By Darren Lum
Coming next month, the public will be able to literally piece together most of the colourful cache treasures that can be found in Highlands East from the comfort of their own home with a new locally produced puzzle.
The Municipality of Highlands East has enlisted the services of TheOccurence Puzzle Factory in Haliburton to produce its first geocaching puzzle depicting a collage of more than 35 geocaching treasures, the Geocaching Capital of Canada Geotour – Highlands East’s claim to fame.
Geocaching entails using a GPS device or smartphone to search for hidden treasures outside.
The idea of ordering a puzzle came to the municipality’s economic development coordinator, Joanne Vanier, after the puzzle company included Highlands East as the geocaching capital of Canada in their Haliburton County Road Trip puzzle.
“We’ve been asked by a lot of geocachers for souvenirs for geocaching. They’re looking for T-shirts, or hats, or badges, or something, you know, for souvenirs,” she said.
At the start of the year, when budgeting, she had decided on T-shirts, but changed her mind.
“When I thought of the idea for a puzzle, ‘Well, it’s one size fits all.’ It’s a little easier to manage inventory with [not] worrying about the right number of sizes. It just seemed like the perfect fit,” she said.
Vanier hopes the puzzle will not only promote geocaching in the area, but also the municipality.
She decided which treasures were depicted in the 504-piece puzzle, selecting the “colourful fun ones” from her collection of hundreds of images.
Highlands East resident Jodi Rupnow, a regular contributor to geocaching promotion, assisted with the image.
Fifty puzzles have been ordered and if needed, more will be added.
TheOccurence has also produced a puzzle for the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust: a photo of the Burnt River winding its way through the Dahl Forest taken by Peter Dahl. The first 50 puzzles are signed by Dahl.
Agnew’s General Store in Wilberforce will carry the geocaching puzzle and Vanier is contacting other retailers in the region as well.
The actual image will not be revealed until the puzzle is delivered, which is scheduled for the first week of November. Look for a sneak peek through Facebook at the Geocaching Capital of Canada page. “Like us and you’ll get a teaser,” Vanier said, laughing.