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.