Monday, February 20, 2012

Mission Accomplished: North Carolina Delorme Challenge

In May 2011 I "convinced" my wife that we should do the North Carolina Delorme Challenge. The conversation went like this:

 "Sweetie,  Can we do the Delorme Challenge for North Carolina?"

"I dunno, what is that?"

"It is a geocaching challenge where we have to explore every part of the state of North Carolina."


That night I ordered the North Carolina Delorme paper atlas.

Since then we have gone on many adventures,  many of which are documented here.  We have driven from the highest points of the North Carolina mountains near the Tennessee line to the very edge of the Atlantic ocean, and all parts in between.

We have driven many many miles to accomplish this goal, in fact we have been to every corner of the state (and the state has a lot of corners) and all the middle parts too.  We've been everywhere, as attested by this map:

Once we have found a cache on every page, we get the coordinates for the final cache.  Once the final is found, the challenge is completed.

I have been itching to head out and find the final cache every since we completed the last Delorme page.  As regular readers may know, my wife is pregnant, and due in April.  The final is 1.5 hours from our house, so every day that passes the journey gets harder and harder. Although I must say my wife is an amazing woman and so far she's let very few things, even being pregnant, stop her from going on adventures - the required proximity to bathroom facilities fluctuates however :) - but I digress.

We tried to attempt this two weeks ago but the weather up in the mountains was unfavourable.  So we planned for today.  As is typical in such cases we got a snow fall last night, so our journey today was in doubt, but we decided to take the chance anyway.  As it turns out it is a good thing we did as today was sunny, warm, and an all round beautiful day for caching.

Bonus points for spotting the wife.
So we arrived at the parking coordinates, left the car behind, and headed out on foot down a mountain trail 0.2 miles to the final.  It was a wonderful walk down a nice flat path, with leaves on the ground to catch the mud.  Zeke had a blast walking, and we had to hurry to catch up to him (an impressive feat for a 2 year old).

When we arrived at GZ (ground zero) we started looking for the cache, even Zeke got involved in the process.  It took a few minutes, but soon we had the final in hand.

We took the requisite celebratory photos, signed the log book, and eventually decided to head back down the trail to the car.

The North Carolina Delorme Challenge was an epic adventure, and it forced us to explore the state that we now call home.  I am very glad that I took on this challenge, and went on an adventure that I will not soon forget.

I'll leave you with some more pics from our final journey for the North Carolina Delorme Challenge:

Mission Accomplished!