Sunday, April 22, 2007

Adventure on the mountain

Next week when BroncoCacher and WhtWolfDen get up here, they both want to see what a Rally course is like. But, JoBoSoMo's Mom pointed out that there is still an FTF waiting to be found up on Mt Siegel. So how can I combine the two?

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. :-(

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