Cape Blomidon lies along the southeast shore of the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the Minas Basin, the site of some of the world’s highest tides. The provincial park sits high on the red sandstone cape which was once the home (and perhaps it still is…) of the legendary Glooscap, the powerful man-god of the Míkmaq, First Nations People of Nova Scotia.
Since it can get quite windy up here the name ‘Blomidon’ is likely a contraction of the nautical phrase “blow me down.” However, there were no ‘blow me down’ winds this weekend! It was clear blue skies and sunny all the way through!
In addition to the great weather the weekend was filled with some hiking, lots of Geocaching, fun games, good food and great company. The organizers of this year’s Atlantic Geofest really outdid themselves!
On our way up to the park we made a short stop at The Lookoff. The view from here is breathtaking! This is one of the Evangeline Trail’s favorite attractions and from here you can see the Minas Basin and the rolling farmland of the Hants, Kings and Annapolis counties on the floor of the Annapolis Valley:
We arrived at the park about mid-afternoon and after registering at the Geofest HQ we quickly set up camp. This was the first time that we had been tenting in at least 15 years (yeah, we turned into quite the travel snobs in our old age :)) but it turned out well. In fact, we are now planning on more outings. Here’s a photo of our weekend homestead:
Here’s the beautiful kitchen area:
And our spacious bathroom:
Our digs were actually quite elaborate when compared to the spartan accommodations of experienced woodsman and Geocacher, Bluenose Climbers, who was happy to show several examples of his favorite overnight lodgings:
After setting up camp we walked a few trails and did some Geocaching. One of the caches had a nearby picnic table that offered this fantastic view of the Minas Basin:
After it got dark we went on a group Night Cache. This was a first for us. The object was to follow a trail marked by Fire Tacks. We had to find two different 35mm film cannister caches to get the coordinates for the ‘real’ cache. We used to think that finding these small caches were tough in the daylight, but not anymore! We were just glad that this was a group venture and that there were several young cachers in the group with a lot of enthusiasm and eyes that can see in the dark! 🙂
Following a trail single file at night had it’s moments. 🙂 Since the trail was a ‘rooty route’ (a new phrase coined by mrs_go) the person up the line would call out when a root was found. It went something like this, “`Root”… “Root”… “Root”… THUD! “Hole”… 🙂
After getting back from the night cache it was right to bed because we had an early wake up call. We were getting up at 5:30am for a hike up to Cape Split and we had to be at the trail head at 6:30am. We’ll do a separate post for this later.
In addition to the Cape Split hike there were plenty of other things to do for each and every one of the 66 adults and kids that attended. There was the Geofest Challenge, GeoTrivia, Kids Kache, Blomidon Bingo, Fortune Cookie Cache and Closest To The Pin games. Here’s a couple of the event organizers getting one of the kid’s game started:
The festivities were followed by a corn boil and potluck supper which was simply awesome! There was so much great food that you had to go back for seconds… and thirds. The corn was the best that we had ever tasted. It was from Bob Ansem’s U-Pick, a local farm located at 1949 Lakewood Road, Steam Mill, NS (N45 06.708 W064 30.735). There’s something to be said for getting it fresh from the farm! There was also barbequed sausages, chili and rolls, salads, cold meats, mussels and a whole slew of desserts!
The ‘kitchen staff’ was so busy preparing this meal that they were just running to and fro. Here you can see one of them moving so fast that he was just a blur :):
We had to be quick to get the following pic of the ‘buffet’ table because once the dinner bell rang it wasn’t long before there was a scramble to get the FTE (First To Eat). Here’s the winner (and no surprise!):
After the feast was over prizes were given out for the winners of the various games and draws, and there were lots of them! They were donated by local Geocachers and some companies including The Adventure Outfitters (TAO), Landsharkz, Groundspeak, Oakcoins, 3 Geeks Outdoor Store, Island Buttons and The Trail Shop. Mrs_go was the lucky winner of a Travel Bug tag for the GeoTrivia game. There were two prizes given for this game – one was given to the person who answered the MOST questions correctly and she won the other one ;). We are also now the lucky, and proud, owners of a beautiful, hand-crafted walking stick that was donated by Eastriver, of ‘First Canada Cache’ fame:
The ACGA Auction TB was also unveiled and on display this weekend:
The plaque is a mosaic of Geocacher photos from the Atlantic Canada Geocaching Association photo gallery that was designed and created by ‘Pushing Tin’ (great job!). The Travel Bug is a fundraiser with half of the money generated going to ACGA events and the other half going to a charity of the winner’s choice. Kudos to Finn, who was the winner of the auction with the highest bid of $60. Her charity of choice was Ride For Sight. Finn gets to keep the TB in her possession for a few months and then at the next event it will be up for auction again. We were outbid early in the auction so we’ll have to start socking away for the next time it makes it’s appearance!
The evening finished with a cake that was made specifically for Geofest and then there was a campfire:
Here are some more photos of the event:
We have to apologize for using so many cliché words like spectacular, fantastic, great and awesome in this post but there really is no other way to describe this weekend – the weather was so spectacular and we had such a fantastic time! We hiked our legs off, ate so much great food and met so many awesome people! 🙂
Our hats are off to the organizers of this event, The Geofest Crew: Canuck Thistles, NSS/NSD, Finn, SpiritFury, jai06, Blkhawks, 4Fitzs and eastriver. Special thanks to their helpers bluenose climbers, stagunner and down home girl. It was quite obvious that you all went up and beyond the ‘call of duty’ to ensure that this was a success, and it definitely was! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Keep on cachin’!