Sunday, August 31, 2008

Caching, AirSoft, and it's only Sunday

I love three day weekends, so much can happen and time goes by in spurts and stalls.

Okay, so here's the story.

Saturday, Trekrr comes by and picks up b0neZ, kindergeek, and myself and we all head out to Fallon for a day of caching and an event that afternoon. Well, I'd done a pretty good job clearing (not entirely cleaning) out the southern side of town, so we hit the North. With the four of us it should be a cake walk day.

But first, I downloaded a new program called Field Notes that'll keep track and then create a log file that can be uploaded to into their Field Notes section - and eliminates about 85% of the logging time and effort. I'm SOLD on this program.

So, Fallon we go and hit 13 caches including the event and several DNFs from my last trip out there. Plus we stopped by the September 11th memorial as we'd just been explaining to kindergeek why it was that our country was in a war - as much as you can explain such an event to a 9 year old. Afterwards, Trekrr and I headed south to Gardnerville to pick up an additional 8 caches again with some of my previous DNFs.

Total logging time 20 minutes. I LOVE this program! Read more: (link to Podcacher forums).

Okay, so that was Saturday. Sunday it was wake up early again and this time head out once again to the old Champion Speedway here in Carson. A poor wreck of a race track that has defiantely seen better days and times. News is the land defaulted back to the bank and they've taken on the challenge of cleaning it up. Until then, it gets used for airsoft and paintball games - and other... stuff.

So, the whole point is to play war. But using air guns that fire little plastic BBs around .12 grams or the Heavy .20 grams. Everyone dresses for the occastion and breaks into teams, then a situation is detailed out and then game on. Okay, so I'm not much into shooting others, even with a fake gun, so I'll shot film (or pixels in my case). Whoo Hooo, the Photographer has arrived in her bright RED SHIRT! Yeah, don't shoot me, and if you do, I now shoot back. Still, to avoid accidents or ricochets, I have a face mask.

I like watching those who are former or current military go against gun lovers who couldn't be military. The range is from a couple snipers to the pistol wielding gunslingers, even a fantasy rifle thrown in for good mix. A lot of friendly competition, and a good time had by all. I got lots of cool pictures. Only downside is the severe grafitti that crosses the line. Thankfully Photoshop is a skill I have.

Then on Monday! We discovered that kindergeek has very little basic gun safety skills, so back out onto the track to teach the boy how to handle, hold, carry, load, fire, cover, conceal, move, and other skills needed when one has a weapon in one's hand. Overall a great day out and I found that even b0neZ can't hit the broadside of a barn with a replica Famas!! I, of course, being the barn.

Later, Trekrr called to find out if we wanted to go out and find some of the EarthCaches that have recently popped up in our area. Of course! Learned about two earthquake faults, one in Genoa and the other in Silver City, and then learned a prominant hill in Six Mile Canyon is the remains of a volcanic throat! Totally cool!!

All in all, it was a GREAT weekend. I'm really enjoying getting back out and doing things rather than being stuck in the house all day reading a book.

NevadaWolf found Way To Wal Mart, SKCUBRATS, Taco Zone, skater park, Alley Cache, Micro Cache, "The Handyman" Cache, Hay, can i have a ride?, Desert Seeking, LoneSack, Union Pacific, Star Zone, 2007 Carson Valley Scouts Cache, INK-N-OIL, D's Grand View, HSF, Old Mendes Meat Market, Old School, welcome to winhaven, Jack's Valley #7

NevadaWolf attended MEET-N-GREET!,

NevadaWolf couldn't find Azlyn's Attic, Infestation

NevadaWolf found It's not my fault!, It's Silver City's Fault, Sugarloaf

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Carson City's 150th Birthday

It's a Mega-Cake.

Today took a break from caching and decided to join int he festivities marking the 150th anniversary of Carson City's birth. For on this day, the deed to the property of Eagle Station was transferred over to Curry, Musser, Proctor, and Green - who founded the town that would become the capitol.

Hopped on my bike and rode down to the museum, which is the former US Mint, and waited my turn in line for the freshly minted medallions commemorating the occastion. It's fun to watch the old stamp press out coins and know that this piece of history used to press out legal US coins with the famous CC mark.

Wandered over to the parking lot of the Nugget where booths were set up for local vendors and the chili cook-off. Got to finally meet Tony and Local Lady from But since my mouth is not a chili fan, I rode over to the Children's Museum where a street carnival was taking place. Had fun playing some games, eating italian ice and learning some geology from a UNR representative. Bout this time, Dad called and asked if I wanted to go to lunch at the City cafe and bakery at the other end of town.

There are times when riding a bike through town is the best, for you get to see those small moments that give towns their character and charm. I love going through the capitol grounds when the trees are completely filled with leaves and the sunlight is filter through as a soft breeze sways the branches.

Enjoyed my lunch and headed over to the library in an attempt to get enough passport stamps to receive a free t-shirt and pin. They had a great collection of historic photos, some of which I hadn't seen before, and I got a coupon for half off in their bookstore, so of course I picked up two books. Then it was over to the Brewery to watch the jazz festival. took a moment to get in as I didn't have the cash, only wanted my stamp, but once they found out I'd waited in line for the medallion, that got me in as the Appeal was covering anyone who got the coin. Stood and listened to some great music, fun dancing, and lots of good times, before heading back over to the Nugget for the cake.

Which turned out to be 2008 cupcakes donated by Wal-Mart in the shape of Nevada. The celebrities included the mayor, one of our senators, the state archivist, and a handful of descendants from the founders, plus the entire committee who put this one. It was a great time!

Then Dad, b0neZ, kindergeek, and I went off on an FTF attempt outside Topaz. There's a new cache placed near an Earth Crust monitoring station. An internet-connected GPS monitors the position of hundreds of points on the western half of North America. It was a cool little gizmo out there and yes we did get the blank log sheet.

This was a great day!

NevadaWolf found Earth Scope

Monday, August 4, 2008

The concept of 2000 caches

5 years, 4 states, 2000 caches. One majorly awesome adventure!

Thank you to everyone who has made this possible. Thank you to the staff of Groundspeak, to the avid cachers throughout the world, and to the friends I've made along the way. Thank you and keep on caching.

NevadaWolf visited Groundspeak Headquarters

NevadaWolf found JARW #4 – Jump In and Stake Your Claim

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tunnel of Light

Abandon all hope...
Here We Go!

So, we finally made it to Seattle. I got 1995 caches and stood at the entrance to one of the most awesome adventures I had yet faced. Simply walk in and let the journey begin.

I knew what to expect, having poured over the logs from the last several years, grilling everyone I knew who had done the cache before me, and generally pumping myself up. But there's no getting ready for stepping into that darkness, listening to the water dripping through the ceiling and splashing into pools on the gravel covered ground, or watching the fine haze of mist drift out of the opening, blown by the wind that had worked it's way 2.3 miles through the tunnel from the other end.

Once you pass into the mouth, the steel cage that stands just inside surrounds you. There's enough light at first that you don't need the flashlights that all logs and people advise you to bring. But then the cage ends, the tunnel bends slightly, and there before you is the pin-prick of light - 2.3 miles ahead, the tiny little dot of the other end.

Onward, through the dark. Lights on, or off, your choice. Listen to the crunch of gravel, the drip of water, your breathing. Eventually, you begin counting something. Alcoves, reflectors, breaks in the concrete, your footsteps. Me? It's 130 steps between alcoves. 2.5 feet per step approximately, according to the numbers painted on the walls as we progressed.

After awhile Dad suggests we just start looking in the alcoves for the cache in the tunnel. It's 13 from the western end, we came in from the east. So we look. 4 alcoves later, we find it. I do the monkey bit and crawl up on a grease and soot covered piece of machinery and knock it down behind the thing. Oops. There's wood there, use it to dig it out and get muck on my hand.

The surreal moment was standing about midway through a long, dark tunnel outside Seattle, Washington, and, in the beam of my headlamp, washing my hands in the stream of water that was dripping from the ceiling.

Time ceases, footsteps count the beats of your heart, voices echo and lights waver. Eventually, so slowly you can't say when it started, but the light at the end has a shape. Then, a red beam outside. It takes you a moment to remember outside, sunlight, blue sky, clouds, colors. Closer. Almost there.

We find the red beam is the wooden post of the power lines running up over the mountain where the tunnel cuts through. Before we leave, more start coming in. There's cachers on their way back through. We share stories, home towns, and trade information on caches. They couldn't find the one inside, nor one further ahead. We thank them and continue on. Dad leaves the tunnel first, basking in the filtered light of the sun. He catches me kissing the ground at the tunnel entrance.

Outside is a cache that predates even the Un-Original in Oregon. Placed by Jeremy and friends back on October 9th, 2000, the original log book still is in the cache. Found another micro futher on, took awhile but a DNF is not possible on this epic trip. Then we were off to the prize of the while hike.

As we came around a slight bend, a half mile from the tunnel, there was a clearing with the powerlines running up the mountain. In the clearing in a dried up old tree stump with a suspicious pile of lumber and rocks built up behind it. Get the camera, record everything, see the stump, moving the rocks, drawing forth the magical APE cache, one of only two remaining in the world. It too holds the original log book, the APE logo fading under the hands of hundreds of pilgrims who have made this journey.

One thousand, nine hundred, ninety-nine caches. An adventure that I never thought possible, a journey that has literally changed my life. For here I sit, on a mountain-side outside Seattle five years after we found a simple ammo can under a juniper tree, finally living.

NevadaWolf found Bloody Fingers, Dirty Diapers..., Iron Horse, Micro Tomb Raider, Mission 9: Tunnel of Light

NevadaWolf found 3Lees, Rawe Fun, Comstock View, A Terrible Quick Grab, Dayton Lonely Pine, NevCachers It’s In The Rocks

NevadaWolf couldn't find Where's The Water