Geocaching – Calgary Downtown

It’s clear our passion for geocaching has waned…here we are, more than 2 months into 2011, and we’d yet to find a single geocache in our home town!! So when a new geocache hidden in downtown Calgary was published this morning, and Mrs. GeoK had to be downtown for only the second time this year, she decided it was past time to earn a 2011 Calgary smiley.

When we have to go downtown (not very frequently), we tend to park either at Mountain Equipment Co-op ($1 for 2 hours, but we almost always head into the store for at least a few minutes and end up buying something) or the Calgary Parking Authority’s Lot 59 ($0.50 per half hour – read the fine print, it’s a ParkPlus lot). Hints of spring in the air, coupled with a desire to avoid the bottle depot on 10th Avenue SW, led us to the city parking lot just off Memorial Drive today. From there, it was an enjoyable walk through Prince’s Island Park, where signs of spring included some colourful Calgary Parks 100 banners and signs warning all of us (not smart enough to use our powers of observation) to stay off the outdoor ice rink.

Upon reaching the Eau Claire area, it was time to head west, in search of the newly published geocache. Approaching the posted coordinates just before 11 am, there wasn’t much chance of earning FTF honours. But there was a real chance of being observed by any one of the many smokers enjoying the warmer temperatures or any of the customers entering / exiting the Shaw building. So it was time to bring out the camera and practice that tried and true muggle deception technique: “I’m just taking pictures.” By placing the camera down, making adjustments to the settings, taking gloves off and putting them back on, the short search went unnoticed by the muggles in the area, and the cache was soon in hand. Sure enough, Homann Hunters were FTF at 9 am, but GeoKs were second to find!

Bison sculpture by Joe Fafard, placed outside the Shaw building in downtown Calgary

After taking a couple more pictures, it was time to head east along the Bow River pathway system, headed in the general direction of the Suncor Energy tower, for noon hour choir rehearsal. It’s been so long since we geocached in Calgary, a short detour through Sien Lok Park netted another geocache find: GC2D6RY Out in the Open. This is a great urban hide – not entirely original, but well-executed.

Stopped to take a couple more pictures just before rehearsal, including this one:

Row of transit benches at downtown Calgary bus stop

According to the GPSr, there’s a cache hidden here somewhere, but it’ll have to wait until next week, as it’s time to sing.

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