We have been fortunate enough to be assigned a fun task while here at Snow Mountain Ranch. In the past, we have enjoyed geocaching between activities. The kids love finding the hidden treasures and trading out trinkets. Our first year here, we were exploring the old mining cave, and stumbled upon our first cache – we were so excited about it, we had to look for more!
Over the years, the program fell by the wayside and many of the caches have disappeared. Trueman allowed us to revive the program by figuring out which caches are still there, and replacing the others. His lovely wife, Wendy, donated a bunch of water bottles to the cause and we collected some trinkets from our car and friends.
The last few days have been spent looking for caches, creating new ones, replanting them, and revising the clues.
Caches can be found at 18 locations, including the Rowley homestead,
beaver dams, waterfall,
mining cabin, cave,
2 of the 5 Snow Mountain peaks,
Nine Mile trailhead, Nine Mile trail,
and the yurt village.
Thankfully, whatever guests have been with us were happy to go along for the ride.
While down at s’mores one day, we looked for the caches at the Just Ranch and Reunion Cabins, and came out ½.
Many of the clues have become outdated – for example, the one inside the grill was supposed to be with the salad dressing, which is no longer kept out. After asking where the salad dressing was, we got lucky and found it behind an old computer desk.
Some of the caches have moved from in a tree to a under a pile of rocks, like the beaver dam.
Others like the waterfall are gone, so we replaced them.
The cache at the Meditation Labyrinth was either eaten or destroyed by the elements when we found it.
The most difficult ones to find are on Snow Mountain, a hard 6 mile hike straight up and down. One early morning (we even ran into 3 moose that day!),
the boys and I hiked up only to discover both were missing, but rest assured, they are now replaced and ready for someone to find!
The other hike was up Nine Mile Mountain, and we found ½ there in the mailbox.
The Beintums joined us for the adventurous search on a sunny afternoon.
It was a lot more work than we thought to get things in order, but after 2 weeks at SMR, it’s done! We have replanted all of the caches, and now that we have retyped all the clues, hope that geocaching will be back in action for many families who vacation at Snow Mountain Ranch!