Saturday, April 28, 2007
Yesterday, I was called into work early, which actually worked out the best for me as I wanted to leave early to make it up to Reno in time to hang out with LostInReno and BroncoCacher for a decent amount of time. But even coming in early didn't get me out early enough, and so by 6PM I bailed. I guess there are some advantages to being a pseudo-boss.
Called Holly (or Holly called me) just as I got into Steamboat Springs - this phone call should have told me exactly what sort of situation I was getting into. When the jokes start flying within two minutes of getting on the phone and LiR commenting "I am not relaying that!" you know things will be interesting.
Filled up the tank at the 7-11 and waited. Turns out they *walked* over from the Nugget, but at least we were down to one vehicle. Dinner was over at the Great Basin Brewery where we were joined by Mr. and Mrs. GeoSpyder. After a long dinner where there was more talk than eating, as there were now five cachers sitting at the same table, we paided the bill and strolled over to Spyder's cache hidden on the train.
Neither LiR nor BC had gotten this one, so I sat back with Spyder and took photos of them trying to find it. After a short while, during the whole time Spyder was laughing, he walks over to show them were it was. Um, nope, not there. They try someplace else, nope. Keep searching! I join the fray as I remembered NVGreenGecko finding the cache in a slightly different spot. Both mine and BC's hands came out covered in grease and grime from the base of the train, but he - with his trusty pocket mirror - scored the cache that had been moved from its original cubby. With the log signed, it was time to decide where to head. The random guess of McCarran and the general neighborhood leaves Spyder in an area that he's already cleared, so both of them bid us fairwell to meet up again tomorrow night. It was our turn!
While walking back, LiR decides to get BC a benchmark that's nearby, so we walk over to the far end of Victorian Square. There we spy the Southern Pacific Railroad Yard SHM (#189), no cache there... is it too close?... let's go find out. walking over shows us that the nearest cache is .1 mile away. I load the coords to double check and find that the nearest physical cache is .1, the beginning of a multi is 366ft - but BC knows that if the end of a multi isn't within 500ft, the cache is good. I run back to the truck while the two of them lock in coords and grab one of the hide-a-keys my Dad recently got me, to return and place the new cache. It'll be under LiR's name, but I use my trusty PocketPC to create the page and send it off to RR. As soon as I said "Sent!" BC get's on the phone and calls our friendly reviewer to beg, plead, and cajole him into publishing the cache, like, NOW! BC = "Don't give me that bull about out caching right now! Oh, you're in St. George." Oh yeah, the Vegas folk were heading to Utah since we were stealing BC and WhtWolfDen this weekend. After another colorful phone conversation, RR suggests that he might hook up the laptop and might check the wifi and might see if there is any caches waiting to be published, maybe.
So we head off in search of a cache. Originally heading north, we hit Rock Blvd to get two caches up there. Since I already had one and couldn't recognize the other, we walked over from a nearby street (and only parking) to McRock. LiR and BC both search and find the cache and I'm checking my email and NGA... whoops, new email - RoadRunner has published the cache... and another one! FTF fever! we jump back into the truck and head to the other end of town, hopeing that GeoJeepers have already got their glass of wine in hand and won't be out tonight. Randalh and Byjer both don't do night caching. We pull into the parking lot, park a mere 20 feet from the cache (at the top of a rockwall) and jump down the 5-6 foot wall to begin the search. A slight variant on safe1's usual hide, but the cache was found nonetheless. BC wrote in that he, a southerner, beat all the locals!
We picked up random caches around south Reno, some we'd found, some new to us. Then, as midnight began rolling closer, we decide to head for the Steamboat Ditch cache. Why? I have no idea other than it sounded fun. And BC sounded like, "Why not?"
So we pull up to the site and I attempt to show him the plank - hurm, it's invisible at night in a blue LED light against the pale white concrete. So we crawl down to the plank and I show him where it is while LiR hangs off in the background. He makes it across steadily, being tall enough to actually do Byjer's suggestion of holding the belly of the bridge, but get's to the end and finds that his stature is actually a downside when it comes to logging in. Short little me walks out behind him and with the two of us perched on the board, I sign the log while he provided light. Handing it back, he replaced it and I scooched back to the stability of the bank. LiR would have gotten an interesting picture with the two of us out there, but alas, I didn't have my camera.
At it was now 12:30a - the longest I'd been out at night caching - it was time to call it a night and head for the motel (or home, in LiR and my cases). I dropped them off, wished them goodnight, and off I went.
This was by far the perfect night for caching. Partial moon for light, very few people wherever we went, and temps warm enough for a light shirt. Between Spyder coming back from Cabo and BC coming up from Vegas, I think the decent weather followed them.
Now today - I'm almost ready to head up (again! possibly to stay the night) to meet up with LiR and Altered(some series of numbers) for some morning caching before meeting up with WWD at the airport. Then Sunday it's caching on Vegas time (i.e. 6am!) though LiR and I are both, like, No! We may do 8, 7 would be pushing it for breakfast. With it not getting so hot up here, we start later and cache longer through the daylight. I've read comments on NGA of getting up at 5. ARGH!
This whole weekend, dedicating to caching, what a trip!!
Friday, April 27, 2007
Thursday rolls around and I’m waiting, figuring once again something had come up. Turns out, something did, but she wasn’t going to let it stop her! Nicole and I were finally off on a caching adventure.
I stopped by ICN2U to give her some practice with a full sized can, then also at SHM #213 (which at this point still had not been published). The first she found after I shrugged when she said “It just can’t be there!” and the second she found on her own, with little prodding from me. Practice in; it was time to head to Lockwood.
I’d been seeing GeoSpyder’s Lockwood caches since they had popped up (being within my 2 mile radius of a watched spot), so I decided today was the day to get them. We drove out 80, first stopping at the Patrick “Scenic” overlook. Took a moment to find, but eventually the tuppertainer was ours. Then back towards Reno. The second stop was the old bridge at Mustang, during which her husband called. He asked where we were, and her answer was “Oh, the Mustang Ranch.” I can just see Bob’s face over that one!! This was a bugger to find, as we first couldn’t determine which side of the bridge it was on. Laying the electronic gear (open area down to the Truckee is not good from such equipment) at ground zero we began to hunt. After about 5-10 minutes, I gave up, checked the logs, and phoned John for help. He couldn’t exactly remember where it was, so I ended up on a three-way call with Jodi. Mustang calling Fallon calling San Diego – yeah, the tangled webs we weave. Jodi provided the needed clue and as I was drifting up and down the bridge spotted the clue about 25 feet from the gear. Nicole came over and, being a few feet taller than me, scored the cache. I thanked John and we were off to the next!
Another cache mentioned a short walk, but “with a 4x4, you can drive to within a few feet.” Knowing Spyder’s love of driving as close as vehicularly possible, I decided to drive. Up onto an old fence line road and down a hill that Nicole wasn’t sure we would be able to climb again; I parked 7 feet from the cache. She made the find and I got us back onto pavement. We then turned into the very full Exit 22 area and grabbed two more caches, demonstrating the “unnatural rock/stick/thing pile” and why rock piles suck. Thankfully, Spyder did not hide the micro in the rocks, but those imposing piles would make any cacher weep.
Brought Nicole home at noon, grabbed my uniform for the night, and back up to Reno to meet LostInReno for lunch and some quick caching before work. While parked at her house, I felt my phone vibrate, signaling new email. Bringing up the screen shows “[Notify] RoadRunner published….” twice. I checked quickly to see where the new caches were and they were both in Reno, by the same person, in the same area. She hopped into the truck and we were off at 1pm in hopes of beating both Randallh and byjer to an FTF. The first was rated a 4 star difficulty, se we went armed to the teeth. Well, we had our GPS’s, what else do you need? Finding the site also found us the cache quickly. Four star my foot, 2.5 maybe. Popping the lid open and opening the logbook reveals… a blank page! We did it!! Took a photo, signed the log, laughed as a skateboarder went over our heads, and off we went to the next.
This was rated a 3.5/4, but since the other was way overrated, we decided to tackle it anyway. Got to the site and LostInReno began by heading straight to the river bank. She braved the rock wall and found the cache. I scrambled up (we’d made this far harder than it needed to be) ready for another photo op. As I clicked the camera open, I heard a rather colorful word come from the direction of LostInReno. Looking up, there she was, holding a log book with a bright shiny new signature in it.
We grabbed lunch after that and two nearby caches that I’d skipped, thinking they were puzzles. Then it was time to drop her off and head back to work. Work, boring as usual, was highlighted by BroncoCacher signing on to report he’d arrived in Sparks the night before, had been in Carson all day, and was ready for some caching. Tomorrow night, I’m heading up there to catch up with him and LostInReno to grab some caches and just meet. Then WhtWolfDen will fly in Saturday and we’ll all head off to the event that night. BC, however, realized he won’t be coming to the Rally, so is instead suggesting we power cache Reno/Sparks. Sounds like a definite plan to me, let’s see who else we can recruit for a Sunday outing.
Speaking of Nicole – after her 7 caches, she is now officially HOOKED ON THE GAME! She is going to dive headfirst into this and next Thursday I am in the same situation. Where can I take her to show her the best of caching, to firmly implant that bug so deep it’ll never work its way free of her???
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Originally, I'd planned to take them down through Brunswick Canyon before hooking up with Sunrise Pass, following Churchill Canyon, then turn and head over Red Canyon up to Galena Saddle, and then back down Stockyard Rd.
Yeah, that was the plan!
Today, Dad and I decided to get up to Siegel. He first tries Pine Nut Rd - whoop, gate with a rather large non-friendly sign about trespassers and firearms. Okay, back up.
We then try to get on Stockyard Rd. The first mistake was attempting to get on it via Haybourne (?), but that was a completely reconstructed road with non-friendly orange cones. Back up again.
Off 395 we find Stockyard road, with several non-friendly signs noting who owns the property and who doesn't and what they would do to anyone who decided to ignore such signs. Ignoring the signs wasn't really an option as they were attached to a rather large white gate (white should be friendly, shouldn't it?) and attached to the large white gate was a large silver padlock. Third time to back up.
Okay, back to Buckeye Rd to try for Stockyard on the back side of Bently's non-friendly white fence. We make it to East Valley, then Stockyard and off we go! Hurm, now why is there another non-friendly barded wire fence with another equally non-friendly sign about trespassers again?? ARGH!! Back up, AGAIN!
Finally, we find the road that the map says will take us where we want to go. But it turns out that the road is a wee bit tougher than I thought it would be and it is slow going all the way up to the top. We did pass some great scenery, but I'm concerned about my own confidence on that road. It's not bad, you just really need to know what you're doing to make it. We went past an old ranch, old mine, marshy meadows, funky rock fence, and a pack of Jeeps. And we went really really slow! It was a rocky road.
Once up at the final valley, it was a straight up road to Galena Saddle. The winter snows left it somewhat intact, though there were areas that were slightly washed away. Nothing too difficult if you weren't positioned like the Saturn 5 rocket. Up on the saddle, things leveled out and we could now see into infinity. But, for some reason, the truck was rocking back and forth....
Oh, did I forget to mention it was windy?
Correction, it was windy!
And cold, bitterly cold.
We did the whole look out over California and Utah thing before booking it back to the truck and beginning the descent back towards the valley. Easy does it down the side of the mountain.... Once back on level ground I point out that there is a cache that is driveable a short distance away up on Oreana Peak. So, that's where we head. After this long, I want a cache for my troubles. The other two, up on Siegel and Galena I'm leaving for *if* we get up there next weekend, otherwise, I'll bag them later in the year, when it's WARM.
Oreana, rather baily's cache 2, was really quick and easy despite the wind. I found it and logged it before heading up to the peak itself and signing in on the register. Played around with the GJTB I picked up yesterday in Fernley. Must find something fun to do with it in regards to MooseMob...
Back down and we attempted to find the road out. A very narrow, barely visible trail led over the side of the saddle we were on and we eventually found the Jeep tracks. A very narrow, loose rocks, tight trees road led down the side of the steep drop into the canyon. About a third of the way down, I decided that I wasn't comfortable up there driving - as a passenger I was okay - but figured I wouldn't be driving. Especially not when leading several others along with me. This road wasn't making the cut.
But we were on it now and there was no way we were turning around to head back, we were stuck. Slow going again (GPS, in the end, averaged our entire day at 18MPH) and a lot of pinstripes for Dad's Tacoma. Some beautiful deep mountain scenery - the PineNuts are very dominant in that they don't roll to a peak, they shoot straight up into the air with very little foothills. Great little trip that I really enjoyed, but again, not if I was going to be driving.
Once back into Upper Colony Rd in Wellington, it was an easy drive back to TRE. We learned that Topaz Lodge is still closed thanks to the fire and there's no food in Holbrook. We got skunked on a 1/1 cache along a rest area, but managed to find lunch in Gardnerville.
Since Dad was in a driving mood, we drove all the way to Washoe to pick up a cache we'd missed a few night ago as, well, it was dark. Easy find and STF to TopazGeoGoats which isn't bad at all!
Then back to Carson where I get an email from Minden Rat requesting help on our Joint Effort cache. Dad decides to just drive down there to help him out. Good thing we did as the cache was once again moved, though this time, if a person did it, they should have seen the yellow container. Dad suspects horses, but something is tearing up the area big time.
Another back into Carson (we seem to be doing a lot of backtracking today) takes us all the way up to my Waterfall cache where I confirm it is indeed gone and we watched the massive herd of sheep chomp away at the cheatgrass. Our new firemen!! Baaa - baaaa
Back home, I'm sitting here logging in when my email pops up: RoadRunner has published a cache, 2.4 miles from home. It's a new SHM cache and I know exactly where the marker is. So at 8:30 pm, we're out the door again to bag an FTF! Score! Life is good.
Positive way to end the night, especially since I have to go back to work tomorrow. :-(
Afterward, I headed out after two new caches that got published this morning. One up at the Camp Nye historical marker - bam! FTF. The second was at the Korean memorial across town. Took a few moments of navigating over there as I was on a time limit, but arrived easily. Just as I began a search another person walked up and loe and behold, it's another cacher. CampyC from Ventura. She made the find, we had a great conversation with me trying to think of the best caches in the area, but then I had to go.
I was meeting up with Mamma Gravy and Jeeper at Qdoba for lunch. Racing up to Reno got me to the restuarant and I could see both were there already. How can you miss GeoJeep?! Course, when I walked in, I was surprised to see Jeepette there as well. They handed over the book created by L3-Geo from our trip out to Fallon. Then FOOD!
This is becoming common - south Reno meet, Qdoba. North Reno meet - McDonald's. Spark's meet - Kraig's or Chevron at Vista. West Reno - Wal-Mart on McCarran.
Anyway, during lunch, the Jeepers made the comment that no one was visiting their Free Fall cache. Like that was subtle! So Gravy and I decide to head over there to check it out. However, as we were getting ready to leave, Jeepette knocks on the window and asks if we know the way or would we like them to lead. I looked at her and just asked if they wanted to come along an laugh at us. I got a funny smirk in reply.
So all of us headed up to Thomas Creek where we were met with a large tree. Gravy began looking in sagebrush, but I think "This is Jeepers!" so my focus is in the tree. Sure enough, there's the cache. Took a second to figure the set-up, Jeeper helped get it down. While we were looking through the stash, he reported that he's been up in that tree three times since it was created. Good, fun, creative cache - nothing less from the Jeepers.
To give you an idea of how these two (or he) approach life, as we were leaving they passed up a perfectly good bridge to go creek crossing in GeoJeep. Course, I followed along right behind them, but, the Toy needed an underbelly wash.... :-D
Afterwards we headed out to Fernley to go bag a couple caches out there. We had Lil' Devil's new one Torpedo locked in as our starting point, but there was a newer one about a mile away. DUH! we missed the turn and now were stuck on I-80.... all whopping 16 miles to Nightningale! A half hour later we were back in Fernley and at a clever cache that took us a moment to try and find. Ping-ponged through Fernley before heading back along 80 to grab the caches there.
The original goal was the Exit 22 series by GeoSpyder. However, there was a new puzzle cache that Gravy thought she had the right answer to, no go according to GeoChecker. Jeepers got in on the act and ended up with the same wrong answers. They got ahold of randalh who sent them on the right direction and she called us back to give us the right answer. Gravy however needed to head home for dinner and I was on my way to meet up with LostInReno and NVGreenGecko for the same reason. Later, when I called her back, Jeepette reported they were STF... to a math teacher!
Spent another hour with LiR and Gecko before she heads over to England to be married!! Had fun doing some later caching and also was shown the new rebar style that's showing up in Reno. After hanging out for a little while, it was time to head home. Spent some time talking with El Diablo Blanco in Iraq and BroncoCacher in Vegas.
Yep, I'm becoming quite social. Time for bed!
Saturday, April 14, 2007
So today, kept my agreement to go out with GeoSpyder and John (of Jahoadi and John). The two of them were busy while I was at school, I think I heard John say he grabbed 14 by the time I caught up with them.
First it was off to Qdoba's for a quick lunch - I was starved. Wolf need FOOD!
Then we headed towards Spyder's West of Pyramid series. Good warm up caches for me (and provided flying lessons for my ill-fated tacos, now I need to vacumn the front) and a great chance to have everyone all rattled up on dirt before we head out the long road to Pyramid lake. Got the 4 caches in the series, a creative multi, and a tricky ammo can in a large rock pile. However, while we were there, John had a great time naming off the various military planes and choppers flying into the airport - including a (I'll get this right) H-60 BlackHawk with a big medical cross on it's belly.
Next we shot straight out to the Reservation line and began to work our way back from there. Lot's of new caches thanks to byjer, plus some semi-easy ones off the highway up in the hills. A totally wicked road up there and I had more fun sightseeing than actually finding the caches. I'd love to go up there and explore some more and according to both Spyder and my map, more caches await! In the hills we bagged 3 caches before heading back to pavement.
Then it was down the road, stopping before a mile passed each time to find a clever little micro cache hidden in some plastic critter. Best one was the tarantula, because - well, Spyder went looking for a Spider!
Once we made it back into Spanish Springs, we decided to head off to a new one near the Geocoin Icon Madness cache. Course, the boys wouldn't listen to me when I told them "Wrong road!" Having been up there twice at night helped with directions, but now we trucked up a deadend road and I managed to push into the lead to take them where we needed to go. Spyder tells John nearly flipped when we drove 300 feet from the Geocoin cache and Didn't Stop!
We headed back to Spyder's in time for his 4:30pm deadline. A beer for the guys and a soda for me along with some chitchat before we were kicked out so the two could enjoy their dinner together. John and I weren't done yet though!
I hopped into the FJ and we were off again, cutting through Reno in an attempt to find any cache that neither of us had found - HA! Apparently we each have found what the other needed, so our list was short but exciting. The best one was Abe's B52 cache that we hit, the only way to it was through a gated community unless you felt like walking, which I didn't. So round and round and round we go until we timed it just right for a car to be heading in and we tailed behind them to slip pass the gate. Drove really close to the cache and had a good time learning where the bike path led and why there were so many tire tracks on it. Answer - nowhere and because geocachers were making u-turns further down the trail.
Then it was down into the Mayberry area, where we scored a handful of caches that were all clumped together. The first stop was Cell Service by WestyCrew. Her level of creativity is amazing and while I was able to see the answer, it took close to 5-10 minutes to realize it. Very nicely done and no, I'm not saying what it is. Though the sun having set prevented us from going after the final stage.
We hit a few more along the river walk, including an embarrasing find with an ammo can! We both thought we were looking for a micro and when the ammo can was revealed, I felt like an absolute idiot! But, the best part will be if I got the answer right, or at least can log, my first EarthCache! Score, I've wanted one of those icons for awhile now!
We headed back into town to go retrieve my truck, but a miscount of the found caches (stupid GPS calendar was labeling all the caches I'd set a GoTo on, not just the ones I'd found), I thought I was two away from a solid 30 for the day and to end on 1200 would rock! So we hit two of Spyder's, one of which was Quackaduck. Very clever, but I've been hearing the idea from my dad for awhile now, so the thought was in the back of my mind.
Unfortunately, that only made 1199 - but if I can log the EarthCache, there's my 1200th!
It was a very good day, and tomorrow is going to "suck swamp water" - to quote sayterliften.
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Friday, April 6, 2007
Well, since today I worked 4pm-12am, I decided to call his bluff and searched for any unfound Fallon caches.
Looky there! RoadRunner just published a new one today! So off (again) to Fallon (again) I go.
Fairly straight forward cache, and even scored $5 for my troubles. Decided then to try to find Touch of Glass whose access road was foiling me. Now I had plenty of time and managed to circumvent, in the longest way imaginable, what turned out to be an easy road right off 50...
There inside the cache, with the biggest, blackest, "Save me!" eyes was the NTBR entry, the Desert Tortoise. As much as I swore I wouldn't help any bug, this one was just too cute to resist and he's been sitting out there all alone since the Launch. I had to!!
Grabbed the little guy and back into town to ATC which seemed a good move (the bug was picked up later today, so it was a good move).
Now Fallon has no internet cell signal, but my phone has wireless on it. Back and forth on Hwy 50 showed me several places with unsecured networks and tons of secured ones. Piggybacked on one to log my moves today, then it was back home!
Course, I had to stop one more time at the rock wall cache in Stagecoach. Been there 3 other times, twice at night thinking the headlights would help.. They didn't.
This time I parked and got out of the truck after some brief research on 'how easy' this cache was supposed to be. But I forgot to set the brake. So my truck did what trucks are apt to do when in neutral, no breaks, and pointing slightly downhill.
Thankfully the curb was between my truck and the back wall of the fountain. As it bumped to a stop, I walked around front to see how close I got. Missed, but the oddest thing had happened...
The truck rolled at a slight turn, so the front was pointed at an angle.. pointed at an opening in the wall..
Pointed At The Cache!!
My *truck* found a cache I've DNF'd three times! My *truck* just rolled up there and went, "Found it."
It was time to go home and get myself to work.
Tomorrow the *thing* happens, and I'll tell you all about it afterwards.