Our first personal geocoin is in production at the mint and we hope to have it in hand late October / early November.
At 2206 meters (7170 feet), Highwood Pass is the highest point in Canada that can be reached by paved roadway. Many of our favourite hikes in the Canadian Rockies start at the Highwood Pass Day Use parking lot or nearby parking areas and so far we’ve hidden over a dozen geocaches on the mountains shown in 3D relief on the front of the geocoin. The meadow adjacent to GC1GG69 Pocaterra Cirque is Mrs. GeoKs’ favourite spot in the whole world.
We’ve been hiking with our kids for 5 years now, and always try to be prepared for any eventuality. Even so, there have been a couple of times we’ve been caught without all the necessary gear, so in addition to full rain gear, tuques and gloves for everyone, we now consider all the items shown on the reverse of the coin to be essential geohiking equipment: a good multi-tool, our backpacks with trekking poles, comfortable Gortex-lined hiking books, our camera (this one is our oldest GeoKid’s Canon G9), bear spray and an air horn (to scare any bears away), a good first aid kit, our GPSr, and lots of water and food to keep our GeoKids fueled up while on the trail.
The benchmark in the centre of the coin represents the Canada Geodetic Survey marker closest to the summit of Highwood Pass. The marker was installed in the 1950s, but an attempt by the Canadian Geological Survey to confirm its location in the 1980s was unsuccessful. This past summer we tried to locate the marker, without success; we plan to try again next year.
Our coin is 45 mm across and 5 mm thick. The minting process required 4 dies: one for the "trackable at geocaching.com text on the edge of the coin, one for the front, one for the back and a separate one for the benchmark. Our Highwood Pass geocoin will have a custom icon on gc.com.
We’re minting a total of 500 coins. One hundred will be available for sale on the landsharkz website; the "landsharkz edition" will feature satin and polished nickel metal finishes with red and black paints. Our main "trade only" version will the Canadian edition featured in the photos: antique silver with antique copper benchmark, red and white paints (125 minted).
We’ll wait until we have all the coins in hand before deciding which other editions we’ll be trading, keeping, using for prizes, donating, etc.