Sunday, December 23, 2012

12 September 2012 Oh Canada

I was excited. It has been years since we have been to Canada. It has been so long that we last visited before we were geocaching. I used to spend time near Picton each summer when I was in college. Ali and I have circled around a couple of Great Lakes on fun vacations, but there always seems to be other places to visit. Today, the whole day was Canada's. Almost...

On our way to the border, we drove past a DEC boat launch area with a multicache. We're not going to pass by a multi-cache so we stopped in for the find. The cache was an off-set multi and one of the types where you need to add water to float out the container with the log. When we floated the container, we were both surprised to see a grey tree frog sitting on the container as the cache guardian. After a few photos and some laughs at our find we gently released the great-looking frog into the woods.

I was prepared. I had my Canadian (Tire) money ready. :-)

I let Ali drive across so I could play with the camera.

I was really anticipating a fun day in Canada. Seeing the flag come into view as we crested the bridge was a great sight.

We made a stop at Tim's as soon as we crossed the border.

We spent the day playing tourists and stayed close to the water most of the day. I was hoping we would spot a chip van so Ali could partake. We came close a couple times, but no luck. The blue church below was the founding site of the Methodist Church in Canada. The old church is surrounded by a historic cemetery. The church was closed, but it was still possible to peek through the windows and shoot around the sunlight for an image of one of the windows.

We stopped for a visit in Prescott. The home of the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival, a nice old, lighthouse, and a quiet marina. Owning a larger boat and spending time on the water is in thoughts past, but there is still that pang inside of me that would love to spend a few days with my rod and reel on a boat.

At $95 for a season's pass, the Shakespeare Festival may be the bargain of the year in an outdoor venue not much different than the Bard may have experienced.

We both really enjoyed discovering this lighthouse on our journey. The geocache at the site was missing, but the landhouse is a Canadian Historical site. The structure started life in the 1820's as a windmill. In 1838 it was the site of the Battle of the Windmill. The building became a lighthouse in the 1870's and remained in service for over 100 years. We also got to visit a Canadian benchmark at the site. They reminded me of Daleks which brought out a round of exterminate... exterminate each one we saw. To any confused readers, you need to understand Dr. Who to understand the Daleks. We were at the lighthouse in time to take a tour, but the building was closed for the day. :-( Maybe if we return...

We must have behaved ourselves. Canada let us leave and the US welcomed us back. The border guard on the Canadian side must have seen more than a few geocachers. When he asked what we had been doing and I said geocaching, he looked at all the gps units and said he understood. He waved us through with a smile on his face.

It was near-perfect day. I got us sidetracked a bit with the weird idea of a two-country, six-icon, busy-day challenge cache. We got to Canada with the multi covered and had plans for a few challenges to cover the unknown icon and a virtual. Ali knew where there was a letterbox and the traditional is easy. That left a whereigo (wasn't going to happen), a web cam (there were none nearby), or an earthcache. There were surprisingly few earthcaches on the Canadian side and by the time we returned to the US side, it was too late. Besides, they are almost as low as whereigo's on my list of caches I want to find. It seems as though I should have learned my lesson last year that busy day challenges aren't for me. In all but the most perfect of conditions, they take too much running around to get the icons and end up being a distraction. I should just learn it is much better to have an extra hour or so to have fun and toss the busy-day out the window.

Hopefully our next visit to the wonderful land to the north will not wait as long as this one to happen.

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