Monday, October 31, 2011

Up a canyon!

Another fun weekend of exploring.

Originally the plan had been to go out on Sunday up into Goni hills to see how Puzzleman has improved over his years of off road experience. But those plans fell through.

So, to start with, on Friday I headed into Carson to grab a quick cache, dinner with my dad, and then hang out with my buddy. There a times when one can have an uncomfortable conversation, a regular conversation, a silly or superficial conversation, but then there are times when the conversation is everything that a discussion nees to be. Open, honest, and mature. I had one of the best talks I've had in a long time and it was GREAT! I miss that. That is one of the best reasons to have a truly best friend. Anyway, I digress!

Saturday morning my dad and I headed up into the area south of I-80 outside of Fernley to continue my goal of clearing out Churchill County. Sunds like a massive project, but I am less than 60 caches away from that goal. I hope to finish it soon-ish. Maybe by the end of the year?? We headed out to the old Central Pacific rail bed, then over to the hot springs of Nightingale. From there we visited a cool outcrop of rock and the site of an old salt works. Afterwards we crawled up to an old site of one of the Transcontinental Airmail beacons. Then back down to the valley to find a huge basalt boulder than as soon as I found the cache, I dug out my new rock shoes and scrambled right up the face. OMG are those sticky!! My toes fit into the tiniest little ledge and I had full control. WOW that was awesome! Then we discovered an old mine site (in the middle of the valley, go fig) and explored what should have been an emergency airfield. After that we came across a tufa field. According to the cache page, they were called Mugwumps. Totally weird pillars of tufa that are a blast to climb on as long. You have gloves! Ouch, that stuff is murder on skin! Back home, I went to see the UFC fight which was boring until Penn's bout came on. Overall a great day and a lot of fun clearing out more caches.

Sunday, the original plan fell through, so we headed south to Rickey Canyon outside of Wellington, where the 2006 Rally went through. They left behind a line of caches that has been sitting on my map every since! So, grabbed a friend of mine, and up we go! Having been there before, I knew what the scenery was like, but neither of my friends did. The look of WOW on their faces was incredible to see. We found a handful of caches up there, mostly Rally ones, a few that had been placed before and after. Then I found a new road to explore and we headed straight down the mountain side into a really beautiful canyon named Minnehaha. It was so awesome down in there we had to place a cache. That road exited into Topaz Ranch Estates where we set off in search of food (and another cache) before heading south through Wellington and grabbing a few more along the highway, while most were drive up and grabs, two proved interesting. One had a very unique camo cover and the other had us running back to the Jeep in fear of it being driven away without us! Thankfully, all was good and all but one cache found.

Another awesome weekend with great friends. I am really lucky to know such good people who make me smile all day.


Fernley to Rickey

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Another year older

And deeper in debt. Except my debt is actually getting taken care of, and I'm starting to tip towards (gasp) having a higher savings balance than debt! Wow!

So, my mom called and asked what I was doing this weekend. Well, I was heading down on Saturday to go replace a cache around Highway 6, and then Sunday the plan was to go kayaking. She says, "oh, so you won't be home at all? I want to take you to dinner."

Um, why.....? :thinkthinkthink: OH!!! is that this weekend!?! Crap, I forgot.

So, Friday night found me heading up to Tahoe to spend the evening with Mom at the Flight Deck enjoying nummy appetizers turned entree and listening to the band. Sadly, it was too loud for me, so I spent the night just watching. After we got home, mom and I talked for a bit before my stepdad came down and we all chatted and laughed way to much. I left there around 10:30, and headed back down the hill. Texted my best buddy before discovering I had a horrible case of insomnia! I ended up playing several hours of Mahjong, and watching about 5 episodes of Torchwood's Miracle Day before realizing it was 5:30 and why fricking bother anymore. I just got up.

Saturday, dad and I headed south to go repair a cache of mine that all week I had been receiving comments about it's poor condition. The drive was surprisingly short and the cache was soon replaced. On the way back, we stopped to get a former DNF and then two others up in a granite boulder field. This Rock Monkey was in Heaven!! I scrambled all over the first area, after finding the cache, then scrambled around the second area, after not finding the cache. I suggested we go up to REI when we got back into town to look at some proper rock shoes for me.

I had also dropped my truck off for an oil change and I was finally able to listen to the voice mail about two hours south of home. "Hi! We found out what is wrong with the truck. There are two broken engine mounts." Stupidly, my first thought was "did they do the oil change?" but at least we now know why the cruise control has been having issues. Ok, no off-roading for me until I get that fixed. Then up to REI we went where my dad found the most expensive rock climbing shoe they sold over in the Garage Sale bin. 1/2 price, SCORE!!! I have me real rock shoes now thanks to Dad's gift certificate and Mom's cash.

But while we were there, Puzzleman was also and he and his wife invited us out to join them at a Ruby River steakhouse. Sure! So we sat and chatted and had a great time over all. After we made it home, I jumped back into Pman's Jeep and (with a quick stop over to the Brewery Arts Center for a personal project), headed back to Reno to go caching. By the time we found four regular caches and he final to an astronomy based puzzle, Puzzleman had his 3000th find and I was finally having the lack of sleep catch up with me. I zonked out hard all the way home.

Sunday, I grabbed a quick breakfast with dad and met up with fobofobic before heading out to Lake Lahontan. There was a newish cache in the Narrows on an island and she had mentioned wanting to take her kayak out again. So, we found a previously unknown road that accessed the lake from the north, set up one truck at the end of the paddle (not my poor crippled baby) and launched into a little lagoon heading for the island. We eventually found that cache around noon and set back out onto the lake. I've never been on a body of water so calm and smooth that the clouds were reflecting perfectly! We were treated to cottonwoods changing, loons diving, and property for sale along the southern shore. Must investigate that one! We grabbed lunch about an hour later and continued down stream towards the second island and cache. I am still in awe over how perfect the day was. Few clouds filtering the sunlight, glass smooth lake, no wind at all, and out enjoying an AWESOME day with a friend. Pulled out at 4:30 and headed in to do a boat swap before going home. Ran into Puzzleman who had been caching south east of the lake today and we chatted for awhile. Got home, had dinner, and now am sitting kicked back in my chair and uploading photos.

I also got my new Travel Bug in the mail today, the NW Cache Buddy "Wolf". I had to have it!!

Tomorrow, I have a honest sit down dinner plan at P.F. Chang's in Reno. Yummy!! Boy am I glad I am not on a diet!!

Pictures from this weekend!
Boundary Lahontan

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Death of Diabolical

This weekend was a truly awesome adventure from Friday night on.

The big event was this was to be my Diabolical Journey's last weekend. So I wanted to ensure that it went out with a busy weekend vs just slipping into obscurity.

So, Friday I met up with fobofobic, Charlie Baltimore, and Find Waldo for a run up into the darkness. As usual, it was a lot of fun for me and for those who hadn't done this type of hide before (unless they were experienced from my first Diabolical and then I really had fun with them!) the only glitch was the final was lying out about 20 feet from where I had hidden the replacement. Ah well.

Saturday morning spent the time with Dad having breakfast and just talking then driving around town going to the Halloween shops. I do love this time of year. Puzzleman was free in the afternoon so we went to go explore some areas he hadn't been in before and clear off some caches that were littering both of our maps. Had a great time bouncing around the hills. That evening was the monthly coffee meeting and we had a pretty good turn out. I liked how it came in two waves which meant those few of us that stuck around the whole time got to meet a lot of old friends. Finally, Snake and DarkStar showed up and we headed off for the second run of Diabolical. Aother fun night and the glitch there was both guys set to work immediately with the UV light before finding the first fire tack. BWAHAHAHAHA

Sunday, headed out again with my buddy and a friend of mine recently converted to geocaching. We went to Churchill Butte to clear off the caches up there. Also headed to Lahontan to grab a few new ones there and see an area that reminded both Puzzleman and I of SANCTUARY!!!! LOL stopped and had some pizza in Silver Springs before continuing south and into the backside of Churchill Butte. Now, you would think after all this time, Puzzleman would know when I suggest a road and state I haven't been on it before, he should seriously consider accepting the offer. As it was, he didn't and we bounced up a narrow canyon wash road up to a ridge line road that literally ran the spine of the ridge. After the third down and UP, he looked back and me and stated "You do this to me, every time! We really need to reconsider our relationship!" LOL needless to say we survived and found the cache. Back down at Fort Churchill got us the few in the park needed. Then across the river to grab my last one needed at the Buckland Trail. Oh how I love slogging through mud and muck in a cow field! But I did drag over a fence post to serve as a bridge through the softest part.

Back home, after stopping at Starbucks to log some finds, we played around Dayton, grabbing caches and just chatting about stuff. All in all it was an awesome weekend and one I am overly thankful to have shared with great friends.

Now, NEXT weekend is going to be busy busy busy!! But I'll fill you in on that then!

Churchill Butte

Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day weekend

Wow, what an amazing journey!!

It started a few weeks ago, when I posted on Twitter that my dad was selling his dirt bike. I actually got a response asking about it and introduced AZTech to my dad. Not to long after, I hear that we'll be making a trip down south to deliver the bike, and maybe go caching around there.

Then, I get an email from Roadrunner threatening to archive the cache of nvtriker's that bears my name! The nerve! Unfortunately, I missed out on FTF for that find, but it was there and plans were made.

I was also only 20 caches away from my 4000th milestone. Hurm, we'll be passing through the heart of the ET Highway power trail... I think I can get 20 caches.

I was also only one cache away from filling my Fizzy grid for the Well Rounded Cacher challenge, and the one I need to down south, as is the final. Hurm, this plan is starting to take shape!

So, Friday night after I finished my workout, my dad and I tossed all the gear into the truck and headed south to Tonopah. We pulled into town just before midnight to find EVERY HOTEL booked solid! The debate became, do we keep driving or just pull out into the desert and sleep in the truck? Thankfully, I had read that the Mizpah Hotel was reopened and so stopped in there to find two very helpful ladies welcoming us with the news they had rooms it was only their second night accepting guests, no one knew they were open. So, we got to stay in the Senator Key Pittman suite, where story has it that he passed away just before he won the re-election, but the party leaders kept his body on ice in the room bathtub until after the results were in. Truth is he died of a heart attack in Reno well after the election, but why ruin a good story!?! The room was lush, huge soft iron frame beds, an eagle claw tub, and a great overview of main street. In the morning, the staff even had coffee waiting for us right outside our door.

The next morning had us admiring all the history of the building, from old walk in safes, to original checks signed by various celebrities who stayed at the Mizpah during it's heyday. And we found that one of the gal's behind the counter (associate, supervisor, manager? Never asked!) is a geocacher and wants to put one at the hotel! There is so much history in that holding it can easily be done without crossing into the commercial line. It would be fun to set that up with her.

We met AZTech and two other guys who's Geo-names I forgot. Dad and Dave finished business with the bike with the rest of us chatted and then we headed off to have breakfast and continue the conversation. Always a blast to meet fellow addicts of this hobby!

Back on the road, I needed to get some very specific caches along with non-ET Highway caches as we went down. I had already spotted the WherIgo in Rachel, the NVWolf and Team GeoDragon caches, an Arizona cache to fill in the map, the Ugly Corral to fill the fizzy, and the Well Rounded Final. That left me 15 needed. Then Dad suggests grabbing the Nevada Cacher Series of those who we know. So Puzzleman, Sierradogs, nvsrvyr, and LaughingGravy were added to the list. GeoJeepers, habu!, and MooseMob were also considered but those were placed too far north, grab some miscellaneous ones along the way and we soon found ourselves heading up to Mt. Irish for my goal of the NevadaWolf cache.

We came in off Highway 6, through Joshua Trees, that gave way back into short stubby sage, that soon filled with Juniper Trees as we made our way up the mountain. A very tight narrow road was cut right out of the side of the mountain, offering great views of the tabletop summit. Then, coming around a blind corner, I let out a piercing squeal - a rustic, broken down log cabin was sitting right there! WANT!! Jumped out to take a ton of pictures and admired the craftsmanship that has kept that place standing and fairly warm inside despite the logs starting to warp and separate in some places. Continued up the mountain to some amazing views and parked at GZ. That cache was just like the rest of his series, a preform with a log book, but I loved the location!! The ground was littered with small rocks, so I built my name out of them and signed the ground. Hehehe We continued down the eastern side of the mountain and I started telling Dad about the NRAF's recording project down here on the mountain. We started seeing rocks that looked a lot like those in the slides I had worked on and as we came to an area right beside the road.... PETROGLYPHS!!! So had to stop and take a ton of pictures! The day finished with us heading south and grabbing enough caches to get me up to 3,997. Ended with RoadRunner which I thought was cool. We decided to pull into Mesquite for the night, that way we were right at the border to jump across and fill in the map.

The next morning, I gathered all my PQs that had run. The plan? Head to AZ for a cache under the interstate, then out to the corral, then grab the final before heading north on 93, and meeting nvtriker in Alamo. Then off to the famed ET Highway and grab only the 100's of that monster trail. Spend the night in Tonopah and play around on Monday before heading home.

I discovered that the AZ border was only two miles away and we were already on the road needed for the first cache. So, we got to go play in a tunnel that cut under the interstate to allow access to the off road area to the north. The cache was inside and we had fun driving back and forth through the tunnel. Then it was off to the Ugly Corral. Course, it wasn't so bad, and the location was absolutely beautiful! I love the painted mountains down here and the Joshua trees just totally make it. But alas, we didn't see any desert tortoise while out there. The Well Rounded Cacher final was next (and my 4000th find!) then it was north to Alamo. Of course, grabbing a few others along the way not that I didn't need to hold off on my finds.

We met nvtriker, who is now the owner of the GJTB, who brought us some yummy peach spice bread as we stumbled around looking for a cache on a cattle guard. That was our one DNF. After a few preforms on the side of the road, Dave suggests heading to his Pale Raven cache, where teamwork was required. It involved climbing up onto some major boulders. Silly me tried to see if I could do it alone, but I don't quite have the arm strength to pull myself up there. Totally the favorite of the day! Then, we were back on the road, heading to highway 375 - the famed E.T. Highway and it's geocaching power trail.

Now, I have no interest in finding caches every 528 feet along a stretch of highway that just goes and goes and goes. But, I couldn't resist picking up a few. So, Dad and I decided to get every 100 and a few others like the Black Box, or Quarks. I started being able to figure out that we were traveling about a 100 feet per second based on the five second time between little piles of white rock on the side of the road. We stopped for lunch at the Lil A'Le'Inn in Rachel and took pics of the coins mounted on the wall before continuing on our way. I was finally able to figure out a few more things on the GPS Kit HD that I use on the iPad and from 4:59pm to 10:08pm we grabbed the beginning, middle, end and all 100s of the trail.

Back into Tonopah, fill up on gas, and while I am crashing from exhaustion, my Dad suggests heading on home. If he wants to fine, but I am going to sleep. We left Tonopah around 10 something and got home just after 2am. I think I will spend today just zoning out!

Great adventure!!! And here are the pictures (some of them, need to find all of them between my camera and my phone).
Columbus Day roadtrip