Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tahoe Meet & Greet

Got to hang out with a different group of cachers today, along with some good friends. It's been a great day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Nevada side of California

Yeah.... :-|

Monday, June 23, 2008

An evening with BJ

Hung out at BJ's Brewery tonight for Charlie Pop's M&G - there was a ton of people, including a bunch of newbies. There was even a muggle amongst us!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

KG is in da house!

Welcome back, and welcome home, Kindergeek. You'll never know just how happy your father really is to have you back in his life.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Twilight on a caching weekend

Dad claims "It was a little loop on the map...", but 130 miles later we finish up a totally awesome adventure. Now to figure out when to get b0neZ and KG out there.

Being used to waking up at 6:30am every morning has it's down side - mainly that you'll wake up around 6:30am even when you don't want to! So, surfed the Net and read email until Dad woke up and we packed up for the day.

Breakfast was at Sturgeon's Casino and then we gassed up.

Side story - I'd been looking all over Carson for UV lights for a cache idea I have and was unable to find them. What do I find an abundence of in Lovelock? Yeah....

Back out I-80 and a turn towards Rye Patch brought us to a Ranger Station. "Here for the day?" she asked. "Nope, just heading through." "We're geocaching." "Alright, have a good day!" She waved us through and we passed by an insanely blue reservoir out in the dusty desert and surrounded by formations straight out of Cathedral Gorge - or at least the Sump.

Once past the lake, we were on a table top flat expanse of desert with low-lying scrub sage brush. We passed by a small group of antelope and I was describing the scene to b0neZ who was back home. We came upon a true cross-roads with a railroad rail marker for the California Emmigrant Trail. Specifically the Applegate-Lassen cutoff that turned from the Humboldt and headed north towards the Black Rock desert, and eventually Oregon.

Our first cache of the day - having skipped by one at Rye Patch itself - was back down the Trail towards I-80 along the north edge of the Res and at the point where the Applegate and Lassen trails join on the Humboldt. And we thought we got eaten yesterday! I opened the door and a swarm of hungry bloodsuckers descended. dad braved the short walk to the cache while I took two pictures and jumped back into the truck. Thankfully the stop at the gas station not only resulted in UV lights - but also a hearty supply of DEET! Take that buggies!

Onward along the trail into the mountains towards the west. We drove a long way, Dad's "little loop" beginning to reveal the truth, and eventually made it up to Antelope Summit and to our complete surprise, an FTF! Score! The area was beautiful, and I can easily see why no one would have ventured out here sooner. It's rather remote, barren, and only complete loons would do something like what we were doing. But, hey, we've done the Delorme Challenge so this was NOTHING!

The next stop was at the ruins of Superior Mine, another wonderful Dust Devil cache. The Devil's are some of the original Nevada cachers and their trademark caches, white buckets with blue lids, hold some of the neatest log books I've ever seen. The book is a printout of the history of the area, what they know about the site, and enough spaces for complete logs by the finders, including date and time. Ah, back when folks took their time at caches and would be there to enjoy the site rather than the number. But I digress...

As we made our way out of the mountains and towards another valley, Dad makes the comment that it's been three hours (the loop really driving the point home) and we hadn't seen anyone else out here. Just then, a white pickup is spotted driving down a road a few miles ahead of us. We both laugh at the timing, and then realize the the rig was stopped right about where our next cache was - and this was another FTF attempt! It would just be our luck that a cache went two months without a find and here we are, 10 minutes too late. But we had nothing to worry about, it wasn't another cacher and the second FTF was ours.

By now, I'm looking at the map and spotting several mining ghost towns that I've read about in my Nevada Ghost Towns Atlas. However, one - Seven Troughs - was one I wanted to go to with b0neZ so I told Dad that I didn't want to go explore that area yet. But that road did hold three more caches so we did do our fair share of exploring. Including, no joke, a third FTF!

But the highlight of the day was our trip up to Tunnel Camp - a ghost town with a few wooden buildings standing, a tin shed, and a brick workhouse. But the main attraction was the still standing, untouched, STAMP rising defiantly from the ruin of the mill. My jaw dropped and stayed there the whole time. I've seen these beauties in museums, on private property, but always as ornaments, relics, and on display. Here, the giant was home and more glorious than ever. Throughout the desert, I've seen great headframes dotting the landscape, but this was definately a first.

Continuing on down the road, we wound down through a gully and came out the other side to a vast valley with a long road stretching off into the distance. At this point, Dad says, "Where the hell are we?! Where's the freeway!?"

Yeah, his "little loop" had finally pounded reality in. We were WAY OUT THERE and we were only half way through.

The rest of the trip was uneventful as it was a straight shot back into town. After what seemed like forever, we finally bounced up onto pavement. The fun thing about this pavement was the sign saying "Road Closed Ahead, Local Traffic Only". Thankfully that sign was pointed towards the road behind us and we were on our way into Lovelock. Course, there was two more caches to get nearby. Another fun historical site cache by lazyts (who provided our FTFs today) and a fun scramble up a rock outcropping.

Back into Lovelock, another stop at the gas station, and back down I-80. We tried to find a cache at the junction of 80 and 95, but it was not to be. Dad noticed how many caches I had along 95 heading down into Fallon, so we went home by that route. A few years back, Mamma Gravy and I traveled the 40 mile desert and found the series of caches that were on the Trail markers aloung the route. Easy hide-a-keys, but the fun and challenge to following the old trail that cut across the dry alkali of the Humbolt Sink. It's bad enough in a vehicle, and it takes no imagination at all to see the hardship and desperation of the early pioneers.

Back in Fallon, our day was over, and it was a homebound day for us. This was one great Father's Day and I realized how badly I'd been missing these adventures into the desert. Hopefully, the project with the Nevada Rock Art Foundation will come through. I miss the sand and sage under the sun.

You posted a note for Rye Patch View

You found Rye Patch, Applegate Trail-Antelope Summit, Superior View, Rabbithole Watershed-Applegate Trail, Tears to You, Tears to Me, Farrel, Happy Birthday to Me!, Halfway House, Twin Rocks, The Northern, Rounding Mopung Hills - 40 Mile Desert, Hommocks - 40 Mile Desert

You couldn't find Trinity Junction

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Father's Day Road Trip

Dad and I are in Lovelock and crashed at a hotel after a serious caching day.

So, I ask Dad what he wants to do for Father's Day. He's been talking about this "little loop" outside Rye Patch for awhile now and we decide that it'll be fun to spend the weekend out that way and bagging some miles and caches.

So, stopping in at the store to grab the supplies needed for an all day dirt ride, we head out to north central Nevada. Along Hwy 50, up Hwy 95, and out onto I-80. Mostly quiet trip, the excitement was when we saw a huge plume of dirt and dust explode up into the air and, as we drew closer, saw the dirt bike rider who seriously bit it standing and shaking off the sudden wreck. His bike was caked in dirt and he was understandably shaken. But he got back on, the bike relunctantly coughed to life, and he was off to head home.

Once we got onto 80, we grabbed a cache in Toulon and then headed towards Lovelock, grabbing a second one at the Big Meadows cemetary. We checked into our hotel, found the second of three caches in Lovelock (the third being a 5 star terrain that even John of jahoadiandjohn confirmed was a 5 star), and headed out into the desert. Our initial trip was just along I-80, picking up the caches that neither of us had gotten since we hadn't been this way in a long while. The coolest being a bizarre rock formation that has a cache appropriately named "The Wall." Then we turned and headed down towards Unionville.

We'd been in Unionville before, but it was during that period when I wanted nothing to do with caching, so we didn't get the cache that was up the canyon from the State Historical Marker. Now a second chance to drive down there and explore was before us and we had fun walking around a mine that Garmin labelled "Boston Tunnel." I was unable to find the "tunnel" but I think the mountain runoff has created a grove a trees that happily took up residence in the mine shaft.

Back up to I-80 and back down the road to pick up the caches that lie further off the road than those quick drive bys. By now the smoke from the California fires was getting thick and the sun was turning a bright red. Rye Patch itself was a dusty grey color and unless you knew it was there, you simply thought it was a dry patch of desert. But, our adventure into the canyon revealed not only a cache, but the ruins of Humboldt City - some of the neatest building foundations I'd seen in a long while!

As we continued our way down to Lovelock, we made another stop along the Humboldt to grab a cache at the old mill site of Etna - and were promptly eaten by mosquitos! Bailing out of there quickly we headed towards the airport near Toulon (gee, haven't we been here before) to attempt to find a cache that had a rather discouraging DNF report as the last log. Sure enough, we also failed to find it. Drat!

As we headed into town for the night, we went over the count for the day and felt pretty proud of the 12 we got, considering the distance and location. The inn had Wi-Fi which let me log in, check my email, and post the above blurb. Dad crashed early and I ended up watching a little bit of "In the Mouth of Madness" with Sam Neill. I'll have to check that one out another night as it's getting late, and tomorrow is an early start!

You found Toulon Plains, "BIG MEADOWS", California Trail Nearing Big Meadows, Willard, The Wall, A Lonely State Historical Marker, Humbolted, Star City-SHM #231, Unionville Cache, Downtown / Main Street USA: Puckerbrush, NV, Got Mugged At Humboldt, Etna

You couldn't find "DE FIELD"

You hid It Had To Have One

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Getting out of town

The horoscope yesterday said make plans to take a trip and quick.

The thing I like about Yahoo!'s horoscopes is that somewhat regularly they get it right, cause oh boy did I want to get out of Carson today. So, after running a few errands for b0neZ and discovering a lot of places are closed on Saturday, we gassed up at the Chevron down on Mica Dr ($4.03 a gal) and I asked b0neZ if he wanted to go South to North, or North to South. North to South was the decision, so we headed up Hwy 50 to Spooner Summit.

Being June now I wanted to go wheeling in an easy, but scenic area. The old fire road that runs between Spooner Summit and Kingsbury Grade is the perfect remedy for pavement-itis. However, I wanted to make sure that the gates were open. Being high mountain territory the ever helpful Forest Service shuts the main access gates to protect the ground from the foul combination of 4-wheeler tires and soupy mucky roads.

Course, there is another entrance which has no gate and accesible year-round if you want to brave the deep snow.... but once you get to the other end, you encounter the wrong side of an unfriendly gate.

So, to check the status of the gate, we drove up to the Forest Service Maintenance Station at the intersection of Hwy 50 and SR 28 and viola! the gate was open. We turned and began our adventure. I'd been on this road many many times, but this was b0neZ's first trip along this area. It's a nice and easy well-maintained road that, while it's not a 50 MPH stretch, you can easily do a 15-20 MPH clip along it, but the area is so beautiful and the overviews of Tahoe that the last thing you want to do is hurry. We rolled up the road, b0neZ looking out into the forest with a few wildflowers in full bloom and a handful of snow patches still remaining.

After encountering a couple ATV'ers I decided to take him to one of my favorite overlooks. White Hill sits just over 9000' and has a wide open view of Tahoe and Spooner, with only one outcropping blocking the view of Glenbrook. There's even a good view of Shakespeare Rock (?), but I've never been able to see the Bard in the discoloration. We wheeled up to the clearing where the party that we held last year for MooseMob's GJTB and, after parking, walked up to the overlook and sat and admired the Lake.

If you've never seen Lake Tahoe - you need to make the trip. The Jewel of the Sierra is a memorable sight.

Once we spent a moment ontop White Hill, we got back into the truck and headed out along the road. We snaked through tall pine trees, aspen groves, open meadows, and rocky outcroppings. We even passed by the Aspen Grove that contains the carvings done by the Basque Sheepherders while they roamed the mountainsides with their herds. I have pictures of those somewhere - I'll have to look around in my CD collections.

We continued on our trip, passing the Tahoe Rim Trail as it crosses the road while it winds along the ridge. Climbing higher brought us to more snow and a snowmelt creek running along the road. I decided to take a side road and show b0neZ a surprise.

He's a HAM radio operator - KE7NGG - and his best friend has a repeater ontop of Genoa Peak. b0neZ has always heard of this place, but had never been there. So, I took the chance to take him up to the top of the peak and see the repeater for himself, plus another of my favorite overlooks of the lake.

After we took our time up there, we headed back down and continued on our trip. While passing a handful of caches, oddly today I wasn't in the mood to grab any of them, though b0neZ did ask why we didn't get the ones at White Hill, at the Basque carvings, and at Genoa Peak. My only really answer was, oops, sorry.

Once we got to the area I call the Dirt Bike Play-Area - because it's a sandy area that is filled with whoop-dee-doos, and banked turns, and just basically a play area - I decided to show b0neZ the site of a plane crash, where a plane failed to clear the ridgeline years ago. There's still wreckage strewn about the mountain side and someone erected a metal cross to the victims. Unfortuantely, I forgot exactly which road I was supposed to turn on, so while I did turn on the correct road, it didn't look familiar and the other road I took ended up proving to be quite adventurous for the green truck ahead of us. I backed out and continued on.

The rest of the trip was just an enjoyable meader along the trail as we worked our way to Kingsbury. I love crawling along this part of Tahoe becaue you have the Lake on one side, a pine forest all around you, and an easy terrain for anyone to be able to take their rigs off road and not have to worry about any serious wheeling.

The rest of the day was spent helping b0neZ move into his new apartment. Kindergeek is coming up soon and hopefully more adventures will be in store for us!