Life as a Geocacher

Caching and Reviewing

This is made up of stories from my caching and my reviewing.  It is a collection of those along with comments and thoughts.  Photos, and maps of some adventures and lists of some of the oldest caches.

Potter's Ponds Posts

For those not aware we have one of the oldest geocaches in the world here in Utah.  Potters Ponds GC3B 

It is a cool caches in the mountains.  Not little scrawny mountains, but high Utah mountains.  about 9000 feet.  That only really comes into play when the spring rolls around. This time of year there is a lot of snow, and even when there is not a lot of snow the Forest Service watches the road.   It is heavily used and in good shape.  So to avoid having to rework the road, they keep it closed for most of the spring.

So a few people have given it a shot. Here are the logs.

Wow! Where to start?... With the Lone Baker

I'm currently on a cross country road trip grabbing a bunch of old geocaches and cache across America caches. I had this one on my list as an absolute must get because of how few geocaches are left from this month. (four) However, it never occurred to me that roads might be closed as back home spring is in full bloom. So I'm driving over and I get within about 9 miles of the caches when I get to a closed road.

Now I really did want this cache but a 9 mile walk each way is a bit much. I really do not want to have to come back out here again though so I make a compromise with myself. I will drive to the nearby town of Orangeville and see if I can find a bike to borrow. If I do then I will go after this cache via bicycle since even though the road was closed to motorized vehicles I saw nothing that said I couldn't travel the road by foot/bicycle. Plus I've found people in small towns to be quite friendly and everyone tends to know everyone so all I really had to do was find one person and they might point me in the direction of a bicycle to borrow.

So I drive to the "city" and fate was with me! I reach the outskirts and see a man walking. I ask if he needs a ride into town and he says he is just out for a walk. But when I ask about a bicycle he says he actually has one I can use! So I give him a lift and he walks me over to this old dust covered bicycle that had not been used in years. But after wiping it down a little, putting air in the tires, and adjusting the seat, the bike was ready to go! However, the bike didn't fit in the car so we ended up using a cord to tie the trunk shut with the bike sticking out.

The man thought the road would be open though since apparently I had turned off too soon thanks to Google. So I make my way straight down the road to the reservoir and follow it around only to come to another closed road. Oh well. Once again I'm about 9 miles or so from the parking area for the geocache. So out comes the bike and I load up rations for my long trip. I also grabbed a jacket figuring it would be pretty cold when I got close. But that just proved to be an annoyance in the end.

Anyways, I start heading out. Or course it was almost entirely uphill and I did not have the stamina to bike a good chunk of the way. But I knew no matter how tired I got coming back would be nice and easy. So I ended up walking at least three quarters of the way. Now the road was perfectly fine until I reached about the half way point. I could not understand why the road was closed. But then there was a small fallen tree blocking my path. I then encountered a couple more as I went on. All were probably light enough that I could move them if I had been driving though. But I just carry the bicycle over them and continue. I'm only a few miles away now and getting exhausted. I consider giving up but then I would have wasted all this time for nothing. And again I knew I would have a pretty easy ride back.

It was also at this point that I encountered my first snow. Only small patches though here and there and again easily drivable had I been in a car. It wasn't until I was only a couple miles away that the road got a little bad. I reached about a mile away from parking and finally encountered road I wouldn't have driven. But I plundered on. About a half mile now and there's enough snow that it didn't make sense to bring the bike any further. So I set it among some trees off the road figuring not a soul would be out who could steal it. And I hike the rest of the way. At last! I reached the parking! I'm so excited at this point and I head in.

I'm still not too worried about the snow itself though since it didn't seem too bad and I could see the ground in plenty of areas. However the lake itself is completely frozen. I soon reach a stream I need to cross though (that wasn't frozen). Thankfully I saw a couple of downed trees I could use to reach the other side. They were hindered by a bunch of growth but after what I went through to get here I just pushed the growth aside as I walked and acquiring a minor scratch or two. I'm so close I can taste the victory now!

As I get closer though the snow seems to be getting worse but still not enough to really cause me alarm. It wasn't until I took a step and had my entire leg (literally) get submerged in deep snow that I started to get worried. But thankfully it was just that one spot and I could still see the ground in other areas by the trees where I figured the cache would be. I reach ground zero and after only a couple minutes I make the find! OMG!!! I am so happy I didn't come all this way for nothing! There was no snow where the cache itself was and I easily made the retrieval.

I signed the log and took a few photos for proof. I'll try and add them to my log when I get home from my trip in a couple weeks. I also rescued the one trackable I saw and will be moving it along. I saw something else with a tracking number as well but it looked like just a QR code so I left that there. Anyways, I replace the container and get ready to head down only to discover my phone is down to 1 percent battery. And I still needed to take pictures of the lake and what not. So I pretty much sprint down hoping my phone will last and stumble a few times and end up getting a minor cut on my knee. But I make it to the lake in time and get my photos. And then the phone proceeded to last a good 20 minutes more!

So now comes the return trip. I walk down and retrieve my and there were a few areas I had to walk uphill on the trip back but for the most part it was downhill or flat and I made good time. The only thing I hadn't counted on was the bone jarring shaking I would experience thanks to all the little bumps. But I made it back to my car easily enough and then returned the bike. And even better they let me inside their house to take a much needed shower!

I'm not sure how long the whole trip took but it was probably around 3 hours or so. And about 20 miles round trip. Thanks for placing this cache!

And who next? Pearbro

What can one say? Just because you could doesn't mean you should. Started the quest from Nephi, even though the Garmin in the car said go north 40 miles and then south. The dirt road climbing towards the pass said road closed during winter months. Heck, it's May. That is not a winter month in California. Garmin said 15 miles to go via crow fly. Continued to climb and climb, dodging boulders on the road, but not too bad. Got to about 9600' elevation and hit the snow field. Cache only about 9 miles away! Still needed to climb another 1000' to clear the pass. Backed up the 1/4 mile until I could turn around. Down the hill and then north. Beautiful road and area. Aspen were just starting to leaf out and the vistas were beautiful. Gate across Miller road at the the top of the pass, but didn't look too bad. Still 20 miles away from this end. Continue to Orangeville and then to Joe's Reservoir. Found the locked gate. Parked and got out my mountain bike, loaded my pack with survival gear and hiking stick and set off on the climb. I didn't realize the climb was going to be 2500' in 8.7 miles. A whole lot of walking going on during this "bike ride". A word to the wise-wait for the road to open! You can park 1/4 mile from cache site. That is great in hindsight. 2 hours later got to the end of the bike-able portion. Only .25 miles to go. Just one problem. A swift flowing stream and logs to cross. I don't do logs! I told my wife I would not do anything dangerous, and the thought of falling into cold swift snow melt appeared to be dangerous, so even thought about aborting at this point. Plus, it would be at least a day before I was even noted to be missing. Went up stream past a confluence and saw that the two streams were only about 2 feet deep each and cross-able with the aid of my hiking stick. Now still only .25 to go. Headed up slope toward site over fallen logs and patches of snow. Broke through the crust at one point and hit a log with my shin on the way through. Broke the skin but not the shin. Got attacked by a "stick snake" and bled a little on the back of my calf from that wound. Continued the quest. Normally my mind and body are on the same page. A veteran of 80 plus marathons and ultra-marathons, I am always able to keep it that way. Not today. Body was saying "You are a fool." The mind was saying "Oh, it's not that bad". Then they switched roles, each saying "You're not listening to me!!" Finally, the cache was in hand. Woo Hoo. Nice ride down approx 40 minutes. 2 hours up-40 minutes search. Total of about 4 hours. Exhausted but elated. A little bit scarey as to what could have happened, but that is what the adventure was about. At almost 66 years old, the mind of a thirty year old in this body can be not be good thing. Now to find a May 2015 when I get home and complete the Jasmer. WAIT FOR THE ROAD TO OPEN!!

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