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: Utag

Geysers, Goblins, and Bones

This was my favorite day of the trip.  Because we were going to see something new, something a little different and off the beaten path.  We dragged our way out of bed and started the day.  We were sitting in the lobby of our hotel in Green River and eating breakfast when I saw a guy in a ratty beard and wearing second hand clothes eating breakfast.  I kind of watched him out of the corner of my eye. 

Runoff from Crystal Geyser

Then I saw another guy come up to him and ask  "Didn't I see you on X"  (I actually do not remember the show).  Turns out this odd guy was some multi millionaire that just decided to head to Moab for the weekend.  He did not make it that far and was here for the night.   I guess I should not judge people quite so fast.

Virtual Morning

I had to scramble as we headed out of town.  I had forgotten to grab Green River Utah 1st Virtual
Utah is the home of Virtual Caches.  Utah has 255 virtual caches right now.  There are only two states that have more; Texas with 340, and California with 525.  With Califoria at twice our area, and Texas at four times, we have quite a few.  It is easier since about 2/3rds of our virtuals fall along a few roads. Highway 6, Highway 89, and Interstate 15.  I would bet about 75% of all the virtuals fall in those areas. 

Well we swung back into town to grab this one before heading our way south.  I had almost forgot, at the last moment.  Ok well, it was not the last moment, we would come back into town.  We headed south toward Crystal Geyser.

Crystal Geyser Traditional and EarthCache

We found our way out to Crystal Geyser.  This was on my list for a long time.  I love Geysers, so I made sure I looked for the road.  We headed out of town on a rough old road, and turned with the car down a dirt road. It was pretty nice for my car.  Just a ten mile drive.  

The geyser is actually not a hot water geyser like those that are in Yellowstone.  This geyser was actually made by a drilling company.  They drilled into a pocket of carbonated water.  So every so often, usually once per day, it erupts into a smallish eruption, and a number of smaller eruptions that just bubble up.

While we were there walking around, taking pictures, a group of people visiting from Germany actually stopped and visited the area.  I wondered if they were geocachers.  I talked to them a bit, but no luck, just tourists looking at the out of the way spots.  The bubbles started boiling and a small eruption took place.  Nothing dramatic, just a lot of foam, and gas coming out of the top.

Fossil Point

Eventually I walked up the nearby cache.  Crystal Geyser was actually published back in 2004.  So for 10 years the cache was there and it needed finding by me.  It was a little walk up the canyon.  I grabbed the cache and found some trash nearby.  Later when I was logging the cache I noticed that there was another container someone had found, and thought they had found the real cache.  So happily I cleaned up the fake cache. and we packed up the family and headed off.

Fossil Point

We headed around to another cache.  The cache was only 4 miles away, but it was over the Green River.  So it meant a long slow drive to the north, then over the river, then down to the south. The road actually got pretty hairy for the caching mobile.

Dinosaur ribs

The road had a few washouts, a few spots that I had to be pretty careful to get around in the car.  Eventually I made it to the other side.  The little two track road got pretty bad for the car.  Any other vehicle and it would have been nice and easy.

The view at the cache site was awesome.  The different banding in the rock layers there were just amazing. 

There was no cache here, I actually asked about putting an Earthcache at the site.  However the BLM was concerned.  I mentioned that people had been pilfering the fosssils there.  Sadly that is true. Many of the fossils have been chipped out of the rock, or broken up.  When I grabbed them I noticed that the stone is actually softer than the rock around it.  So people trying to steal the fossils would have ended up with a bunch of little pieces.

My kids and I looked around and found a ton of fossils there.   There were some nice backbone vertebrae.  They were about a foot across, and six inches high, and some ribs that would have ran three feet long. There were a large number of other fossils that seemed to be in cross section, so I could not actually tell what they were.

We spent a few hours here.   I thought of placing a cache, but I really do not know if I will ever be here again.  I took a bunch of photos, and we climbed over boulders that are as big as small rooms. It was a great afternoon, and a great time looking about.  This is one of those sites that I think is completely amazing.  We rarely get to see things like this outside of a museum so it was a treat.

Purple Pond

Purple Pond view

The nearest cache was on the route back. Purple Pond by UtahJean.  This was a great location out in the desert.  The view with the little pond was spectacular.   There were a few purple layers, sadly the photo does not do it justice. When it was placed she mentioned a muskrat nest, and it is still there after all these years.

Goblin Valley

It took us a year or more to get to goblin valley.  I have been down a lot of roads in central Utah, more than many people.  I grew up down here, however I have never been on this side of the swell, on this road.  This was completely breathtaking.  At the site were a few caches. The Goblin Valley EarthCache.  This took a little bit of work to find the few signs with the information.

State Park Cache in goblin Valley

Following that I headed out into the rocks by myself. I had a quest.  An ammo can placed out in the south end of the valley by the state park.  I had a few in the park that I wanted to grab, but this really was going to be one of my crowning caches from the weekend.

The hike was pretty easy.  In the few days before there had been some rain, and there were a number of gullies down in the bottom of the valley in the sand.  It was a great walk.  I also was following the footprints of a few other cachers that had headed out the day before.  So the hunt took me to the area, and the find under one of the goblins in a hole in the mud was great.

Goblin Valley

I did go look for another.  However this time being in the hills by myself was not a great idea.  I finally broke off the hunt when i decided that I might end up breaking my leg or something worse if I kept hunting.

Kids in the mud

There was one hill, pretty high.  On the top of it were two ladies painting.  Seemed kind of a ways away to drag your painting supplies.  Then I realized I was walking a mile through the desert looking for a metal box with a paper inside.  So not being one to throw stones I headed back.  The kids were playing in the mud and we headed to the car.

You know going on a trip through southern  Utah at this time of year was genius.  The temperature is usually over a 100 degree F in the summer.  So going at this time of year is the best time.  It had rained a few days before and I assumed that everything would be dry, but 70 degree temperatures made it a great trip and at great temps.

Drive Home

The drop from the Swell into the desert.

We took the drive straight home.  Well, kinda.  Kind of like DrJay drove from Utah to Minnesota by way of Texas. We headed up through the desert, then through I-70.  Then to Price and home.  Ok, so it was a good day. 

The rest of the way home was seven Earthcaches and two Virtuals.   It was a great day.  The view up Highway 70 is magnificent.  Many overlooks, looking over many sights that are impossible to find anywhere else in the USA. Oh, I should mention that I did get a FTF on the route.  Butte or mesa?  I made sure I stopped at this when I was in the neighborhood.

I am so lucky to live here, in this place.  Utah is amazing.  I hope everyone has a chance to see this place, this great country that we live in,

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.

Where is UTAG?

There have been a number of questions posed about where the UTAG (Utah Association of Geocachers) has gone.  There is a lot behind the story and i choose not to go into detail because my details are sometimes 3rd and 4th hand.  I will try and fill in a few things.

The officers were looking at the number of people leaving messages on the Utag forums and the apparent lack of interest in Utag made the decision to close things down at this spring event, and that the site would be close. 

A number of people stepped up and asked that things keep going, and volunteered to find a way to make it keep going. Possible reformatting of the site, and a group will be formed to try and keep it up to date and to keep going forward, and moderate the spam that tries to appear in the forums.

Currently things are in a holding pattern.  The website is shut down until it is transferred and gets up and going again.  The spring meeting is going to be held and most likely there will be a discussion on Utag and what we want to do to make things keep going. 

There is not a lot of info other than that.  I will see if I can get more info after an event later this week.  Utag will still be around for a while, or at least a group is trying to keep it going.  There is a group on facebook in the interim period if you really need a fix, or the forums. 

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