Geocaching Banff

We headed to Banff this morning with the goal of finding 3 brass caps for GC43F3 along with 6 other geocaches. Our last stop in the Banff townsite was back in early January, when the weather wasn’t very cooperative and we cut our visit short.
Today we had much greater success, with the sole exception of one brass cap which, it turns out, was archived in April. There’s clear a deficiency with Mrs. GeoKs’ methods for maintaining our Brass Caps database in GSAK, so this will prompt a review and some improvements to procedures!
Our walk through downtown Banff was very enjoyable, except for the fact that the pedestrian crosswalk signals seem to take forever before they give the go ahead. We spotted three possible new waymarks, which Mrs. GeoK will submit in the next few days, plus she was able to log a visit to another waymark in the town. The prettiest sight was from the Bow River Bridge.

South of the townsite we gathered the necessary information to log an earthcache and took a 4.5 km walk to find a traditional hidden in 2002, before the new National Parks geocaching policy came into effect. It was interesting to look at some of the swag in the cache, such as a 2004 wall calendar!!

The best part of the day was walking through lower and upper Bankhead, or, more accurately, what used to be Bankhead, before the CPR bypassed the coal mining town and it was packed up and moved, with some of the mining equipment abandonned on sight and foundations left in place. Don’t Eat the Rhubarb shows as a traditional cache, but is really a mystery cache. Perhaps that category didn’t exist in 2002, when this cache was submitted. It required a walk through the lower townsite, to gather information from many of the interpretive plaques. Youngest GeoKid had a great time reading the signs and coming up with the answers. Then, with a bit of math (which we double-checked), we had a final set of coordinates, which Oldest GeoKid entered into the GPSr. He also led the way to the cache location, which turned out to be a very straightforward find.

The second cache, which is mostly in upper Bankhead, is a virtual: Cascade Ghosts. This one required only 3 stops, although the third one gave Mrs. GeoK a bit of trouble and she had to call in a grumbling Mr. GeoK for help. It’s a good thing we always bring the walkie-talkies along on family outings, as it allows for easy communication where our cell phones don’t always work.



Our final stop was at Johnson Lake, which was pretty busy with rafters and swimmers. It must have been pretty cold!! Mrs. GeoK made the short walk through the trees on the southwestern shore of the lake and took several minutes to locate the cache on account of tremendous signal bounce. Thankfully the cache description was most helpful and the hint was generous enough to allow for a find.

Total walking distance today was 10.9 km, with 8 caches found. It was a fairly long day, as we left home shortly after 8 and didn’t get back until 5, but that included a stop at the Dairy Queen in Canmore to enjoy some Blizzard treats and make an unsuccessful search for just one more cache! Alas, it was not to be…maybe next time.

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  1. Pingback: Hiking Banff NP – C-Level Cirque | Out and About with the GeoKs

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