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!

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