By Joe Tisdale — I’ve been geocaching for over thirteen years now and have travelled throughout North America seeking those little containers hidden in some truly awesome spots.
I found my first ever geocache right here in Napanee on January 12, 2009. It was called “Paper House” and it was located at N 44° 15.577 W076° 58.257, or for you non-geocachers, near Walmart. Being new to Napanee and not knowing much of the area, I thought it would be a good idea to use geocaching as a way to tour my new home town, and that is just what I did.
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I started out with some easy finds in Napanee, eventually expanding my searches throughout the county, each day discovering the unspoiled beauty of Lennox & Addington. A few months into my new passion I met a local geocacher who had grown up in the area. We became fast friends and have set out on some wild adventures over the years.
Here is one of our favourite Lennox & Addington County geocaching stories.
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I was at home one summer evening when I received an email alert: a new series of caches was just published… and they are only 37 kilometres from my house! I quickly logged into Geocaching.com and see that they’re within the Sheffield Conservation Area. It sounded like a nice place to visit… the only problem was it was already 8pm and the sun was setting.
The next thing we know, my geocaching partner and I are heading north from Napanee to find 15 new geocaches. We arrived at the Sheffield Conservation Area at about 9pm. It’s getting rather dark but we decide to go for it anyway.
We were excitedly racking up the prestigious “First to Find” honours on each of these caches. But after some time walking along beautiful hiking trails, climbing granite rocks and skimming the water’s edge, we suddenly realized that we were kind of lost.
Remember, we’re both holding expensive GPS receivers that are linked to multi-million dollar satellites up in the sky. But it’s dark – I mean very dark – with nothing to see except a sky full of stars overhead.
The sound of the snapping and crackling branches and the rustling leaves have us both on edge. Luckily we know where we parked, as it’s marked on our GPS. And technically we know where we are, as it too is flashing on our display. The problem was that there is a huge body of water between us and the car. We had no intention of swimming, but getting back on the trail was not going to be easy. After a few false starts and some dead ends we finally make it back to our car: at 1am.
During that fun but somewhat stressful evening we had located 12 of the 15 new geocaches. There were still three left for us to find, so we decide that we weren’t going to let Sheffield Conservation Area beat us!
At 9am we met back where we were parked only a few hours earlier. This time we have daylight to our advantage. Normally, finding three geocaches would take us about an hour, but we were having so much fun recalling our night time adventure, enjoying the trails and the wildlife that we came across, we did not leave the Sheffield Conservation Area until 3pm.
It certainly was a fun and eventful geocaching outing that neither of us will soon forget. We return to the Sheffield Conservation Area whenever new containers are hidden there. But we learned our lesson: we now seek out these treasures only during the daylight hours.
Find out about more L&A County geocaching adventures at www.LandAGeocaching.com.