Sunday, November 27, 2011


This week was a short week due to the holiday, so allow me a moment to start this blog off right:

I am thankful for my Dad (who does some pretty awesome things and willingly drives me all over kingdom come in search of random ammo cans) and for my Mom (who is always fun to be around and makes me laugh every time I see her).

I am thankful for my best friend who, through simply being a part of my life, has significantly improved my quality of life. Our adventures are epic and our friendship the most important relationship I have.

I am thankful to my other friends, both online and off, who always give me a reason to smile. My circle of friends is small, but everyone is a special person to me and I value the friendships I have made.

I am thankful for a steady job, a solid roof over my head, and a reliable income as I know that these basic things are not available to far too many people.

So, with all that, now how did I spend this weekend?? In the most remarkable adventurous way, of course!!

Wednesday (yep, the weekend started early all right), I get off work and head into Carson to grab a quick bite to eat before joining the gaggle of geocachers in the mod approach to a night cache. About 18 (?) of us headed up to work on Bogyphobia and enjoy a pleasant evening in the hills north east of Carson. I had a blast, even if my asthma was really making life miserable for me.

Thursday, my dad and I get up early and head out to the middle of nowhere. I had received an email for a cacher in Canada, asking for help with a local puzzle they have. He asked if I would go out to a set of coordinates (or if I knew someone who would), use a metal detector or similar device to locate a short bar of steel with two clues tacked onto it. Sure, why not? Sounds like fun. So off we go! Trouble was, it was WAY out there - and that's by my standards that think Austin is a great place to get lunch. Anyway, it turns out that our trip was a good one, as about 30 miles west of Eureka, we see a huge dust cloud explode right over the hill from us. The car ahead had run off the road, flipped, and rolled a few times, before coming to a crumpled stop. The driver was banged up but OK, though unfortunately her little 8 month old puppy did not make it. We called 911, waited with her (my phone being used to call family), and filled out a statement for the NHP Trooper that was first on scene. Afterwards, we continued to our destination where I got to use a metal detector for the first time!! (Surprisingly, I was able to rent one from work. I really have to utilize that outfitter more often.) Anyway, I set my GPS at the given coords and my Dad stuck his hiking pole into the spot to measure out the "couple meter" search radius. When the loop of the metal detector kept getting close to the pole it would beep. After a few times, i chucked the pole away, but the beeping continued! The steel bar was RIGHT THERE! That was some pretty sweet coordinates!! Then, we headed out to an old charcoal kiln where we got FTF on a four month old cache. Beautiful spot! We left there at 2:50, and then five hours of straight driving later, I arrived at my Mom's house for a late turkey dinner and conversation with her's and Jim's friends. Back home to crash before the morning!

Friday morning rolled around way too early, but I did get to harass Puzzleman. He swung by and picked me up to head down to Rachel for a weekend of major caching and events as Moose Mob is FINALLY back in the states for good. The 6 hour long drive was TOTALLY worth it to see my buddy. We got down there after grabbing the Earthcache in Tonopah and the Virtual in Goldfield, secured our rooms, and headed out to go grab the rest of the icons in the area to fulfill the "Busy Day" challenge (find 6 different types of geocaches in a single day within a 100 miles of Rachel). We succeeded, found 9 FTFs to boot, got stuck in the sand, were rescued, continued playing around the playa, and ended the night with 45 caches. WOW!

Saturday morning found us grabbing a quick breakfast, finishing loading up all the field notes from yesterday, then heading out. The goal? The two giant geo-art cache series that lie north of Rachel. First we tackled the UFO, a huge 51 cache hiking series that is the shape of a large UFO. There was barely a trail from the other cachers that had done it, but we finished it in time to head back and grab a snack/lunch. Around that time, I got a call from BrazAm that she wanted to come down and join us. I stressed the distance involved, but she decided that hanging out was worth it. So, I talked Puzzleman into changing our plans a little bit so we would finish the Alien Head early and be available when my friend showed up. Off to the Head we went! Though, damn, there's a road now out in the field that goes straight to every cache in that series (all 51 of them). So, we made REALLY good time hiking around that and clearing out that bunch! Then we headed north and picked up a slew of caches along the road as we pushed to reach another 100 milestone for Puzzleman. The sun had set by this point, and the fingernail moon was fleshed out by the backlight, so a full sphere was up there with Venus right behind and a brilliant outline of the mountains gave the whole view a nice setting. The evening was BEAUTIFUL! Around that point, BrazAm showed up, we grabbed a quick dinner, then back out onto the road to try to finish tonight. But with the two long hikes for us, and the 6 hour drive for her, we were exhausted. But at least I got to put to use the double bed room I had as us girl's hung out and chatted.

Sunday morning, another event, and we filled up the Jeep from nvtriker's extra gas can before heading out to finish the road from last night and grab a bunch through Rachel. we cleared another milestone for Puzzleman, and got the Busy Day challenge for all three of us. Then it was off back down the road to home. We stopped in Tonopah for lunch, then again in Hawthorne to clear out a five stage, 5 star difficulty, multi along the Walker Lake. Score, we got that one before it got too late, and now it was a mad dash home before any of us fell asleep. Then, when I got home, I discovered my dad had succeeded in getting a switch installed to raise or lower my power antenna while the stereo is on, so I will stop breaking it when off-roading through trees. I was stoked and played with the switch all the way home. Antenna go up, antenna go down, antenna go up ...

Total for the weekend? 200 caches found! Wow, that certainly destroyed my previous Best Weekend numbers, as well as my Best Day! I think before hand it was 60 something, now it exceeds 130ish O_o

Anyway, that's the weekend. Enjoy these pictures!!

Thanksgiving Adventure

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekend class and cache

Sometimes, things just happen.

On Wednesday, I have class at the college's High Tech Center. Our instructor informed us that the weekend class would be starting at 4pm on Friday. HUH?? Seems I forgot to put something into my calendar.

So, Friday rolls around and I wake up and go through my normal routine of reading Twitter. It starts like this...

Brush fire reported in the Caughlin Ranch area.
Evacuations ordered for western Reno.
Caughlin Ranch fire raging out of control.
Homes threatened, wind warning in effect, evacuation center full, schools closed.

Yeah, Western Nevada is having a rough year. I get to work early, as I need to be in Carson early. Today was also a day I got to go out into the field, where the sand dunes are, and right before the raging winds fanning the monster fire in Reno arrive in Fallon. Ever been in a sand storm? Yeah, fun ... NOT!

Saturday, I finish up the class and get my antenna fixed on the truck (literally, the wind was so bad, driving into it going to Carson *broke* the antenna of my truck!), then I hooked up with Puzzleman to go attempt to find his glasses that were blown off his face yesterday as he was out caching in that wind. We failed at that, found three caches, and were an hour behind finding the FTF on the fourth cache just down the road! I think it's time to go home. But tonight was also the Shogun/Henderson fight on UFC so I went down to Bully's and sat with Tarry and Jac watching the fights. By luck another friend of mine was also there and I got to meet her husband. :-)

Sunday, I met up early with Puzzleman and we headed out towards Fallon. He has a goal (dare I say even a plan?? *inside joke*) to reach his milestone by Wednesday, so when he and I head down to Rachel to meet up with MooseMob, he can time everything right so where each of his next two or three milestones can continue his Mystery Icon goal. If you were to look at his profile, the last bunch of milestones have all been Puzzles. He likes having the mystery icon for each one. Anyway, we'll head down there to work on the Alien Head, the UFO, the Busy Day challenge, and a few other goals that may or may not include any of the ET caches, we'll see.

Oh, Sunday. Yeah, so we got out here and headed south towards the Carson Lake to cut over the Boonjug Mountains and grab a few caches around the geothermal plant, then headed south towards the public access through one of the ranges, and out along the power line grabbing my caches I had scattered out there. Then back up north towards Sand Mountain and into town, finishing off the needed number of 31 caches today. We stopped for pizza and made our plans for the weekend. One of the few times the new geocaching beta maps have actually proven useful.

This weekend has actually been kind of quiet, mostly due to the sudden class that I had forgotten about. The weather has also dropped from mild summer into winter rather quickly so it was cold, cloudy, and generally dreary. But, I got to spend time with my dad and my friends, so all was good.

And next week is a three day week ... YES!!!!

2011-11-20 (by Eye-Fi)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Veteran's Day weekend

WHAT an awesomely full weekend!!

Okay, so everything started Thursday night after work. A long time ago, I thought one of the signs of being an "adult" was being able to go out to shows, or bands, or events and just go with no worries. Well, Churchill County High School is putting on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and today was opening night. So, after a delicious dinner of girilled salmon, I went! Great show! Only issue was with the sound, but the actors were really energetic and the kids were a joy to watch. I am glad that I went to enjoy the local talent.

Friday, my dad came out and we went caching in the far remote regions of Churchill County. I have a goal of clearing out the entire county of caches and I am down to about 30 or so. The first one we got was Shoshone Pass to Dixie Valley, WAY the freaking far out there!! Then it was down Edwards Creek Valley to go try for two up in the foothills of the Desatoya Range. Unfortunately, there was too much snow up that way, so we'll have to come back later. We backed out and continued down the valley to Eastgate, whe we turned up the old route of Highway 50 before heading up another valley to a place called the Dens. Apparently, there are two creeks, Big Den and Little Den, and on flows down into a steep canyon and thus forms a great big waterfall at the back of the canyon. Took the easy hike along the trail to get there, skipping across the creek. Ducking under trees and falling leaves, and crunching through dry snow. I got to the first waterfall, a small one down below an outcrop that the trail went over, and I looked around - a saw an ammo can! I had found a cache that was archived 4 years ago! I'm claiming the smiley! Continuing the hike, I got way into the back and my jaw dropped! The huge waterfall was cascading over the rim of the canyon and slicing through a thick layer of ice that had formed along the outer edges. The pool at the bottom ws ringed in icy formations built up by the spray. It was a beautiful location! Totally made my day! But once I got back to the truck, my dad was talking with two hikers who were being intoduced to geocaching. So I shared the pictures I had just taken. Then it was time to head home. A quick stop at my house before going to Carson to meet Bern to work on the new night cache in the hills above Centennial Park. It's a 3 mile hike along the walking trail up there that bouts you face to face with some disturbing phobias. Good thing the weather was nice, the company better, and the puzzles easy. I had a lot of fun on that one!

Saturday morning woke up and had one of Mom and Pop's huge cinnamon rolls! Oh that sugar high lasted all day. Since I had no plans, Dad and I went up to Reno to sign the log book for the County Challenge. We'd already signed the real book in Vegas, but I do silly things like that. We continued north, just exploring, and came out in the large off road area north of Antelope Valley. And there is a sign that says Moon Rocks! Ohhh let's go!! We got to the site, eventually, and there was a TON of vehicles and people all watching these awesome rock crawlers doing their thing in defying gravity. So we hung out for awhile and watched, taking a lot of pictures and generally marveling at the ability of these machines. Afterwards, we headed back into Reno and I must have been more tired than I thought as I slept all the way back to Carson. We hung out at the house, while working on a new geoart concept, before I ran over to hang out with Puzzleman for awhile before the big event for the night. Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company presents ... THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!!!

I was in HEAVEN! But as I could write entire pages on that show, I will spare you all and get back to the weekend. Summary of the show was posted on Twitter during intermission: DO NOT MISS,

So, Sunday, I met my friend BrazAm early at Starbucks and we decided to head out to the Dead Camel mountains. Knowing Puzzleman needed those caches as well, we pestered him until he showed up also and we hit the road! First stop, Fort Churchill to grab a cache along the river. Then it was off to one that has been a thorn in my side since it published, Fat Man's Misery. Endless looking at the map failed to reveal a road to this one and it was a few miles from the road. But, I am either getting better at interpreting aerial imagery or there was a new image because today, I SAW A ROAD, and we parked 300 feet from the cache! Yippee!! Then it was up into the Dead Camels. Now, the fun part was when Puzzleman got to a section of road with the whoopty whoos created by the dirt bikes. Knowing I rarely have my seatbelt on, he took off and sent his little Jeep bucking like some wild bull with me trying my best to hold on for the entire ride. WHEEEE, that was fun once I gave up trying to do anything and just bounce with the little Jeep. When he finally stopped I think all three of us were busting a gut from laughing. We got down to business then and found five more caches before heading down the mountain. There was one more section of bumpy road, but being on the edge of the mountain, Puzzleman didn't hit it hard. Unfortunately, it was one of those whoops where if the first one isn't taken just right, the road takes control of the rig and throws you around like a rag doll until you pass through it. Since I still didn't have my seatbelt on, I cracked straight into the roll bar above me and my still aching shoulder was slammed into the bar. Let me tell you now, I really hate those sections of roads where there is nothing you can do but hold on. Ouchie. We finished up in the range, and headed back down to grab lunch and download a new query. Next goal? Lahontan! We got down into the back section of the reservoir and wound our way onto the sandy narrow roads above the shoreline. One cache not found, two more found, then we tried finding a way down to the next one. We took a new (to us) road and were having a great time, until we found the No Trespassing sign in the most inconvenient place, NO turnaround! The first attempt was made at a million point turn (very narrow road and in the bottom of a gully) but when the edge of the road gave out and pulled the Jeep forward, the plan was made to just use the bushes for stability and go cross country back up to the road and turn around that way. However, once the Jeep left the road, the soft sugar sand took hold and we sank! A few attempts were made at self recovery, but the sand was just too soft for branches, rocks, or anything to provide support and so help was called for. We were eventually rescued and on our way back to Carson. I dropped BrazAm off (who may question the sanity of doing out with me again) and both Puzzleman and I took my Dad to dinner as a HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you.

All in all an excellent weekend and I had a truly awesome time!

Veterans Day weekend

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day of the Dead and the Living

Honest, the title isn't as depressing as it sounds.

So Friday is payday and a Friday as well, so things started out fantastic! Until I looked outside. What is that WHITE STUFF on the ground??

After work, I decide to head back into Carson, but not before swinging by the dojo to let them know that a lot of stuff is going on and I'm not able to attend and remained focused on what is being taught. Figure it best to put that on hold verses just neglecting to show up every week. Denise seemed supportive but also tried convincing me to continue studying. I don't want to quit and I want to continue learning, just... Yah, other stuff. Met up with Puzzleman in Carson to see his new tattoo and mid way through our conversation he learns he needs a cache for that day on his calendar. Eek, off we go to Washoe to grab one in freaking cold weather at 11 o'clock at night! WTH?!?!

Saturday morning woke up way to early and decided to go get a pic of the tattoo, forgetting what time his morning schedule was. So instead I go drop my truck off at Les Schwab to get a brake check done as Toyota reported problems (good news, nothing worth commenting on was found). So, while that was being done, got the picture I wanted and went to breakfast. Retreived my truck, then we went out to grab some cache around Dayton and clear out a small section south of Highway 50. Some fun times had there and I really enjoyed getting way off the road and into the backcountry. We finished up with one out on the Savannah's Peak road, before heading back into Carson to go to the Nevada State Museum El Dia Del Muertos (always thought it was Dia de Los Muertos, but they didn't have the "Los" in there) to watch a group of Aztec Dancers celebrate their deceased loved ones and give an opportunity to the audience to honor those they have lost. Got video of a little bit of it on my Qik page. Afterwards, we went down to grab Chinese dinner at my FAVORITE restaurant, China Jade Horse, before coming back in time to meet up with BrazAm. She's a new cacher I met and have been going out with lately and totally enjoying my new friendship. She's the one who took the pics of me up at CommRow on Wednesday. A great time hanging out with her over tea and just chatting about stuff going on. Later, I also met up with Puzzleman to arrange details on Sunday's adventure. Then dad and I were off to see Puss in Boots. Not a huge fan of Antonio Banderas, but in this, I love the voice he gives to that feline. MEOW!

Sunday woke up due to the stabbing pain in my shoulder. My arms have been aching since CommRow which was to be expected as I normally don't climb boulders, but that ache has for the most part faded, except for this stinging pain right above my shoulder blade. It hurts to even pull the gear shift back. Tarry asked me where is was and pushed on a few places on my back, until he hit right on that muscle and shot pain down my arm. He suspects it's the supraspinatus muscle and advises me to see a doc on it as I may have done something to my rotator cuff while on the wall. DAMN!

Anyway, woke up early, met up with everyone at the AM/PM and off we went to Sheckler Reservoir. Puzzleman needed a ton out there and I needed two that I was having a hard time getting out to. So I led him through the maze of twisting dirt roads all around that sea of sage and sand and we eventually cleared the area of caches. He also took the time to play in the sand with his new tires and new confidence when driving off road. I think I got a knarly video of him plowing through a washout area. He also raced fast through the straight stretches and I almost felt like the navigator or an off road rally racer, "Left coming up quick, okay, right! Now an S-turn to the left and take a right at the fork!" it was GREAT! Definitely had a good time.I think in all we grabbed 13 caches in two and a half hours before lunch. LOL afterwards we headed south and he cleared out the area north of Bravo 16 and we began the trip up into the Dead Camel Mountains. Unfortunately, just as we got up into them, the day's storm caught up with us and it was raining/snowing, windy and freezing cold. So we called it a day and headed back into Fallon to retrieve my truck and they could head home.

All in all a great weekend, and I am definitely looking forward to next weekend as it is a three day weekend and I get to caching with BrazAm! Whoo hoo!

Here's my YouTube channel, the two most recent videos are Aztec Dancers and Bugs-Eye View of a Jeep.

Pictures are currently uploading, so they will be along shortly.

Day of Dead Camels

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Scaling a wall

So, a short while back, CommRow opened up in Reno. This place took the old Fitzgerald's and morphed it into a huge rock climbers paradise (IMHO).

Outside is a massive climbing wall that extends from the second floor to the roof. And on the second floor are two huge bouldering walls in the rough shape of a room sized boulder. So, this aspiring rock monkey had to go play.

Today, I had an appointment in Carson and so took advantage of the time to get my truck fixed. Two broken engine mounts, lovely. I met up with my new friend BrazAm and we hit Reno to have some fun. Headed up after a stop at Starbucks and I got the chance to introduce her to map reading by making her find where we were and also navigate us to places along our route. We chatted and talked about everything as I took us to downtown Reno.

Inside, got the low-down on the place (food and bars open at 4pm, but the walls were open). There's a $12 day use fee that opens access to the inside and outside walls. BrazAm settled in to take pictures and I got onto the wall. I am seriously STOKED that I was able to not only climb, but climb several times, and a couple times even reached the top level of holds. I worked mostly on the flat surface but a few times tackled the convex wall, though I was not strong enough to try the concave wall. There was also a huge overhang to play on, but yeah, not now!

Afterwards we headed to Pho 777 for lunch, and I went for boring and grabbed simple Wonton soup. More chatting and talking then off to go find the Ides of March geocache that also needed a bit of maintenance to return it to the correct condition. That was simple but BrazAm took a second to work out the puzzle part. Then it was a stop at REI for me to spend my last birthday present and grabbed a hand exerciser to help strengthen my fingers and forearms for holding onto the rock easier. I also picked up a mini little waterprrof bag that my phone fits perfectly in for when I go out on the kayak. That'll help me answer my phone or take and send pictures while on the water. Been having to remove the phone from the dry sack until now.

Back home found us hanging out with Puzzleman who we caught eventually after he had to mess with us as to where he was. Sometimes I question why I put up with that silly man! Talked about our fun day and made plans for more exploring as I want to drag BrazAm off road and find the more remote and fun caches and unique and beautiful areas of this state.

And now for school, but I had to share because I had an absolute blast today! Whoo Hoo! (definitely made up for the news from the appointment today... :-/ )

Me on the Wall!