A Chemainus Treasure Hunt

Last Sunday the kids and I met Nanna and Grandad in Chemainus for brunch at Bonnie Martin’s. We arrived early so had some time to follow the big yellow footprints on the sidewalks around town. It wasn’t 11 a.m. and Chemainus was hopping busy. A tour bus full of Nanna and Grandads from Australia had stopped in for the morning and any store that was open early that morning was full of ready customers. (Can someone please explain to me what the attraction is to a Christmas store in May?).

With two toddlers, the only store we could potentially destroy with empathy from staff was Hansel and Gretel’s candy shop. Candy corn, powdered candy tubes, sour soothers, salt-water taffy; that place is heaven to a sweet-tooth like me. I bought the kids each a small organic lollipop, though insisted they wait until after brunch to eat them. That was not a good idea according to my youngest who was in full-blown tears as we left the shop.

Back at the restaurant, Grandad was focused on entering coordinates into his GPS device. No mystery what we’d be doing after lunch: geocaching. For those who don’t know, geocaching is like a treasure hunt but instead of clues you get directions on a map. I know, it sounds too easy but the challenge is in reading the digital map (which only Grandad does while we follow him like ducklings) to find a box full of trinkets hidden somewhere in the wilderness. Once found, you may take a trinket and replace it with a trinket of your own. Like a swap meet, only in secret locations. In this case, you never wanted the trinket in the first place but as you worked so hard to find it your delighted by your new plastic brown beetle (or similar).

The girls loved it (once they stopped sucking their lollipops and noticed where they were walking). Trails through Askew Park and Hermit’s Trail just outside of Chemainus town centre took us under and over fallen old-growth trees, along a gorgeous creek and running down the tracks away from an on-coming train. The kids especially loved (if only for that morning) their cache acquisitions: two hair elastics, a purple monkey and two lady bugs (one plastic; one rock).

Anyone know other good caches in the Valley?


  1. Hey Maeve,
    Apparently there is an Angel one in Crofton, and there is one just across the street and Coronation Hill.
    Sounds like fun!

    1. I haven’t looked because my dad usually organizes our geocaching trips. I’m sure he’s all over it!

  2. Speaking of candy…while I read your post about the candy…all I could think of was those huge tubs of candy that we would get when we were in Australia. Remember when you would push and push all the candy down so you could fill the tub up with more! Oh and then it reminded of me of reading Mark’s journal about how crazy he was drinking out of the pitcher! Good times.

    1. Oh man, too funny. TUBS full of those hard fruit salad candies with powdery insides. My teeth would ache after eating too many in one sitting.

      BTW, when the gold-medal Skeleton dude drank out of the pitcher (did you see it?) and the news people were commenting on it afterwards, it was all I could think of was Mark’s journal. Too funny.

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