I was very interested in geocaching in this Alberta area because of the name, Grande Cache. There are 101 caches hidden within fifteen kilometres of Grande Cache, Alberta, including one hidden very near the large sign going into the town.
There are some interesting caches in Grande Cache that involve coal mining, wilderness trails, and the parks and playgrounds in town. I was warned by a local hotel worker not to find the ones near Sulphur Gates (which are also called Hell’s Gate by those who live there), because it wasn’t the safest place to explore in the winter.
This cache was on an icy mountaintop and the road wasn’t plowed. And he proceeded to show me a picture of why they are called Hell’s Gate. But I did find the one called Ball Diamonds which was created by the the Outdoor Education students at Grande Cache Community High School in 2012. It was close to one of the four ball diamonds near the campgrounds. All the ball diamonds have a view of the Rocky Mountains.
The hint, “just a little too big” had me trying to find the tallest tree or the tallest post on the fence, but as I neared the exact location of the cache coordinates I noticed among all the little pine cones on the ground under the trees there was one that resembled a ponderosa pine tree cone. I knew that was it. It was frozen shut so I couldn’t access the log book to sign, but I did take a picture to confirm I was there and I left the owner a note online on the geocaching.com website.
There is also a beautiful park in the area called Labyrinth Park. When you walk it, you see a 360 degree view of the mountains. All along the walk are signs on stones that remind you to breath, relax, and listen. I saw a man and his dog walking there. And when I went into the mall to look for something to eat, I found a huge bear wearing a top hat.
This bear is the perfect example of why it’s fun to geocache. You never know what you will find when you take the time to explore your surroundings.