Monday, February 26, 2007

Holy Moley!

Where in the world did this come from?! It's dumping and it's heavy!
Oh well, the power and the cable keep going out. Thankfully, I have my own internet connection and, baring a major tragedy, nothing is taking out the cell towers.

The Great Nevada Travel Bug Race

Well, it's finally coming together.

Tons of discussions, but the basics are in place. I'm just waiting for my bugs to arrive in the mail so I can latch one onto the Viper that I had lying around. (I can't believe I was going to put that into a cache!)

Dad's cache got posted, finally, and in 80 minutes had a literal FTF as it was the cacher's first cache to find. Cool. Coins and nanos are still in the box because the new guy didn't know what they were (we think), so STF is going to have some cool prizes.

I'm going to bed. The conversation about the points and position for the race is making my head spin.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Power Caching Reno style

Well, it was a girly weekend. Friday, Mamma Gravy, Moonchaser, and I went out and got 21 caches for Michelle. We hit all of south Reno and just raced through the urbans that were right along the area around South meadows.

We managed to bag a Geo-Jeeper super tough and a puzzle cache, but unfortunately were skunked on two new caches. All in all a great day.

Saturday went out again with LostInReno and Cash'n Out. Hit several micros, but scored majorly with the Urbex cache. It was down inside a concrete pipe. We didn't finish reading the page and so went way too far into the pipe. Cash'n Out called us back because she found the cache. A totally wicked cache!!

Then we struck after the two DNF's from yesterday. LostInReno spotted the first, a tiny nano tucked on the ***** (no hints here). Score! Then off to lunch at Qdoba. And since we were on a lucky streak, it was off to the second DNF.

After about 15 minutes of searching, we weren't finding anything, but then someone walks up behind us, saying that we sure didn't look like geocachers! It was MobileTrekker and kids, ready to give another go at the cache. So together we all searched, and searched, and played, then searched.

I crawled under one table, refusing to move until I had covered every square inch of that thing. After about two minutes, I finally struck gold - or black, rather. I jumped up and announced I'd found it - but everyone else was going to have to look for themselves.

I had a good time watching them scramble. Eventually, I pointed out to one of the kids where it was, who proudly claimed it. That was a great hide!

Afterwards, I met up with Dad and we went off to the Cal4WD expo at the Grand Sierra. However, at lunch, he brought me my order from eBay. An Original Stash Geocoin 1st Edition!!! Yippee!!

When I got back home, it was off to China East to meet up with Mom for her birthday dinner. They were down to buy a new car.

This has been a great weekend. Total found: 15 caches for me, and both DNF's found.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Thoughts on the GBES

Let me ramble for a bit, as I had a lot of time to think. Plus when I'm up this late, I tend to get morbid and depressing thoughts come to mind. The last week or so, I've been giggling over this sudden interest in NGA, but now I'm not entirely sure it's funny.

I'm out of the loop when it comes to what's going on with GBES. My source was looking in from time to time on the Yahoo page. Mostly I didn't care, only when I got wind something of interest was being talked about would I peak in and follow a thread for awhile, then disappear again.

But I'm worried...

I'm worried because of the sudden increase in activity here and the creation of a Nevada Thread on I'm worried because of the increase in members now straddling the fence between which group to use. Call it joining the dark side, I see it as jumping ship.

I'm worried too that now certain long time members are moderated to the point of not being able to post. I'm worried that now the GBES is a Members Only group. Why the lock down?

I'm worried that the tensions that have been around for years are felt by the newest members at events - where such things should not be. I worry about the increase in flair ups, differing views jumped upon and silenced or driven away.

What's going on? Why does there seem to be a movement of 'something' under the group? I'm alone in my world, talking only to others periodically, and never about GBES. It's not my group, I have no say in it. But why the negativity that I pick up from the multiple people I do talk to? A sadness, or a darkness, 'something'.

I'm worried for the group and scared that 'something' will break them apart. Can you see the fractures forming?

I'm worried...

Pay me no mind, just listen to what I say and move on in your journey. But keep my words somewhere in your thoughts and find me proof that I am wrong or that I am misled.

Should I even post this? I do not wish to ruffle feathers, I only wish ask why. Why are things they way they are. Hurm, just let this thread fall and see where it might land.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A day late and $10 ahead

The trip home was, um, snowy. I-80 wasn't to chains mandatory, but they might as well have been. There was no road, only shaped snow to keep you in somewhat of a straight line.

Once back down in the valley, it was off to home before going to work. But, of course, I couldn't resist trying for at least one cache.

Managed to find the new Postal Cafe TB hotel in Washoe Valley - so dropped the CITO coin off. I hope it survives into anothers hand.

Today it was school in the morning, and then off to work. But first I had about an hour to eat breakfast. However, I saw a new puzzle cache at Mill's Park. Who needs food, right?

Spent the whole hour moving between the various stages until I found the cache. FTF got me $10. Hey, I can get breakfast!!

Work was, bleh, as usual. But I did find out just who sits around on the computer and is able to post numerous times to both the Nevada Thread and Nevada Geocaching Association.

Neither rain, nor snow, nor dark of night...

Oops, forgot to do some updating.

First and foremost - Show 91: Challenge Caches. Go! Now! Listen to the goodness, for what better goodness is there than listening to me and hearing about my milestone and my Delorme Challenge story. Go! Go! I'll still be here.

And if you're interested: Here's the video

Okay, so the next morning after PF Chang's was Lollipops! Lot's of Lollipops! ((Admit it now, who of you just started singing??)) We made strawberry, spearmint, cherry, and lime. Then we just crashed and watched a Knight's Tale until about two hours from the event. By this time, I'd called Kelly to inform him I wasn't going to be there at 8am Sunday morning.

Marji had to pick up some small brushes for the chocolate she was making, so off to the store. When that was taken care of, we were still too early to go to the High School. So, off to find a cache.

Note, here, it's raining - still.

The first cache was a skunk, too many DNF's in a row and she couldn't remember exactly where it was. A quick PDA search led us to a cache in front of a Starbucks. From the details, the hint, and a couple logs we were able to determine what it was, just not where.

Note, too, that it's raining and neither of us have our GPS.

So, we're wandering around every single bush in the parking lot in front of Starbucks. Finally, I spot one part of the determined clues and squeeze myself behind a bush to look. SCORE! Found the cache.

Note, now, it's pouring and we've been out for about 5 minutes.

After signing the log in an incriminating pose, the cache is back in place and we're off to the event.

Note, it is now monsoon rains and we're soaked.

Once at the high school, we park (later determined to be second from the furthest we could get) and slosh our way to the cafeteria. I saw Rock&Crystal instantly, and lots of others that I'd heard of, just not seen. Later, got to hang out briefly with Lil' Devil.

I sat (well, stood mostly as I qualified for their various First, Milestone, Distance driven questions) and watched as the prizes were handed out and the raffle won. Kitty got a lot of cash from the 50/50 drawing.

Then, the marshmallows came out. At first, no one knew what was going on. Then, as CASAS (?) began explaining that we were in a cafeteria, it began to sink in.


A thousand marshmallows took flight, going in every direction, towards everyone whether seated near or across the room. as the chaos died down, a second treat was to be had. The hosts called out to every kid and proclaimed that the one who picked up the most marshmallows would win prizes. Those kids proved the efficiency of a single-minded goal and within a few minutes that place was clean!

The party began to wind down and Marji and I took our leave. It'd stopped raining and we were able to find the DNF we had earlier thanks to a lifeline at the event.

It was a good day.

Friday, February 9, 2007

It's raining, it's pouring...

This cacher is soaking.

Went to class this morning, and manged to score a high score on an assignment that's two classes late. Kewl

Then it was over the mountain. I-80 was saying chains on all vehicles except those 4x4s with snows. Thankfully I had that. Though Donner wasn't that bad, imho.

Once I got out of the snow and into the rain, it was time to find some caches.

So I hit Historic 40 (have no idea what this road's real name is) and tried for one of the Foothill Rally caches. Bombed that one, so off to the next.

I did discover that is now both accepting the 7 digit waypoint, and emailing the owner. Yes!

Went after 8 total caches today before heading to PF Chang's to meet up with Mrs. Skwerl. Had lots of fun wandering around in the rain and managed to only find one LPC.

A totally great dinner and even better company was had at the restaurant. We had lettace wrapped something, chow mein, and lemon chicken. The orange peel beef was too hot, so we sent that back.

Came over to her place where we watched Hoodwinked (fun flick) and talked some more before watching last weeks Puppy Bowl.

Now it's off to bed and on to the event tomorrow.

Oh yeah, did I mention it's raining?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

I must be nuts

Make that N.U.T.S. ;-)

Going over the hill tomorrow to hang out with Ms. Skwerl and, apparently, attend my first RCGDS event. Nice coincidence.

The lunacy comes in when I take a look at the radar. What the heck am I thinking???

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Home safe and sound

We woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the ocean. Even I have to admit that was enjoyable to just sit and stare at.

We grabbed breakfast as the Starfish Grill and the atmosphere was so much more relaxed than the previous night. The waitresses were really friendly and the food was very good.

Afterward, we headed out to fill up the tank, and to figure out where we were going. Dad didn’t realize that the Redwoods were so far away from where we were (and I didn’t realize that we were as far north as we were). So we cruised down the coast until we got to Florence and then cut over to Eugene to hit I-5. We decided that the best way to get home was to just get on a major road and GO!

After we made it to Redding, we got more gas (and a geocache so I could drop several coins and pick up one with a new icon) and turned to head towards Susanville. A late night drive around Lassen National Park, resulting in a watchful eye out for deer, brought us into town in time for dinner. We grabbed a bite and headed south. Dad asked if there were any caches around us, but I hadn’t done a pocket query, so I was just checking based on our coordinates. The only ones we passed were micros, so we just gave up on that idea.

Making it into Reno at 9pm gave us enough time to stop by GeoCoin Icon Madness to return the coins that I had. I swapped out all coins that had been in there for new ones and took the rest home with me.

Yesterday I ended up having to put in a ten hour day, so I only had time to load pictures – now my gallery has tons of shots of the plaque with each coin sitting on it.

The end result? A SERIOUSLY wicked weekend and a great time with a great cache.

P.S. also received another email yesterday – an invite to a RCGDS event in Lodi. The note started with “I see you will drive long distances for a cache.” Now that’s an understatement!!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Life after 1000

Woke up this morning just before 8am.

We decided to take advantage of the $4 discount offered at the hotel's restaurant. The nice thing about Gladstone is there's only one hotel and it's on the river. So we enjoyed out breakfast while watching the early morning fishing boats drift with the current.

I checked my GPS, a cache lay a mere 200 feet away - but we could not get it.

After breakfast, we set out to figure out where the cache was. That was an adventure in and of itself. Our maps were incomplete and showed the road we needed as being on one side of town. After we drove down it to Bearvercreek, we discovered that the actual road wasn't on either GPS. About an hours worth of driving led us to several dead ends and multiple turn-arounds. I finally got onto MapQuest and directed us back to where we needed to be

Once we got onto Redland Rd, the going was easy and we had the chance to admire the day. While overcast and drizzling, it wasn't cold. We passed through numerous 'towns' that were nothing more than a handful of homes. Finding Fellows Rd was also easy.

We turned into a tree lines (surprise) road that wound and twisted it's way up the hill. 1/2 mile, 1/4 mile, 500 feet, the GPS counted down. Then, around the corner, there was the turn out. Pull off to let the car behind us go, and there it is, right in front.

The green cover was out of place, yet strangely part of the spot. We climbed out of the truck, my MP3 recording to send to Podcacher. I described the area, being careful not to mention where we were. I knelt by the cover, and with audio and video rolling, lifted and revealed the plaque.

I read off the inscription, to let the listeners know where we had led them. Find 1000, the place where this whole obsessive sport began with a humble 5-gallon bucket. Mixed feelings, awe, admiration, excitement, relief, it was weird being there, 400 miles from home. But we were there.

We took the pictures of the coins, every one of them. Then it was up to find the Un-Original. That one took longer as it was up in the ferns and trees. The mud was slick as I climbed up the side of the hill, but a trail from numerous feet had been laid. Took two tries looking, the second time after consulting the PDA cache sheet. But I prevailed and found both caches.

After we left we found a third cache to drop the Californian coin and then we were off. Decided to head towards the coast and see the redwoods.

As we drove closer towards the end of the world, we passed by a couple planes being displayed on the side of the road. The opposite side had a huge glass-walled building and a vineyard in front of it. We passed the sign to the vineyard and I read off "Spruce Goose Vineyards".


A quick U-turn took us back to the huge glass building and there inside, literally larger than life, was the grand lady, Hercules herself.

We drifted through the Evergreen Aviation Museum awed by the sheer size of this great bird. So many planes and choppers and other flying machines from the design of Leonardo to the Blackbird.

Soon we left and continued on our way, picking up a cache in hopes of dropping a coin, but it was too small. We made it to 101 and turned south, passing through the many coastal towns that dotted the highway.

Finally we ended up in Newport, where we found a hotel right over the Pacific. It will be a great sight in the morning overlooking the waves. Until then, it's a yummy dinner, followed by dessert and a movie.

We did it. And now we make our way home.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Having the patience of a mountain...

We're here, in Oregon City, OR - a mere 10 miles away from the cache.

But I get ahead of myself...

Dad woke me up just before 7 this morning, and surprisingly we were out the door by 7:30. We headed to Reno to avoid the 'rush-hour' of Carson and stopped in Tamarack Junction for breakfast. That managed to get us by the Reno rush-hour.

After stopping by the bank, for cash and since my phone no longer can transfer funds, we headed north on 395 and began the journey. According to the audio we hit the freeway at 8:45.

The trip north was pretty much uneventful. Our first stop was in Susanville, where we filled up and grabbed some Frappachinos. Sue me, I'm addicted. It's been a long time since we've been up that road, and it was interesting seeing how much has remained the same.

From Susanville, we headed north along 139 to just outside Canby. Along the way we saw several frozen lakes, buffalo, and some beautiful northern California scenery, including Mt. Shasta. After we turned, it was on the way to Klamath Falls.

We arrived in Klamath around 3pm. A quick snack at Burger King - fries only - before loading up and heading out again on 97. At this point, I came to realize the Hwy 50 is not the longest straightest road in existence. 97 is! Over 50 miles of monotonous road leading onward and onward. The only break was seeing Mt. McLoughlin and Mt. Scott.

Finally we got to turn onto 58, the only significant turn we made on that road. This was a pretty drive for the first twenty minutes or so. Soaring green pine trees, glistening white snow, rocky outcrops in the hills that were barely visible through the trees. But then the trees thickened and you could no longer see anything past the edge of the road.

The moss on the trees in this narrow canyon was so thick it was drooping off the branches. Thick green ground cover lay in patches beneath the melting snow. At one point we could see a snow tunnel on the opposite side, but it too was soon blocked by the trees.

Trees, trees, and more trees. Too many trees for this desert rat. I was becoming claustrophobic. I want to see the distance!

We reached Oakridge in time to stop by Dairy Queen for a late lunch / early dinner. Too much greenery for me, and we headed out onto the road again.

I'll never get used to the Oregon policy of the pump.

Once we reached Goshen, it was onto I-5 and a rapid approach to Portland. I had fun watching the cell phone talkers drive all over the road and at 30 MPH! Consulting the maps, we decided to head over to Oregon City instead, and lop off the extra mileage needed to reach Portland.

Once in Oregon City we stopped at the Rivershore Hotel and grabbed a room. An excellent prime rib dinner (and nicely inexpensive) has us full and satisfied. We're now sitting in the room and watching TV.

Tomorrow morning, after breakfast, I begin life after 1000 finds.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

And now, ladies and gentlemen...

The waiting is over, the time has arrived. First thing tomorrow we hit the road for the big trip.

Team Laughing Gravy invited us to dinner after we had picked up the coins from the Icon cache. Got ourselves a handful of them. A great spaghetti dinner and wonderful company kept us at their place for 3 hours.

It's fun when you get cachers in the same room with each other, plus when you get friends together. We just talked and talked (I don't think Bea finished her dinner.)

Now, we're heading home and my eyes are getting heavy. The road awaits and we are eager to follow wherever it leads.

Original Stash, here we come!!