After two years of planning, I made it! Technically, I made it the evening before. There was that Event that I popped into for a little bit before I hit the TARDIS. That was more to figure out where this was and to find a couple of other attendees. I had recently picked up a couple of trackables, and their owners were both local to the area. I contacted them both, and they were happy to have their trackables come back to them! I also took some time to pick up some Adventure Labs. I had a lot to do the next day, and I needed to get closer to … well, we’ll discuss that later.
The main reason this event was important to me is that it was my first Giga-Event. A Mega-Event reaches a size of five hundred people. A Giga-Event reaches five thousand people. This one is only the tenth Giga and the second in North America (the first being a previous GeoWoodstock). Additionally, it’s the first GeoWoodstock in Canada. I couldn’t not be there.
It all kicked off with some words and a song of greeting from a Councillor of the Sumas First Nation. I don’t know if there was a legal requirement or if it was purely out of respect, but it’s only meet and proper to honor the land’s original inhabitants. Despite the political maps devised in the Western world, it is still their home, and we’re just visitors—especially I. It feels rare to see such things, especially down here in the US.
Next up, a few words from Bryan Roth (for those of you who are muggles or living the life of a techno-hermit, he is the President of Geocaching HQ and a co-founder of the game) and the event organizers. One of those aforementioned trackables belongs to them. They dropped it in West Texas, and it somehow inexplicably got to Austin. After they spoke, the Giga was officially on!
The funny thing is that since I registered two years ago, I forgot what kind of registration package I had signed up for, so I had no earthly idea what kind of surprise present I was going to end up with. Ending up with an event coin was both surprising and completely expected at the same time!
It was a bit crazy meeting other black cachers in the wild! There are literally dozens of us! I was especially happy to get a chance to meet PeoriaBill, the first Charter Member I’ve ever met!
Oh, yeah, there was my second Maze, too! Funnily enough, I also ran into a bunch of other Blue Shirts there! We put our heads together regarding who we had seen up there and counted eighteen of us in attendance.
I ended up nipping out for a little bit to grab some more caches in the area but made it back in time for the closing ceremonies. They featured a small group of folks who had attended all eighteen GeoWoodstocks and announced where next year’s would be. Barring weirdness (or a global pandemic or something similar), Owensboro, Kentucky! Now that I have attended ten percent of all Gigas, maybe I’ll run up the score? We shall see.
Ended up grabbing a few more caches before hitting an evening/late-night Event, Midnight Madness! And, of course, I accomplished my actual goal for this trip, the true reason I came back to Canada in the first place …
… poutine! It had been so long, and it was as good as I remembered!
But soon after, once trackables were delivered, poutine was consumed, and caches upon caches were logged, I had to call it a night. I slept a sleep of contentment (which is odd because I usually enjoy the sleep of the just, but whatever). After a quick stop at Canada’s national coffee place, Tim Horton’s, in the morning, I crossed back into the United States. I went down through the coastal areas to make it to a ferry that would depart from…