Saturday, May 24, 2008

Geowoodstock 6

7:23am - stopped at a rest area along I-80... In the Snow!!!

9:26am - rolled up to the Farm!

So, we went to bed early last night, well I did, b0neZ needed to head into work for a short while. The alarm at 4:30am was way too early, but we needed to head out the door at 6am. Stopped off at Starbucks for a pick-me-up and we were on the road! Cruised up north to Reno in the early morning light of dawn. Looked over a still sleeping Reno, and began the trek over the mountains into the Golden State.

Did I mention it was raining? It was raining. And it wasn't stopping.

Headed up past Verdi and Truckee, and began climbing up to Donner Summit.

Oh, wait, it wasn't raining anymore - it was snowing!

Drove through the snow on the way down the western face of the Sierra Nevadas and dropped into the foothills as the rain returned. Followed I-80 through to Auburn and turned off the freeway at the sign for Lincoln. But I missed the second turn, so we ended up driving past NewCastle to Loomis along old Hwy 40 - before hopping back on the freeway down to Rocklin and turning north to head to Lincoln and then Wheatland. 9:00 rolled around and found us parked in front of Raley's grabbing quick snacks before making our way to the Farm.

Ever been in a town you weren't familiar with? Now imagine about a thousand people being in a town they aren't familiar with. Yeah, it was entertaining watching the number of U-Turns.

Rolled up and found a parking stop - three rows back, 20 minutes after opening. Walked in and was instantly greeted by everyone! Stopped to talk with a few folks from Reno at the registration booth - when all of a sudden...


I felt like I got hit with a water ballon, and honestly, my first thought was that joker MooseMob had soaked me since I planned on soaking him later. But it turns out that the wind caught the tent canopy just right and the morning's accumulation of rain water was dumped... right on top of me.

Got our stuff and walked in to sign the log book. People, people and more people. Some who I knew, others I didn't, but we all shared the same passion for this wonderful hobby. Wandered by the vendors area and scoped out the geocoins, swag, clothing, and colletables. Drifted into the Large Barn to listen to the Paperless Throwdown hosted by Hynr, walked over to the petting farm and enjoyed watching the goats, turkeys, sheep, geese, and frogs...


Signal was there, making the rounds, and entertaining young and old alike. We were old friends with good Signal, so we hung out before making the vendor rounds again. I had fun watching the folks out on the dirt field using metal detectors to find buried geocoins, and on the other side there was a gold-panning demonstration going on.

Food was calling (it was lunch after all) and though there was pizza, nachos, ice cream, cotton candy, sodas, and Jamba Juice available, there was no coffee. They'd been planning for 80 degree weather, but the sudden downturn of temperature caught them by surprise. So b0neZ and I headed back into Wheatland and found a local's Frosty where we picked up fries and coffee. Luckily upon our return, my parking spot was up front was still available, though the field was by now 15 rows deep. A 10 acre field can hold a LOT of vehicles!

We also managed to pick up the official physical cache for the event, which was a bugger to find - but upon learning it was hidden by Frick and Frack, I'm seriously not surprised it took us awhile. Us being the mini-mob of 10 people who swarmed the gate corner.

We returned to the event, munching our snacks (mine was seized upon by MooseMob) and we finally got around to spending our money. I went broke today, but got some good stuff. Listened to music and talked to far too many people, but those we knew and those we didn't The Bingo game really helped break the ice as folks were just walking up to others and asking straight up for any squares they still needed. My tough one was finding someone with less than 100 caches, though I did find two people who were attending GW 6 as their very first event. They were both warned that any future events weren't going to be like this.

Dinner rolled around and both b0neZ and I ended up in the second wave of hungry cachers, though we did end up in the line with the Lackey's and Jeremy serving. We got to see Shauna and him again and they remembered us from the Vegas event. Now how cool is that?

Afterwards, we went over to the final 50/50 raffle and I walked over to MooseMob who was talking with MissJenn and Mihae (a Wherigo programmer) along with another guy. After a short discussion, the guy started pulling out his "Hillbilly switch-blades", popcicle sticks and a clothine clip making a fun little wooden "blade". It was then I noticed I'd been talking with Ranger Fox - Forum Moderator for the Wherigo Forums and per his name badge now a Groundspeak Volunteer. We started talking about Wherigo and he invited me to go play his new Play-Anywhere cartridge - Whack-A-Lackey! We wandered out to the field with another Colorado user and while we played, Ranger Fox, Mihae, and b0neZ kept chatting.

After the game - b0neZ, Mihae, and the other user all found out they were from the same areas in California, especially b0neZ and Mihae. So while they reminisced, Ranger Fox and I talked about the direction of Wherigo, our love for geocaching, and unique and very creative caches in our respective areas.

The loudspeaker came on to announce that the Farm was eventually going to close, MooseMob came tearing by in the Green Jeep Travel Bug, and we ambled back to the event to clean up, say our goodbyes, and end our day. b0neZ pointed out that once again, we attend a big event and end up talking with Lackeys.

We finally left around 8pm and drove back, all the way pointing and laughing at the numerous groups of cachers we could spot along the highways and roadways of Wheatland. The rain was gone, and the snow too, and we pulled back into Carson around 11pm. After sorting through all our acquired stuff and admiring our new coins and pathtags, we headed for bed and crashed at midnight. Since 4:30am, we were going non-stop for 20 hours and I wouldn't trade a minute of it for anything.

More pictures can be found here: GeoWoodstock VI

You found Official GeoWoodstock VI Cache
You attended GeoWoodstock VI (Mega-Event Cache)

1 comment:

cosmiccowgirl said...

Crazy! We were at that same Raley's getting snacks and fuel, probably about an hour behind you! It is so weird that I saw so many people, but none of the ones I knew from blogs, forums, or who had my bugs. My official GW6 story is up as well, behind a story about the TBs I left and grabbed there. Our experience was completely different than the one you describe, but still, same place, same time. We even ate the late dinner, too - on the other side. You on for Tennessee? I am on the fence. Got a year to figure it out.