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.

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