(Part 1 of a 2 part story… read Part 2)
Sometimes history sneaks up on you… while you’re trying to preserve the future.
It happened to a group of geocachers clearing garbage from a roadside marshland just west of Calgary, Alberta. The geocaching event is called a CITO (Cache in Trash Out). The group cleans up geocaching friendly locations. They had already found and removed a room-sized carpet, a fractured row boat and a steel rope. The location they chose to help cleanup is a wild space frequented by migratory birds. Jean-Francois Cianci (known in the Geocaching word as Monkeyturtle) was headed back to the meeting area when his team decided to clean up one more patch of land.
That’s when a patient message’s 44-year wait to be opened ended. Jean-Francois said, “The message in the bottle discovery came towards the end of the event. We were walking back to the gathering point, alongside the road, and decided to pick some of the garbage we had missed. The bottle was in plain view, near some bushes so I decided to pick it up. That’s when I noticed it had a piece of paper in it with a date. I was in bit shock to find a note with such an old date on it.”
He said the mystery began immediately, “The bottle looked old and we pulled strange enough things that day that we thought it was real from the beginning.” When he opened the bottle and removed the note, he also unlocked a nearly 50-year-old challenge by two girls from July 7, 1970. The note asked the finder to do some finding of their own. Thankfully geocachers are known to be especially good at finding. Jean-Francois had to contact the two girls, now women, who dropped the message in the bottle nearly a half century earlier.
The note read:
“Anyone finding this bottle please contact: Darilyn Yates and Georgia Love… ”
The message in the bottle sparked a small quest that would take weeks.