GCQGMR - Strachan Tract Cache - Simcoe County Forest
FTF #6! This cache showed up on the radar Sunday morning and I scored an FTF even though I didn't arrive at the trail head until just after 10:00 am. This cache is located in beautiful and natural mixed hardwood forest that anybody will enjoy walking in. But this cache really shines if you like mountain biking. The parking coordinates are the trail head for the fabled 8th Wander, a carefully planned cornucopia of singletrack.
This FTF proved to be great fun, especially due to the coincidence surrounding it. Our Ghost Town "Josephine" cache had just been published late on a Tuesday evening. The next morning, local geocacher "Swifteroo" headed out and scored the FTF. That same evening, I came home and found notification of this cache published by Swifteroo in my inbox. So I hopped on my bike, headed down, and was FTF!
Mono-Cliffhanger, REV-B" is a multi-stage cache located in Mono Cliffs Provincial Park on the Niagara Escarpment, near Hockley Valley. I did this cache on my mountain bike and ended up riding way further than I had to (it happens) on a hot and steamy day, draining my camelbak dry well before the end. Luckily, some lost hikers I had helped out earlier showed up when I was in dire need (still looking for their car) and they gave me a large hit of juice.
This pair of caches are located in Algonquin Park. We parked in the lot for the popular -- and often crowded -- Algonquin Lookout Trail, which leads to "Algonquin on Foot." First, though, we crossed the road to search for the "Algonquin Lookout South Trail" cache. This trail is unmarked, and hidden from the masses. The hike is longer, and the view to the south is even more spectacular, taking in hundreds of square kilometers.
This pair of caches -- "Nottawasaga Bluffs" and "Lookout Valley" -- are both located on the Nottawasaga Bluffs and together make an excellent hiking loop (especially in the fall). Since we did this loop in the fall of 2004, a third cache -- "Seize the Day" -- has appeared by the Keyhole Caves, giving us a perfect excuse to return in the fall of 2005. (Of course, the scenery around here is a good enough excuse to make a visit!)
The problem was the weeds: They were taller than we were! Then we got into the swamp a bit, and had to jump from clump to clump, hanging on to the weeds for balance. But we made it, and it was worth it!