Saturday, February 28, 2009

Visit to Lake Lahontan

Today, b0neZ, kindergeek, Puzzleman, and bookmarked and I all went out to grab a handful of caches around the reservior This has to be one of the funnest weekends I've had. I definitely needed it as I'm been getting a bit of cabin fever being in Carson and on pavement so much lately.

So, Puzzleman's seen that there's this cache on an island in Lake Lahontan. Knowing that the lake is really really low gives him the idea to go out and see if we can drive to it. Would I like to come along? Oh heck yeah!

So we head out, Puzzleman and Bookmarked in their Jeep and b0neZ, kindegeek, and me in the 4Runner. But we can't just drive straight out there, we have to spot and bag some caches along the way. And have some fun while we're out and about. The first stop was a cache up on a small hill outside Silver Springs. I waited below while the Jeep bounced so fast up the road it seriously looked like a cute little silver bug flying along the hillside. Then we headed towards an old Overland Station that's just off the highway and while the others either explored the ruins or found the cache, I got my trucky dusty on the dry lake bed.

One thing you need to know about Bookmarked - she *loves* being off-road. The faster, bumpier, and dustier it is, the happier she is. So when I pulled back up to the ruins, she ran down the hill yelling "Do it again! With me this time!" Her father obliged as he also loves having fun on dirt and they were having to much fun watching me out there. So I was the good little tour guide and took pictures!

Then we headed off to another cache I kept missing that provided a great overlook of the lake. Course, this overlook was just of how miserably low it is, but we were able to finally get up to the old tower and find the cache quickly. Puzzleman relayed a comment his daughter had made, that this is what geocaching is all about. Spending a day with friends and exploring new areas. I cannot agree more!

We continued on to a small pocket of caches where we found on in a culvert under the railroad tracks, then another up in a small range, and then (while the Jeep went off to get one I'd found already), we went exploring to see if a road went up to an Overlook cache nearby. Seriously, I drove *around* this hill looking for a way up, and not only ended up driving into a narrow, steep canyon with a stream bed for a road, but I also ended up driving into the back side of an old quarry - that had the main access gated and locked! Getting out of that was interesting and then reconnecting with the Jeep was another long adventure.

As we made our way over to the island, we kept looking at the lake and attempting to guess where we would eventually wind up. Found the nearest cache, and then we made our way over to the beach. Winding through some shoreline trees to a rough embankment of rocks found us .3 miles from the cache and a deep section of lake still between us and the island. The water was down, but not low enough! We're going to wait until summer when the drought really hits and look forward to being able to drive out.

Heading down the powerline road towards the next cache, the day was starting to grow late and we still had to decide which way to go home. The next two caches were quick, but not quick enough for the setting sun. The decision was made to turn back and head home the way we came in. I took the lead, and soon we found ourselves back on pavement and our rigs pointed home.

Another fantastic day and one that is re-igniting the adventurer spirit in me. I am so restless to get back out into the sand and sage, to ease my way up into narrow canyons, and follow old wagon roads past crumbling ruins of stage and pony stations.


NevadaWolf found Lahontan View, Hawk Rock, The Gate Keeper, K7XC #6 - Lahontan Lake View, K7XC #19 - Lahontan Lake View #2

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some details on the FTF race!

Problem with these late night runs is that between the time the cache publishes, I rush out the door, the cache is found and replaced, and I return home, I'm usually so exhausted I collapse right into bed and forget to log anything.

So, while I'm posting this later (3-6-09) allow me to detail out exactly how these nights usually go since until now I've usually just hinted at the madness that follows the Publication Notify.

NevadaWolf found Hey Kelly & Joy, There's Washoe Lake!!!, Biking to School

Okay, so Trekrr and I were on our way to dinner up at Texas RoadHouse when the notice for Back to School came in. No time, I blow it off for whomever else to find it. However, once dinner was finished (an hour later) and a cache picked up on the way home, still no one had logged it. So, we swing by to pick up b0neZ and kindergeek, and we're off to the site.

This cache is located on a semi-busy street with no parking. So, Trekrr pulls as close as he can, hits the hazards, and out jump b0neZ, kindergeek, and myself. Trekrr drives off to circle the block. As we cross the landscaping to the sidewalk, I trip and fall and my phone goes flying of my beltclip. Gather everything up, follow the GPS, 40 feet, 20 feet, 5 feet - spread out, start looking. While this one isn't hidden by the Billow Clan, the owner recently received this one from Uncle Buck who has been putting out some insanely clever though just unusual enough to stick out caches. So, as the flashlights are sweeping the ground looking for ANYTHING my beam hits it and the cache is in hand!

We gather around, the log extracted using the required tweezers, slowly unroll the sheet to find.... SECOND?! Beaten by CeeBeeNV over 45 minutes ago. ARGH!!

Signal Trekrr and we all pile back into the truck and head home.

Now, you think that'd be the end of it, right? Oh nay nay! There are two other FTF hunters in our little town here.

While lying in front of the computer, my phone suddenly rings. The caller ID shows Puzzleman, but I wouldn't even had needed that once I answered it: "Yes?" "ARGHHHH!!!!!!" "Good evening to you too!" So, we spend the time talking as he's logging the sheet and I happen to mention that while out there I lost my stylus. He's kind enough to not only search for the little itty bitty stylus, but after *finding* that, he logged Trekrr in who I forgot to while I was out there. Wonderful!!

After that conversation was over, I checked my email to see CeeBeeNV finally logged in, so I log in right behind her, and then Puzzleman makes it home to log his. But, we're still missing someone....

Just before I head to bed, Bernsports makes his log - and a sad little purple frown graces his log. Apparently he got out there, his wife doing the same thing my dad was doing, and the whole neighborhood was echoing with the barks of every dog on the street. So between trying to search, and the constant racket make by the dogs, and the fear of the owners calling the cops, he was too rattled to focus and missed the hide. Imagine his surprise at finding a half dozen Found logs all claiming to be really quick and easy. Poor guy!!

NevadaWolf hosted Carson Coffee and Chow
NevadaWolf found guarding the snag, and on 2/22/2009 found hole in one (after midnight)

For my event, I expected around 30-40 people, tops. Honestly now, Carson is not that populated with cachers. So imagine my intense surprise when over 60 showed up!! ACK! But we had an insanely fantastic time and met a ton of great new people as well as many of my dear friends who showed up from all over!

That night, while logging in and emailing Puzzleman, RoadRunner does his thing and I'm moving! Grab up all my gear, jump in the truck, reach for the GPS.... which is still in the house! Rush back in, grab it, and back into the truck, plugging in coordinates as I go. Three new caches tonight, one in Washoe Valley, two out by the golf course. I blow off the Washoe one, too far. Gun the engine and pedal to the metal out to the links. I'm lucky enough that I know where the trailhead is for these two. I'm guessing/hoping that neither Puzzleman nor Bernsports knows of this entrance.

I get out there, no one in sight, swing around to park, and glance up the trail - and am gripped by a cold gut feeling of "Do not go alone." I don't know about you, but when I get a feeling that is beyond general uneasiness, I obey without question. I've been told by my body a couple times to back off, not go, or simply something's wrong and I never want to mess with that instinct. So I parked the truck and waited....

Sure enough, here come some Jeep headlights. "You find it?" "Nope, waiting for you."

We both park and head out at a brisk pace (I'm a mere 5'4" while Puzzleman is all leg at 6' so I have to move to keep up). The first cache site is located and the search started. Our GPS units are all over the place. 5 minutes later, I'm looking far and wide and I see the power pole. "Oh! There's powerlines above us!" Puzzleman looks, thinks, and grabs the cache quickly after that. Smart-aleck. But an easy FTF for us!

Heading off towards the second cache, we reach GZ and are faced with an old concrete chute, a barbwire fence, and lots of willow trees. We search everywhere within 20 feet, including several places that certainly weren't a 1.5 star terrain. But after a half hour, we give and head back.

As we pass by the first cache, we see a truck on the road slowing down near where we parked. We stop and I turn my flashlight off. Waiting, listening - one car door... silence, then two doors slam. 3 people? Who has 3 people? We rattle off the other groups who may be out, when I catch sight of a flashlight beam hitting the powerlines above. Puzzleman tugs my sleeve and we rush off into the bushes along the side of the trail. I see another flash of light, brighter and closer, and we heard voices coming up the trail...

Freeze, silence, hide everything reflective on me behind Puzzleman's neutral coat and hat....

A guy and a boy walk by, talking, and waving their flashlights everywhere. The beam crosses us, swings back, then back again, locking in on us as we wait... "Dad, there's people over there!!" "WHAT?!"

Puzzleman jumps up and we greet a rather pale-faced Bernsports and his son. The four of us return along the trail to the first cache where I got to play Hot 'n Cold with them until it was found, then it was back to the second cache.

Again, we search and look, and poke and are poked, until 10 minutes later, Puzzleman calls us all over and says he wants to show us something. Telling us to turn off our flashlights, he waits a heartbeat, turns his off, announces he's done, and walks away. Wait?! What?! Done?? OH! DONE! He found it!

We scramble to where we saw him last, while he's laughing manically at us. Bernsports spots it next, then I do, then Bern's son makes the grab. A long worthwhile search with friends nets us a four way FTF. We chatted all the way back to the trucks, and planned pay-back caches for hiding in the bushes and the flashlight stunt (I've laid claim to that one). Then it was time for us to depart.

I truly enjoy it when our lone hunts turn into group outings. Nothing better than caching with like minded lunatics.

NevadaWolf found Beer Run

I was late on this one as I was in Tahoe at the time it published. But b0neZ, kindergeek, and I did make the find before the night was through. Came in third, but still had a lot of fun going out to grab this quicky.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Famous List

Whoo hoo!! The list created by Puzzleman and I made the Podcacher Podcast show #204!!

Check it out here:

Valentines Day was spent hanging out with b0neZ and kindergeek, as well as beta-testing a new multi cache created by Puzzleman and helped out a bit by me. The real fun came while we were all crashed out watching Maverik and my phone buzzes for the latest publish by RoadRunner.

We bolt out the door, hoping the Puzzleman is busy with Valentine's family stuff, and knowing the cache belonged to Bernsports, so leaving only a few FTF'ers to chase. We get to the cache site, I stumble around in the dark looking for it, and score! One beautiful blank log sheet to be had!

Sunday, I ran out early with Puzzleman to place the final of his multi, the hide still needed some work yesterday. Then I just killed some time getting two of the newer caches in town before Trekrr and I went to see Coraline.

Enjoyable, though cold and rainy, weekend all told.

NevadaWolf found William Tell Road (Traditional Cache)

NevadaWolf found Cowboys and Indians, A bogey for sure

Friday, February 6, 2009

Introductory Caches

((This is the Bookmark List we've created to show new cachers in Carson a selection of Beginner Friendly styles. You can view the list here: Introductory Caches. The order is simply alphabetical, it means nothing.))

After several years, we have noticed that many new players encounter frustration during their first attempts at geocaching. It is our hope that this list of caches will provide a good introduction to the sport and help new players develop the skills to be more successful cachers. Included are a variety of cache types, sizes, hiding methods, and techniques that many geocachers may encounter.

" Information Please! "
A fairly easy, but clever, micro hide. Also the trailhead for the waterfall hike and three other caches.

This is a Riverview Park cache, with a magnetic micro container.

A Tricky Game
A different type of container.

Agua Pura
A medium-sized cache that helps build navigational skills.

Blanks + Postage
This is a Riverview Park cache, with a large container.

Carson City’s Once Greatest Building
Introduces a micro hide that has easy access and plenty of parking.

Check Out the Tome Collector
Introduces off set coordinates, as well as seeking a cache inside a building.

Crafty One
A different container, but easy.

Desert Stars
A nice hide along an educational walking path.

Dog-gone Friendly
A nice easy multi, that introduces getting information from plaques.

Doggy Doo Doo
Introduces a different hide perspective.

End of the trail
Introduces road navigation and ends with a small hike.

Game, Set, & Match!
A different type of container.

How many taverns can you see from here?
A moderate hike with a great view of south Carson.

An interesting hide and location, especially for a large container.

Industrial Park
Introduces evaluating approaching from different directions.

Night Cap
A common, yet clever, micro hide.

Rest Blissfully
A quick micro where stealth is required.

Runnin' With The Big Dogs
This is a Riverview Park cache, with a large container.

SHM #193 - Historic Flume and Lumberyard
A common hide.

Stand Alone
Introduces a simple but common hide that can be deceptively elusive.

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things - #1
Easy find, a traditional large container.

This one might stump you
This is a Riverview Park cache, with a micro container.

Top Shelf Cache
Makes you think "outside the box".

What Does He Fix?
A good beginner "on-site" puzzle.

Another hike, and trying for a streak

Whoa, got busy this week!!

Okay, Sunday, the 1st, I followed Big Truck Crew and Puzzleman up Voltaire Canyon, stopping at each of the four caches up there since P-Man needed them. I was still sore from the V&T Hill hike, but the guys were nice enough to not get too far ahead and glance over their shoulders to make sure I was alright making my way up the hill. Full details available over on my One Thousand Footsteps blog.

After we got down, the backlog of Groundspeak emails finally came through and so I got the notice of a new cache posting just as we emerged from the canyon. However, it was the notice from the night before, meaning we three tore after a cache that had already been found. So, instead we went after another one that might have still had the FTF on it. Took awhile to find, even got the two decoys, before I spotted it. Beaten by 30 minutes - oddly the same amount of time spent going after the false-FTF...

The next day I saw that I had a mini-streak going. My maximum days in a row is a whooping 14! Then Puzzleman came along, found out about that stat, and promptly made it his goal to beat my two weeks. He did, he's now sitting at 16. So, I'm going to try to get back at him. And that night, a new puzzle it posted while I'm in my Remote Sensing class. I look through it, see it has way to much math involved, and see that I'm stuck in class for another two hours. I gave up. So, Trekrr and I found a different cache.

Trekrr decides to try it anyway, we get a very very rough guess, and after finding the easy one, we set out to see if that Jeep is in the area we figured and we'd just spy on Puzzleman. He wasn't there. The consensus is he's already found it, let's go home. On the way, I get an email from P-Man asking if I wanted to go on a road trip to get the puzzle. I learn that it's taken him 2 hours to solve the puzzle and he's just now heading out. Hop out of one rig, and jump into another, and back out.

40 minutes into searching, Trekrr (now home) also solves the puzzle. So between the two of us out there and using the two different coordinates, and a full bone-chilling hour of searching, we eventually find the cache and score the FTF, at 11:57pm - 3 minutes too early to claim the cache for the next day of the streak.

Wednesday, I'm supposed to meet up with Puzzleman to help him with his new multi, but the battery cables in my truck are so corroded that they literally fall off the battery. Dead truck. Panic and a quick run to Toyota gets my little boy ready for the shop. Then over to Starbucks until they close, then over to McDonald's until they close, then head out to pick up another cache. Gotta keep the streak going!

Thursday was bleh, did laundry and then got on the phone to build a list of 25 Beginner Suitable Geocaches. That took 4 hours!! Guess what I didn't get. Ah well, had a 5 day streak going.

Today, Friday, was a Twitter-ific day. A lot happened on Twitter, up to and including having @DelormeGPS make the comment of surviving the "@NevadaWolf Twitter Layoffs" and @daisybones2600 respond by saying that "an additional $30 million was made available for those affected by the @NevadaWolf Twitter Layoffs" Yeah... this is what I put up with over the day on Twitter.

Went to work on my slides finally over at Starbucks and ended up hanging out with Puzzleman there.

But now the weather is drizzling and snowing, hopefully this weekend I'm able to do something productive!!

NevadaWolf found Don’t Get Banked, No Mulligans in Caching #3

NevadaWolf posted a note for Rockabye Egg, Sand Dunes over Carson, Stonehenge over Carson

2/1/2009NevadaWolf archived Th-Egg-rical

NevadaWolf found Scuba Diving in Carson City

NevadaWolf found Cows and Leather, Carson City Earthquake X 3! Where's The Centroid?

NevadaWolf found The $200.00 + Store