Several times this year we’ve shared progress reports on our quest to complete our geocaching “Days of the Year” grid. And in March we described GC43F3 – Brass Cap Cache, one of our all-time favourite virtual caches. On Saturday, those two things came together and we headed out on a quest to find BCP317 – the Heritage Park Replacement location for the Brass Cap Cache.
We had a few reasons for going after that particular geocache location…
- Somehow, we ended up with a pair of passes granting us free admission to “Once Upon a Christmas” at Heritage Park. They expired Sunday, and since we hadn’t been to Heritage Park since it was re-done a few years ago, Mrs. GeoK wanted to take advantage of them;
- We needed to find a geocache on Saturday to eliminate yet another big fat zero on our “Days of the Year” grid; and
- Our nearby Bisset Wetlands cache was in need of some owner maintenance.
So despite the chilly weather, we set out for Heritage Park late Saturday morning. The roads were clogged with vehicles with fogged up windows, transporting people determined to finish their Christmas shopping. Friday night’s skiff of snow made for treacherous corners and difficult stops, but we eventually made it safely to the expansive parking lot where we were surprised to see a lot more vehicles than we expected, given the weather (approx. -30C / -22F with windchill taken into consideration).
The new entrance to the park is quite impressive. The Canadian Pacific railway station is a beautiful stone building (housing a casual restaurant) and the old-style gas pumps lining the walk just inside the gate would make the guys on Canadian Pickers drool. A half-dozen enormous bronze animal statues stared down at us from the hillside just to the left of the walking path.
We soon veered off from the hordes of visitors making their way to the Wainwright Hotel for a buffet brunch or to the Alberta Bakery to purchase brown shopping bags full of tasty treats.
Our GPSr zero’d out a short distance south of the windmill, in a spot not very consistent with the written description of where we would find the brass survey marker. So while Mr. GeoK scoured the hint area with the handheld metal detector, Mrs. GeoK used a good, old-fashioned leg sweep to clear off the snow from the area the GPSr pointed to. She soon uncovered a likely location and Mr. GeoK came over to check it with the metal detector. The distinctive vibration suggested it was a good time to get out our hand trowel, and just a few seconds later the scratched-up cap was revealed.
After taking the requisite photo and shutting down all our devices, we made a quick tour through the park, stopping just long enough to buy some sausage rolls and snap a few photos. Enjoy!