How do you cause a traffic jam in Cache Creek? The second annual geocaching event—sponsored by Gold Country Communities Society—provided the answer, attracting some 200 people eager to take part in a modern day “treasure hunt” that began at the Cache Creek Recreation Park on June 28.
The four-day “Passport to the Gold Trail” event put the spotlight on four area communities: Cache Creek, Spences Bridge, 70 Mile House, and Clinton. Volunteers were kept busy helping participants load GPS coordinates into their devices for the event, which featured 100 specially placed caches that will remain active after the initial hunt is over.
At 10 a.m. Cache Creek Mayor John Ranta welcomed everyone, and joked about the traffic, noting that many people had moved to the area to get away from traffic jams. A show of hands revealed that half the participants had travelled 100 miles or more to take part in the event.
David Severn probably travelled further than anyone in order to be there. The resident of Norfolk, England has been a geocacher since 2007, travelling to Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Panama, and the U.S. He has come to Canada every year since 2008 courtesy of Kamloops resident Louise Overli, with whom he stays and travels, returning the favour when Overli visits England.
“I’m a birdwatcher as well,” said Severn, whose geocaching name is Norfolkbirder. “It’s a wonderful way to combine two interests.” This is his second visit to Gold Country geocaches; he’s also been geocaching in Victoria and Alberta. Later this summer he and Overli are off to another event in Saskatchewan.
Geocaching, an extension of a 160-year-old activity called “letterboxing”, began in Oregon in 2000. Participants—most of whom use GPS devices and map coordinates—travel from location to location, uncovering caches and recording their progress in logbooks.
The Gold Country Communities Society has 144 permanent geocaches located throughout the region, situated at places that celebrate our history, geology, scenery, early industry, agriculture, First Nations, and pioneers and settlers. Two Field Guides provide map coordinates for each cache, as well as a detailed history of each cache location, along with photographs and paintings, making them ideal for geocachers and armchair travellers alike.
For more information about geocaching in Gold Country, visit the website at www.goldtrail.com.