Chraxli’s mini Wonderland — Geocache of the Week

by chraxli
Ostschweiz Switzerland
N 47° 05.491 E 009° 29.866

Have you ever wondered what your town would look like shrunk to dollhouse scale? Cache owner, chraxli, not only had the vision, but he executed the idea in his own front yard! Paying homage to their local station in Wartou, whose sign is featured in the vignette, this Geocache of the Week in Eastern Switzerland is anything but Traditional.

CO chraxli's station sign in Wartou makes a special miniature appearance
CO chraxli’s station sign in Wartou makes a special miniature appearance

The village in Chraxli’s mini Wonderland features a weaving train track, bridge spanning a miniature creek, illuminated street lamps, intricate buildings, working water pump and waterwheel, grazing livestock, and a myriad of other animals. Chraxli, who maintains the scene with his wife, originally owned a simple Traditional nearby, but they felt the need to convert their unused strip of lawn into something special. “It should be something about a train in a beautiful terrain,” Chraxli said of their brainstorming process. “The idea haunted our minds for some more time and we finally got to work in the spring of 2017.

The train emerges from a gated tunnel with caboose in tow
The train emerges from a gated tunnel with caboose in tow

The project took around ten weeks from groundbreaking to completion of the technical and water-based features. The star of this cache is undoubtedly the train that connects the different features in the village. Its tracks weave through the alpine scene while it transports the access key to the cache container right to the geocacher via a START button. Once pressed, the train emerges from a gated tunnel with caboose in tow, proudly carrying its precious cargo (passengers, too!). “The control is handled by a microprocessor,” chraxli explained, “which monitors the function and detects faults and informs us via SMS.”  

Miniature farm animals look on as the train passes by
There are five miniature animals in this picture — can you spot them all?

The extensive amount of care that went into the implementation of this cache as well as the labor of love in preventing the moving elements’ technical failure are evident. That effort has been richly rewarded by the positive logs and Favorite points that have steadily poured in over the last year. “When we are at home when cachers come here, we can meet them and have a short conversation,” chraxli remarked. “In my opinion, this is the reward of each cache owner and should be the [incentive] to all others to publish great caches or caches in nice places.”

A miniature working spigot, waterwheel, and street lamp
A miniature working spigot, waterwheel, and street lamp

“For us, geocaching is about the experience, the great caches and beautiful places that are remembered that you would never have seen without geocaching,” chraxli said. True to his word, Chraxli’s mini Wonderland is sure to make tracks in the years to come as a memorable experience, both for his family and the cachers that visit. “Never give up the ambition to create awesome caches…then the joy is biggest on both sides!”

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Delanie is a Community Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. In her free time, she is most likely to be knitting, pining after Mt. Rainier, or trying to revive her over-watered succulents.