I got off the bus at Royal Parade, Ashgrove in Brisbane’s northern suburbs. Last night I had loaded an 10km trail of geocaches into my Garmin 800. The trail would take me along the Enoggera Creek Bicycle Trail from Ashgrove to the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital just north of the city centre. I decided to run the trail on foot.
The bikeway itself is mostly a smooth and flat concrete path that is flanked by trees and gardens. There are a few brief sections where the path moves onto quiet suburban streets and wanders through sports fields. But the path is mostly a dedicated bicycle and pedestrian pathway.
The bikeway is well-signed so it made navigation a breeze.
I had a fantastic time running from one geocache location to the next, stopping only to search for the caches. The cache hiding places varied from tree stumps to magnetic caches attached to signs and everything in between. I found twelve caches in total along the 11km trail, which isn’t a bad hit rate. I was unable to find one and was muggled for two (being muggled is when you are unable to search for a cache due to the presence of non-cachers).
The cache of the day was Bikeway Spencer. I think I was a bit lucky to find it because my GPS said I was still 10m from the cache location when I stopped to lean on the metal pole to think. The cap moved and my brain switched straight to ‘here’s the cache’ mode.
After my successful morning geo-run along the Enoggera Creek Bike Way I met my partner for lunch then went into the Brisbane CBD to continue my geocaching adventures. This time I walked instead of running because I had plenty of time and only 6.5km to travel.
My geowalk took me to many iconic Brisbane locations, such as the Old Mill, Parliament House and the Botanic Gardens. I love my home city and feel proud to be a local. I love the way the sandstone heritage buildings contrast against our bright blue skies. I love the open green spaces. And I love that my city feels like home.
Like many Australian capitals, Brisbane has a proud maritime heritage and we embrace our river as the focal point of our city. Yachts are moored on almost every bend and our bridges form the solid foundation to the flowing water and bobbing, turning yachts.
During my CBD geowalk I found all eight geocaches that I had loaded into my Garmin 800. One of them was a nano so I decided to photograph it to show you just how small these can be. This nano is typical of the style currently favoured in the Australian cities where I have cached. They are my favourite caches because they are so tiny that they can be magnetised to some creative locations, such as statues and street signs. Eclipse mint containers are currently the most popular micro-sized containers and I found many of them today.
As an off-season training activity, I am thoroughly enjoying geocaching. The activity is giving me solid time on my feet. It also helps me keep my pace down. This is important because I have a history of leg injuries, particularly shin splints and ITB syndrome. Finding the balance between building a base and staying injury free has historically been a challenge for me. During my georuns, I tend to run 150m – 1.5km between caches, walk as I search for the cache, and stand / sit still while logging the cache and identifying the next cache. This keeps the pressure on my legs down.
Geocaching is probably a good help for adventure racing too because I have to plan the most efficient route between caches and navigate to specific locations. It also helps me ‘dial in’ my eye so that I can find the cache, which is more difficult than finding checkpoints because caches tend to be well hidden. So today counts as a big solid training day.
- 10.38km run with 12 geocaches found
- 6.32km walk with 8 geocaches found