly found and then after a 300m bushbashing walk up the hill so was Skogshällar i Ölbo. Other cachers have reported seeing moose. We just saw moose droppings and tics, which are horrible little creatures.




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