Spring has sprung, or has it?

Gary Brown

As I write this the weather is trying to decide whether we will actually get a spring or maybe even a summer. The forecast looks good and bleak at the same time depending on which APP you use.

Whether spring comes today or in the next week or two, it is the start of the easier season for Geocaching. All those not-winter-friendly hides will be growing out of the snow and will be attainable. It is also the time to be careful with some of the other caches that may develop hazards at this time of the year.

If a geocache calls for you to go out on a river, right now, no matter how safe it looks, wait until you can either safely use a boat or the river has frozen over again next winter. This is the same for a deep ditch along some of the roads. They can be hazardous if you attempt to cross them. If you cannot go around it, wait for the ditch to dry out.

Many of the ones in some of the parks are findable now but may require that you don a pair of waterproof footwear. In any case a partner may be an asset especially if it is someone comfortable in wet areas. The alternative is to wait a few more weeks for the ground to dry out.

There are several great events coming up this year. Many CITO’s are already on the schedule as well as a number of Pub Nights (for the older set). For those who are up with the birds, a morning coffee event is always nice. These can be inside a local coffee place or if the weather is nice everyone can gather out in the parking lot. It’s actually fun.

For something a bit different, there are evening coffee events that usually have the group looking for geocaches afterwards. My personal favourite is the night caches. These are when you use a bright flashlight to try and spot reflective tacks on trees which will eventually lead you to a geocache.

The annual event at the Assiniboine Zoo will be happening on October 7. This is an all day event where you can come in to the zoo and wander around looking at the animals and displays while signing in to the various geocaches that are strategically placed in the area.

Fort Whyte Alive is having their first Geocaching Adventure on June 3. This is also an all day event and a good excuse to explore their 640 acres of prairie, forest and shoreline.

Both the Zoo and the Fort Whyte events will have an opportunity for new geocachers to take an introduction to geocaching course while attending.

And speaking of learning geocaching, an event that is usually very popular is the Unsolved Mysteries event happening on May 13 this year. This is a great opportunity to learn or sharpen your skills at solving mystery (puzzle) caches.

There is a set of concurrent events happening near Morden on June 10. The first begins at 8 a.m. and the last finishes in the early evening. They are all tied together and will prove to be a test of your endurance.

Work is being done to have a “Hands Across the Border” event where members from both the US and Canada are invited to come and enjoy a day at the International Peace Garden.

If you travel, there are events such as the Camping and Caching event in North Dakota during the last weekend of June and “Gilby Gone Wild” happens September 16.

I didn’t even touch on most of the coffee events coming up, so there is a lot of activity for Geocachers this summer. If you have not become a Premium member yet, the price for new premium members is going up on June 6th. There will be no change in price for existing members unless you let your premium membership lapse.

And back to the weather, the forecast changed three times in the short time it took to write this article.

See you on the Geocache trail.

Gary Brown is the President of the Manitoba Geocaching Association (MBGA) and can be reached at [email protected]