Saturday, March 24, 2007

Desert Caravan

A few weeks ago, I asked on the NGA board if anyone wanted some practice driving on dirt for the Rally coming up in June.

I got some positive responses - that is, until a few days ago.

Off all the people, only Geospyder confirmed he and Marga were going. So now I either need to find more people or cancel. Some last minute emails and one long phone call solved the problem.

I headed out early this morning, intending to beat everyone to the Fallon Nugget so I could get some tables set up for us. But, there was a cache at the Overland Station ruins - hey, I know how to get down there. It was really cool being able to see that grand old building lit up by the morning sun, and of course I just had to take pictures while I was there.

Once I got into Fallon, it wasa stop at Raley's for a sandwich and Frappachino (I'm so addicted). Then I made my way to the Nugget. First thing I noticed was a red jeep with a geocaching G stuck to the side of it. Hurm, haven't seen that truck before. I get into the restaurant and there's jahoadi and john, geospyder and marga, byjer, sights2c (whom I hadn't met before) and two soon-to-be cachers (James and I forgot his name already). Byjer made the comment that they had just been talking about how their 'leader' was late. I was not, it was only 8:30!

After a quick breakfast, we had about an hour to get ready, so I went to gas up and everyone else went to cache. While at Fox Peak, I spotted Spyder and Byjer across the way at the hospital, picking up Emergency. So I hitched up with them to go grab a few on Rattlesnake before heading out to Salt Wells. In total, we got two up there, one for me, and two for them. I'd already picked up F, but needed Christmas Cache.

Once we made it out to the brothel ("Hey, we just passed some caches!") we had a group that was a whopping 7 rigs! So much for having no one around. John was eager to go, so off we went.

I took them up through to Mountain Wells, where a cache was waiting (John="I've never driven so far for just one cache!") and then it was back out to Hwy 50. Had James comment that this was beautiful country we were driving through - which of course was the whole point of the venture. At Hwy 50, CharlyBaltimore left us to head home, and we continued up to Project Shoal.

John had previously been up to Ground Zero - though he came UP Pucker Canyon. He couldn't believe how easy the road was on the other side. At the monument, we all circled the trucks and had lunch, talking evil hides (remember who we were hanging out with - add to it that the others were originally from California), and generally wondering if we were going to glow tonight.

Then it was down Pucker and off towards Sand Mountain. Since John had been out here already, we had an involuntary tour guide as we bounced through all the different K7XC caches that line Hwy 50. All told, today there was at least one person in the group who had previously found every cache we went after. Makes it nice as it prevents DNFs. After we grabbed the two near there, and sent a few off to the virtual down the way, we headed east on 50, picking up the various caches along the way.

After turning down Dixie Valley, the Rally route was abandoned in favor of caches and we ended up grabbing all the southern valley caches. Most of the time I led, but when John ended up in front, we had a wild ride through a sandy road, a deep ditch, and a fenceline. He quickly stuck me back in the lead.

Two more caches, easy ones right off the road, ended the main caravan. However, some of us hadn't gotten the rest of the K7XC caches, so we split into two groups and headed out. I was with Spyder and Byjer and that proved to be a great time. Course, we kept leapfrogging with the other 'team' of cachers all down the highway.

After it began to get dark, Spyder, Marga, and I overrode Byjer and it was off to dinner. A quick pizza stop before the day finally caught up and we broke off to had our separate ways. I made a quick dash home.

Now I'm sitting here recouping and being thankful for a great day!

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