Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A vision of the future

Tonight I was thinking about where I am and where I am going, following all the threads that seem to be coming together and felt good about the pattern that is emerging.

When I was little, I vaguely remember wanting to help people when I grew up (you know, the firefighter, police officer, or EMT) but yeah, that angle didn't pan out. Though I still enjoy helping people, but more information based. I love sharing knowledge and learning about this desert I call home.

I'll admit that the romantic image of Indiana Jones sparked the interest in history and archaeology, but yeah, the whole school thang to become a *real* archae never appealed to me. So I do the next best thing, headed out and visited petroglyph and prehistoric sites throughout the Great Basin. That's fairly easy as there are numerous sites!

Then one day while I was working three folks walked up to the Club Booth all wearing shirts with the same icon. In an over-eager puppy pounce, I learned about the Nevada Rock Art Foundation and so walked into the second day of volunteer training class, taught by Alanah Woody. I still remember working on my first drawing, going back to double check a line, and hearing Alanah tell me in no uncertain terms that I had no choice, I would be out at Lagomarsino. Here was my chance to be an "archaeologist" at least as close as I thought I would ever be.

When the volunteer sign up form came out, a question at the bottom asked about GPS experience. This was 2003, GPS wasn't all that common, it had only been two years since Selective Availability had been turned off, and so I actually needed to do research on what in the world GPS was. Imagine my surprise to learn that there was a game based on this little device! Within a few days, I read an article by Richard Moreno in the Nevada Appeal who went out with the Wild Nevada crew to a small ghost town called Davytown outside of Winnemucca, all with the intent of geocaching. Talk about timing, I'd never heard of this game and here within a few days of each other, I am seeing numerous references to it! So, with a few more searches on the internet, I end up with my very own GPS and an amazing adventure had begun.

That thread has pulled some interesting changes into my life, the largest of which is the path that now lies before me. Allow me to explain how a chance meeting 7 years ago set in motion a sequence of events that finally illuminated the answer of what I want to be when I grow up.

  • My passive interest in petroglyphs introduces me to Alanah Woody, and NRAF.
  • A questionnaire leads to becoming an active geocacher.
  • That obsession creates a sharp spatial awareness, a sense of place in my home state.
  • An aptitude for computers and GPS experience over the years prompts Alanah to suggest I learn GIS. I ask how, and she simply says "Go back to school."
  • By returning to school to learn about GIS, I begin to believe I can eventually become an archaeologist.
  • Geocaching introduces me to other activities: off-roading, hiking, backpacking, biking, spelunking, kayaking, camping, bouldering, etc.
  • One day in 2009, I find myself on a 20 mile bike ride, followed by a 3 mile paddle. I realize I can become "that outdoorsy person".
  • I realize that the last seven years have given me the confidence and skills to pull all my interests and passions into one focused goal.
And a vision came to me, a vision that sharply defines a moment in my future that I want to obtain, a vision that extends beyond "I want to be a ...." and actually gives me a concrete point to fix upon and work towards. I already figured out what I wanted to do, but it was very vague. This is more specific and tells me the skills I need to work on to put everything on paper and say to the Universe: "This! This is what I want! This is my dream, my goal, and my life as I will live it!"

My vision: I am an archaeological technician for the Forest Service (or BLM, or whoever will hire me). There's reports of a potential site somewhere that's virtually inaccessible. I pack up a weeks worth of supplies and set out along a river in a kayak to a remote landing spot. After setting up camp along the edge of a clearing, I hike further to the base of a cliff. I am able to scale the rock face to climb into a narrow opening of a cave. From the opening, I can see a ledge where it is possible, if precarious, to walk along the face towards the top of the cliff wall. Donning my helmet and headlamp, I enter the cave and see signs of pictographs along the walls and scorch marks on the ceiling. I take photographs and sketch a basic layout of the location before carefully exiting and returning to camp. There is much to discover here and care must be taken that it is protected and preserved for the future.

I will get there. I may never be lucky enough to make a discovery on my own, but I will gain the skill set needed to be ready and able to go anywhere and do anything that is needed on a site. The PhD can have the glory, I will be there to ensure that everything they need is documented, analyzed, and recorded properly.

Bring it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wherigo home to Reno

Good morning Holden! You're such a cute doggy, yes you are!

Okay, time to get up. As the long hike today was cancelled, everyone (except poor Tammy, back out with the boys to the soccer games) took the time to sleep in and catch up on rest before going at it again. We were running so slow, Dave texted Scott and changed our meet up time.

Pile back into the truck, joined by the Dominator, and headed out to Manito Park. Scott had told me yesterday that this place used to be a zoo before the Depression, now it's a beautiful park with lots of flower gardens. We parked at the Duck Pond and watched the various ducks and geese fly around and be chased away by the kids on the grass. I always think of that scene with the pigeons in Final Destination 2 whenever I see someone doing that... morbid mind that I have!

While my Wherigo player isn't the best, I am able to use it, somewhat. So I fired up the cartridge and we began the wander around the park. WOW, this place is amazing. So large, you could spend all day wandering and never get tired of it. I loved the Duncan Garden and the Japanese Garden was fantastic. Course, today was senior pictures, so we had numerous groups of girls with photographers wandering around with us. Each stage asked a simple question of you and once answered, gave you the next location. Very straight forward and clean, I'm going to base my Wherigo off this one, once I find a place for the final. Anyway! Took a detour off the cartridge to head over to the Japanese Garden where the guys all got a great laugh out of me scratching my head in puzzlement over a cache placement. Eventually I got it, but not before I think they busted a gut trying to hold in the amusement. But I did have some fun with the camera again. Koi are so pretty!

Found another cache before making our way back on track to the Wherigo. Uh oh, battery dying! I've gone this far, NOOOO. But yep, it crashed on me and I wasn't able to save my location. So the guys took me to the stages and I took a ton of pictures to answer the questions when I got the thing working again (darnit, I want that completion code!) and was able to make my mark on the final while watching Dave and his son play baseball with a stick and tennis ball I'd found. Holden was making a great catcher, short stop, outfielder, and thief. LOL

Back to the truck to head for lunch. I saw Zips again and figured why eat at the same places I have here when I can eat someplace new. We grabbed food from the drive thru and headed to a park for a picnic. On the way we passed through a construction zone where they had completely torn the street up all the way (to my amazement) down to the cobblestone! That was neat to see! We watched some girl's playing in the water toys at the park while talking, reliving the weekend, and me all bummed out I was down to my last hour. Did get another cache while there in the park, but still, my last one in Spokane (for now).

Gave Scotty a big hug goodbye, told him to tell Christy thanks and goodbye, and jumped back into the truck. It was off to the airport and my time here was done. I bid farewell to Dave, thanked him and Tammy for their hospitality ((I don't care if that's how you roll, I will pay you back.)) and went in to make my way through the TSA checkpoint.

This has been an amazing weekend. I'm really lucky to have four awesome friends up here, and have now met a few more new friends. This will not be my only trip up here, that's for sure. That's what I love about geocaching, I've met some of the most remarkable people through this sport. We always say geocaching takes us places we never would have known about, but it also introduces you to people you never would have known. There's no way that my path would have crossed with those of Scott, Chris, Dave, or Tammy - but I am incredibly grateful that it has!

And yes Dave, I know I overdo it on the sunshine and rainbows stuff, but I am glad to know you guys. You treated me far better than just "well taken care of", you guys really went out of your way this weekend. Thank you.

More pictures from the weekend: 2010 Spokane Trip

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears - not quite!

Saturday came early as some moron left the alarm on her phone set to loud! Having crashed at 2am, a 6am buzzer is highly annoying. But it was suddenly improved by the sudden appearance of a black nose and happy to see me tongue. Good morning, Holden! Tammy and the boys were heading out to an early soccer game and both boys got a good laugh at Holden crashed out on top of me.

Then I heard Dave stumbling around and before long, Scott was at the door. Ugh, is the sun even up, it's awfully grey out there. (Dur, Pacific Northwest, yeah, clouds are on order for the day). The guys loaded up the canoe onto the truck and we headed out for the next adventure. The original plan was to paddle around Horseshoe Lake and go down a river, so we left Scott's truck near the pull out point and piled into Dave's to head to the lake. Along the way, we saw several flocks of wild turkeys crossing the road! Cool!! Haven't seen them before!

Today might be overcast and cool, but the lake was like glass. Oftentimes I was able to get a perfect reflection of the surrounding trees and hillsides in the water. Plus, I got to play with my Dad's camera by dunking it straight into the lake to snap pictures of the plants and debris. I love waterproof cameras!! We passed by an absolutely beautiful waterfall as we headed towards the bend, where our first cache of the day was hidden. Dave steered as Scott
reached out to grab the spot and between the two of them, they got me within easy reach of the decon. Snagged it, inked my name, dropped off the TB I had brought up with me. Replaced it and we paddled just a bit south to a little beach.

Pulling up our boat onto shore, we hiked up a steep trail to the ridge of the canyon. As I got close, I had to pick up my jaw. A massive cylindrical hole, straight down into the rock, opened up right in front of me. Devil's throat, Devil's well, Diana's Punchbowl, you know the type. Such a perfect gaping hole that your brain refuses to grasp what it's looking at. Surely both Scott and I, having not seen it before, were impressed! I think the sheer number of pictures I took prove that! But then we looked around and noticed that our guide was no where to be seen. Um, guess it's time to head to the next geocache.

Straight through the forest we go! I kept finding
game trails that peter out and I think Scott was following his own, though we were bother slaves to the arrow pretty much. I find a ridgeline to follow and end up in a steep drop down to the lagoon area below the waterfall. When I finally emerge onto the rocks at the base, where I beautiful poem is posted in memory to the waterfall's namesake, I look up to see Dave looking down. Oh it's up there! By the time I scramble, rock-monkey style, up to the top, Scott has reached the crossing and Dave is waiting on the other side. I'm silly and brave
and so find the small midpoint rock to brace my foot on and over the water I go. Scramble up, find the cache when Scott arrives and we stand there chatting.

And once again, Dave disappears.

Finally we get tired of waiting and head back to the stream crossing. As I'm watching Scott get into position, Dave comes running (thought Puzzleman was the only one who did that) down the steep hill, saying he saw a mountain goat. What? Cool!! Once all back on right side of the stream, we head back through the bushes to the Devil's Well and down to the boat.

The paddle continued around the eastern part of the Horseshoe, lazy, relaxing, and oh so awesome. One other boat was out there fishing, so we just rowed around them and headed back into the bend to get closer to the waterfall. As we passed near the first
cache, Dave spots a turtle perched up on a log in the water. He slipped away before I could get pictures. We floated into the secluded lagoon below the waterfall before running up on a sand bar. Lots of pictures while there! As we backed off the sand bar and headed into the lake, Dave points out where he saw the mountain goat - then sees the goat up on the ridge sunning itself. WHOA! I'm seriously impressed that the camera got a good shot of it even that far away!! AWESOME!

Made it back to the truck after floating towards an old rustic white cabin that was just bordering of eerie. As the guys were putting the boat away, I looked for the parking lot cache. Then they came over to help. Then another pair of cachers, MtnGoat50 and Love2Ski, pulled up and came over to help. Then Scott started to call a phone-a-friend, but just as he was getting instructions, Jim found it! Whoo Hoo!!

Off we go to get Scott's truck, and he heads off to do some maintenance, while Dave and I head back for lunch. He asks if Zips is ok. Um, what's a Zips? Oh, burger joint, cool! I'll have one of those! While eating, I got to listen in on the results of the soccer games this morning and enjoyed a nummy bacon cheeseburger. But, before long, it was time for the rest of today's adventures!

Headed out and turned north, way north, we're still going north, Holden keeping me company in the back seat while Tammy and I dozed off occasionally. It's been a long day for everyone! Turning off the main highway, we headed up into the mountains near the Survival School up there. Long bumpy road led deeper and higher into the range. We picked up a few caches along the way, and I began noticing that we were heading towards a peak. Ohhh that means benchmark!! So I loaded that information while the road climbed and climbed. However, we were up here at 6pm, and the road was heading up, and west - Hello SUN!! Several times Dave had to stop and wait out the setting sun before he could continue driving.

We pulled over at a great vista point and everyone piled out. Though cold, the view was amazing. I took lots of pics, Holden played around the area, and Tammy and Dave were hanging out on another rock outcrop. It was very peaceful being right there. But as my fingers started getting cold, I wandered after Holden to move around a bit and was led to a 6 foot "cliff". Thinking
I could climb it, I started stretching my fingers as Dave walked up. "Find anything?" "Oh, just a cliff to climb if my fingers can grab the rock." He makes some reply that I miss due to the wind. I scramble up and sit on top with him looking up at me. "You know, you're now where I took the spoiler pic." "Huh? Spoiler pic for what?" "The cache." "What cache???"

Apparently my GPS didn't have the cache that I was only 4 feet from. Turns out I was sitting on it! And they had been waiting for me to find it! ARGHHHH So I logged that, as as we continued up the mountain, I quickly load in additional caches that missed my PQ. Oh looky, there's one on top! DUR! So I scored that one and the benchmark along with one of it's Reference Marks (couldn't find the other but was too cold to really look). Then down we go to join Both Christy and Scotty for the next night cache! Only one phrase describes that downward drive: Bumpity bumpity bump!!

Got to the starting coordinates and headed out on the first leg. You can read my log for the entertainment there! But it was fun chasing after the little firetacks while pretending I was a train. :giggles: Then off to the second stage, where I was a bit more careful in keeping track of where I was verses where the tacks were saying I should be. Both final coords in hand,
we're off! The last stage involved another firetack trail until the end. Then a puzzle was presented that I had seen similar ideas from (and had borrowed one for my own, that in turn was borrowed for up here) but I didn't want to do what the usual stunt is. So spend time looking around for the second piece, then tried pulling and turning to see how far I could go. Oops, that got tighter. Um, Scott, I think I messed it up! "Just release it." Um, HOW?! I've never done this before!

That bit of info was apparently the one response he hadn't been expecting! LOL

Tested out a few ideas after he came to the rescue, but neither panned out, so returned to my original search pattern. Ah HA! There it is! Did what needed to be done and off we go! Along the road, I hear the others commenting about big tracks and that the whole herd must've gone through. Puzzled, I listen in more and hear "Wow, that moose track is huge!"


Soon the final was in hand and my name inked onto the log book. We all head back, discussing plans for the next day. Originally, we had wanted to hike a trail around Tower Mountain and
grab the good vista caches along there. But my flight was earlier than I had thought and it cut our time too close. So instead, we planned on heading to Manito Park and working on the Wherigo there as well as touring the gardens and picking up the caches inside. Back at the truck, I crawled into the back seat with Holden, while Tammy sat up front, leaving the guys to work out the details as only locals can.

Then for the long drive back. We bumped our way down the road swinging around corners and watching out for the squad of Air Force guys we'd seen out in the woods earlier. As we came around one corner, a MOOSE came out of the forest and started walking up the road.


We followed him up the road for a long time, as he was taking his time walking along and casually stopping to admire the view our headlights were providing. I tried getting pictures, but they all came out fuzzy and dark (oh why couldn't we have seen him in the daylight?!) Eventually, he left via a trail that Scott says was very near a camp site he's considering. We picked it back up to vehicle speed and made it back out to pavement and back down to Spokane. Once back at the house, it was another night of crash, out cold, and a wake up lick from a big black nose attached to beautiful brown doggy eyes.

And the title of this post? While I didn't see those animals, in one day, I was able to see wild turkeys, turtles, a mountain goat, and a MOOSE for the first time. Pretty impressive day all around and one of the highlights of my geocaching experiences.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Spending time in Spokane!

I had an AWESOME weekend!

But first, a little back story, to bring everyone up to date. Last year, I received an email from a guy named Scott asking about my Diabolical night cache. Happy to share the information with another lover of night caches, I told him about the cache. But then he drops the bomb, he, his wife, and their friends would be coming down to do my cache.

... from Spokane.... WASHINGTON! OMG!

A great friendship started and they have kept in touch via email and text and have also returned to do the Diabolical sequel and Puzzleman's Ancient Treasure. As well as a few more recommended and favorite caches around the area.

A short while after they left, I noticed on Dave's FB page a maniacal laugh followed by a link - that led to the cache page of an epic night cache placed up in the woods north of Spokane. I immediately put that on my watchlist and watched the FTF and DNF logs come in. Ohhhh, sounds like so much fun. The only hitch, it's a 5 mile hike in the woods in the dark. So my dear sweet daddy gave me my birthday present early and I'm on a flight up to the great state of Washington to see what evil plan has hatched up here.

I love airplane flights, makes me really really really wish I had taken a geology class. I love the way the earth fractures and bends and levels out. Then that green stuff shows up and blocks the ground, stupid trees. Short stop in Boise before heading over to Spokane where I was met by Dave of the Nelson Crew. We ran a quick errand before heading straight for the border of Idaho to grab me an Earthcache in my 5th state (now to place three for Platinum Master)!

The location was Cougar Bay, where a short walking trail led us past several information kiosks. Gathering the information we needed as we walked, I enjoyed the time out in the woods (more green stuff) and seeing how my lungs liked having more oxygen available. Guess I pushed a bit too hard as not only did Dave comment about my reported "turtle pace", later in the evening my knee reminded me that it still dictates when and how I go hiking. Ah well.

Back to Washington to get a home-cooked dinner. Yum Yum Yum!! Then Scott swung by and it was time to head off.

Before I get going on the big event for the night, allow me to introduce Holden. I was wondering about the title of the night cache, but as soon as I got to their house, I was immediately greeted by a very curious, very friendly, and oh-so-lovable doggy (who's breed I can't recall at the moment). I passed the initial inspection sniff and had a constant companion all weekend long. In the morning as soon as the bedroom door opened, I heard :bound-bound-bound-LEAP-thud: Oh, good morning Holden. ((shhh, don't tell anyone, when I go back, it'll be to see the doggy, who cares about the humans. Oh, HI GUYS! LOL))

Anyway, so off we go. The plan was to meet up with LookoutLisa (aka Cache-Advance) and Loren 27 at the parking coordinates of Holden's Pot of Gold NIGHT CACHE. We loaded up, doubled checked our gear, verified the GPS locations (followed me the wrong direction - whoops, which way is north?!?) and off on the trail we go!

Now, I'll let my log speak for the rest of the night (Thanks Dave!)

Once we were heading back, we took the time to stop at the Bonus Cache nearby and to once again turn off all the lights and admire the clear sky filled with stars and framed by the barely visible tops of the pine forest. A truly truly awesome night, spent with amazing people, and filled to the breaking point with adventure.

Tammy, Dave, Holden and I all headed back to their home and I just collapsed onto the couch and was out cold. It's been a long time since I was that exhausted, but oh man was it worth it!

Plus this was only the first day, I've still got Saturday and Sunday waiting, both of which are filled with more adventure and great times.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Memories - Meeting abeyoni

I happened to make a comment on Twitter that the cache Team Goobie was going after was the one that I had first met abeyoni at. And applejohn wanted the story, so here goes.

January 13th, 2004

Three new caches had published in Reno. One was bobthecat's Dash Through Reno's Past, another was LaughingGravy's Parks Walk-About. I can't recall what the third one was, but I know there was one. Back then, there weren't too many cachers in Northern Nevada, much less FTF hounds. Caches could sit for days or weeks back then. Abeyoni was the FTF king. He'd look through the Newest in Nevada and find the new ones up north and go for it, regardless of where it was. His was the name you saw on all logs. He was the one to beat.

On this morning, I had time and figured I'd try for it. The other multi was downtown Reno, in an area I wasn't familiar with. So I took the chance to head to Mira Loma park. I was worried about the mile plus walk that the Gravies had mentioned on the page. But holding the print out (long before paperless caching here) I made my way to the coordinates. By cutting back and forth I was able to get the information needed and head off to the final.

Course I hadn't cached too much in Reno and promptly got lost in the Hidden Valley neighborhood! Left, left, right, left, I remember zipping back and forth so where my track log was a useless wiggling mass of lines! Oh how much I've come to rely upon Google Maps now and how fun it was to jump into caching blindly trusting a GPS with no accurate map!

Finally made it to the end of the road. No other cars around, did my wandering around the entire valley have someone sneak by me and make it out and back? Only one way to find out! I set out, following the monochrome arrow that was saying "Go that way!" Up the hill I went, looking for footprints and finding none, until the screen showed 10 feet and the cache was found. A blank logbook (an honest to goodness log book no less!) awaited me and I penned my name and story on the sheet before closing it up and heading back.

The trail ran along the top of the hill, before descending down to a gully leading out to the park. As I began the downward slope, a tall guy with a baby riding in a backpack was turning to begin his climb up. We both stopped and stared at each other. Without ever having met, and far enough away that faces were indistinguishable, I heard him shout up "NevadaWolf?" There was only one person it could be, only one person heading up for the first to find on LaughingGravy's new multi. I shouted back "Abeyoni!?"

That was the first day I got to meet one of my best buddies. The grin on his face was absolutely massive and the huge I got was one of the biggest. No way was I just going to bail, so I walked back with them (AJ being just a tiny thing back then, I can't believe how big he's gotten in the last 6 years!). We just talked as Abe searched and AJ looked on. Finally the cache in hand, he signed their names and I got the picture. AJ happened to see the sparkly wolf stickers I was putting in caches at the time. The next thing I know is he's coughing and choking. Dad saved the day (though not my stickers) and we left the cache laughing and continuing the conversation back to the cars.

One of the best days ever. I'm still smiling as I write this entry. Thanks applejohn for asking for the story.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gaining momentum

One week left.

Work wise, they've hired a new gal that I am training for the courier job and film scanning. It stinks that I don't understand the film request side as I hate having to answer "I don't know" to her questions. But, our boss is around and I'm leaning on her to help make sure the training is complete.

Personally, I think that the stagnant energy I unleashed by clearing out the clutter has swept me off my feet and all I can do is hope the stream is going in the right direction. As the sailing painting says in the doctor's office, "Trust that the wind knows where it's going."

Why do I say that? Last month I unloaded a lot of stuff that has just been sitting around. Afterwards, I went through and smudged the house, opening all windows and doors, and generally renewing the place. The Universe returned the favor.

I decided to go back to school full time (or three-quarters at least), I found the courage to quit my job, I've now moved, and the best news of all? I may have been in the right place, right time, and found a job already.

Got a call on Wednesday that if I was still looking for employment to get in touch. I did better, went down there and talked with the manager. Set up the appointment for an interview on Thursday at 12:30. (Covered my class with two folks taking notes and letting my teacher know.) Thursday, I headed down and went through my first real interview. The manager told me he'd put my name on the list for the district manager and I'd be getting a call on Friday. Friday rolls around, I have a great conversation with the DM, and soon, I'm called back to sign the authorizaions for a background check. :fingers, toes, and eyes crossed: There's nothing I'm aware of on my record, I really really really hope whatever the results are that it's satisfactory and the next phone call is a positive one!

I'm in freefall right now after closing my eyes and taking the plunge, all I need to do is sit back and let the flow carry me towards my goal. So far, things are working.

Caching wise, we finally placed a new cache at one site from the Dodge Campout, went out and found one while it was cold and raining (and then WAP'd the log to psych the owner out), and had a FTF surge when 5 new caches by sierradogs published. Those were fun in that Puzzleman and I were going to hike out to see the beavers along the river, but the photographer we were going with had the wrong time so the hike was cancelled - instead, we head out and start bagged FTF after FTF. Second to last we find ourselves outside sierradogs house having a great conversation, enjoying the puppy's (okay, old body, puppy at heart) sniff tour of the yard, and a fantastic drive through the sheep herds up on the hill to get the final cache. Well, I drove, Puzzleman hiked straight up and beat me by a mere 8 minutes. The pest.

Saturday, Trekrr and I cleared out his house in preparation for me moving back in. Then Sunday we spent the entire day dismantaling one house and moving the entire contents over to his house. I'm actually writing this from my new room. It'll take awhile, but I'll have my place set back up. This is just another step towards my goal. Save as much cash as I can and finish the classes I need for my degree.

I'm on my way!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A leap of Faith

Another same ol week. For the most part, until the weekend, that is.

A few caches published, of course, while I was at work. So I had to wait till afterwards to grab them. Trekrr and I even picked up one in Reno after driving around randomly and looking for a place to eat, ending up in Spanish Springs at a joint called Ghengis Grill. YUMMERS! I loved it and hope we can go back up there.

Then Friday rolled around.

I finished up my morning deliveries, made sure my worklist was caught up, and strolled into the Big Boss' office. "I've been thinking," I started, "that it's time for me to go back to school and finish my degree. Here's my letter of resignation."

Two weeks. In two weeks I will no longer be working. Two weeks to figure out what in the world I'm going to do. But in two weeks, I'm going to set out on a path that I can't see and trust in the most important thing in the world, the vision I have for my future. I finally have a vision, I finally can see beyond the darkness, I finally know the answer to what I want to do with my life. Now to get there!

Saturday, Trekrr and I headed down south to finish clearing out Gardnerville. Once again DNF'd the mini micro one, I'm convinced it's not there. Headed back into town, grabbed my gear, and off to Starbucks I go for our monthly meetup. I was hoping to get my homework done before hand. HA! Who am I kidding?

Another awesome turnout. We even had OKRA and TopazGeogoats stop by and hang out with us. And I got to get rid of more crap. House is slowly being broken down to the basics.

Sunday there wasn't a whole lot of energy to do much, so we drove up to Tahoe to check out the snow level along Kingsbury Grade. Even grabbed an Earthcache along the way. Then back to Carson to take a stab at solving Bernsports new cache, Caching in the Stone Age. We had a good idea where it was supposed to be, but once Puzzleman and BigTruckCrew/Lil Miss Muffit found it, we were convinced.

I had a second reason to find this bugger - the pest of a cache owner put the false coords 94 feet from my front door. I'll get even, don't you worry (unless you're Bern reading this, then you worry and everyone else can sit back and enjoy the outcome!)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

First campout of the year!

A few months ago, I got an email from BigTruckCrew linking to a post on It was some guy from Carson Dodge/Jeep inviting all off-roaders out for a day of "geocashing" and camping. He said later that he does know how to spell it, the "gal in the back" didn't.

So that was this weekend, but first the beginning of the week.

Monday morning I'm getting ready for work when suddenly my texts go off. Three new caches, two SHMs and one out in Washoe State Park. Figuring everyone would go after the SHMs, I took off for the one in Washoe. Get out to GZ, have some guy ask me about my truck rack, then continue the search. Nothing! What gives!? Soon another rig pulls up and NVGeoscouter joined the hunt. I had to bail and later on there's a DNF note that says the cache was found during the easter egg hunt. Ah well.

But something on the page catches my attention, a Nevada State Parks Geocaching Challenge? Ohhh. They've since posted additional information, one cache in 6 northern state parks and 6 southern state parks. Three challenges, find the North, South, or Statewide caches. Hurm... ROADTRIP!

GOt my GIS Mid-Term back, whoo hoo 96%! Now I can't wait to see what my Math score was. Erk.

SO Friday night I pack up my bag as if I was hiking the whole weekend. ::thud::

Saturday morning, 5am (ARGH!) Dad picked me up for a quick breakfast and then off to Carson Dodge. We get there and Bill Baker, our host, is waiting with donuts and several other folks. We get the lowdown on the challenge. Go to the coordinates, find the ammo can, and pick it up, keeping the prizes inside and returning the cans. Okay, we can do this. I had brought my netbook to map out the locations and once the sheet of coords was in my hand I started typing away.

We headed out towards Mexican Dam Rd, picking up one in the hills, then south towards Hot Springs Mountain, grabbing two more - and having fun with a range gate that was all the remained of a long gone fence. The one up on Hot Springs was a steep rocky climb, and once we were about 100 feet from the cache, the road banked behind a tree.... and vanished! Dad had to back up and turn around all while sitting at a seriously sharp angle. Loverly.

The last stop on the route was down by the airport, and that cache had been picked up already. So, we had 4 of the 15 sitting in our rig and it was now 2 hours into the hunt. We turned back north to go see if any others were left.

The nice thing about clearing out all of the Eagle Valley and surrounding area? I can say "It's near "______" and Dad can start driving right up there while I fine tune the directions. Think about it, we knew every cache, every access road, almost every hill, and now we were looking for more caches. So I give directions, we get right up there, and find another cache. What?? Why is this one still here? It's only a half mile from the start point.

We check the next one, and find it, and the next and find it. What's going on?? 7 caches now found, despite a long detour, an hour lunch, and an hour dinking around on a road that we saw going off in a different direction (dumb No Trespassing sign...). So we head over to the other area and finally, two caches missing. The others must've come here first.

Off to the campground which was down at a ghost town site of Centerville, south of Markleeville. I've known they close several of the passes over the mountain during the winter, but still it was a trip seeing a big gate across a main highway. All we needed was Gandalf shouting "You Can Not Pass!"

Camping was a blast, though chilly! My 15 degree bag plus the Reactor liner worked out really well, except my toes. I think it's course my rainfly wasn't blocking the mess panel enough and letting in the wind storm right by my feet. Yes, wind storm, it was cold and WINDY! but I slept safe and sound in my little tent. Experiment was a success, now bring on the camping season!!

Sunday, we headed up into Sunrise Pass after a delish breakfast at IHOP. It was fun once again being the only Toyota in a herd of Jeeps. We even stopped an picked up two caches on the road, and got to play in a big sticky nasty mud puddle. One of the Jeeps got stuck briefly, but that's cause my directions weren't clear and she drove too close to the moat edge. I did get pics and video of the rest of us going through. Bill, not only our guide but also one of the sales guys, threatened to put the muddy Jeep on the showroom floor. Now THAT I would buy! LOL

After I got home, Dad and I got to wondering if the rest really were found, so back out into the hills we went and ended up finding two more of the caches he placed. This guy's geo-sense is sharp! While several were to close to existing caches, many were in open areas and almost all were in places that were downright awesome! Two are going to end up with regular caches at them once I stock up some of the cans Clark Gable got me. Also his coordinates were dead on, not bad for a newbie who hasn't done much caching. If he were to get into this full time, we'd all be in trouble and having the adventure of a lifetime!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Easter surprise

Not much happened during the week. It's Mid-Term time, so in Math we were studying and in GIS we were handing the test back in. Otherwise a usual work week.

Summer classes will be starting soon, so I need to sit down and decide how I'm going to spend the next three months. I'm so close to my GIS Certificate of Achievement that I want to knock out as many classes as I can.

Now the weekend was interesting. Originally the plan had been to go hiking up the Indian Hills area on Sunday so Puzzleman could go with us first thing in the morning. However, the winter storm warning moved our hike up to Saturday. I took my fully loaded pack (all 25 pounds of it) and lugged it along with Puzzleman, BigTruckCrew, dragonflynv, and peruhuntress. I think I did fairly well despite the weight, but the cold air and soon snow eventually took their toll. While the rest went after a few more caches, I made a beeline back to the rigs, (eventually) fired up my JetBoil and had myself a cup of Starbucks VIA while I was sitting there in the snow and waiting.

Sunday, Dad and I enjoyed a quiet restful breakfast, until my phone texts went off. 6 new caches all over the valley! However, our food had just arrived, so we would go out afterwards and grab them. It was actually interesting. Bernsports was running late for a family get together and Puzzleman was running late for something else, so while those two FTF'd everything, Dad and I were the only ones to get all 6 the same day.

Not sure entirely why, but lately, I don't really want to log the caches I'm finding. Maybe it's something to do with the 3000 hanging off the end of my name, but since then, I've been writing notes on any I find and then Ignoring the cache to get it off my active list. Got about 10-15 logged like that so far. Maybe I'll do that for awhile, at least until I want to get back into the smiley side of the game.

Not much else going on. Just surviving day to day.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Break


Okay so to sum up a fairly busy week - well, you've already seen the first two days.

Monday; never was called so spent the day around Washoe Valley clearing out the few caches I had left. The morning started in Davis Creek, the afternoon up Pagni Canyon, then later up and around the hills above Washoe City. I walked Davis and Pagni, but the DNF above Washoe City really burnt me out and so I drove to the last one. Went back to Carson to grab lunch and call the gal, but her phone was off, so I went up to Six Mile Canyon below Virginia City and drove to a cache that was WAY UP THERE. I'm not usually spooked on heights, but narrow mountain Jeep roads where there's nothing between me and the valley floor... um, yeah. I'll walk.

Tuesday; After a doctor's appointment, I headed out to El Dorado Canyon and hiked out to the lone cache out that way. OMG, this place is beautiful! I absolutely loved the easy hike (flat dirt road walk) as I crossed back and forth over the creek. The cache also was great, resting below a really funky arch that resembled a castle's gate with turrets. Then it was a hike back out to once again try camping out. Yeah - fail. I'm just too stressed over the idea of "something out there". I'll try again when the weather warms up over night.

Wednesday; Time to hike up and around Virginia City. Originally was going to hike Ophir to Jumbo and down to Washoe - hahahahahaha a mapped out 12 miles. Yeah, that ain't happening! So drove up to the "x" (where the two roads come together) and hiked up toward Mt Davidson, picking up two caches, skirting a horse herd, and plowing through a valley of snow, and about 300 ft of knee deep snow to get to the cache. And all of this before heading to Reno for a backpacking basics class at REI.

Thursday; Dad got off work early, so we headed down to Gardnerville to clear out the southern end of Carson Valley. The big fun came when we decided to get a cache 4.1 miles north of us, but the page indicated the roads were "not passable". So a 21 mile detour that took two and a half hours finally got us to that cache and now the east side of the valley is clear!

Friday; I got a note posted on my new cache from CastleDwellers saying that since I was on vacation, why wasn't there any more new caches out? Okay, FINE! I spent the day driving around and placing 8 new ones, including a revival of an awesome multi that was abandoned by its owner. RoadRunner published one in the afternoon, two in the evening while I was out watching How to train your Dragon, and the remaining five the next morning. TAKE THAT!

Saturday; Took the truck in to be serviced at the fancy new Toyota dealership, then it was back down to Gardnerville to clear out the west side of the valley. Only four were left, but it was a great adventure. The last two were really fun as one was in a Rock monkey's paradise and the other was overlooking a "closed" lake. Afterwards, we were invited to hang out with Puzzleman and Bookmarked at the Firkin Fox for dinner and to watch UFC 111. Still have no idea what's going on in those, but it's interesting to watch.

Sunday; After logging everything in, I realized I was only 6 away from the big 3000. So, before heading once again to Truckee, we grabbed 5 really quick ones in Reno. Then breakfast, where the unheard of phrase "Sorry sir, we're out of coffee" was uttered. HOW is Burger King *OUT* of coffee at 9am?? Anyway, onto I-80 we go, up to Truckee, and we set up camp at that stupid Jeffery Pine tree. Round and round we go, up and down the bark, pulling out everything that resembles a tail. An hour into it, I requested a very generic hint, and then 35 minutes later, the cache was in hand. 4 trips, 9 hours and finally that bugger was ours!

Not a bad week at all. Too bad I have to go back to work in the morning.

3/22/2010 CDM ~ Coin Exchange
3/22/2010 Coconut Crab
3/22/2010 FTF-TAG you're it #17:RKT Revenge! (Hounds&Hares)
3/22/2010 "Sagebrush mountain"
3/22/2010 Cinco de Mayo King of the Hill cache
3/23/2010 The "Hole" View
3/24/2010 uphill battle
3/24/2010 Last Name Peak
3/24/2010 Is this a forest or a jungle OR A TAIGA?!?
3/24/2010 Escarpment
3/25/2010 "bailys' skater"
3/25/2010 "bailys' east valley"
3/25/2010 Motorhead
3/25/2010 FRED
3/25/2010 Nutcracker
3/25/2010 PINEfrogNUT
3/25/2010 GEO-PIG
3/25/2010 Shady Grove
3/25/2010 "Baily's Cache 3"
3/25/2010 "Well-watered" Panorama
3/27/2010 hi... dis is mebbin
3/27/2010 Something Fishy in the Rocks
3/27/2010 OFF the Rez
3/27/2010 Rocky Situation
3/27/2010 Into the Blind
3/28/2010 RFN #7
3/28/2010 RFN #10
3/28/2010 RFN #9
3/28/2010 RFN #8
3/28/2010 El Peacie
3/28/2010 Camouflageus Cacheia

3/22/2010 NevadaWolf couldn't find Rafflesia (Hounds & Hares)
3/24/2010 NevadaWolf couldn't find Is this the Geigers the Jumbos or the Kingsburys?
3/27/2010 NevadaWolf couldn't find bailys' "not here again!"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Getting on the move - it's SPRING BREAK!

The extra daylight is definitely helping!

So, after work, I'm now going for a walk. And three times a week, hopefully, my Daddy will be joining me! So this week, we walked along the bike path by the prison to check on a cache stage, then circled back around the sewer to the truck. Tuesday and Thursday are my really push it days, so I tackled the face of Lakeview Hill and got right up to the shoulder below the summit (ran out of light). Wednesday, Dad and I walked the bike path by the freeway before class. Thursday I took on Prison Hill and found myself a nearto cave. Friday I was helping a classmate with the classes she missed, so nothing there.

BUT! Friday at 5pm I was officially ON VACATION!! WHOO HOO HOOO!!!

So, Saturday morning, early, I packed up my big backpack with all my camping gear. My goal: walk/hike as often as possible and carry all the gear to condition myself for the Tahoe Rim Trail. My first target was Hot Springs Mountain, and the three caches still left in that area.

Drove up to the last turn around point before entering the mountain itself, and with backpack on and loaded, began the trek up. Surprisingly, I didn't huff-puff as much as I normally do, which made me psyched beyond all belief. Got up to the first cache site and sat, enjoying my lunch, the view, and the funny whizzing sound that just went by... O_o wha?


I dove behind a big rock, smashed my back against it, and huddled as the ricochet came over the ridge right over and around me. Once the hail stopped, I grabbed my gear and raced downhill and around another hill to put more distance and dirt between me and the shooters.

The good thing about this, is that as I detoured the LONG way around them, I came upon a deer herd, one of whom was not happy I was there and motioned that I "keep moving" as s/he huffed at me each time I paused. That was just COOL!

Found the second cache with no problems, followed the trail from the tailings to the old rock house (our third cache find ever), talked with a guy carrying a big military style gun, and then set down the ravine to pick up the final cache. As I stood on the road to Sand Trap, I was pretty darn proud of myself as I had just hiked up and OVER Hot Springs Mountain. Whoo Hoo Hoo!!

But my feetsies were hurting, so called Dad for a ride, grabbed dinner, then headed up into the hills to try camping out on my own for the first time. Alas, that didn't work out so well as I just could not relax enough to sleep - I kept stressing myself out that "something" was out there.

Sunday, Dad and I headed up to Truckee to once again try for that bugger of a cache. A couple hours into our methodical grid search, the owner himself swung by and we had a great chat. He loved our string grid method and wanted a picture of it. Being very kind hearted, he gave us the general area to search, but another hour into that and we still had nothing. Ah well.

Back in town, we picked up the two new ones before heading south and clearing an area of Carson Valley. All was well and good until we DNF'd one near another archived cache. One log claimed the other cache was still there, just at the bottom of the well. So, we had to go look - and hey, there's a Myntz tin down there! Whoo Hoo! An hour of fishing with a magnet-filled bison tube snagged us the tin and we lifted it out with high expectations. What cache is this, can we find it and log it, ohh how fun!

Dad pried the rusted tin apart and we both saw old dead mints... Well, bummer!

Still made for an interesting day. No camping tonight. Tomorrow, Monday, I'm supposed to meet up with a gal who said she knew of a place in the PineNuts where a vein of garnets is right out in the open. Can't wait!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Forward and Seize the Day!

Today was an absolutely exciting day!

Okay, so this week, I still managed to work out (which helped today), attend class (I'm feeling more and more jazzed about classes, even scored the bonus challenge question in GIS), and bopping my way through the day.

Did however decide that my house and truck were getting WAY to cluttered! Everything was stagnant, dirty, oppressive, and it had to GO, NOW! So, I hosed off the excessive mud on the truck, cleaned it out entirely, and bought boxes for the weekend attack.

Started at the back of the house and went room to room, space to space, and if I hadn't used it in a year, it went in a box. Trash or Donate, no other option. Took most of the day between boxing, cleaning, having the truck washed and vacumed, and straightening out the mess, but in the end the house felt lighter, more open, and definitely healthier. I opened up the windows and doors and let the chill spring air circulate throughout the house, letting in both fresh air and sunshine.

Did learn that a family of cachers with a Girl Scout is helping in a Rummage Sale to raise funds for a European trip, so my destination to FISH was changed to their truck. In the end, took three boxes of clothes, stuffed animals, and knick-knacks, a bag of books and movies, and another small box of airsoft stuff and more books, all left my house without a single bit of regret.

I asked for nothing except to get this crap out of my house. But, it is a certain time of year for the Girl Scouts, and with all this working out, I'm sure I can tolerate some *Thin*ness.

Also had our monthly Starbucks get-together (next week being the usual week, but with Spring Break coming up, neither Puzzleman nor I will be available) and I think there was 18-20 folks that showed, including RenoRaiders! Whoo Hoo! Awesome time, everyone seemed really energetic and engaged and it was just an overall great meet up.

Then today was the big hike. We hit Prison hill, circled north on the loop trail, and cut down to Fat Boy Slim.

I managed to climb from the cache site inside that gap up to through the small opening at the top! WHAAA HOOOO!!!!!! Work outs are definitely helping as I doubt I would ahve had the arm strength to pull myself anywhere last month. I'm going back to play at least once a month - maybe once a week...?

Now that the time has been reset, there's PLENTY of light after work. So I'm going to be going on flat hikes three times a week and climbs twice a week. One more week until spring break, and now that the weather is warming up (mid-60's this week) I'm going to be going hiking more and more and camping once the nights are comfortable.

There's a sponsored "geocaching" campout by Carson Dodge/Jeep next month I've signed up for. Sounds fun, and I haven't jumped into anything blindly lately. Might as well go on faith and see what happens.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Hike, a Newbie, and an FTF.

Another week of not doing a whole lot. Until the weekend that is. :-)

Classes are going great, got a 100% in my math class and I'm having a blast in GIS (midterms are next week). Been daydreaming more about my nomadic life. I think it'd be awesome to buy a travel trailer, get a seasonal job with the BLM, USFS, or various camps, and live that lifestyle, just moving from place to place. The RV dealer showed me a little Shadow Cruiser (?) that was absolutely darling and seemed big enough for one person and a cat.

Yesterday was the REI garage sale and while browsing, I happened upon the biggest score! One guy was looking at a Garmin eTrex Venture HC - he put it down, I snatched it up. "Won't turn on." Hurm, new batteries and it powered on to the Garmin splash screen then died. Software issue, maybe? I put that down and spotted a guy with a DeLorme PN-40. He put that down, I grabbed it. Tag said: "turns off by itself." Um, okay, new batteries in, let's see.

While testing that, I bumped into LeakySpoon and swapped them coins (I now have a RoadRunner/MooseMob double headed geocoin), then just sat around waiting for the mysterious "turn off" of the DeLorme. While waiting, a guy walked up and asked if I was looking for a new GPS. I thought he'd found the eTrex so wasn't to eager for what he had to show. But he handed me a bag with (no joke) a Garmin Oregon 400T, $99.83.

:jaw drops:

Apparently the previous owner had installed additional maps onto the internal memory, wiping the preinstalled topo and base maps for the unit. So, the unit had NO maps whatsoever. The tag read "???may not work???". I thanked the guy and promptly sent out emails, texts, calls, tweets, ANYTHING, to let the cachers of Carson/Reno know about this steal. A friend in Carson took up the offer (or the "dreaded text" as he called it), showed up at REI and installed his 24k topo SD card. Worked like a charm!

And my DeLorme still hadn't "turned off". I say "my" because I walked out of the store with it. New toy!

Sunday morning, I met up with Puzzleman and DragonflyNV (new cacher) for a hike up the V&T hill. She scored her first 6 caches, Puzzleman picked up his remaining two, and I got a 3 mile hike out of the morning. Not bad at all.

But boy did I crash afterwards. Came home, slept, then was called by Dad to go look at high-density SD cards. After that it was a trip down south, and we picked up a few caches along the way.

Then a new one published, very near the road we were already on. I pull it up on Google and... it's in a backyard? Fiddle with the numbers a bit to match where we guessed it to be, and after an intensive search in a tree, were about to give up. We saw a few 4-wheelers pull int to fix their rigs, so stood and watched and listened to them long enough that the cache owner came out to double check his coords. Had a very nice chat, enjoyed the FTF find, admired the stars in the dark desert, then headed back in for food.

This was a good weekend.

3/6/2010 NevadaWolf grabbed Moose or Roadrunner? (Moose Mob Geocoin)
3/6/2010 NevadaWolf grabbed RoadRunner or Moose? (RoadRunner Geocoin)
3/7/2010 For Chicks Who Quilt
3/7/2010 Carson Valley Travel Bug Hotel
3/7/2010 Enter the Desert

Monday, March 1, 2010

Signs of spring

Several good things have happened: A few trees are starting to show signs of new buds, the storms are turning to rain over snow, and the sunlight is lasting longer after work. Soon Soon Soon!

So last week, I completely enjoyed the walk with neogeo_rr, his son, and nvsrvyr along the southern line of the V&T. Great day for a walk! Then nvsrvyr and I headed over to Riverview so he could pick up the Don't Be Alarmed cache. I enjoyed standing around admiring the river and (silently) laughing as he searched. We then bounced around north Carson, grabbed dinner, and headed over to Starbucks to hang out awhile before the rest of the group showed up.

17 folks in all, including a newbie from my work, three newbies who'd found a cache while out on a hide, a few folks coming back into the game, and a handful of our usual suspects. And over the course of the week, we've seen 11 new accounts/folks total pop up, Carson is waking up! But towards the end of the night, the snow began falling.

Sunday found the storm back and that cancelled our trip to Truckee. So, it turned out to be a lazy day and a single find where I was finally able to drop off the coins from Diabolical.

Nothing much happened the rest of the week. Chores, school, talking with a friend, the usual. still not hiking/working out, though beginning on March 1st, I'm changing that. I've got 20 days to get into shape for my week off and DARNIT! I'm going to do it!

This last Saturday found me out in Fallon with a co-worker and a group from the Sierra Club on a guided hike to Hidden Cave and Grimes Point, before ending at the Round House Gallery. This was the first time I've been to Hidden Cave! The intense smell of amonia (bat guano) made it hard to breathe, but seeing the condition the archaeologist students had left their excavation was totally worth it. They left half the cave untouched for future researchers and they had labeled the ground strata as well as various geological events that had left their mark, including a line of ask from the Crater Lake eruption!

We wandered around Grimes Point, then I showed my co-worker and her sister the other site I knew about. As we were walking out, I was asked where the road went. "Oh, to the quarry where there's Wonder Stone." "Wonder what?" We spent the next 45 minutes digging out wonder stones from the roadway. Wonder Stone is a reddish rock, with swirls of pink, yellow, white, and a couple other colors. I used to know how they were formed, but have forgotten that. The cool thing is these are all polished because of the water tumbling them against the sandy ground. Now whether that was from ancient Lake Lahontan, or more recent, again I've forgotten.

I finished the day by grabbing a few caches around Fallon and heading back into town and a rainstorm.

Sunday was OMG gorgeous! I hung out with Puzzleman as he introduced a new person to the sport, then went archive cache hunting (found the lid), and then finally got that pesky Earthquake cache that's been the closest cache to my house for quite awhile. Whoo Hoo! While on the phone with Puzzleman, I was struck by an awesome idea! So, between him on Google Maps and the home mapping software, and me out on the roads following his directions and relaying where I was and what I was seeing, we found a killer location for a new cache.

Course, it'll take a few trips out there to set up the logistics, but I LOVE the idea and can't wait to try to get it out there.

That's it for now. The weather is improving and soon, soon, I'll be out on the trails finding those caches up in the mountains!

2/21/2010 Recycle This!!
2/27/2010 Island
2/27/2010 Flying Angels
2/27/2010 Flood Gate: Stark T
2/27/2010 NevadaWolf couldn't find Knotty Tree
2/27/2010 Flood Gate - Wildes Rd
2/27/2010 Dancing with Nature
2/27/2010 NAS Wetlands Nature Trail
2/27/2010 NevadaWolf posted a note for Emily's Cache!
2/27/2010 Cupid's Cache
2/27/2010 Curious Mail
2/27/2010 Stumped?
2/28/2010 NevadaWolf posted a note for Where Beavers Dare
2/28/2010 De JaVu Quake Times 2
3/1/2010 NevadaWolf posted a note for Tribute to RockinW

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sick and surviving

There's a very good reason why I haven't been updating here in a couple weeks.... just give me a moment to think up one!

Seriously, I came down with the local crud a few weeks ago and since have had the joy of it moving into my lungs and making friends with my asthma. So, I've kinda been down and not really feeling like doing anything.

School started up again. During the week I'm taking Math 096 (yeah yeah, numbers are not my strong suit, despite what my teacher and grades say) and a GIS Extensions class. Currently we're learned ArcScene, which is killer fun as it's taking the 2D view of the data and incorporating the Z-value to create a 3D model. Plus it features a Fly function. So, whenever we finish each assignment, you can usually find a couple of us zipping around whatever dummy data was provided for the lesson. I've gotten pretty good at wizzing around mountains and canyons. One was really cool. We were playing with vertical exaggeration and took a small river in Tenn and warped it to the size of the Grand Canyon. Afterwards, I turned Fly on and cruised along the bottom of the river corridor. Wheee!!

Caching hasn't been much, though I have gotten a few in over the weekends.

Dad and I headed out to Fernley for a change of pace and found some fun caches while there. Though our first stop was in Reno and we were busted by nvsrvyr just as we found a little cache in a tree. Though we didn't grab any donuts from the shop nearby. Out in Fernley, I think Troll's House and Chutes N' Ladders were the funnest. One was beside a tunnel pass under the interstate and the other was on a seriously wicked jungle gym that I had more fun playing on than looking for the bugger of a cache.

A few new caches popped up in Carson also. Been having some fun FTF runs, though it seems the race has fizzled out for now. I was up really early one morning and had enough time to kill before to snag a little bison tube just as the sun crested the PineNut range. Then we discovered the notifications weren't working across the board and I learned of a cache that Puzzleman didn't get the text on. So I sent him a notice and he sniped that one after 45 minutes from publication. Of course, then Puzzleman's latest devilish cache pops up and I'm still stuck at work unable to do anything. ARGH!! But the fun one was when the WCCC (Weekly Coffee and Caching Crew) came through Carson and left one behind. It published while I was less than a half mile away and I had the perfect timing to go grab it! Whoo Hoo! Later, another case of whacked notifications hit. Elway7 posted a bizarre note on Twitter that the next morning I learned was the publication note from RoadRunner to me that I never got! 10 hours after publication, no one in Carson knew of the cache, so I forwarded the info to the only one readily available. Go Puzzleman, GO!

Elsewhere, Puzzleman discovered one really really REALLY (did I say really?) tough cache up in Truckee that has yet to be found! So, right smack in the middle of my cold bug, and during a snow storm, we head up there to tackle it. Well, it ended up tackling us and sent a few of its buddies to finish the job. 0-3 on Alpinebobl caches in Truckee. That sucked.

The next weekend, my Dad and I returned during a sunny day and spent close to an hour and 45 minutes up there at the one cache! That makes 3 hours over 2 trips with still no find. :grump: (we're going back up tomorrow to try AGAIN!). But, we did manage to cruise around Truckee and picked up a few in town. Though, downtown Truckee on a Sunday that happens to be Valentines day really bites. If you aren't shopping that is. LOL

So that brings us up to date, I think. Today I'll be going out for a walk with an online friend and his son before heading off to Starbucks to hang out with Puzzleman and anyone else who swings by to chat about caching and whatever else the conversation drifts onto.

Have a good weekend!!

Recent Caching Activity:

1/28/2010 WWJE-10
1/30/2010 NevadaWolf will attend Geowoodstock VIII (Mega-Event Cache)
1/31/2010 Donuts 4 Breakfast
1/31/2010 Books
1/31/2010 Stuck Truck
1/31/2010 Muggles
1/31/2010 Troll's House
1/31/2010 Chutes N' Ladders
1/31/2010 Thinking of playing games
2/2/2010 Loch-ness Monster
2/2/2010 Stein-heimer Park
2/2/2010 Rally Was a Good Boy
2/3/2010 WCCC in CC
2/5/2010 A gift from Dad
2/6/2010 NevadaWolf couldn't find Camouflageus Cacheia
2/6/2010 Ohm's Law
2/6/2010 NevadaWolf posted a note for Insane Plight
2/6/2010 NevadaWolf couldn't find Watt's Up?
2/6/2010 "bailys' overlook"
2/13/2010 1 2 3 A B C, The Next Step
2/14/2010 NevadaWolf couldn't find Camouflageus Cacheia
2/14/2010 Put me in, cold.....
2/14/2010 Behave Yourself
2/14/2010 Court Case #783
2/14/2010 Truckee Chinatown
2/14/2010 Under Lock & Key
2/14/2010 Not Me............Yet!
2/14/2010 Watt's Up?
2/14/2010 Hanging Around City Hall
2/14/2010 NevadaWolf couldn't find On the way to City Hall

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Stupid sucky snow storm

Well, this week totally bit.

Monday, ended up working on the petroglyph slides and completely felt bleh, so didn't do anything. Tuesday finally got in one hour with the weights. Wednesday, another bleh day. Thursday I was exhausted all day. Friday went to go see Avatar. Saturday, tried working out and felt as weak as a kitten - to the point where I could barely lift the weights. And today, just did nothing.

Tomorrow, semester starts, which means the gym is open until 8pm. I am so making up for this week!

I have gotten most of the slides done, which is good as starting on Tuesday I'm going to be buried in other homework and I want to have the slids done before March. Yeah, it's a little over a month away, but time flies when you think you have enough of it.

Have I mentioned these slides before? Seems I have, but I'll repeat myself. Ths time around, I'm labeling the slides from the petroglyph site at Grapevine Canyon in southern Nevada. Normally, I wouldn't name the site, but this is a huge public site, so there you go. Beautiful motifs and there's one shot with one of the volunteers standing in for scale. The place is HUGE!

I have gotten in some caching despite the storm that settled in on top of us. Finally got my 5 mile radius cleared again. Yeah! And tonight bagged two FTFs (to the surprise of the owner!) in the snow and dark and cold and harassment from RoadRunner. Sheesh, you'd think it be a good thing to be a good friend of the Reviewer, but noooo. Trust me, all you who aren't in daily communication with the RoadBird are better off!

1/23/2010 Gambling Bikers Earn Silver (Traditional Cache)
1/23/2010 Great Big Eagle Snot (Traditional Cache)
1/23/2010 Green Bibles Educate Sinners (Traditional Cache)
1/23/2010 Gentle Buffalo Eat Sage (Traditional Cache)
1/24/2010 Welcome to Boomtown (Traditional Cache)
1/24/2010 Where to from here? (Traditional Cache)
1/24/2010 Washoe Winter Dog Walk (Traditional Cache)
1/24/2010 Little Washoe Winter Dog Walk (Traditional Cache)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

More awesome hikes and a few caches too

So the week is still going strong as far as the work outs go. Managed to do something every day this week and feel pretty dang proud about it.

Picked up one of the new caches during my hike after work on one night, then was invited up to REI for some shopping and caching afterwards. That was entertaining, mostly in trying to find the right parking spot and trying to power the various electronic gizmos I have with me.

Then a new cache published late Thursday night, but after looking at the scene, I decided a .6 mile hike up onto Prison Hill at 10:45 at night wasn't worth it, so just grabbed a few others scattered around town. The next night after work found me hiking up there, though too late for the FTF. I had a great 2 mile hike straight up the hill the down the trail in the dark and only two moments of real heart stopping panic. I was seeing things and my mind was having a ball making my imagination run wild.

Saturday, nvsrvyr came down to pick both me and bookmarked up for a hike back up Jack's Valley Wildlife Management Area to get him the caches up there and the final to a multi that is really tough. We trudged up there, getting hung up on a cache that is feared to have fallen down the critter hole. Though Bookmarked really made an effort to dig it out. That's where Puzzleman caught up with us and we continued the hike up.

Stopping at one more cache before the long haul straight up to the top of the ridge where the final rested. The going was slow and tough due to the steepness and the sand drying out and become soft and loose again. Every step sank you in about an inch or so and the angle slid you downhill more often than not. Eventually we made it up there and I was to the cache site first...

... only to find it muggled!! NOOOO

The swag was left lying on the ground nearby, but the container and the logbook were both gone. Puzzleman wandered around the hill looking for it. Though up there, one side has enough boulders that you can make your way around, the other side is a sheer drop off that you have to see in order to believe, despite me telling everyone it was a steep drop. Gathered up the geolitter, took pictures as proof, ate lunch, then it was back down the hill.

Stopped by two more caches in a general bushwhacking approach. During the hike to one, I got a phone-a-friend call from sierradogs about the cache Fat Boy Slim. They didn't quite believe me it was there and took some encouragement from one "directing" the other inside to where the cache was located. I gave them enough hints that they felt confident finding it (though later ai received a text telling me the Mr. Sierradog was stuck in the cave and Mrs. Sierradog would be coming to dinner solo). A total of 3 miles of up into the mountain and down before reaching the vehicles again to head home. For it was time to clean up and head to the Firkin and the Fox for our monthly geocaching get-together!

nvsrvyr and I were there first so we got to enjoy the quite area for dinner, then Puzzleman and his family showed up and we hung out until everyone else came in. All told, we had Clark Gable, mdpebright, Junk Yard Dawg, sierradogs (and pup) - both of them, he escaped the cave, barefootfamily, Puzzleman and his wife, bookmarked, ejc365, and GoodNight Goofies came in late. Awesome get together and a lot of fun was had. I overheard a lot of varied conversations, too numerous to count. This is the type of get-togethers I love. Relaxed, sociable, and just plain fun and everyone in involved.

After all that, Sunday nvsrvyr picked up again to be on the trail by 9. We headed up to the first cache in Indian Hills (Money Rocks) and wound ourselves around the entire top of the hills. It took a couple stops to study the aerial images and the ground before us to figure the right road and the best approach to some of the caches and often times we found our judgement rewarded with an easy walk vs a trudge down and back up a ravine. The second and third caches we found quickly and we stopped briefly to have a snack while admiring the great overview of both Carson and Eagle Valleys.

At the fifth cache of the day, nvsrvyr made a startled noise and I looked up in time to see a massive black bird soaring right along the ridgeline in front of us. This great beauty kept circling around us, lazily holding the thermals and only flapping his wings a few times before a turn or to raise up higher. I took both pictures and video and later learning we were watching an immature Golden Eagle. Wow! Absolutely stunning and breathtaking.

Continuing on, we grabbed a creative cache by BigTruckCrew and Lil' Miss Muffit. Unfortunately, it had been placed in such a way that the 4 star difficulty was a 1 at best. nvsrvyr found it without a problem. Then it was once again down the hill to the flats and off to the next cache. Now, awhile back I had researched some older caches in Carson looking for the first. During that I had found a few other archived caches that had no indication of being picked up. One such cache was Indian Hills cyber-cache. My brain chose this moment to recall that name, recall we were hiking Indian Hills and put the two together. Pulling up the coords, by sheer dumb luck we were a mere 300 feet from the cache on the trail we were on! Go!

It had been archived on January 20th, 2003. Two folks found it a month later. We found it 7 years later. Moments like that are why I love caching. Finding the treasure no one else knows about.

We kept walking the trail, where we split for a time to get caches in opposite directions that the other already had. I headed north and nvsrvyr headed south and I caught up with him just before he reached the last little hill back to the Yukon.

This weekend has been amazing. Some great hikes, amazing cache adventures, and hanging out with the most awesome of friends. Now let's just hope that I'm not in too much pain tomorrow - unlike the rest of the country, I'm one of the few who have to work.

1/12/2010 God Bless East Stewart
1/13/2010 Clear Zone #10
1/13/2010 Reno/Tahoe IAP TB Hotel
1/13/2010 WWJEat6
1/13/2010 A "Hi-Tech" Solution
1/13/2010 NevadaWolf couldn't find Bakers Dz.13 - Chocolate Fudge
1/13/2010 WWJEat7
1/14/2010 Great Bargains Encourage Sales
1/14/2010 Good Boys Earn Stars
1/15/2010 Prison Break
1/17/2010 CV2D South
1/17/2010 Sunridge2D NE
1/17/2010 Indian Hills cyber-cache
1/17/2010 One of these rabbits.....
1/17/2010 Something Off The Wall

Friday, January 15, 2010

Something New

If you follow my One Thousand Footsteps blog, you'll know that I was including screenshots about the hikes I was taking.

Well, I've slacked on that.

So now, I've provided a link to a MapSource file that I'll load my tracks onto. So you can see all the details you want for each hike. This should be easier than fussing with the pictures and getting them lined up just right.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

A week of walking and 2900!

Sunday night, yeah, that's when I'll do this.

So Monday I started out on my daily walks. Took on the face of Lakeview Hill and after a half hour was back in the truck dead. Tuesday, HikingPam and I went out along the Mexican Ditch trail. Wednesday was a rest day (and department meeting) so no hiking. Thursday, Gus from the Nevada Rock Art Foundation handed me a box full of Clark County slides (YEA!!!) so I was so not into hiking and ended up at Starbucks sniffing Sharpie fumes and drinking tea. Friday it was right back up Lakeview Hill, this time I did the trailhead to the first shoulder and back in 20 minutes. w00t!

Details on those hikes, and any future hikes, can be found on my other blog, One Thousand Footsteps, here I'll just lightly brush over them.

This weekend has totally been a play day! Saturday, I went out with BigTruckCrew, lil miss muffit, and frankenscout to four-wheel around the PineNuts. This range is still snowy, so I didn't feel comfortable driving, I ended up riding along in the Orange Scout.

We headed up Brunswick Canyon, getting on dirt and snow before heading up to drive around a small reservior up there unofficially known as Lake LePew (or something like that). Found a cache up there and took loads of pictures of Eagle valley just covered in a thick fog. We then explored the spillway for the res before driving across the dam and down to the top of Lucky Canyon.

This canyon is steep, narrow, bouldery, and only for the most extreme of 4x4 rigs. BTC has a good collection of off-road monsters that go anywhere, and he was told his truck was "too nice". As you can see from the picture, Big Blue is a rough and ready rig, so BTC decided if that was too nice, he was in over his head. We hiked the canyon instead. From the top, we had a view of something that was later revealed to be of the old smelter down by the Carson River. Impressive view and once the fog cleared when we returned, everyone know where we were.

Then is was the hike down into the canyon. The top had two boulders set really close together that a Jeep might be lucky to squeeze through. You can see the rubber laid down by other rigs, But today I was glad we were on foot. Once we cleared that obstacle, we came around the corner to see the belly of this canyon. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I want to see this place in the sunlight and also during spring or summer when the snow isn't covering everything. Bare stark spires of rock jutting out of the canyon bottom rising up and fading into the fog above us. It was really cool! And I know where the mouth is near the river. I'm so going back.

After the hike back up, we drove back into the PineNuts towards a mine that frankenscout wanted to show us. However, the Jeep he was driving started having issues after he bounced out of one snowy washout and sideways into another. It just kept stalling and wouldn't start. A few more tries only resulting in the tow line coming out and the Scout pulling him back towards civilization.

The night ended with a trip to Starbucks and life is grand.

Sunday, I woke up late (hike must've been tougher than I thought) and met up with Puzzleman to grab a few caches around town to brings my numbers up to 2899. Then it was off to Jacks Valley Wildlife refuge for an awesome hike up into the mountain to grab Two-Leaf Hakea, a cache that has been staring at me since April, when I had just cleared this whole hill! grrrr. Anyway, it was a great hike, cool bordering on cold, where the exercise kept us warm. Straight up and around for a total of 3.1 miles. Puzzleman got, I think, 10 caches while up there and I got my 2900th. Totally worth it, and the hike in the fog was simply surreal.

Great weekend and if I wake up tomorrow morning with only tolerable pain, I'll be stoked.

Goal Check:
Since I started this workout/eat better thing, I've improved on my hikes and according to my little scale, have lost 7 pounds!!! SWEET!

1/9/2010 NevadaWolf posted a note for Trinket Traders #5
1/10/2010 NevadaWolf found It's a
1/10/2010 NevadaWolf found Great Basic Earth Search
1/10/2010 NevadaWolf found Gentle Balm Enhances Serenity
1/10/2010 NevadaWolf found Gas Burns Efficiently Safely
1/10/2010 NevadaWolf found Good Barriers Ensure Safety
1/10/2010 NevadaWolf found Two-Leaf Hakea

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Adventures in Gardnerville

Really trying to get into this habit, I think it'll help quite a bit once warmer weather settles in.

So New Year's weekend. Three (well, three and a half) glorious days off!

Thursday, my boss kicked me out of work early, so I laced up my boots and went for a hike. There's a new cache in town, Fat Boy Slim, that looked both challenging and really fun. One thing about BigTruckCrew caches, they never let you down! Unfortunately I got up there just as the sun was setting and finally zeroed in on GZ as the sun went behind the mountain. I had to call it off for tonight.

Friday, I went right back up there and sure enough, found the cache and was highly impressed with the adventure. Granted it was short and simple, but one unlike I've done around here.

I love caches that are more than just an easy drive up or a tough hike. I can walk anywhere, give me something to climb into or up and I'll be a happy camper, regardless if it's right in town, or 10 miles down a trail.

Afterwards, my Dad and I headed down to Gardnerville to make a dent in the caches down there. We came away with 10 and had an enjoyable time with me learning how to use the netbook. I'm getting the hang of navigating with the DeLorme software.

Saturday I took a hike up to Bernsports new Earthquake cache. While he said there was no trail, I investigated Google Maps and found a road that got me closer. Trouble was it was half covered in snow. A couple tries here and there got me halfway up the hill before I had to set out on foot. a 40 minute climb up the gully found me at the cache site and a nice second to find on the log.

Once I got back down off the mountain, Dad and I went caching. Though first we had to stop and try to find a case for my new camera. But, none was to be found and I soon had a phone-a-friend from CastleDwellers. They were just outside the store looking for a cache. I too was unable to find it and we went off.

Our second day down in Carson Valley ound us hop-scotching CastleDwellers and finding another ten caches. Another fun day with some good caches along the way.

However it seems the hike yesterday took it's toll on Sunday as I crashed around 10:30p and only woke up at 10a to a text from b0neZ. Good thing too, I was still crashed out and having some seriously bizzaro dreams containing hiking, camping, and very very late math assignments. I don't want to know what my head it telling me on that one.

Spent today just camped out at home, watching movies, and surfing. Went to lunch with Dad and hung out with Bernsports to return his DeLorme CD. I know I know, I should definitely do something before bed. I'll either do my delayed workout or focus on learning more T'ai Chi. I'm trying to figure out how to do the full simplified 24 Movement Form T'ai Chi Ch'uan. Here's the video I'm watching to understand the written form: YouTube

So, goal check for my wandering ways:
Electronics - Netbook and new camera acquired.
Fitness - Two uphill hikes done, working out with free weights daily, t'ai chi in the evenings.

NevadaWolf found:
1/1/2010 Fat Boy Slim
1/1/2010 "bailys' s-s-rij"
1/1/2010 Stake Out
1/1/2010 "bailys' silo"
1/1/2010 Sit Down and Enjoy the View
1/1/2010 Play Ball
1/1/2010 Virginia Canal
1/1/2010 School is for the Birds
1/1/2010 bailys "spital"
1/1/2010 bailys' micro #11
1/2/2010 Lock Down
1/2/2010 Quaking Aspen? NO! Quaking Trees? YES!
1/2/2010 Jack's Valley #8
1/2/2010 There's No Mulligans in Caching #6
1/2/2010 Thirsty for a View
1/2/2010 "The Long and Winding Road"
1/2/2010 Hanging Around Genoa
1/2/2010 "bailys' lil devil"
1/2/2010 Orange you glad it's a micro - Take a Hike
1/2/2010 Fetch This
1/2/2010 Go to the park sucker
1/2/2010 SHM #120 - Walley's Hot Springs

1/1/2010 NevadaWolf couldn't find bailys' "mini micro"
1/1/2010 NevadaWolf requested L+L=Love & Marriage to be archived