What’s a T5 without a struggle, right?
Not all caches are puzzles hidden in plain sight. For some caches, the challenge is the journey itself. This Geocache of the Week is an example of just how far some geocachers are willing to go!
In September, three intrepid cachers set out to claim a First To Find on a lonely cache in the Canadian wilderness. But this wasn’t just any old geocache! They Would Have Loved It (GCGGGV) waited more than 20 years to be found and sets the record for the oldest unfound geocache in the world.
Created by brothers Hillbillies and Spicer-n-Jessi, They Would Have Loved It (GCGGGV) pays tribute to their late father and grandfather, avid fishermen who spent many summers fishing in the Canadian province of Ottawa in the 1950s. After visiting Lake Monroe in 2003, Hillbillies and Spicer-n-Jessi decided to place a cache near their favorite lunch spot, a place they were sure their father and grandfather would have loved too.
After several years without a find, a typical cache owner might feel disheartened. But not Hillbillies! Hillbillies and his family visit this cache regularly, even replacing it in 2021 after forest fires damaged the original container and charred the logbook.
Then, after 20 patient years, three brave and (self-described) stupid geocachers took on the challenge to find this elusive cache. Langlie, HeineHunter, and essap2 spent two days paddling and bushwhacking to reach this cache, making their way nearly 11 miles (17.5 km) through impenetrable brush, harsh terrain, relentless bugs, and forest fire debris—all while carrying a canoe.
“Sure, we could have flown in on a floatplane for a quick grab, but what fun would that have been?” recalls Langlie. “We were primed for some paddlin’, but nothing prepared us for dragging a canoe through the woods, burn, and all other areas.”
Their harrowing journey took two days to complete. First, by car, on an old road which slowly became overgrown by saplings. As the tree cover grew, the brave trio were forced to park the car and hike, as Essap2 describes: “I may not be articulating this the best, but bushwacking with a canoe is very tough.”
Next, the team slogged their way through a highland bog before reaching the first of five lakes. From here, they alternated between paddling and carrying their canoe between bogs, lakes, and burned forests before making camp.
The next morning, the team awoke from their sweet dreams of T1 caches and resumed their journey through more bogs, burned forests, and even a cliff. Reaching the last lake, the team was nearly thwarted by a massive beaver dam, which forced them to carry their canoe one last time. But they prevailed and finally reached GZ. After a quick search, the team spotted the new cache container and signed the original (and slightly-charred) logbook. Now for the journey home…
This Geocache of the Week is dedicated to all the cachers out there who love the far-flung lonely caches hidden deep in the wilderness. Hats off to Langlie, HeineHunter, and essap2 for showing us what geocachers can do when they put their mind to it!
“One of the joys of geocaching for me is that it takes you places you would never have known existed. T5s are usually beautiful and rewarding, as was this one.” ― HeineHunter
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Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.