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.

Filtering by Tag: Events

Wherigo to the Cito?

Friday night was the night.  I was actually running about town all day, and doing work around the yard.  I was looking at the event tonight and thought that I was going to be too busy.  The event was a Cito event at the park the Wherigo Halloween Party  When I was within about an hour of the event I finally determined that I was going to have the time and packed it up and headed out.

The event - introduction

I got there and and it was the typical event.  People were gathering, and some were in costumes (not me I had forgotten).  We sat around and talked, then passed out some bags to get trash and head out.  The event was hosted by Joephaw and Rannthaw.  They explained about the process of a wherigo, and stepped people through a wherigo they made to introduce the cache type.   On the way through the park we picked up trash (the Cito part of the event)  PeanutsParents arrived and he and I chatted and talked together while we did the cache. 

It was a simple cache with a few steps, and was to show people how they could be made.  They talked about some of the players and some of the builders you can use to build them.  It was pretty interesting.   I have made a half dozen, but I it is cool to learn something more.

The big Wherigo

Then it began.  After a few snacks and a few chats, we were heading off for the main event.  There were a few caches that were part of the Wherigo that we were working on.

There was four caches in the one wherigo cartridge.  PeanutsParents and I hung around for a while waiting for everyone.  We finally drove up to the starting point, and began the adventure.  The park is a few hundred yards wide, and a half mile long.   

Zone after Zone

This was a long cartridge, and big.  There are about 25 zones that you can travel to (and that is just a guess).  We ran into a large number of creatures, and people that you run into.  They give you items that will help you on your quest.  We started about 6 or 6:30 and we went for about three hours.  I think my kids would think it was great, and in the dark it added another dimention to the game. 

This was not something you would just casually try.  The cache needs to be done in the dark.  There are a number of questions that you will only find the answer in the dark.  It was fun, and if I have the chance it will have to bring my daughter and a friend or two so they can try it out. 

If you want to try something like this, try. It can be a lot of fun

Moab Memories - Saturday Morning

This last week my family and I headed down to Moab.  We were heading down to the Utah Geocachers Association fall meeting, and to spend some time in a place I have never been. 

Ok, I have to take the time to admit to the world that I am from Southern Utah.  I grew up two hours from Bryce Canyon national park, and I was only two and a half hours from Arches national park.  My high school used to compete with Moab in many sports.

Yet in all my life (well that I can recall) I have never been to Moab. We got close, every year we went to Lake Powell.  Also I saw a lot of red sandstone at my home.  So it was just never on my list of things to do.  As I got older, I just found other places to visit, many people took trips down there and I never did.  So it was about time.

I was exited when Moab came up as an option and I pushed for it for two reasons.  The first was the chance for me to go there, and the second was that UTAG had never had a meeting there.  It was time to go see another place.

I thought for a while I might be going alone, there was some waffling on the part of me and my family.  In the end we decided to go.  Actually it was pretty late, two days before we committed to go.  That also meant that we needed to reserve a room.

Gah, just for your information, do not try and get an inexpensive hotel room in a tourist town a few days before you plan on going.  So we found a place an hour away in Green River.

We headed down to Green River Friday night and crashed at the motel.  The kids went to the swimming pool and I crashed.  :P Long day, a few hour drive, some people love those things, i don't.

Dino Track

Goal #1 - Dino Tracks

I did not want to spend the entire day driving, so I tried to schedule things with a stop here and a stop there.  The geocaching event/lunch was not until noon, so we had some time.

The first stop on the adventure was to the Copper Ridge Dinosaur Tracks.  This was actually one of the early Earthcaches that were published in Utah.  I had seen it on a map for a number of weeks, and it was on my list.  Isn't a dinosaur track one of things every kid wants to see?

Well this was one that I was sure the kids would like. We left the highway and headed off road to the cache site.  We were in the car and it took a little bit of work to drive around the ruts in the sand from the recent rains, but we made our way to the trailhead.  The hike up to the cache site was pretty easy to make.

The kids got exited when we got to the site. You could find the actual tracks pretty simply.  People had taken small stones and surrounded the actual tracks.  They spent a lot of time poking around, and we walked a bit up the trail until we got the nice sign saying "Stay out of old mines, they are radioactive".  So we headed back.  It was a nice start to the day.

Wilsons Arch

Goal #2 San Juan County

San Juan county of course.   Actually not just the county but I needed to grab Wilsons Arch.    The arch is right by the side of the road.  Of course the trip to Moab from Green River is normally 45 Minutes.  We turned it into a three and half hour drive with the few stops. This was the first arch that we saw for the day, but it would not be the last of them.  I took a walk up into the hill nearby, then took a moment to snap some photos.  the light was not actually very good, but I got the information that I needed.

Goal #3 Virtual and a TraditionalMy Daughter waiting for us to return for the hunt through the weeds.

Yep I had to grab another cache while on the day. Actually a few caches.  The first was at a home that had been carved out of the canyon side.  At first I thought it would be stupid to build a home in the stone, until I thought how it may always keep it a little cooler than a house.  So to each their own.  The cache was called Holes N the Ground.   Then around the hill to a traditional cache.  That one did not turn out as well as I thought.  The walk was a ways through the weeds and I found the wrong way. 

 

Goal #4 - Event

My favorite part of most caching days is the event.  I am a social person that drives my kids nuts.  I took all the coins that I had mine and many that lyonden_ut had given me a while back. 

He gave me many of his coins on the condition that I made sure that I take them to events and share them with other people.  So here they came.  There were about 15 that were given to me from him, and I have about 150 to 180 coins by now, and I have a bunch of pathtags.  I seem to get one or two every month on average.  I need more containers to share them with, I have a few books that make them easy to share, they are far easier than the plastic sheets.  I used them and I seem to drop them all over and loose them.  So I moved to the other books, they hold them better.

That is it for the morning.  I will write up my arches trip all by itself.

St George, the Heart, and Breakfast.

PeanutsParents in an underground cache.

Well the month is almost over and I thought I better write about my trip earlier this month. I am falling behind in my blogging so I better get at it.

Earlier this month I decided to head to southern utah for a breakfast event with PeanutsParents.   It was all a maybe trip, and we were never really sure of who was going, or when until about two days before. 

Well we headed down friday afternoon and really did not not do much on the way down.  We were trying to get to southern utah before it was too late.

We drove for three to four hours with only a few stops.  That surprised both of us.  Normally a three to four hour trip would have taken us most of the day.  However I got out of work pretty late, so our trip was rushed to get there with good time.

CITO pile of crap

The drive to St. George was great, faster than either of us shot.  When we arrived in town we got in touch with DrJay and family, and went to say hi.  Then got asked if we wanted to go work on some puzzles.  So PeanutsParents, Momthecook, cachinhubby, Jac0b, and I headed out in the evening to grab some caches that were around.

The next morning we got up early, really early.  Apparently there was a CITO over the border in Arizona.  Woo hoo one more state. So off we went.

It was really early and we were cleaning up an area that is a truck stop.  An unofficial truck stop. Apparently many of them just threw trash out of their cabs and made a mess.  So there we were to save the day. Much of it was in a pile, but without bags, so we spent a lot of time just bagging stuff.

Southern Utah Cachers Breakfast Southern Utah Cachers Breakfast

After that we headed north. We grabbed a few caches on route. It was a good morning and normally I would not be out of bed at this time.  However this was for caches, breakfast, and bacon.  The event was the Spring Breakfast event.  Every year it gets bigger.  I counted 130 cachers (about).  It is hard to count with everyone mulling about.

It was a great event.  I do not know how many years it has been going on, but it seems to grow every year.

There were a number of people that traveled hours south to the event.  Chasing the sun, and others that headed up from St. George. 

I brought one of my limited edition coins to give away.  And who won it?  The guy that I drove all the way down with.  I thought that was really funny.  Out of 130 people, he was the one to win it.

It is funny how some events are just the right place at the right time.  Sunshine, while the rest of the state is usually still int he cold of late winer.

Last year my wife and I came down and we spent our time doing every virtual and earthcache that we could find.  That was a great trip.  I had nopes of going with my wife (no offence to peanutsparents) but with kids activites and stuff like that,  of course Peanutsparents had planned on going with his wife as well.  So it all worked out.

Mom Mom Heart Geocaching Mom Heart Geocaching Mom Heart Geocaching

Mom Heart Geocaching

Well later that morning we decided to head out into the desert. It was time to start looking for caches. We grabbed a few caches. In fact I pulled my old trick.  There is a road on the map,so we followed that.  Unfortunatly the map on the road was a rough road, we did eventually make it to the location, but man it was a nasty ride.

We headed to billionj's mom heart int he desert. There were a lot of caches that made up the heart.  So we were actaully planning something rather long. There were about sixty caches in the outside of the heart that we were planning on doing. 

Actually we thought about doing the O in mom as well.  But more on that later.

We headed out into the desert and we had a number of us. About a dozen running from small 7 year olds to mid 40's all going for a nice stroll.  A stroll in the cactus and sand for 7-8 miles.

The group tended to stretch out as time went on.  What started out as all of us together slowly started to string out into a longer and longer line. By the time we got to the bottom of the heart (about 20 caches into it), we all knew that some were not going to make it.  Unfortunatly for those that gave up it was a two mile hike back to the cars.

As we crossed the road on the SE edge of the heart all of the kids gave up.  Jac0b started back at that point. He started with the rag tag band to head back ot the cars.

A bit later A few others felt like they had enough as well. So they headed back as well.  So with 35 caches and 4.5 miles of sand dunes and sagebrush ahead of us DrJay, Peanuts Parents, and myself continued to the quest.  It was a long long hike.

I had forgotten how much I hated hiking in the sand.  I grew up in southern Utah and we avoided sand.  You have to work twice as hard. It gets in your shoes.  In fact when I was done I had a lot inside my socks. It made for rough hikeing.  However even had we decided to give up we were going to be hiking past many of the caches that we were looking for heading back to the car.

I never did actually measure the length.  Five barbed wire fences were crossed, and many miles.  It was fun to go with the people that I went with.  They are a blast and I would not have enjoyed myself had I been caching on my own like I normally do.

The scenery was awesome.  Given it was mostly sand, and hills.  However it was really a nice break from what I see up north.  Like I said I grew up seeing sights like these.  Now as I get older I start to appreciate what I grew up with, and what people travel thousands of miles from around the world to see.

Needless to say the rest of the day was spent trying to pretend that we were alive.  Nearly sunburned, and wanting sleep we headed back to the hotel to sleep and get cleaned up.  I went to dinner later, but was pretty burned and just exhausted. So I did not eat a lot.

The next day was the drive back.  I actually found another fifty caches on the way home.  I really need to log them.  I have tried to make each log part of the experience this year.  So I put off logging (like blogging).  However I will get back to it.

In all it was a great trip.  Thanks for everyone that made it so enjoyable.  We saw many great sights.  Thanks for everyone in making it fun.

UTAG Event and Cache Day

Prologue

I received an phone call earlier in the week from Peanuts Parents.  He was wondering if I would go out to the event with him this last weekend with him.

Friday night. - The Drive

Well after a quick review of things with my wife, I got the green light.  So Friday night we headed south to Kanosh.  He has a little cabin there. 

The drive was a long one, about two hours.  Ok well it was not really long, but it was long enough for me.  I am not big on many hours in the car.  The plus is that I was able to grab caches on the way south. Normally that is a no no.  Kids are not fond of stopping for a lot of caches.  We took the time to find a mystery cache in Nephi, then stopping in Fillmore to grab another cache.

When we got to Kanosh, Utah just as it was just getting dark.  He showed me around the area, inside and out.  There is a great view of Utah's West desert with various cinder cones and old extinct volcanoes.

PeanutsParents had a ton of caches. And I do mean a ton.  So we spent a good part of the night talking and putting together many of the containers for his cache run.

Sunrise over Utah's west desert. Saturday Morning

The next morning is when the adventure began.  We left early in the morning. About 7:00 AM if my mind is correct. Things are fuzzy for me early in the morning.  We packed things up, and got everything ready.  Neither of us wanted to sleep too long.

There are no stores in Kanosh.  So food is what be had brought with us.  Well, that was some Jolly Ranchers and a few V8's.  what more could you ask for.

Our drive began and we stopped for one or two caches that Peanuts had never grabbed before even though he was nearby.  He had left them for the perfect moment. Now.

Then our drive included him placing a number of caches.  So as we headed into town and he took me to a few caches, we started to see many of the nice caches that I had never been to. 

Then off into the desert.

The desert west of Kanosh is pretty sparse.  This year as you walk around there are a number of desert flowers blooming, and a little green.  It has been pretty wet (for a desert) this year.

We headed to a string of caches that had been placed earlier this year down a little dirt road. Well that is where things got strange.  The road was no more than a few car tracks into the desert.  We needed to go three miles.  So off we went in our truck.  (Bad Idea #1) Those car tracks dwindled until we were on a ATV trail.  That was getting a little nerve wracking.  Then it turned into a cow trail only a few hundred yards from where we were going.  Then little by little a few tracks joined ours. (We did get the caches)

I am not sure that was the wisest choice, but it was not our last dumb one.

The race to the event.The roadless road.

We headed off to the event so we would not be late.  The event was about 30-40 miles to the north. Well we were heading west.  In the desert.  At one point we had a choice.  Head south, 8 miles to the road, or take a dirt road to the north. 

Well I voted for north.  It seemed logical, we were going that way.

Bad idea #2 - Eventually the road got nasty.  very nasty.  In fact it was not there.  You could see remains. It had been a road where they placed a power-line up out in the desert.  in the 70's.  but not much of one now.

I admitted that I had made a bad decision. Peanuts decided perhaps we would drive on. (Bad Idea #3).  So off we went.  I snapped a pic out the window.  You can see where the road was, but not much of a road, and few have traveled it in years.

Happily we reached the rail line and there was an option to go North or South (there was a road there).  Well once again, why go south to reach or destination in the North. (Bad Idea #4).  It was 7 miles.  but the roads were even worse.  I wish I had taken a photo or video.  Eventually the road turned into a two-track trail, then a single track. We could see where the road had been. It would have been in the 50's.  We traveled wash outs and horrible ledges. And eventually it faded to a cow trail.  Eventually as we came within a mile the road started to appear again. People had traveled it from the other end anyway.

We got to the event an hour late.  Oh yea... did I forget to mention we had a flat?  When we finally hit the highway we found out that we had a flat.  The tire was so hot I could hardly touch it. Same with the lug nuts.  Ahhh life int he desert.   Welll not many were at the event, but it was nice anyway.

Hunting for the benchmark.Drive home

The drive home was an afternoon with benchmarks.  Peanuts was putting caches near them.  We actually found three that were placed by other cachers doing the same thing.  So we were pre publishing ftfs on them.   Ahhh the joy of people with the same ideas.

We had fun hunting for them on the way.  Especially the ones buried, that we actually had to find. 

Benchmarks can be way off anyway.  A hundred feet or more. If you can find the sign marking them you may be in luck.  But even then they are buried in the sand in the desert.  So we had to work to drag them out.

That was the afternoon drive home.  We found another 10 benchmarks, making for about 20 benchmarks on the day, with about 50 caches. Plus Peanuts placed another 25-30.  So it was a long fun day.  We were tired when we made it back home.

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