Okay, after being up too late despite going to bed early (the *thing* is occupying my thoughts lately), it was suddenly 6am and I needed to once again head out to Fallon. No quick cache grabs today on Hwy 50 - Cynthia told me to be there between 7:30 and 8 and since I was late last weekend, this weekend I was going to be early.
You know Murphy dictates that someone in the group will be late, no matter what - today, it was them. However, a bright blue GeoJeep with Mike and Cynthia (GeoJeepers) and a sunny yellow "Golden Retriever" with Larry and Linda (L3-Geo) are really hard to miss. So we loaded up on Starbucks and headed out.
This was a pure numbers run, so with me in the GeoJeep, we headed out to the area covered by the caravan on the 24th. Since I knew where everything (almost) was, I told the others they weren't allowed a DNF today. I also managed to be a Phone-A-Friend to LostInReno and my Dad! Though that doesn't belong in this story.
Mostly, it was a reverse of last weekend and all the K7XC caches. In the end, they got 30 caches and I got 6. Though the best stories aren't from the caches - rather the journey to them.
First, John had placed a cache the very day of the caravan - and it's been sitting lonely for a week. We trekked out there and walked over to the cache, after Jeeper proved his belief that there's always a road. Peak-a-Boo Rock was really cool, giving us a chance to walk through a small arch and generally play around in rocks and explore. There was even a wicked eagle's nest nearby that we admired. Jeeper was proving he was a risk-taker himself, and Linda (L2) commented once that there are just certain things you don't say around him. Me, being the smart-mouth that I am, just had to say some of those things!
Up through Dixie Valley to grab all those caches, but this time we turned north and headed after the remaining caches up there. Now understand - Dixie Valley only means one thing to me... BOX FALLS! One of the best sites that I've found thanks to geocaching.
After a lot of suggesting, I manage to get both Jeepers to at least look at the site and consider the cache. The description had been changed to say that a ladder was required, but I was confident that with a good sense of balance the cache could be found.
My side of the story:
Jeeper led L2 and I up to the foot of the falls. L1 and Jeepette hung behind to check the Jeeps and grab the camera. So the three of us scale the lower level of slickrock and make it to the first ledge. Easy - the other two came along shortly.
Second level took some creative hopping by Jeeper and a sideways walk by me, L2 used the hiking pole to balance and made it up. L1 and Jeepette hung back on the first level.
Now, at the foot of the third level, Jeeper got his shoe wet which made any rock scrambling impossible. I scaled the wall and made it up to the next rise. A few moments later, and with boots now dry, Jeeper made it up by carefully sliding along the edge of the rock and very controlled small jumps to the floor. L2 decided she was happy where she was.
So, now, L1 and Jeepette were on the first level, L2 was waiting on the second level, and Jeeper and I were on the third. At this point, Jeepette decided to see if she could get the Goodyear view and scrambled up to the top of the canyon - her angelic voice shouting down questions along the way. It was trippy yelling up at rock and having rock answer back!
Now it got interesting.
The original pair of boards were now only one and it was very wet. We stood there and stared at the rock face, mapping out the tiniest foot and hand holds and planning a climbing route. The board was used as a ramp and it, combined with muddy shoes, only proved to be a wooden slip-n-slide. I had fun stepping up onto the ramp, hoping to catch a handhold and sliding back down. After two tries on this, Jeeper props his foot on the ramp and with a steady hand, pushed me enough to get my other foot to the only toehold on the rock wall. I was up!
Okay, from top to bottom - we have Jeepette on the top of the canyon, me on the fourth level with the cache, Jeeper staring at a wet board stranded on the third, L2 abandoned the second level and joined L1 back at the first level - with the camera.
I decided he was close enough that who cared if he didn't actually hold the cache. Grabbing it, I came back to the ledge - held it up for L1 and L2 to see and meant to hand the logbook to Jeeper. He, however, was still trying to figure the best approach to get up. I moved the cache away and went looking for anything to help. And I found the second board - and it was DRY!
Tossing it down, away from the water, allowed Jeeper to construct a two-level step and with a few strong hefts, he was up on the rock and onto the fourth level! Yeah! Everyone sign the log and let's get out of there.
I think, since my description of getting up is now long enough, I will let you read what the others wrote...
Geo-Jeeper and L3-Geo
Ok - to explain the Dumbest/Smart titles... a brief explanation would be that it was a good 10 foot rock 'slide' and I just had to slide down it - didn't bother me that my 'slide' was vertical. It was basically a straight drop down. Now, wisdom is kicking in and I'm not sure what condition my knees will be in tomorrow morning.
We finished out the day nicely, even enjoyed a late lunch at Middlegate - all five of us are Delorme Finishers, so we knew where to grab the burgers after a hard day caching.
The return trip netted three more caches for them (totalling the 30) and a new one for me. sadly, it was time to say farewell to a great fellowship of cachers!
Now, what was really interesting was when I got home - there was a CCPD DUI checkpoint right over the hill. Any alcoholic drinks today? No officer, however I'm drunk on adrenaline from an absolutely prefect day of caching!
Thanks you guys - and I hope to be able to do it again!