Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend - Day 3

Sunday, today was the day!

First, though, as the organizer of the cache explosion upon Tonopah, I needed to do some maintenance. Understand, prior to October 20th, 2007, Tonopah had two active caches, three total that I knew about. After that date, Tonopah had 67 caches throughout the town and surrounding area. That's what happens when you bring 56 cachers to a town that has nothing. There's even been a few added since which will make my next trip down there a fun one.

Anyway, so we ran around checking on the caches I knew had a problem, cleaning up the ones that had been archived due to lack of maintenance (I'll get down there eventually!) and generally checking up on things. SKWERL, who missed the event, was able to add a very quick 20+ to his count in those few hours before we finished with what I knew had to be worked on, and we headed out of town.

First stop was Orizaba. Neither Dad nor SKWERL had been there and I was able to enjoy the site under the morning sun. Still a spectacular location. We then debated if it was easier to turn around and head back by Montezuma's Revenge, or continue north and bag a couple up by Gabbs.

If you aren't a Nevadan, or haven't been here, grab a map. Find Tonopah (about the center of the page) look northwest until you find Hawthorne, then go a bit east till you see Luning, then look north to Gabbs. Yeah, that's what we were considering heading out to. Measure it. This is a big empty state (to anyone but Texans and Alaskans).

So, the vote was to head back to Miller's rest stop along the power line road. We bounced our way along, grabbing the caches out that way, and when we got to Montezuma's Revenge, we discovered the road turned to a mucky muddy soup. So, once the cache was found and we were lined up on the powerline road again we headed out. Imagine if you will one Jeep Rubicon, and one Toyota Tacoma, and add in one long stretch of muddy road.

Yep, the boys had fun and this gal got pictures!

Once at Miller's, SKWERL couldn't resist pulling his nasty muddy filthy Jeep right up next to a beautiful showroom shiney Rubicon. Clean Jeep, Dirty Jeep - I know who the Dirt Gods favored that day!

Then we were off to another earthcache, this time up in an area of eroded lava flows. Breathtaking scenery and wonderful formations! Plus some scrub cactus growing throughout the area. But the day was growing late and the goal of the whole trip was still ahead of us. We hit the pavement, grabbing one more cache along the way, then made it to our thank you to Skwerl for all he's done, and for his Delorme Challenge that got us out exploring the state.

Two years, almost to the day, this little cache has sat out in the desert awaiting this moment. I'll post here SKWERL's log as this was all for him:

November 30 by SKWERL (2970 found)
WOW! There is no other way to describe this location, the cache or the people who placed it for this old SKWERL. I guess I could blame my misty eyes on the dust in the air, but I really enjoyed looking through the container that had patiently waited out in the desert for me to come down to visit. Acorn the Squirrel was unusually quiet as well, a sure sign that he, jaded as he is, got choked up too.

The entire journey was filled with great caches, and memorable trips, in the mountains, through gullies, across the flats, in the daylight and in darkness.

My sense of anticipation continued to build as I travelled into The Sump to document my journey and claim the FTF prize. The prize was great and I will use it to find a memorable keepsake, but in truth I already received the most wonderful gift....

Thanks for the cache and for the adventure guys!

(and yes I did originally submit this with a three word log for anyone who had this on a watchlist )

Yeah, he submitted a mere TFTC originally and that's what popped up on my Owner email. The rat.

We hiked through the Sump in a speed race of only an hour. Managed to get to the opposite end before we had to turn back, but I know that all of us will continue to visit over the years.

There was one last cache to get and that was up above the Sump. I hadn't been there before and now am recommending both to simply get a feel for the sheer scale of the place. Down below, everything towers above you and you don't get to see much beyond the area right around you, above everything is laid out before you but looks so amazingly small that one could be fooled into thinking that the Sump is a minor footnote. I highly encourage you to visit if you can.

Finally, we headed back, took the pavement up through Hawthorne (a visit better forgotten) and then turned to head to Yerington. Here SKWERL had to leave as he was heading home and to continue following us would have put him home really really late. Dad and I continued on to grab his other letterbox in Wilson Canyon and I ended up climbing the slope of the canyon wall in utter darkness with only moments of the Mega-Spotlight illuminating the hill. Found the cache using the light of the GPS and once back at the truck, spent another endless time staring straight up at the stars framed by the black canyon walls.

It was a great ending to a fantastic weekend. I'm glad we were finally able to sync our schedules and I'm glad that SKWERL has taken it upon himself to get us lazy desert rats out of the cities and into the wilds of the Great Basin.

NevadaWolf discovered "Nomans River (FL)" Red Jeep Travel Bug

NevadaWolf found Tuff Stuff, Volcanic and Sedimentary Rocks of the Monte Cristo, Brothel Junction, De Sump "mini Grand Canyon", (Letter) Box Canyon

NevadaWolf posted a note for Orizaba Express, Gateway to The Sump - SKWERL's DeLorme Challenge

No comments: