Many anxious geocachers set alerts to ping them when a new geocache is published. Within minutes of going live, a geocacher rushed to claim the FTF (First to Find). In the case of one lonely geocache, in an uninhabited swath of Canada, it took nearly 12 years for a brave and determined geocacher to venture into the wilderness and sign the logbook. 4.5lb Walleye (GCDFB) was hidden June 23, 2001. It registered its first find on June 8, 2013 by geocacher Stormgren-X. Here’s his story.
The idea for finding this geocache came to Stormgren-X months before he set out. “I planned the trip myself over a six month period from researching the route, history, other accounts of this amazing canoe route, food, gear, and logistics of getting to the launch site and getting out and back home,” he said, “I was prepared to do the trip solo, but managed to convince my life-long friend to join me on this amazing journey along this historical canoe route.”
On the day before they left, Stormgren-X posted about their journey in the Geocaching Forums and included a link to the Spot tracking page, “I expected a few people on the geocache watchlist to perhaps follow along from time to time. By the time we reached Fort Albany and were set up in our lodge, I…was overwhelmed to see 375 replies to my thread. It was amazing and I felt great that so many people were watching and cheering us on…So many emails of encouragement and positive comments. We were pleased that we offered some sort of live entertainment and discussion to the geocaching community on our journey…”
From there, the real adventure began. The first two days of canoeing proved to be the most difficult. Stormgren-X recalls, “The winds and rain were non-stop and made for freezing toes and fingers, [and] poor morale…” After the initial problems, the weather cleared and made for an enjoyable trip. On the eighth day, they reached ground zero and finally found the geocache, “…I saw a foreign object. It looked like a rounded corner of something, and I grabbed it between index finger and thumb and pulled on it. I easily pulled it out from it’s hiding spot under the moss and yelled at Gord, “Here it is! I found it!”I placed it on the ground and immediately took notice that it was intact and contents were still inside.”
Regarding the trip, Stormgren-X said, “The eight and a half days we spent on this arctic watershed adventure is one I won’t soon forget. Being immersed in that environment, without communication with the outside world, and seeing so few people was so refreshing from the busy and modern life we are so accustomed to. The historic places we visited and the thoughts of men and women who toiled in this land to make a life for themselves was astounding. Many times we felt so small and insignificant in such a vast wilderness, but so connected to it at the same time. To travel 435 km along such a huge waterway and not see many people, any roads, bridges, railways, dams, or industry is something difficult to find in this world. I consider myself lucky to have experienced the voyage and the great memories.”
To hear more about this amazing journey, check out the Podcacher podcast that features an interview with Stormgren-X. You can also read the full write-up. Geocaching milestones of this caliber are out there, just waiting to be found. Will you be the next adventurer to earn one of these epic smileys?
Also: enjoy a few more photos of the trip courtesy of Stormgren-X: