Friday, June 22, 2007

Ophir Creek Trail

Mamma Gravy and I got moving again by heading up Ophir Creek Trail. We'd each done various portions of the area cleaning out the older caches, but now there's new ones up there, so it was time to get them.

It was a great stroll all the way up, though the day started out rather cruddy. An understandably upset email from both Habu and John regarding some comments made seemingly from the Board. Personal politics aren't going to enter this blog, though Gravy and I did talk about them the entire hike. Even got a call from MM, both to steal his Jeep (whoo hoo!) and to talk about just what the difference between "power" and "authority" are and what he has of those. This had been a conversation we'd had the night before, so we just picked it up from there.

After deciding to ignore life in the valley for awhile, Gravy and I found three caches up the trail (including one I'd already gotten) and had a great little picnic lunch sitting by the lair of White Tiger 1. It's been awhile since I was up here, but I still remembered exactly where that cache was. Course three times up there to look for it really helped me get to know that boulder field.

Continuing on we made our way to White Tiger 2 and a GREAT view of Washoe Valley. Though the hunt took longer because the GPS was really screwing around, but I finally found it. Admired the view, sorted through the cache - aside from two other logs in May, the cache had not been found since 2005!! Geeze!

Hoofed it back down to the car and headed into work. Found out, due to something work related, that I won't be getting a day off again for awhile, though I'm hijacking the closing schedule.

The next day before my class, decided to go take a walk up Hobart Rd that connects to Lakeview. Since there aren't any caches along the lower part of the road, the only thing I'll mention about that is I think I screwed up my foot. It started to really ache.

At work, it just plain downright hurt.

By the next morning, the thought of pressure on it was the furthest thing from my mind. Following the RICE therapy right now, hopefully I won't be gimpy too long.

White Hill

Okay - posting the quiz below also reminded me, well, I haven't updated this since Saturday.

Ok, Sunday morning, now that the Rally is over, Dad and I went to breakfast with the entire MooseMOB! Stress the second part there. Total party of 8, Lynn and Letty, the two daughters, and the two grandsons, and us. First we hit Cracker Box - um, riiight 8:30am on Father's Day. Well that ain't happening. So, it was off to Pop's BBQ for good breakfast and surprisingly empty restaurant. Of course I had the cinnimun roll and could feel the sugar clogging everything in me.

Then, since we had time, it was up to White Hill. Dad headed off on his own to go fill up the cooler and I led the Jeep up the Spooner Road to enjoy the backcountry of the Sierra. Managed to also find the Wood Nymph, though I couldn't remember where most of the carvings were. John called at this point (first me, then MooseMob) to get the coords for the picnic.

Once up on the hill, we saw that dad, wildoates, and the Topaz Geogoats were already there. I parked up at the front and MM parked his Jeep next to the road. Later, when Spyder rolled up in his 2-door version, they lined both Jeeps up as a gate that all others had to pass through. It looked cool.

We set up a table for bugs and coins, and MM's collection was laid out for all to see. Also set up the various raffle prizes and ever the new cache that was to be placed up the hill. I can't remember who all was there, but we had a fairly decent gathering for exhausted cachers. A lot of Rally folks came up, a handful from ODL, and one or two just random visitors. Great time and a lot of fun, which is purely what caching is all about.

It was also cool having not only RoadRunner present, but we also had Hemlock there - so when the new cache (who's page was already submitted) was being packed up with numerous bugs and coins, Hemlock was on his phone publishing the cache! That wwas just too cool for the rest of us caching minions.

After a long while of just hanging out, it was time to shuttle everyone back to their own places and things to do. I headed back to Carson with part of the family, said my farewells, and went home to log in.

And crash!

I think Dad was out on the couch even before I got my computer on.

Though, while logging, I realized I'd let both volunteers go without getting their coins! Drat! But, coincendentally, Lil Devil called for a lifeline on the Hobobrother cache that I'd just found and refound with MM. Whoo Hoo! Helped him out, and listened as they spooked up a rattler, and told him that I'd like to discover his coin. So we were invited to dinner that evening.

Dad and I get down there at a little after 7 and I think we left a little after 10. It was awesome being able to hang out and just talk, and talk, and talk some more. Both of them are on my short list of the folks I'd really like to go caching with one day and just hang out with.

This was a totally wicked weekend and I'm seriously bummed that it's over with.

Stupid bit of randomness

Okay, I used to do these silly quizzes LOOOONG ago when they were, like, new and novel. Rarely since have I found one worth my time. This one I stumbled upon from ClayJar's site and I was interested. Mostly because, at work, I'm always asked if I'm from (insert your favorite midwest state here). Um, no - Born in Washington, raised, lived, schooled, worked, hung out and every core of my being is a NEVADAN! But, inevitably, someone asks where I'm from.

How I got an accent from a place I've never been is beyond me. But... this handy quiz (which seems much better than any Quizzilla one) was helpful...

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
The South
North Central
The Inland North
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tahoe with Lynn and Letty

Today couldn't have been more perfect.

Started the morning by caching around Carson - until I got a phone call from Erin. But as that's an entirely unrelated bit of news -just know that we could have done more but I was preoccupied. We hit somewhere around 8-10 caches this morning before drifting into breakfast at the Elk's Lodge.

I just socialized with those I knew and hadn't seen in awhile, while both MM and Letty sat down to have their breakfast. After a long while, it was time for the Rally folks to head out and I drifted back over and sat with them and Lil' Devil, Angel, Hynr, and Teachermom - along with the Elk's volunteers. A whole lotta chatting about a whole lotta nothing before we finally got out of there and up to Tahoe.

Running late put us at White Hill around 11:45, and a long time was spent looking for just the right place for the ammo can. MM had brought a large ammo can.. though he "didn't bring the BIG one, just the medium one." I don't want to see the big one if that is medium. We found a great spot with a view and cleaned out the area to place the cache tomorrow.

Back down the hill it was north bound to Incline Village and around. Our cache total wasn't high, but the ones we did hit we had a lot of fun at (especially at the Go Tahoe cache in the Visitor's Center - MM showed off both his little stamps he uses to log in - many many many times.) Mostly it was a day to enjoy the lake and the beautiful weather we were having today.

At one point, it dawned on us that the email for Opening Day at the Lake had not arrived yet - and we were wondering what would happen with the Meet & Greet this evening. MM started a whole idea about hijacking the Event and bringing his own logbook and having his own event. He went as far as saying it would read "An event by habu! (hijacked by MooseMob)" once he was done. For some reason that struck me as extremely funny and I kept chuckling about it all the way through Tahoe City.

Mom called somewhere around there and informed me that Stateline traffic was a nightmare and if I was in Tahoe - I might want to consider staying here. However, we needed to be back in Carson for the dinner - but I thanked her anyway for the information.

Once at the event, we hung out in time to meet a few of the other cachers who showed up early - all of whom had stopped by the registration table and picked up the waypoints - so it was an interesting conversation trying to figure out which "cache" they were talking about. Habu showed up and I was able to relate that I never got any of the information.

Back down in Carson, we encountered the Taste of Downtown and so had to do some creative driving to get back to the Elks. Good food, great company, and MM... er, RoadRunner was introduced to everyone. I even got up to address the crowd - introducing Lil Devil and Rock&Crystal as co-chairs of GeoWoodstock 6, inviting everyone up to White Hill, and the Statewide Meet & Greet. MM says I did a good job, I just sounded like I babbled... a lot!

Afterwards, we hung out with Team Spinner and had a long conversation with them about various things. Then, it was time to head back and make plans for breakfast. Okay - 8am, daughter's place, then Cracker Box. Oy, this pup is exhausted and I haven't even begun to study for my History test on Tuesday!

Friday, June 15, 2007

More randomness

Well, another week that has been hit and miss.

First, I went after one of byjer's caches up near the Res and managed to have a second time my phone's net connection has saved me a DNF. The cache is up the side of a massive sheer cliff and through various logs and one brillant photo - I found the cache quickly. Course, I tried on my own to find it, but with no luck, I resorted to the tools at my disposal. Not as much of a hike as I had hoped, but still, it was a lot of fun.

Then, on Monday I meant to meet up with habu! but he was driving instead of flying, so I went caching along South Shore. Before 9pm, I'd managed to clear out a handful more of the Mile Markers and a few others. One of which, again, required the use of my net connection and another close look at the photo in the gallery. My phone has now become indespensible when caching.

Tuesday, habu! arrived and I went up (again) to Tahoe to meet with him. A great little dinner and a two hour talk gave me a lot of information about Opening Day at the Lake and gave him some nuggets of information that made his brow wrinkle in thought, but an inspired gleam in his eyes told me he had struck onto something. Very nice guy and I can't wait to meet up with him again.

Wednesday (I'm doing this to justify why I didn't go hiking this week) I worked late and spent the morning dealing with various emails about various things (mostly caching). But the good news came in the afternoon. I've been trying to see if MM wanted to go after the soon-to-be-published ODL caches, and related to him habu's worry about them being approved. Later, I get another email from MM saying he's talked to habu and Jenn (apparently the woman who oversees all the reviewers).

Not much after that until an email from habu, and I quote, "Yippie! Groundspeak is going to let me publish the caches! MORE SMILEIES FOR EVERYBODY!!!!!"

I sent Lynn a thank you.

Thursday was another day of trying to figure things out for this weekend, but the great news was that late Wednesday, I got a phone call from Lil' Devil - inviting me to dinner!! I think my mouth dropped at that point and I could hardly wait. We met at China Jade Horse and spent a delightful two hours just talking and a little bit of eating. I think this is the first time I really got to sit down and talk with both Brian and Beth. I had a ball!

Today... oh today... if I was any more wired, one would think I was in the Rally itself! I was literally bouncing off the walls at work - didn't help that the DVD from Xterra Planet was on my desk waiting to be watched. I raced through my work - mostly to be available if I was called for our new hire. 2:30 couldn't come fast enough, but it finally did, and after running home to grab my stuff, I was off to Fuji Park and the spaghetti feed. Hung out with folks, watched the DVD with the others involved, and generally hung out. Then Moonchaser asks if I would download the route for those who were late to check in.

Guess I helped with the Rally after all.

Afterwards, took MM's family back to their place, then followed the infamous Green Jeep TB to the hotel and helped/waited for them to get settled. But, after a day of little finds and DNF's, MM was ready to play. So, we went caching.

First a (too late) stop at the start line and a conversation with Monty, before heading off to Jack's Valley Road and grabbing as many caches as we could along there. Then, I asked if he wanted to go off road a bit to get the drivable ones up the hill. We went after the cache by the tank and on the way back... "You drive."

What? "Drive!" Um....

How do you drive an automatic? I found out the hard way there's no clutch as I habitually went to push it in to shift and locked the brakes up. Oops, at least we were trying to stop. hehehe

Got the hang of it and drove up the hill and back down into Indian Hills and off towards a few other caches. MM swapped seats with me before we got back out onto Hwy 395 again to head into town. I think for the evening, from 6ish-9ish we got 16 caches.

Tomorrow is going to be so cool!!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Here a Cache - There a Cache

All week long I've just been picking at the caches that are left around here, mostly trying to find ones that involve hiking.

Though, after Eagle Canyon, I desperately needed a hat that would shade my neck, so Dad and I headed to REI and got me one of those desert hats with the fabric on the back (and also got the Teaching cache on their property).

The next one I got was Skool of Rock, which wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be - though I haven't decided if it's overrated or I'm in better shape than I thought. I also DNF'd a newly published cache, and that was a wild story.

The next day, I ran down to Genoa to grab a cache that matched a needed combo on my Well Rounded Cacher progress - needed to call a lifeline (or two) before I was able to find it. Then, once I got back home, Dad and I went out to reattempt the DNF from the night before. While we were standing on the hill, a Jeep pulls up behind the truck and out gets Bernsports and family. I love being able to run into other cachers while in the field.

Then, on Thursday when I had the day free, I drove up to Genoa Peak Cache which matched another of my needed combos, before turning my attention to Recon's Revenge. A hard hike up to the summit of Rose Peak revealed... a muggled cache. Worse than muggled, outright stolen and a rude note left in it's place. Damn - and a Yellow Jeep Travel Bug was in there.

Today, however, totally rocked as it's Friday again and that means it's mine and mamma Gravy's hiking day. We chose to go up after Mustang Abbey and a few die-hards. A long, tough hike, but we both succeeded in completing our goal. It was a beautiful day today, much nicer than the hike up Eagle Canyon, and in the end we went 4 miles.

Afterwards, I decided to try for the final B-52, though I didn't know where it was because I didn't have the coordinates. After researching through the logs, the gallery, nearby caches that others had logged into, I was able to at least get my butt hiked up to the right hill. I searched for probably 20 minutes, before giving in and calling for a lifeline. Once Jeepers told me where it was, I found that I had been 10 feet away from it!! ARGH!

But I found an Abe cache and got that close to it after a huge hike, without the use of a GPS!! Woot!!

It's been a tough week - but the good news is my pants are starting to bag enough that I'm cinching down the belt. My hiking is working!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Eagle Canyon and beyond

So, Friday was another day for a hike. Mamma Gravy and I have decided that each Friday we are available, we're going to try for a tough cache to get into shape. Course, I've been walking all week and she claims she hasn't.
The goal was Eagle's Nest, an Abe cache that rests in a canyon quite visible throughout Reno. There's a bunch of other caches up there, so it was going to be a good day for hiking and caching.
The drive over was an interesting start, there was now a gate across the access road, and when I attempted to continue on the road I was on, I was flagged by a construction worker in time to stop me from driving into freshly laid asphalt. When I told him what I wanted, he asked a simple question back - "Was it locked?"
Up at the foot of the canyon, we loaded up on our caching gear, food, and water and struck out. The first cache was Damonte's Mustangs, and sure enough, there was a herd of them hanging out nearby. Then, up, up into the canyon towards our next goal of Come to Jesus - a cache near a plastic Jesus statue of unknown origins. By now, it was beginning to get hot and I found my UNR hat was too heavy and too hot. Good thing I had the Camelback on.
Higher we climbed, sometimes quickly, sometimes very slowly. We took a lot of breaks because it was so hot and scrambling over boulders isn't the easiest thing in the world. At one point, I scaled a large boulder to try to find the best route for Mamma Gravy - since the way I'd gone was difficult even for this mountain goat/gazelle. Once on top, I was able to spot the figure and then directed her around through a rock field that was only slightly less difficult than my route. In the end, I came from behind the statue and she worked her way to the front. Her's was the right way as I had to drop down the 4 foot wall. Score 2 for us.
The next was the goal of Eagle's Nest. The boulders were now getting larger and, though more difficult, we found that following the old creek bed was the way to go to avoid the steep canyon walls. I made my way ahead of Mamma Gravy, looking for the path. More rest, more water, our sandwiches eaten at the last cache, we battled our way up. Finally, we spotted the tree and I took th foolish way straight up to the underbelly, while she circled around and got it from above. 3 down!
However, at this point, Mamma Gravy declared her legs were done climbing and she was going to start back. However, she encouraged me to continue on. I tried my water and found my bag was bone dry (2 liters worth) - but before I could back out, she gave me her last bottle of water. We parted after deciding an hour and a half was enough time to finish the final two caches up the canyon.
More rock hopping and now outright climbing as the canyon turned sharply upward. I even scaled an old dry waterfall. After 20 minutes, I'd found the cache Diehard's Diversion - so named in honor of those who climb the Virginia Range from the west. Only then did I realize that I'd climbed from the valley floor to the top of that ridge. WHOO!! Another 40 minutes got me over to American Dipper and a great view straight down the canyon I'd just climbed.
And also a view that gave me no sight of Mamma Gravy. Half hour to check in time.
I was stupid in my decision to hurry down the wall of the canyon, but I eventually made it back to the creek and quickly made my way back the way I'd come. Each corner I turned without sight of her made me worried about the time, the distance, and my own condition to get out. 500ml of water isn't much and it was baking that day.
Finally, with 5 minutes left on the clock, I spot her further down the way and call out! We met up in the shade of a huge boulder, and I just collapsed in exhaustion. After about ten minutes, I was feeling well enough to get back up and together we made our way back to the truck.
Once we got back, we headed out to finish the B52 series, since I now had the key to the locked ammo can. Skipping around Reno and Verdi bagged us the final caches in time for Mamma Gravy to head home and me to head over to LostInReno's house to hang out with her and GreenGecko for awhile. Then I too headed home and waited for my calves to remind me that they do exist.