Green December

30 12 2013

December has been a very quiet month from the geocaching perspective with just a handful of days when I have been out hunting for caches. The geocache map of my home town Gävle is mostly covered in smileys and of the thirty remaining unfound caches within 5 km of home twenty are mystery caches or traditional caches that haven’t sparked enough interest for me to hunt for (read urban micros). What made December a little different was that I had made a small wager with a sibling geocacher – ger of zelger. Could they reach a total of 1000 finds before the end of the year and before I found 1000 finds for this year? I believe that at the end of November they had just six to go and I had 47 to find.

On December 19 they had just four caches left to find and I still had thirty on my list. As the thirty close to home are either tricky mysteries or boring micros I decided that I would need to look further afield and my choice ended up just to the north west of Falun. This was the closest power trail and hopefully still in an area where snow was not going to be an issue as we have a green December this year.

Caches to the NW of Falun

Caches to the NW of Falun

The Haghed PT consists of forty five caches placed by two cachers. I left home in the dark around 07:30 and arrived at the first cache just as daylight was breaking an hour and a bit later. The whole way to the first cache was on sealed, snow and ice-free roads. When I turned off onto the unsealed road where the trail was there was a little ice but no snow in the forest.

Not so much ice at the start of the trail.

Not so much ice at the start of the trail.

However, as I progressed along the trail quickly finding the green film canisters all at a decent height from the ground the road deteriorated. Driving on ice on a flat road isn’t too bad but the track got narrower with rutted ice and small steep hills.
When I got to cache #33 I decided that prudence was in order and turned back the way I came. I had found the required 30 caches so there was no need to carry on and risk getting stuck as there was absolutely no traffic on the road.

This part of the road was steeper than it looks - time to turn back.

This part of the road was steeper than it looks – time to turn back.

When I got back on to the sealed roads I had the chance to walk around the old mine spoil heap and admire the view over the lake – rather foreboding sight even though it was around 11 am.

Österå - an interesting mining site

Österå – an interesting mining site

A view from the top of the Österå spoil heap.

A view from the top of the Österå spoil heap.

The result of the morning’s caching was reaching my target of 1000 caches this year. zelger waited until Christmas Day to log their 1000th find. My (probably) final caches for 2013 were four mystery caches in Gävle.

Paul Hardcastle

The first of the four has had me scratching my head and gnashing my teeth for a year. As seems to be the case, once the key to the mystery was found it was simple. I was accompanied with my partner and oldest grandson who was more impressed with the graffiti than the caches.

Is graffiti art?

Is graffiti art?

So if I don’t find any more caches in the last two days of 2013 I will just wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.




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