Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mile Markers

So I felt like caching - but when is that something new?

Hooked up with LostInReno for a day around Tahoe. Though first I went to explore the other road that led out to Hwy 50 according to my map. A beautiful drive through some awesome alpine areas led me along a great road that wound down along Logan Creek and got me to within a half mile of the highway, before I discovered why it is that maps are flawed.

A tree was lying across the road.

I, seriously, had unhooked my axe from the rack before I realized that hacking my way through a 2 foot diameter tree would take a wee bit longer than the hour I had until I met up with LiR. So, instead I drove out again (20 minutes in on slow mode - 10 minutes out on normal speed - ludicrous speed was not going to happen today) and made my way to Glenbrook to investigate the road from the other end. The logic being if the road was impassible anyway, my trip to the store for a portable chainsaw wouldn't be necessary, but, if the road was as decent as it had been before the tree, well, that would be a worthwhile investment.

*&$%@! What is it with gates and Private Property and me trying to find a way in/out?!

Scrap that whole idea - it was a great drive though - and just watch the Forest Service station for that magical day when the gates open for the season.

Meeting up with LiR sent us around the west side of the Lake, picking up whatever caches we could in a conservative amount of time. Which, for the most part, meant the Mile Marker series by applejohn. A few additional caches thrown in for some spice, but mostly we were after a variety of micros along the highway. The ones that stand out were the Trickee Tahoe cache (well done), Trekking Down the Truckee (LiR pointed out that THIS was a cache to bring MM to), and MM 65-II.

I think by the end of the day, we'd gone from Incline Village to Emerald Bay in an amazing 8.5 hours. She got 25-odd caches and I walked away with 20. Not bad at all for a day of cleaning out one side of Tahoe. Still missed Kim's Overlook, maybe our guests would like to try for that one. I think it'll be awesome.

Though the best news came very early in the day when I decided to check and see what NUTS was up to. GBES has been insanely quiet, so my news tends to come from NUTS, NGA, or the rare visits to Groundspeak. Rock & Crystal had posted a comment about Are You Ready? and the GC134MJ

Um, pardon me for a moment....

HOLY FRIGGIN' CRAP!!!! IS IT FOR REAL?????? NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eh hem.... for those who do not wish to click the link above, allow me to explain in three words...




I am SOO going.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Begin with a hike, end at 1300

I decided to go for a hike today.

Inviting Mamma Gravy and Newbi Nikki (she swears this is going to be her name), we chose to tackle the Deadman's Creek multi. I told Nicole "It's a well-maintained level hard packed trail leading up from Washoe State Park to the top of Duck Hill. It's a steady incline, but no up/down/up/down." So, we all met at 9am to try this.

Both Gravy and I have a goal of getting back into shape, so we figured a moderate hike would be a good way to begin this program. Apparently we didn't pay attention to the terrain rating.

The first stage is easy enough, it's across Eastlake Blvd just where the gap in the fence labels the trailhead. After that it's a half mile hike up into the hills. Made that one fairly easily, but we were joking that if the third stage was up on the hill with the flag, I was marching back down to the road to retrieve my truck and I'd drive up there. But, once we found the second stage, we found that the third wasn't on the hill with the flag. Nooo, it was near the top of Nine Hill, at 6077 feet (we began at the parking lot at 5078 feet).

Since we found the second stage near an old, rutted Jeep trail, we decided to use that to hike up. Surprisingly, though we stopped after every 50 steps to rest, we scaled that road quickly and had enough energy left over to look at the peak a mere 100 feet away from us and walk over there. I figured I was that close to the summit, I was going to stand on it!!

The cache took some scrambling to find, but eventually it was spotted, retrieved, logged, and replaced. Nicole had brought lunches for all of us, and we sat up in the hills between Washoe and Carson and ate our sandwiches while we admired the view. Then it was back down. Instead of the steep trail, we took a side road that wrapped around the southern side of the hill and spilled out into an area that Nicole says her step-daughter came up and partied at. The graffiti bares witness to the things that happen in that clearing. We stuck with the road and made it back to the trucks - still moving, none of us stiff or exhausted, and all of us feeling elated that we made it.

My GPS showed a 3.6 mile hike with a 1000 foot elevation gain/loss, taking 3 hours and 45 minutes with all our mini-breaks and our lunch. WE DID IT!!

After I took Nicole back home, Gravy and I headed into Reno once we cleaned out the rest of the new caches in east Washoe. Dropping my truck off at her work, we continued to pick up caches, eventually ending up at (where else?) Qdoba to meet Moonchaser. Along the way, we stopped by to find Cache Loan - and was once again skunked. However, lying shoved into the rocks was what looked like one of Ephy's million dollar religious bills. Figuring it was from the previously muggled cache, I reached down to grab it before noticing it was short a few zeros.

There were only two....

This had just become a very very good day.

We met up with Moonchaser and decided to get some more caches before it was time to meet up with LostInReno (have I mentioned I'm becoming quite the social cacher?). We decided to try for "Little Big Ben" since none of us had that already. A quick and easy first stage if you have Moonchaser along - that woman has eagle eyes when it comes to micros - led us to the second stage. WELL DONE! The second stage was brilliant, though one additional cut made the camo easy to see through. A lot of hard work went into this cache and it showed as both the construction of the container and the location were fantastic!

Soon, though, it was time to head back. We grabbed my truck, Gravy headed home, and we met up with LiR to swap out the vehicles and all pile into my truck. They've done enough driving. We headed out to north 395 to hit some of the caches along there. Moonchaser and I had done a lot of them already, but still we were able to get about 7-10 caches each out there. We also got the B52 that's up on Peavine since my first trek up there resulted in the sad news of a muggling. Then it was back into Reno.

By this point, if I counted the cache-hiders cache (which I'm not) I was at 1299. One more! I need one more! So we found one of the Movie Title series before calling it a night. Once I dropped LiR off, I realized that that was only 1298 (see, I'm not counting it), so I needed one more. Driving out, Mamma Gravy had told me about where another B52 cache was, and I kinda knew how to get there. Kinda as in the daytime, by now it was 10pm.

So, I gave myself a half hour to find the access road. Making my way towards Sagehill Gun Club, I drove back and forth along the construction road looking for a way to cross over to the powerline road. My half hour was almost up when I spied the only opening without a gate across it. I eased in to make sure no one was waiting for me, realized that this was a road through the zone as gates lined the openings to the side of the road. I made a bee-line for the cache.

Parking 60 feet away at the base of the outcropping, I hiked up with my trusty flashlight to the top and began searching. I don't think I've ever been that on edge around a cache before - not only was I listening for snakes or other wildlife, but also for cars or approaching people. The buzz of the powerlines above me weren't helping. At 10:45p I made the find and signed my name.

1300 caches found. YAHOO!!!

Home, James, it's late and I'm whipped. My calves are going to kill me in the morning.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Up into the Mountains!

Okay, so maybe the whole Gerlach thing isn't going to happen.

Mainly, the sheer distance involved from Carson to Gerlach is enough to raise an eyebrow - attempting to go from Gerlach back to Vegas would be nothing short of a nightmare. Then attempting to do it the day after the Rally, all in one day as the dinner is Saturday night.

The solution? Find another peak!

But, I had plans already to try and map out the dirt road between Spooner and Kingsbury, since it is an awesome road and a lot of fun to go exploring. We attempted to head up via the Ranger Station - errr, the gate's closed. Well, crud. So, back to Spooner Summit where the rest area has a back road up into the mountains.

We bounce along the road, possibly the first ones up there since the snow melted, until we came to that annoying No Tresspassing sign. The trail blazers go right past it, the snowmobile posts go right past it, and the blasted ROAD goes right past it. Dad, however, was having none of that, so we turned around and headed back. I asked if we could, since we were heading back, go check out White Hill and see if it would be large enough for an event.

As we make our way to the road for White Hill, we passed by another road that my map shows going right past the Private Property area and connects back to the road to Kingsbury. Score. So we summit White Hill (easily done as the road goes right to it) look around and try to judge the size of the area, take lots of pictures, and generally admire the view from up there. I did also attempt to refind RenoHiker's cache that had been archived, no such luck. I looked around for some places to place a ammo can, though I think that's going to require a collaboration of creative minds to puzzle that one out. Back down the mountain to the newly found road and off we went.

Apparently, this new road also reconnects with Hwy 50 - though our exploration today didn't allow us time to find out where. We bounced, slid, rumbled, and overall wheeled our way past Logan Creek and up to the main road again. Oh, so close to Jeeper's Genoa Peak cache, but it was in the wrong direction. We turned south and continued on our way. Thankfully we were passing within a 100 feet of another cache, but my GPS wouldn't give me a GoTo on the map screen, so I just arrowed to the cache and let the little distance gauge tell me how far I needed to go. Not an exact science, but it got me into the right area and geo-sense found the cache in the end.

We continued through areas that I was beginning to recognize, having been up there before for the other caches, until we came across the paved road that led down to the trailhead at Kingsbury. Left at 5 from Carson and arrived at the end of the road at 8 - not bad for finding one cache, having to turn around, talking with MooseMob, and hanging out on White Hill. We rounded the corner, ready to head back home...


Both Dad and I stared at the gate in question in total disbelief. I even walked out there to see if the possible drive around was open to us, it wasn't - a 4Runner was parked right where we could have squeezed by some boulders. Back to the truck, disgusted, and now running out of day light, we flew back towards Spooner. Just before the road that cut around the private property, Dad asks what we should do. You know, it's late, it's dark, we're tired, and hungry. Screw the sign, we want to go home.

One hour later we're back on Hwy 50 heading into Carson. Wow, Dad can drive like me! Afterwards, called MooseMob to report my findings and sent him the tracks and pictures. Good day all around, any chance to go exploring is a good one. Though now I want to find out where the Logan Creek road comes into Hwy 50 near Glenbrook.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Gerlach Recon

Well, finally made it back up to Gerlach to go grab some coordinates for MooseMob's Jeep event. But, before I could meet up with Hobbithiker, I went caching!

The first was one way up in the hills called LIMBO cache, actually a beautiful drive up and a fun cache. Though I have discovered my philosophy to caching - make everything a 5 star terrain. Man I searched everywhere for about 20 minutes, halfway through cursing GeoJeepers for hding the blasted thing too well. After an exhaustive search, I finally sat down to read the page, only to discover that the terrain was far less than a 5. Looking around, I spotted a likely area and what-do-you-know? Scored the cache.

On the way back (well, on the way up too) I found Mormon Cricket season has begun. DEMON CRICKETS! Some were kind enough to pose while I took their pictures, though I did manage to squish my fair share.

Once in Gerlach, I had my lunch at the webcam (and emailed LostInReno and MooseMob while I was there so they could watch me eat my lunch). Then it was off to Cave 447 and Home in the Sage caches. Both were cool, at least it got me doing something. The way back provided a great view of Granite Peak - the whole point of this expedition.

In case you don't know the story - Jeep releases Travel Bugs each year, the 2006 ones being green. Each Jeep is named after some peak somewhere - one of which is named after Granite Peak, Nevada. Okay, that's the first part. The second part is that MooseMob's Liberty finally gave in and he got a new 4-door Jeep Wrangler, painted Rescue Green (that bright metalic green), which looks exactly like the travel bugs. It wasn't a far leap from point A to point B and a request to Jeep themselves got the GJTB Granite Peak, NV itself transferred into MM's ownership and now his toy Jeep has a lifesized counterpart, including specialty tags with the bug number! So... he wants to take his two new toys up to Granite Peak, and here I am getting coordinates.

I met up with Hobbithiker (well, first I met their dogs, I think Pixel finally likes me and Scout is in LUV! hehehe). The three of us wheel up as far as I'm willing to go to this beautiful aspen/willow grove along a fast-flowing creek. I take coordinates and pictures and really enjoy my time up there. Then I'm invited back to the house for dinner.

After spending some time in Hobbithiker's home - I've now realized that I'm *never* really introducing my Dad to him. I told Jami that I had literally walked into my own home. From the unicorns and dragons to the tons of Star Trek stuff and other sci-fi memorbilia, they had an expanded collection of what we have. It was the Marvin the Martians that convinced me those two guys shouldn't get together.

But I loved the snakes, the white one was absolutely beautiful!!

Then it was a late night trip home that for some reason took me until after midnight to get back. I didn't think I stopped that long. I tried for one cache, but the wind was so bad I only spent about 5-10 minutes, then got another LPC when I got to Reno. Hurm, maybe alone way out in the desert something odd happened that I can't recall....

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Monday, May 14, 2007

A trip along Tahoe

After getting back from Gerlach, I learn from Bernsports that's notify system was down and he got an FTF that I didn't even know about! But, I think I'm stirring up some friendly competition around here. Though there was a second cache - as best as we could tell inside the Gun Club's property.

On Tuesday, the 8th, I ask LostInReno if she wants to go for a walk with me and grab some caches. We met up at Rancho San Rafael to hunt some of the caches that lie along the outer edge of the park. A quick stroll got us the reincarnated Snake Tunnel (4th version) and we checked out the park area she's reserved for Hot August Nights. We also meander over to the arboretum and get skunked on that cache just before the park announces it's closing the gates. So, we headed over to grab dinner at Palais de Jade since a recent NGA conversation was raving about the food before heading home.

Now, Friday, LiR got her bi-annual bonus and only worked a half0day, so she got a bunch of us together to go caching around Lake Tahoe. The only problem? I'm sicker than a dog, and of course, I'm going! Yeah, this was intelligence to the max.

We met up at Qdoba (again - we should start getting discounts) and then turned our attention up Mt. Rose. For some reason, between all the GPSs, everyone managed to be missing certain caches, but amid all of us, we had everything imaginable. Our group consisted of LiR, myself, Moonchaser all in the Xterra, CharlyBaltimore in their Jeep, cookie&faith and deeno in their Subaru. We grabbed the easy ones right along the highway all the way to Incline where everyone made a run for the Go Tahoe! cache inside the Visitor's Center. However, I noticed I had a voice mail waiting for me while we were up at the summit, and when we got back into cell range, I learned MooseMob had called. So I got on the phone with him while everyone else cached.

And stayed on the phone with him through 5, maybe 6 caches total over the next 45 minutes. Course they were all ones I had found before so I just shouted out hints in the middle of our conversation. Mainly we talked about his idea for a Gerlach event (this town is getting popular) and my idea for a Statewide Meet & Greet and various ways we could get both ideas off the ground. Then we just chatted about various things. Since I hadn't actually talked with Lynn in a long time (well, since November when I was in Vegas to grab the Counties Challenge cache) it was good to touch base and catch up on what was going on in the other side of the state. It was funny that he kept trying to get me to tell the others to sign his name to the log sheets since he was there electronically talking to me.

Once we hung up, I was able to get back into the game in time to find the Webcam cache was completely blocked by traffic. So into South Shore and grab the caches there. We managed to finally get my DNF'd Cave Rock Trailhead cache, plus two others before my flu decided to remind me that I wasn't yet fully recovered. I crashed in the back of the Xterra and managed to worry LiR enough when I refused to have them sign my name to a log of a cache I hadn't found yet. Sue me, I'm anal, I need to physically hold the log book or cache in my hand to feel justified in logging a find. They logged me in anyway.

We grabbed a bite to eat at Izzy's (managing to worry CharlyBaltimore to no end) before heading back down to Carson. Somewhere along the way i got my second wind and was able to point out enough caches for Moonchaser to end the night with a nice round number.

A totally fun day and one I can't wait to repeat on the other side of the Lake, once I'm better.

Saturday, I went back up to visit Mom - and since I was feeling slightly better, went and logged those caches I was logged into myself. I just can't let a known cache go unfound. I'm addicted.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Delorme Party

You know things get busy when every weekend seems to be planned out long in advance. May 6th was no different.

But first, I'm sticking to my promise to get in shape (for the most part) by walking every other day and working out on the alternating days. Since last Thursday was another of those days where I traded for the closing shift, I had plenty of time in the morning to go caching. I found a cache up behind Silver City in one of the old cemetaries, finally found the one in downtown VC, and then headed over to IGT in hopes of finding LostInReno free for lunch. She was and we met up at the Purple Park to ride over and grab some grub. Sat and talked about a lot of stuff before she had to go back to work and I was left facing Huffaker Hills.

For those that haven't done this series of trails, the hills have about 9 caches on them and a moderate 1.5 mile walk in a loop trail. I so wish this was behind my work, i'd be out on this every day! I'd already picked up the older caches a few years back and had snagged the easier caches not to long ago, so that left me with the five remaining caches. Nothing remarkable, save that I found two NTBR bugs that I didn't know about until that moment. I shot an email off to Bernsports so he could add them to his stats page. Grabbed the caches and then it was off to work.

Then Saturday rolls around and I'm out caching with Nicole again. we find one, in a rock pile! before I receive a phone call from Skwerl! Spend way to much time talking with him about his adventures through the Silver State over the weekend. Turns out he is a mere two pages away from completing his Delorme Challenge - even though he won't log his own cache! We're to meet up with him the next day and head up to Gerlach for the event. After I hung up I show Nicole a few fun caches, like Free Fall, Hoofocker, and 4x4 before it was time to head home.

Sunday, we headed out to Wadsworth to meet up with Skwerl and imcaver (who just finished the Counties Challenge) before turning and heading way up to the middle of nowhere! We stop to grab the cache that the TV crew had gotten us at and Skwerl just went nuts over the tufa formations. He was far more interested in those than he was in the cache, so we stayed for awhile just admiring nature's work. Then it was on the road again and nothing to stop at on the way.

His two needed pages were 26 and 27. 26 was easy, the webcam cache was there as well as a newish one by Hobbithiker. 27, however, had three easy caches and about four insane ones. Two of the easy caches were archived, leaving the one 11 miles out onto the Black Rock playa. The only question was had the recent rains made the playa wet and impassible to fully loaded 4Runners? Thankfully, the answer was no and I was ale to fly out at 65mph to the cache. The cache was found, pictures taken, and it was back into town.

Any trip to Gerlach for the first time demands a trip down Guru Rd. Skwerl had heard of an Iron Butt memorial there and had hoped to see it. I turned to follow the turn, grateful that someone had cleared away the landslide debris, though you can still see the scars left on the mountain. Luck would have it that we found the memorial and Skwerl gave us all a lesson on who these names belonged too and their accomplishments in life.

Back on pavement, we made towards the next cache. Fairly straightforward hike and hide (being hidden by grace schoolers) but there were a few surprises. One was the awesome rocks that lined the bed of the stream we were in, another was a can of dehydrated water ("Just add water!"), but finally there was a keychain wrist lanyard from Idaho... gbraach was here!

We pulled into town at 2:30p, my dad and I in time to see Gary and Margie pull up in their FJ. Skwerl and imcaver came along behind us and the party was underway. All in all we had about 20 people there, from Reno/Carson/Fallon, Sacramento/Roseville, and Boise. It was an awesome gathering.

Bruno's served up heaps of their famous ravioli and there was a lot of catching up by many old friends and new ones. In the end, Skwerl stood up to recognize those of us who'd finished the Challenge, to award gbraach with their gas can, and to applaud us for coming up. Then I stood up to present Mamma Gravy's picture of Skwerl (ok, my picture too) and to announce that he had officially finished the Challenge himself.

When we paid up our bill, we headed across the street to the webcam. Unfortunately, the Burning Man server (providing the free WiFi) was down, so HobbitHiker kindly took a picture of all of us sitting in the park. However, while there, we were eaten alive by mutant gnats! High-tailing it back to Brunos, the party dispursed and it was time to say fairwell.

Another great gathering of geocachers! Hopefully, the next one won't be after two years. Let's see, the next get-together is May 19th, for the teaching event. Boy, my calendar is filling up fast.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Vegas Invasion pt 3

Okay, Sunday

First, you know this had to have been a tiring week since I’m only just now getting around to writing about it.

Saturday before we parted, BroncoCacher threatened me if I even thought about getting only another four hours of sleep. LostInReno told all of us that she was sleeping in and would catch up with wherever we were when she finally decided to wake up. So, Sunday morning, I crashed at around 1am and woke up, as usual, around 6ish. This isn’t my fault; it’s what I’ve been doing! So, I just hung out, checked email, chatted on NGA, and re-ran a Pocket Query that would give me *everything* in Reno. Around 9am, I see a post from LiR on the page, so I posted my attended note, also adding a comment that I was surprised she was awake. All in all, one word – BUSTED!

Shortly after this, I’m getting bored, so I head up into Reno. Around Steamboat Springs, WhtWolfDen calls to say they are just now waking up and how long would I be. They want to go out caching before meeting up with LiR for lunch, but I’m starved and need food now. I call LiR who says she’ll meet us all at Great Basin Brewery again. It’s a date. However, Great Basin wasn’t open yet, so when the guys meet up with me, we all walk around Victorian Square grabbing the few caches down there, including the now accessible Tribute to Sparks multi. While I have the GC number already logged, this was a new cache for me, so I got to puzzle out the coordinates while the guys read off the various numbers to me. Bout this time, GeoSpyder calls and tells us he’s placed three new caches, one from TRAKD who was at the event last night, and now wants to meet up for lunch.

Eventually, everyone piles into Great Basin and it’s off for a powercaching day of Reno. Now, this is the first time we’ve all done this, so it took some practice on how to move around and follow the available caches. We were trying to mix in what the locals needed with showing the visitors what we had to offer. We hit a lot of Spyder caches (including one that was muggled), Safe1, grimmie, eph5vs20, byjer, and the Alamo and Lil Devil caches. I think by the end of the weekend I’d up my count by 20, LiR had 30ish, and the guys hit 60 that one night. We found about 3 needing replacement, a few recently muggled (one cache was lying out in the grass field), and lots of others ranging from ammos down to nanos. WWD made the comment that we sure had a lot of historical markers in town, of course, I had to tell what happened when I went to Vegas looking for the 20-odd ones that are supposed to be down there. Rude Park Ranger!

After FINALLY finding the Starcrest Micro, Spyder invites us over to his house at 5pm for some refreshments. We hung out at his place for awhile; admiring his backyard (Mrs. Spyder was excited to tell us they’d finally ordered furniture for the patio). Very comfortable home and one I’m glad to be welcome at. The Spyders are great hosts! But, we had more caches to find so we bid farewell to them and went off, turning our arrow into Reno and eventually making our way to Oxbow. Of the various caches we found, the funniest thing that happened was at the park. Two guys, of varying states of intoxication, were coming in while we were heading out. One went to duck under the gate – and whacked his head on the STOP sign. All five of us had to bite our lips to prevent from howling out load right there, but once inside the Xtrerra, we couldn’t stop laughing.

Around 8pm, LiR declares it is time for dinner. Caching has a remarkable affect on hunger and thirst. Water you can’t avoid, but needing food tends to get pushed aside. Choose meals wisely and it’s a great way to lose weight! We drove through downtown Reno looking for something that all of us wanted. Eventually Outback was suggested and off we went towards Sparks. We arrived around 8:30 and they close at 10pm. This is important.

Actually I think I’ll sum up the next hour and a half – we had a busboy stepping in as a server and they were raising the cows in the back. About 9:30 is when BC had enough and was off to complain, thankfully our food was spared the inevitable negative reaction to our complaint at the busser brought it out at that very moment. Needless to say, none of us was very happy – though we did manage to relax and visit for a long time.

As it was now getting late, LiR needed to head home since she had to work in the morning. We went back to Great Basin to trade off from her truck to mine. Saying farewell to her, it was now my turn. Now that I had a decent PQ loaded into my GPS and was situated where I could see where I was going and what I needed to do, I zipped south along Virginia St and stopped at every cache I could find until we hit the dead zone between South Meadows and Summit Sierra. Turning back, with Ricky now leading with his GPS, we cut back onto McCarran just as BC was saying midnight was the cut off time. Took me a few tries to get into the correct driveway for the Jeepers Quail Park cache, but that was a good finish to a great night. No where near MooseMob’s 107 from the night before, but a fair stab for 12 hours of caching with nearly a two hour break (between Spyder and the Outback nightmare).

I took the guys back to the Nugget where we stood and talked for about half an hour. The biggest topic was LiR and my planned trip to Vegas in November. BC made the comment that not only do they have to top this weekend, they have to do it twice! (LiR is going down in July also). But I’m more interested in the hikes and Vegas cachers are known for their evil hikes. Especially since ic_nevadamike, brooker, and LVHiker are down there. BC issued a challenge to me, get in shape by November and he’ll lead me up to Mt. Charleston.


This was a great weekend and one which I would gladly repeat as often as I could. I invited the guys back up, maybe to do a run around Tahoe – WWD seemed excited about bringing his family up to the Lake, and BC wanted to go offroading. I told there about the dirt road between Kingsbury and Spooner – the reply was “COOL!” And I’m going to hold up my promise to get in shape by November. 180+ days left, hopefully to progress from cleaning out Ophir Creek Trail, to finally bagging Freel Peak and Mt. Rose. I will do this and I will be able to keep up with the whole bunch of them.

Thanks for a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Vegas Invasion Pt 2

Oh goodness, where to start? Well, at the beginning. I'll break this into two entries, so this will cover Saturday.

Okay, after I finished last entry, and getting a private message from BroncoCacher that he couldn't believe that I was up already, I headed up to Reno to meet LostInReno. However, I had some time, so headed up to Virginia City in hopes to get the one cache up there that I keep missing. Unfortunately, it was also the same day as the motorcycle rally, so about 500 dirt bikes were crowded into the small town. I gave up on the cache and attempted to get out of town. Finally, made it out and down Geiger grade. While heading down, I got a call from Altered7151 who was also going to meet up with us. I gave him the nearest cache to her house (a sure sign you are a real geocacher) and told him I'd be there in twenty minutes.

We got together, and began grabbing caches throughout south Reno. After running into an area where we were thin on caches, we headed out to grab the remaining Lockwood series. Needed a lifeline on one and witnessed Nature in action, a garter snake getting a meal out of a baby rattler! Totally wicked! Heading back into town found us some more caches just before we spotted the Southwest plane coming in. Off to the airport!

LiR parked outside the Baggage Claim and Altered came up with the idea to leave our coordinates on WhtWolfDen's cell. But after 15 minutes of waiting, I wandered in to see what was going on - hurm, their bag was sent out the wrong gate and it was at the opposite end of the area. We packed everyone up into the truck and drove over to the Nugget to drop the gear before we took our turn caching.

So now it was LiR, Altered, WWD and son, and me all piled into the Xterra and heading out for an afternoon of caching. We made a beeline for the center of town, picking up sporatic caches along the way. After awhile, we decided to head to UNR to grab the handful of caches up there. Course, LiR couldn't pass the chance to bring a Vegas local to UNR. Our first find was odd, it was sitting out in the open, but then we ran into trouble.

One cache was hid with the intent to show grade school kids how to use a GPS. The last log on it was a DNF. When we get there, we could clearly see where the can had been hidden, but Ricky decided to check under the steel door leading to an underground communications pit. Altered open the door - and there was the cache, floating in two feet of nasty water. Ricky climbed down into the pit to retrieve the cache and I emptied it out, setting the children's books aside to dry and inspected the log. Sure enough, proof was in there that this was no accident...

We gathered up the cache and took it with us. We finished off that section of town before it was time to head to the event. Once we arrived, we saw that we weren't the first. Several others were already milling around, but more were soon to follow. What an awesome time we had - so many new and long-time friends were there. I even finally got to meet cabokalz! WWD had his coin collection with him, the first such large one that Reno's seen. Most of the collections stay in California. Everyone had a great time, with lots of chatter going on amongst the various cachers. We had folks from Oregon, Sacramento, Battle Mountain, and of course Vegas there - though BC never did make it.

We awarded the Machavellian Award to Spyder this month, took him completely by surprise as I was talking about byjer micros and he's thinking he doesn't have any micros out in Pyramid. Chatted with so many people I've forgotten who all I talked to, but it was an incredibly successful event.

Afterwards, we (now joined by Moonchaser) were waiting for the elusive BC to show, when Ricky finally said "Let's ditch Steve!" Okay, off we went.

Deciding since it was night, we would head towards Dot, Dot, Dark. Course, that put us right past Hoofocker, so of course we had to stop and show them the funniest cache in town. Lots of pictures and many stories later, we were on the road when BC finally calls to say he's free and where were we. WWD explains what we're doing, which resulted in a twisted use of Hoofocker's name, and BC was on his way to meet up with us at Galena Junction. Then it was off to Dot, Dot, Dark!

Now, we in Reno/Carson are daytime cachers - very few of us actually go out at night and that's only till about 9ish. Our guests, however, were used to calling it a night around 1, maybe 2, in the morning. BC asked if this was a new phenomenon here, I replied it was an unheard of phenomenon. So the existance of a night cache was a novelty that wasn't unique to those who are used to it. We also hit two nearby caches, one a hill hike that left me winded, but at the cache. WWD (or BC) made the comment that would have only been a two back home. Yeah, yeah, bite me.

By this time, LiR was beginning to fade, so we grabbed one more cache and then headed back to her place. Rearranging the Ridgeline got the five remaining cachers into one truck and off we went again. This time it was just a run up McCarran to grab the ones BC had done Friday night.

All of the ones he did.

Including the plank!

BC had the idea to make the other two wait on top of the bridge while the third attempts the cache. Ricky goes first, leaving his Dad and Moonchaser wondering what is going on. BC and I are ready with our cameras. He makes it easily across, also holding the underside of the bridge for balance - what, am I the only one who can just walk out? - and grabs the cache. Moonchaser was next, but she opted to try another sunny day. WWD went last, and he nearly felt as we pointed out that his head was mere inches away from the swallows nest above him. I walked out there again to have a picture of the two of us on the plank.

I think this will be my challenging cache whenever I go out with friends.

After everyone was safely back on shore, we called it a night and I headed home. Tomorrow, breakfast at 9 or 10 - with specific instructions that I was not, under any circumstances, to get up with less that 7 hours of sleep.

Yes, sir!