This article was published in the Similkameen News Leader:
TULAMEEN TURTLES AND THE GREAT COAL RUSH!
The Similkameen - an area as rich in history as it is in gold and coal. During the May Long Weekend (May 15-18) a special "geocaching" event will be held highlighting the history of Blakeburn and other historical areas.
What is "geocaching"? Well it is basically a worldwide high-tech treasure hunt with a GPS, but with better odds of finding the hidden treasure! You are given the latitude and longitude of where to search for the hidden container, inside you will find a log book to sign and if you like you can trade items. When you are done you re-hide the container so the next person can find it and go find the next one! There are over 10,000 hidden treasures in BC and over 700,000 worldwide.
Kris and Jordy Neilson, of Tulameen also known as the "Tulameen Turtles", are working in conjunction with local historian Terry Malanchuk.
They have been placing the hidden treasure containers, along with other local "geocachers", in areas of historical importance. Time has taken its toll and it is important that these areas be shared before nature makes them unrecognizable. They are highlighting the history of Coal in the area, areas of the amazing beauty and a few just for "fun".
The event is being held in a poker run style and they are expecting 150-200 people, some from as far away as Alberta, to attend over the four days.
The event attendees will primarily be staying in the Coalmont and Tulameen areas with a few in Princeton. The locations of cards (still a secret) vary and can be found anywhere from Brookmere to Coalmont to Princeton.
Those who have confirmed they are coming are most excited by the historical aspect and photo opportunities that await them. Terry will be on hand during the weekend to help answer questions and provide additional information. Blakeburn's history is mesmerizing, and the way that Terry has intertwined the personal stories of those that lived there will make you feel as you have gone back in time.
Imagine being given the location of the portal opening where the explosion occurred and while there being able to read "After personally directing the erection of the brattice-cloth wall, but before its completion, Bill tore off a piece of the cloth and wrote "12 Men". Pinned it to a nearby timber so any rescuer would know that twelve men were behind this wall". Wouldn't it be great if we could learn all history this way?
They do ask if you happen to find any of these containers by accident to simply sign the log book and put the container back.
As well if you happen to see people placing strange containers back in a hidden corner or "Ammo Cans" anywhere don't panic they pose no danger.
Geocaching and the event are open to anyone with a GPS and a desire to explore and find new adventures. Geocaching is about heritage, education, learning and preservation and this event fits perfectly within that goal. If all goes well they hope to repeat this highlighting new areas next year. There are some simple rules such as - take nothing and leaving nothing but footprints, if this sounds like something you would enjoy and you would like to take part please e-mail tulameenturtles @ shaw.ca
(Excerpt Blakeburn, British Columbia's Forgotten Ghost Town, Terry Malanchuk). (Malanchuk, 2008).
www.thenewsleader.ca/news.shtml full article