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GeoWoodstock trip

The Jester
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We were supposed to leave for a trip to GeoWoodstock today - using a very long roundabout way to get there (somewhere around 8800 miles). BUT the travel trailer we ordered a couple of months ago hasn't been delivered yet! It's supposed be at the dealer today or tomorrow, but they won't have it ready until at least mid-next week. That's sure putting a crimp in our easy, wander-where-we-will route.


We'd planned on getting the oldest cache in the states we pass thru, starting with California, heading east from there along the Gulf to Tallahassee (for a nephew's graduation with a masters) and then wandering the Deep South and Eastern Seaboard until we reached GeoWoodstock. We were planning about twice the time needed for each leg, but I guess the first leg (to Midland TX to visit another nephew and family) will have to be done more quickly.


Well, we get to spend Easter with local family (we were hoping to spend it in the Redwoods) so it's not all bad. But Man! I want to get on the road.

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Well, we get the trailer tomorrow! And as soon as it's packed we're off!


Here's our basic route - not that we'll stick with it exactly, but more or less... (I just noticed that it doesn't show the Dallas-San Antonio-New Orleans portion, just goes to show...)



We'll hit about 25 of the oldest-in-a-state caches, five in states we've cached before, 20 in 'new' states. We were going to try and dip into Mexico, but with the week lost we won't have time this trip. :(


I should have a double Jasmer by the time we return (I just need that 8-2000 in Georgia).


ETA: The routes a little over 12K miles as it stands.

Edited by The Jester
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Well, here's the end of the third day - Friday we left at 6pm and got as far as Chealis (sp?), where we had a minor accident. As I was pulling into a parking spot I turned too tight hit the AC unit, pretty much ripping it out of place. So Saturday we stopped at the Portland dealer and had a quick repair done (remove and seal the hole) - hopefully we can get one shipped to a dealer on the route and installed a little later. So we didn't get as far as hoped: Lakehead by Shasta Lake. Today (Sunday) we stopped for a church service part way down route and made it an hour short of LA (Gorman, CA).


We're learning a lot about towing this trailer with the Forester - the mileage isn't great (18-20 MPG), and it doesn't climb big hills real well.


It's a little tight inside as we are learning where to put things and when. With both of us and our suitcases it's a dance to get a meal fixed. But, we are working out the details of life on the road - it should only take about 7 more weeks to get it right!


Caching is a little light for this part of the trip, I got three yesterday (1 in each state), but today we just powered thru making distance. Tommorrow we go for the oldest in CA (plus a couple of others hopefully).

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I'll add a photo when I can. We got an Aliner Expedition trailer - it's a hard side pop-up, A-frame trailer. It's 18 feet long, and has stove, sink, fridge, small chemical toilet (for dry camps) and just enough room for us to get in each others way! And one of the few that can be towed my a Subaru Forester.


Today was all about making distance, but I tried for the other half of "Can't Cache Without You" (the California half) since I had all the answers). But either I save the numbers wrong or I just missed it but had no luck. We then drove down and did the oldest cache in California (about a three mile hike that's pretty flat, especially when your used to the NW hills). We're sitting in Yuma now for the night, planning how to get to the oldest in Arizona tomorrow. We'll probably spend a little more time each day sight-seeing.


We made arraignments to have a new AC unit shipped to a dealer near Dallas, TX and we'll have it put in next week when we get there - though tonight is warm enough we're missing it already.

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I should have mentioned that in Yuma I had lots of fun trying to get the trailer backed into the spot (in the dark no less!) - it's been 40 years since I've done much trailer work and my skills are a little rusty. But by the end of this trip I should be driving like a pro.


Tuesday found us driving across Arizona. We found a really great virtual in Gila Bend at the free museum there (it also made a nice routing point as that's where we left the freeway). Then up thru Phoenix to the oldest AZ cache. This is a very interesting hike thru a Saguaro forest (plus several other cacti and many bushes). We took a different way in, as there wasn't any 'real' info on where to start. Plenty warm for a us PNW folk, but not too bad with lots of water. The drive north from there went thru a bigger/thicker forest of Saguaro - WOW! We had to change our plans and drop a couple of sights in AZ as it was taking us longer to drive towing a trailer. We climbed up onto a high (6800-7200') plateau that stress the car and driver. We arrived late to a RV camp in Holbrook and never found the showers and the internet wasn't working - Argh!


Today we crossed into New Mexico. We met some other cachers at the rest area at the border and then stopped at a library to see about filing an extension on the taxes (we haven't had as much free time as we wanted) - that was fun as we couldn't use their system to print (their problem) from the laptop and didn't have a flash drive along to copy the file. We finally found out how to file online - but still it set us back about an hour. So we hurried across to Albuquerque (well, as fast as the trailer could be hauled) and up into the hills to find the oldest NM cache. We had to pass on the other two old cache nearby (within a quarter mile) as we needed to keep moving - darn! But we made it back down thru Albuquerque's rush hour and far enough down the road to get in the sights we want in the next couple of days before getting to my nephew's place in Midland TX. For the first time we set up in daylight! But by the time we'd walked across the road, bought a couple of needed items it was dark. Interesting little RV camp here in Vaughn - no bathrooms or showers - but good wifi. So we got the chem toilet ready for it's first use.

The wind was quite strong for most of the day (nice on the hike), and one last cell rolled thru just before bedtime and rattled the trailer pretty good. Much nicer than a tent. It wasn't hot today - we never swapped to tee shirts - and we got some rain on the way to camp after Albuquerque, just like home.

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Sorry about the delay in the continuing story of the Fool and Idiot. Time and wifi worked against us for a few days.


To pick up where I left off... We drove south thru NM to White Sands National Monument. Way cool place to visit - although the 30+ MPH winds did kind of make the sand move a little. <_< The have to plow the roads thru the dunes, and it looks just like a snowy day in the mountains - just a lot warmer. We used a snow disk to sled down a dune or two. The sand was very fine, so it was soft and not gritty, and not at all hot.


We then drove up and over the mountains to Carlsbad, where we spent the night. The pass was about 8600 feet, and steep. It gave the Forester a good work out towing the trailer. We spent the next morning at Carlsbad Caverns. We did the self tour of the Big Room, and bought a tour of the King's Palace - Wow! A place we'll have to return to as there is lots more to explore here. We hadn't taken the GPSr's, so we didn't read the virtual info until we were back at the car - then had to go back to get the answer needed (we even had a picture, but couldn't remember which stop that was...). Then we spent the rest of the day driving to Midland TX to visit #1 nephew and his family.


We spent the weekend with them, going to a tennis match, softball practice and just hanging out. I grabbed a few caches at various stops and around the neighborhood. We even managed to get to a Weight Watcher's meeting. We went to a church pastored by a nephew of a friend's wife's mother (friend's first cousin?).


Monday morning we head east to Dallas/Fort Worth area. We stayed in a RV camp just a few miles from Tombstone (TX oldest cache) and we for that one after dinner. (It's a different style of vacation than we're used to, ending the day about 5-6 pm - when RV park offices close - but it does make for easier planning for the next day.) The next morning we drove across the metroplex to Mesquite where the new AC unit was installed - which we haven't needed yet, quite. We headed south thru Waco and then west towards Texas' tallest waterfall. We stayed in the small town of Gatesville. We drove out to Colorado Bend SP and hiked into the waterfall. Interesting falls, it builds itself by depositing travertine - it's now 650 feet wide and 65 feet tall. We had to swing thru the campground to pay our day use fee, and saw two other Aliner's - the first we've seen this trip (aside from the one tailgating us the whole trip). We then drove down to Austin and got caught in rush hour - worse than Seattle! If I'd looked at the map more (and thought of rush hour) we could have taken a route that would have skipped downtown.


We decided to take an extra night in town so we could get in another Weight Watcher meeting and do the "Necropolis of Britannia Manor III" cache (much easier to do without the trailer hanging on behind). This is a massive, multi-stop cache that spreads across Austin and highlights some of the history of the area. The end is quite fun and would best be appreciated in the dusk/dark, but our time didn't allow for that. That evening we went to the "Austin Bat Bridge" where upwards of 1.5 million bats hang out and leave around dark in large clouds.


Today we drove down to San Antonio, using a few caches to route us thru the Hill Country of Texas - much prettier than the interstate, to see The Alamo. What we didn't know was Festival San Antonio was going full swing and downtown was packed. We had some fun trying to find parking for car and trailer so we could see The Alamo. We finally found a gravel lot by a business which was closed and "braved" the possibility of a ticket/tow. The Festival parade went right by The Alamo, so the crowds were pretty thick, and we left shortly after so we caught some the traffic mess but managed to get out of town with only one wrong turn. We're staying in a small town (Luling) an hour or so towards Houston. After dining at a BBQ place we toured the town a little and saw there was a virtual close in. So one last cache for the day - ain't life rough! Back at camp we saw lightning bugs - first time is many years.


Tomorrow we'll head into Houston to visit a butterfly exhibit and then towards Wild Azalea Cache (Louisiana's oldest). We've made contact with the owner of View Carre' cache in New Orleans and might get a personal tour even though it's been archived.


Well, I guess I should get caught up on my logging - we can see the lightning lighting up the sky while were here. Too much rain and the river my rise too much and chase us out of camp.

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Although the name is White Sands National Monument, that white stuff is not sand. It is Gypsum, the stuff in wallboard. It washes down from the surrounding mountains and the gypsum laden water collects in a low spot in the valley where it dries and crystallizes. The wind is constant there and the wind breaks up the crystals and blows the white "sands" up the valley. I lived in Alamogordo for several years and talk about hard water. Your drinking glasses always had white spots and film on them.


I enjoyed the visit I made to the caverns many years ago.


And thanks for the trip commentary. I enjoy reading about your adventures.

Edited by jholly
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Back at camp we saw lightning bugs - first time is many years.


We've made contact with the owner of View Carre' cache in New Orleans and might get a personal tour even though it's been archived.



mmmm - lightning bugs - one of the things I miss from Philly.


I did View Carre' a few months before the hurricane. The owner's minion was great to visit with. Find a couple hours to do the WW-II museum within walking distance.

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Boy, time flies when you travel. It seems just yesterday I was on here, but that was a few days ago.


We stopped in Houston to see the butterfly exhibit at the Natural Science Museum - quite fun. So many types and colors. We then headed NE towards Louisiana highpoint. We spent the night in a small town somewhere in East Texas. Sunday we finally made it out of Texas - two hundred yards over the border we stopped to Praise God, not because we were out of Texas but because it was Sunday and we found a nice church to go to. A couple of hours drive brought us to Driskall Mountain (which back home wouldn't hardly be a foothill). It was a short mile to the summit at 535 feet, very interesting forest, so different from home. Then we headed south for the oldest Louisiana cache - Wild Azala Cache - around Alexandria (sp?) we couldn't find any RV parks (?!?) but finally found a campground (close to the cache) that had RV hookups. We decided to get the cache in the morning and spend the time with making a nice dinner - maye not the best choice. That night we had thunder and lightning lasting until morning. But being good Northwestener's we had full coverage rain gear, so it didn't stop us (slow us a little). By the time we hit the trailhead it had stopped, so the walk in was nice. Again a different forest than back home.


We finally (it seemed) got to New Orleans about 5:30 or so and got camp set. We had thought about heading into th French Quarter, but the storms started again and so we just sat in the trailer very happy we weren't in a tent! By morning the thunder and lightning had eased and we spent the day wandering the French Quarter - seeing the sights and finding a surprising number of caches (there are probably more, but I just loaded the virtual and high favorite point caches). We did get to View Carre' and met Bamboozle who gave us most of the tour himself before passing us to Kenny to finnish off. Quite the view and history lessons of what we could see. What a treat!


We're sitting right next to the Mississippi River having a bit of dessert (pecan pie, of course!) before a Ghost & Spirit walking tour. Another day here in town before heading for Tallahassee. We planning a river boat ride - lunch on a sternwheeler - and seeing some other sites around town. Now where's that next closest cache...

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I assume you were on I 10. "The sun has riz and the sun has set, been traveling three days and I'm in Texas yet"Enjoying your travels. Never pulled a mobile trailer, we had 3 different Van type RVs. Sure nice to not have to unload things into a motel. Also nice to pull out in the morning when it raining and see the unhappy people trying to round up the kids and fold the tents. We have had all kinds of transportation and a cabin at Lake Cushman. We had 3 van type RVs, several 4WD vehicles (Just gave our Land Cruiser to our son in Alaska) had two airplanes, 5 or so scooters, many different boats. Now we have just the CRV. We have cached in all 50 states when they were few and far between. I remember when in Texas we stopped for bkfst and Arlene said they are eating mashed potatoes. I told her it was grits. We drove all the way to Kansas via Illinois (my home state) just to get Mingo. Also drove all the way to Kittyhawk to see the memorial for flight and only found 60 caches on the trip. Glad to see you enjoy things while you can. Dick & Arlene W7WT

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Hello This is for Mtn Mutt. Just wanted you to know that both my son Tom a retied 747 400 Captain for Atlas Cargo and our granddaughter who was a Denali guide are flying for Talkeetna Air Taxi. They now have Cessnas, Beavers and the new Otters which are turbo prop high altitude aircraft. Our granddaughter is married to a climbing ranger who is probably spending his month on the mountain with your coin that you gave me. Either that or Leigh will be flying it in whenever the weather is good. Thanks Dick, W7WT

Edited by W7WT
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Time sure flies when you get busy on the road. It seems just the day before yesterday I was posting here...


Well, we did get to ride a steam powered stern-wheeler river boat up and down the Mighty Mississippi, at least for a short ways. The lunch on board was pretty good - red beans and rice, catfish, okra, mashed potato and gravy, coleslaw, and bread pudding. We got to see the city from the French Quarter (orginal city) down to the battlefield from the War of 1812 and up to the new business district of town. Then we went looking for a shop where I saw a jester hat I wanted - it took a while since we'd walked a fair piece yesterday. Following that we headed over to the Garden District, the first real area developed by Americans (France and Spain did most of the early settling). We missed the graveyard by just a bit (they close at 3:30) but we able to join a walking tour and saw some of the great homes (some now owned by celebraties). That was about enough for us, even tho there is lot's more to see and do, that was about all we could take in for this trip.


We started the next day (Thursday) driving over the worlds longest bridge over water (23.8 miles across Lake Pontchatrain). We hit a morning Weight Watchers meeting, then tried for a couple of local caches. One we DNF'd, the other we found (the only solved puzzle I had for Louisana). Then we headed for the Gulf Coast thru Mississippi. Fun sights with a few caches thrown in. The highway was right down along the shore. We saw many houses on stilts to avoid the storm surges, a few civil war era homes, and a lighthouse in the middle of the road (Biloxi). We crossed into Alabama and spent the night just a ways past Mobile. I missed one cache there that I wanted because I forgot it was a virtual, and didn't want to take the time for a "real" hunt. We were headed for a park that had a couple of interesting caches, but it turned out to be too far to reach that night, and the next day we were trying to meet up with family in Florida. Oh, well, life on the road...


Friday I did get a nearby cache on the way out of camp (just so I could have Alabama cache, though we'll be going for the oldest in few days). We drove to the high point of Florida (a whole 345 feet - the lowest high point in the US, lower than 16 state's lowest point!). With the time zone change about to hit us, and the length of drive we decided to meet the family at their home instead at the beach. So we stopped for a couple of Earthcaches - at the Fountain of Youth, and Florida's biggest waterfall: 73 feet, but it drops from groundlevel down a sinkhole (a karst) - and still arrived before they did (they lost track of time, we could have met them). Since there were so many family members already in the apartment (my nephew and wife, her parents and my sister) we took the trailer over to some friend's house where we could park it, and they gave us a bedroom for the weekend.


Annie (my nephew Aaron's wife) had so much planned for the weekend I never got the chance to cache in town. Saturday we attended Aaron's graduation (Masters in Music Composition), ate lots of good italian food (Annie is great cook), and hung all evening until late. Sunday we went to church, and then headed to a BBQ place south of Tallahassee (interesting drive, one of the databases I use had an old address so our car couldn't find the place, luckily the other DB did have the current address) where we met a couple of biker gangs (NOT clubs) who had stopped for a bite of lunch themselves. Some of our members were a little uptight until the bikers left. Then we drove down to a lighthouse and walked several levee's looking for aligator's and other sights (we did spot a few, but not as many as previous trips out here by various family members). Then back home where Annie fed us even more food (What?! The BBQ wasn't enough? Really! I'm gald we're not planning another WW meeting for a few days...). We thought we'd be leaving Monday, but they wanted to show us one more area - a half day trip they said - yeah, right! We went down to see Leon Sinks, a very interesting geologic site (yes, there is an Earthcache there which I was able to do, in spite of the rest of the family). But, with the heat and humidity, it was a very slow visit and by the time we got back to town we'd have only gotten an hour or so down the road, so we stayed the night.


Tuesday we headed south towards Christmas Cache, Florida's oldest. Along the way, we did a highly favored cache in a guys front yard, who came out to meet us. Cathy asked about getting crawfish and he recommended a place down the way a bit - Neon Leon's - good food (*just* what we don't need!) but that slowed us down (what else are vacations for? I am learning to relax and just get to where we get to...) so we stayed in Naples before getting the cache this morning.


There were two DNF's down here I wanted to 'clean up': Christmas Cache and one up a Banyon tree (which we spotted but passed on due to wet tree). The tree cache as fun, but it took a bit to find it this time (I think what we spotted last time was "The son of APE"). Then we wandered a short trail and did and Earthcache at the same stop. With all this, we didn't get to the start of Christmas Cache until noon. So it was a warm, humid walk out, but this time there was no deep water on the trail to stop us, besides we wore Teva's this time. On the way north, we stopped for a shake to cool us down (Steak 'n Shake is great place, too bad the nearest to home is Reno, NV). We're spending the night on the southside of Orlando, not far from DisneyWorld. At least now we're headed the right way towards GeoWoodstock, but that's almost three weeks from now.


We're planning to, more or less, head for the oldest caches in the southern states and see what sights we see along the way. Tomorrow we hope to get to Saint Augustine, the oldest occupied city in the US and then how ever far north we make. When we get to Alanta I hope to get another August 2000 cache for a double jasmer. That's about it for this edition of the Fool and Idiot explore the country.


I'll try not to let such long gaps occur in the story, but who knows how this trip will go...

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Well, we've had a dry spell for internet access, either it didn't exist or was wonky that we couldn't stay connected. And then I was trying to get up to date on logging caches - which is almost a losing battle. I have a little time for an update, but it'll be short notes.


We did make it to St Augustine and spent most of the afternoon at the fort and old town. Very interesting. We decided to stay in the area and head north the next day. We had a minor problem with the bed, one of the supports broke (no! not because of the THAT) so we had to contact Aliner to see where we could get it fixed. The closest dealer is up by Atlanta. We don't have the right tools to fix it ourselves.


We headed north past Jacksonville - with a short stop at Lowes for some other supplies (and a local cache of course). Further north, around Brunswick, we headed out toward the coast to see a lighthouse and a nature walk. We made it part way towards Augusta, GA before stopping for the night. These early nights make for a more relaxed trip, but we're used to making more distance - a change in thinking for out travels.


The following day we made it into North Augusta, SC to see the house my aunt and uncle lived in, and where my mom passed away very suddenly back in 1992. The oldest cache in SC isn't too far away, but we decided to get to a RV park a bit west in GA. It seemed a little too much to head back over for the cache that night, so we left for the morning.


Sunday morning we got up earlier so we could go do the walk to the cache before we found a church to attend. The walk in was very pretty with the sunlight coming thru the trees. We found the cache, signed the log and headed back to the car. Most of the way back, I realized that my large Jester stamp had fallen out of the bag (I hadn't put the bag in it's belt pouch, just in my pocket). Dang! We headed back down the trail looking, I made it all the way back to the cache and searched around there, but couldn't search real well the hillside between the cache and trail as I couldn't follow exactly where I'd walked. Darn! I guess I'll have to order a new one back home - whenever that will be... We 'burned' all the time we had to get back and change, so just 'grabbed' a church along the road to attend. Back at the trailer we packed and headed for the Atlanta area. There weren't that many places for RV's in the area, but we found a campground out by Lake Lanier. To get there we had to drive from one dam road to another dam road, the turn was by the dam store (which has dam good food, I hear) - that is from Suwanee Dam Road to Buford Dam Road, past the Dam Store (advertising Dam Good Food). After setting camp we made it over to get Lake Lanier, another Aug 2000 cache.


The next morning we dropped a the trailer off to have some things fixed (a couple under warranty, others our own needs). After a breakfast at local Waffle House, we spent most of the day playing around the north and east areas outside of Atlanta. We got the oldest GA cache and a couple high favorite point caches. Then we headed for Alabama.


We spent the night near Talladega. The next morning we backtracked a bit to get to Alabama's high point - which was high enough to get into the clouds, so the views didn't exist. Then over to the oldest AL cache. Very short walk to a nice cache. Then off to Mississippi.


After spending the night nearby, we had fun getting the oldest MS cache as the GPSr kept taking us to private roads closest to the cache. We made a good guess and made it to the best parking lot for the cache and made the walk in. One of the things I miss is NW Trails, it sure would help with caches around here. We headed north towards Memphis, we spent the night just a little south of the border.


Well, I need to get to bed, so I'll have to continue this tale later.

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Time sure gets away from you on the road. With all that we're doing, I keep falling behind on logging and spend most of my "free time" (what little bit there is, it seems) trying to get caught up. I've had to modify the routine I use at home for on the road (not all caches are logged at once). Well, back to the trip...


We swung out to LPS001, TN's oldest, early in the morning (relative to us) so we could get to a Weight Watcher meeting near Memphis (travel is good for me, I'm almost down to goal weight again - over 5 pounds down this trip). The setting for the cache was quite interesting, a wet-lands boardwalk with signs explaining the area. The cache was an easy find, the first place I looked I was staring at the ammo can. Then we headed across the state to Nashville, where we spent the night.


The next day we headed in Kentucky to visit Mammoth Cave - Wow! Over 400 miles of cave mapped, and more to go. We took one of the tours (and wish we had the time to take others - such as the wild cave tour: six hours crawling thru unimproved sections). Afterwards we headed east to Whitley City to visit a magician friend of mine for the night. In the morning we swung by Cumberland Falls before saying so long to our friends.


We drove over to Charlotte NC to meet a missionary friend of ours for dinner, and then back to her place for a couple of nights. We were able to tour the HQ of JAARS (Jungle Aviation And Radio Service) where she works. They are a support organization for bible translators around the world, helping with transportation, software development, and communications. Really quite interesting.


After a couple of days visiting, we headed north. We got the NC oldest cache near Charlotte, then headed over to see Reed Gold mine, the oldest gold mine in the US. It started with a 12 year old finding a 17 pound nugget in the creek on there farm. Then on north to Virginia, where we spent the night a couple of miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway (which we have to come back to do, someday).


Well, we're three days from GeoWoodstock. We're going for WV oldest today and then up towards the DC area. After GeoWoodstock we get to decide how we are going to get home... The trailer is great for the type of traveling we're doing, but might feel a little tight if we were to live in it (more that dinner, sleep, breakfast and go). Well, enough for now, time to get on the road.

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It's been a while since we have heard from them. Hope they are missing all the bad weather they are having back there. seems like it just one storm after another. We grew up in Southern Illinois and lots of thunderstorms but not the nasty weather they seem to be having. We usually took a northern route back. Good luck to them. Dick & Arlene

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Wow! I hadn't realized it's been over a week since I've been on here. We haven't had wifi for several days - those places that said they had it, didn't work; and for several days we've been in campgrounds with no access. I'd almost caught up on my logging, but then went back to 20+ back logs...


We did get to WV's oldest cache, but what a slow trip to get there. The Nuvi (which we've started calling Millie - for Mother-In-Law (MIL) as she nags me about where and how to go) decided that small back country highways were the fastest way to go. Boy, did that take a long time (half the world is under construction, or is that destruction)but we finally we headed down the right road (we hoped). It got rough enough we had to drop the trailer at a wide spot and continue with just the Forester. The walk in was long, steep and fairly hot (but the shade was nice). On the way out we met some other cachers for the first time during a hunt. Fun. We found a campground near the next town north as there just wasn't that many choices.


The next day we took it easy, seeing what we could see, finding a few caches, a nice dinner (at a Texas Roadhouse in West Virginia, no less) and then another campground. We had time to do a little looking around the park before bed.


Finally we entered Maryland, land of GeoWoodstock, and just took a slow day (again). At the first geocache for us in MD, we took a loop around GZ looking for a place to put the monster (after working our way around several city's that what it feels like when looking for parking places). Just after we pulled into one small area, another car pulled in right in front of us, the driver hopped out and said they would only be there for a short time, them pulled out a GPSr! For the second time this trip, we met some other cachers on the hunt. It was behind a small hotel, and with all the extra eyes it was quickly found - especially since there was a sign out back "Geocache 25 feet ->" Too funny! We finally got to the closest "big" town by GeoWoodstock and hit an event to kick off a new GeoTrail. We did part of it, but decided we needed to get camp set, dinner eaten, and get to the night-before Meet & Greet. When we got to the campground (reserved months ago) we found out the site we had didn't have power or water! Well, we were suppose to be able to handle that. So off the M&G where we got checked in and started meeting people from all over. Many of the dealers were set up, so we did a quick look through and said Hi to those we knew. Then back to camp for bed as there was a long day coming.


GeoWoodstock XIII: Let's see, we drove 9,500 miles to get here over 44 days. We passed thru 18 states, found the oldest cache in 13 of them, and added 12 states to the list cached in. We spent all out planning on how to get here, now we'll have to figure out how we are getting home. The setting for the event was very nice, many outdoor pavilions or tents, a museum on site showing the early farming in the area, good food for lunch and a snack area if that wasn't enough. Lot's of dealers, who had some new and unusual goodies. They had several different game thru the day (which we didn't win) and a large raffle (which we also didn't win, darn! I could have used that Garmin 64). At closing they announced GW XIV will be in Denver on Sunday July 3. Of course, there was an geocoin madness event afterwards.


We pretty much took the next day off, just laid around and took it easy. We met a few other cachers staying in the campground, even one reviewer camped across the road. Monday, Memorial Day, after getting the oldest in MD, we spent at Fort McHenry - the home of the Star Spangled Banner - which was pretty cool as they had some special events in honor of Memorial Day. We also discovered that the pig-tail (the connection from car to trailer) wasn't connected properly (or I missed completely) and it drug on the road for many miles and was destroyed. So we stayed in the Baltimore area so we could get it fixed when places opened the next day. The park where MD's oldest was (which waived the entrance fee for goecachers just going for the cache)had a campground, so we didn't have far to drive. We found a place not too far off that could do the work. This gave us the opportunity to get to a Weight Watcher's meeting (which Millie took us thru downtown to get to). Then we headed for Delaware for the oldest there. We made it back into Maryland (barely) for the night.


We tried to get the oldest in DC, but ran into trouble finding a place to park the monster. The one place we found that would let us in wanted $60 for the space (bus parking). A little too much for the time we'd be spending here. So we decided to by-pass DC for now and plan better next time. So we drove across Maryland to Swallow Falls SP (the highest falls in MD). This morning we did the hike that lead past four waterfalls (Muddy (highest in state), Lower and Upper Swallow, and Tolliver falls). Then we drove over to West Virginia to hike to MD's high point (funny, hiking from one state to get a point in another). We then drove down to Blackwater SP for WV's highest waterfall. We didn't expect to find wifi there, but the lodge in the park has it, so we're trying to get caught up with things. Not a high mileage day, but lots of things to see and do.


So, here I am, caught up with this story of fool and idiot on the road again. 49 days and over 10,000 miles now. We're thinking of getting Ohio's oldest (right at the corner next to WV), then down towards Arkansas, Oklahoma and over to the Cumbra Toltec Railroad (all day steam train ride) between NM and CO. We may head north to Mount Rushmore and then head for home on I90. We might make it home by the 20th of next month - unless we get distracted...

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I really should be logging caches, but those can wait more than this long, twisted tale can - or so my short, twisted memory says.


After spending the night at Blackwater, we took a couple of short hikes in the morning to see the falls from a different angle and out to Lindy Point, which gives a wide panorama view of the lower canyon (which is more wooded than what we're used to with canyons in the West). Then it was west across West Virginia to Ohio, where we got a couple of caches (new state!). The only RV camp we could find with our apps took us to a really cool spot.


Ash Cave is a large 'cave' cut into the cliff. It's about 100' deep, 700' wide and about 90' high. It has a small waterfall off the rim. They used it for town meetings, Sunday services and other get-togethers. Up the Buckeye Trail a bit is pretty cool waterfall, Cedar Falls (mis-named as there are no cedars anywhere near the falls). Of course, there were Earthcaches at them, plus a couple of trad caches between. We spent the morning hiking and exploring the area. Then drove west to Cincinnati to get the oldest in Ohio. We then clipped a small corner of Indiana (about 4 miles worth) so I had to look up and find a cache. A fun micro with multiple key hide containers - most of which had ant nests in them! We dumped out a bunch of eggs and had several hundred little ants all over us and the area (no bites, tho). Then south to Kentucky (again :D ) for the night.


Sunday morning we got up and did laundry - we try to do it before we run out of clothes to wear - and then went to a local church for service. Then out to a Steak N Shake for lunch (we haven't eaten out as much as we'd like to - temptations abound on the road, but I've actually lost weight so far - but we've tried a few places we don't have around home). We then headed for Louisville for Kentucky's oldest, and also the burial place of Zachary Taylor (Old Rough and Ready) the twelfth US president, which was kind of cool. His boyhood home is just a couple of blocks away also. We then headed to Elizabethtown, the setting and inspiration of the movie of the same name, for the night. Not a lot of distance, but did some things that were needed.


This morning we slept thru the alarm (first time of everything) and so had a slow start. Once on the road, we stopped by the visitor center (for a cache of course) and saw a flyer for Abraham Lincoln's birthplace park. It wasn't too far off the route so we swung over. It turns out there's an Earthcache and Virtual on the grounds (bonus!) so we did those while there - it was just like home, a light rain on and off, much better than the high humidity we've been going through recently. Everyone always talks about Abe being from Illinois, but he didn't get there until he was 21, his first 10 years were spent in Kentucky, then Indiana. It was cool to be on the farm where he was born, but we couldn't get to his childhood home nearby as they are repairing the area until this fall. There wasn't much, cache-wise, across the northern state until we got to Paducah where we did a couple of interesting virtuals. As we were working our way out of town, we spotted a rest area/welcome center and stopped for a bathroom break - the only physical cache I had in the database (which I was going to skip, due to the late hour) was there! So we grabbed that one also. Then we were heading across a small section of Missouri aiming for Arkansas. Well it turned out our route actually contained a very short piece in Illinois (about 1/2 mile by planned route) that I hadn't caught when looking at the map. Well, they had closed the bridge from Illinois to Missouri, so we had a few miles in state. So out came the tablets to find a quick cache - a virtual at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers (which we found out later is also the lowest point in Illinois). So we got our 'token' cache in Illinois. Then into Missouri for the night (just short of the first cache in my DB for the state, but that's for tomorrow).


Even though the last couple of days have been damp, the trailer sets up and breaks down so quickly it's not a problem. So after 53 days on the road, we still haven't found the trailer too small - but if we were staying in place and really living in it more I could see where it might shrink on us. But for the type of travelling we're doing it's great. We've learned a few things, got some ideas on how to do it better in the future and still are having fun. But we're also looking forward to some time off the road at home.


So far we've seen 5 other Aliner trailers on this trip - two in a campground Texas, two at the campground at GeoWoodstock, and one we ended up next to a couple of nights ago (we were the first other Aliner they'd seen in the year they've had theirs). We've had lots of people interested in it - they are fascinated by how easily and quickly it sets up.


Well, I've put off for another night the 'chore' of logging finds. While not a high number trip, they do seem to pile up. But's better than some other trips where I got home with a couple of hundred caches to log - I think I'm only about 35 behind. Well, you know what they say about procrastination - you always have something planned for tomorrow. Goodnight and I hope to be home for the Cache Machine this month - but it depends on how distracted we get on the road...

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If you've seen the movie UP you might recognize the problem we have - distractions. "We need to get moving so we can get to - squirrel!" Our squirrels can be odd-ball sights to see, waterfalls, unknown sights, or even eating opportunities. This morning we found our first cache in Missouri called Flying Rolls, it's in front of Lambert's Café, home of the "Throwed Roll". We were too early as they didn't open until 10:30, people were already arriving. One couple was interested in the trailer so we showed it to them. They told us about the Café (three locations), they were from Tennessee and came just to eat here. One of the things they do is throw the rolls to you, not setting them on the table, hence "throwed rolls". They also have 'pass arounds', certain foods (like the rolls) which are unlimited in how much you can get. If you leave hungry, they've failed. Well, having just eaten breakfast and not wanting to wait around anyhow, we headed on down the road, knowing there was another Lambert's down route, but a ways off route. So after dropping into Arkansas for the oldest cache, we headed back north into Missouri to hit Lambert's for lunch the next day. It also allowed us to get to a Weight Watcher's meeting that morning. The food is pretty good, and it's a fun place to eat (and eat, and eat,...). Then back south and across to Tulsa for Oklahoma's oldest.


We made a brief stop in Tulsa so I could look up where my sister used to live 43 years ago. I'd visited there on a hitch hiking trip I did across the country. We also grabbed a couple of virtuals in town. One is at (they claim) the Center of the Universe (we know the real center is Fremont). When you stand there and speak you get an echo from all sides. We introduced a local family to the oddity. Then we headed farther west to the oldest OK cache. It's near a dam, which was letting water loose thru the spillways. A local said that was only the second or third time in his life he'd seen that. There's been a fair bit of rain in the area (you might know more about it than we do, we haven't been following any news) and the dam is at +21 feet. Well, not only did it make for a nice display, but it impacted the hunt for the old cache. The lake was covering part of the trail so we had to follow deer trails and bushwhack to get to the cache. More traveling and we reached an RV camp in Enid for the night.


Well, shoot, I'm almost caught up again, but it's late and I need some sleep as tomorrow is a long day of travel. Not too much driving but we're riding the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad, a one way trip from Colorado to New Mexico and a bus ride back. I hope we have good internet again (it's been pretty bad mostly, very spotty and dropping out) so I can keep this more up to date.

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My goodness, has it really been 10 days since I was on here? It's been an interesting week and a half. We did get to ride the Cumbres & Toltec RR again. We did it 10 years ago, and it was just as much fun. The weather wasn't quite as nice this time, we went thru part of a thunderstorm, but then it cleared mostly. We always had good views, just a little wet for a bit. The lunch was as good as we remembered - lots of homemade (in large quantities) food: meatloaf with mashed potato's & gravy, or a turkey dinner with the fixings; salad bar and cake, pie and/or pudding for dessert. Last time we rode from Chama, NM to Antonito, CO, this time we rode the other direction. We spent the night at a RV camp just a few miles from Antonito, next to a river that was flowing at about the highest the owner had seen.


The next day we drove north to Canon City, CO to ride the train up thru Royal Gorge. They'd sold out of the trip we wanted, so we found a local RV camp (with a fifties theme, several old trailers you could rent including the long trailer from I Love Lucy) to set up in, did a cache overlooking the Gorge (about 1000 feet deep), then drove Skyline Drive back into town. Boy, we surprised! We weren't expecting a knife edge ridge with a road on top. The single lane road was only a bit wider than the cars and maybe a foot on each side before the steep drop off! Whew! Nice views, but my acrophobia was kicking in pretty good. The train ride was great, at one point the gorge is only 30 feet wide with no room for tracks, so the train is on a suspended bridge over the river. We watched a couple of people on a zip-line over the gorge - looked like fun!


The next day we spent in Colorado Springs getting the car serviced. After over 13,000 miles on this trip it needed a good check out, and it's second oil change for the trip. We were able to get to a Weight Watcher's meeting and try a local restaurant (does that sound weird? Weight loss and eat out?). We went thru Garden of the Gods again. We'd thought about driving up Pike's Peak, but the snow was too heavy this year.


The next day was a longish drive up to For Laramie, WY. We were directed to head farther east before turning north towards the Black Hills as the flooding had closed a bridge. So we added Nebraska to our list (not the oldest this trip) with a cache at Carhenge - a mock-up of Stonehenge made using old cars, very different and interesting. Then into the Black Hills of South Dakota. We stopped at Mammoth Site, a dinosaur site discovered when building a housing sub-division; then Wind Cave who's only natural entrance is about the size of a ranger's hat. We spent a couple nights at Custer, SD so we didn't have to move camp while enjoying the sights. We went into Keystone to ride a steam train (do you get the idea we like trains?) thru the hills, then up to Mt Rushmore, and past Crazy Horse monument back to camp. That night they did a pot luck dinner, at which we spotted a poster for a magic show nearby - it turns out it was by a friend of mine! So we stayed a couple of more nights so we could watch the show and get together with them and get caught up. It turns out they'd moved to Branson MO which we'd driven thru a few days ago after eating at Lambert's. They winter in Branson, but summer working a theater in Keystone. Lots of fun. One night we had a hail storm that sound like it was going to break the top windows - pea to bean size hailstones.


Because of weather and Cathy catching a cold, we had to skip the oldest cache in SD, but we did scout it out for next time. We drove out the north side of the Black Hills and over to Devils Tower, where we spent the night. I've been here before, and still want to get back and climb it before I'm too old.


Today, we drove across WY and into Montana, just shy of Billings. We stopped for shopping/lunch/gas (and a cache) in Gillette before getting to the Battle at Little Big Horn (AKA Custer's Last Stand) Site (another squirrel). We decided to stop for the night just a little ways up the road from there.


So here we are just a few days from home, and still don't know when we'll arrive. We have the oldest in Montana tomorrow and possible Moun10Bike's oldest in Idaho (we keep passing it up for one reason or another). But we just don't seem motivated to get up very early and get going, but we're looking forward to getting home and off the road for a while. It'll be nice to just sit in the same place for a time - and maybe get caught up on my logging. I always seem to be about 20 or so caches behind - and keep finding more the next day. I've even thought of new cache to place once we're home: "RV we home yet?" Well, it's time for bed again (I'm always writing this late at night) so we can get up at the crack of eight/nine/whatever... :laughing:

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Wow! I returned in less than a week to this thread!


The stay a Hardin was fun. The storm that was passing thru the area missed us, so the ice cream social that the park puts on happened. And they have 12 cats that roam the grounds. We had one that joined us in the trailer for a while in the evening - it even came back a couple of times during the night and asked to come in, but without a litterbox or a cat door we couldn't let her in.


In the morning we pushed into Billings to attend a Weight Watcher meeting, but with traffic and road construction we were a little late. After a lunch in the trailer we continued west towards Montana's oldest. We stopped by the sister of Cathy's step-dad (who passed away last summer), it turns out she lives within view of I-90. We didn't get that much farther as a couple of warning lights came on in the dashboard! We were about 30 miles outside Bozeman, which turned out to have a Subaru dealer. We were too late in the day for them to do anything with the car, but right next door was an RV camp! So we got one of the last sites there, and then dropped the car off in the morning just as the service department opened. It turned out to be a software glitch, but they had a hot fix that just came in under warranty (we turned over 80K on the odometer right after). So we were on the road about 11:30. We did get to the oldest cache, which was at the headwater of the Missouri River (three rivers join to become the Missouri). Then up and over the continental divide, thru Butte and on to Missoula for the night. This camp (in a small town a little south of Missoula) is also a square dance center, so Cathy got to watch part of a class (one level up from her, so she didn't dance) and picked up some SD clothes.


I'm almost caught up with my logging as we've had decent wifi the last couple of camps, and we had some extra time. It's interesting to keep track as I'm using a couple of different devices to cache with - GPSr and tablet. But I don't think I've missed any yet. I should have pushed more a couple of days, but didn't keep a streak going for the whole time, a couple of days just didn't work for caching. But we've seen some great places and a whole lot of this country! We're somewhere around 15,000 miles traveled, 31 states (not counting confusion) we touched, and 70 days on the road.


We should make it home this weekend, but it depends on the distractions we find... We won't make the Cache Machine, but maybe the dinner? It depends...

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It's taken a week to get settled into being home and off the road. I've finally gotten the last logs done for the trip and thought I should finish this thread.


The last two days seemed to stretch out forever, we wanted to be home but also to stay on the road exploring the country. We grabbed a couple of caches, including the Idaho Jasmer Challenge, along I-90 getting into Spokane. We stopped for one last shot at a Golden Corral (one of two in the state) and to see Cat Tails, a large cat rescue and rehabilitation center just north of Spokane. From there we pretty much just drove straight across the state home, with a few stops at rest areas to keep us limber. A couple of cache at the rest areas were the last of the trip. We arrived home about 7pm (we did consider driving up to the CM dinner, but didn't want to face unloading that late at night).


So some numbers from the trip:


Left April 10 at 6pm

Arrived June 20 at 7pm

72 days (10 weeks, one day, one hour)

15,297 miles traveled

32 states cached in (one stepped in but no caches this trip)

21 oldest in the state caches found

232 caches found

17 DNFs

4 stops to fix problems with the trailer

2 oil changes for the Forester

1 stop for problem with the Forester

lots of ideas on how to travel with the trailer - some implemented, some in progress


What's next? Well, we want to explore the canyon lands of southern Utah; we'd like to see the New England states in fall colors; a drive up the Al-Can highway to see more of Alaska - but how the heck are we going to get the trailer to Hawaii? <_<:laughing:

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As an aficionado of geocaching roadtrips -- but limited to my one week vacations from the big corporation where I work -- I have greatly enjoyed reading your stories in this thread. You've given me a glimpse of the fun I can look forward to when I retire in ten years or so. This is all even more true because I've met you and found some of your caches. You are quite easy to spot at the annual Block Party!


What started off as a sad thread because of the delay in starting your trip turned into an epic adventure narrative. It's the feel good thread of the year in these Forums!


Would you mind if I edited out the thread's subtitle -- "Feeling Quite Bummed" -- as I do not think it applies any longer?!?!

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As an aficionado of geocaching roadtrips -- but limited to my one week vacations from the big corporation where I work -- I have greatly enjoyed reading your stories in this thread. You've given me a glimpse of the fun I can look forward to when I retire in ten years or so. This is all even more true because I've met you and found some of your caches. You are quite easy to spot at the annual Block Party!


What started off as a sad thread because of the delay in starting your trip turned into an epic adventure narrative. It's the feel good thread of the year in these Forums!


Would you mind if I edited out the thread's subtitle -- "Feeling Quite Bummed" -- as I do not think it applies any longer?!?!

Go ahead, although I'm a little bummed that we're not on the road still/again... :lol: But I am working out some other trips to take - Alaska, the northern route across the US, canyon lands of Utah - little trips like that. We are trying to figure out how to get the trailer to Hawaii just so we can add the state sticker to the map... :laughing:

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Go ahead, although I'm a little bummed that we're not on the road still/again... :lol: But I am working out some other trips to take - Alaska, the northern route across the US, canyon lands of Utah - little trips like that. We are trying to figure out how to get the trailer to Hawaii just so we can add the state sticker to the map... :laughing:

Where did you get that sticker set? I've seen similar ones, but not that colorful/detailed...





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Go ahead, although I'm a little bummed that we're not on the road still/again... :lol: But I am working out some other trips to take - Alaska, the northern route across the US, canyon lands of Utah - little trips like that. We are trying to figure out how to get the trailer to Hawaii just so we can add the state sticker to the map... :laughing:

Where did you get that sticker set? I've seen similar ones, but not that colorful/detailed...





We picked it up a Camping World - $17-18 I believe. The background of each state is it's main license plate.

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Been a few years but we have traveled US 2 many times. We even took the Trans Canada 1 all the way to Thunder Bay. Then down the west side of Lake Superior to Duluth and then home on US2. Not too many caches in those days. Just beware of ticks and skeeters. The Corp of Engineers has a very nice campground near the headwaters of the Mississippi River. We miss our Roadtrek Van. So nice when traveling not to drag all your gear into a motel. We used that mode for all states except Hawaii which we did on our 60th wedding anv. Dick & Arlene

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Jester, You mentioned a trip across the northern states. I did that last September on the route shown below. Unfortunately I no longer have the bookmark, but I can tell you there are some good caches along that route. I followed US 2 most of the way east.



Hmm... Looks a little short. :laughing: I was looking at something like that, but continue up thru Michigan, and into New England before looping south-ish thru the Mid-West (have to get the oldest in the state for all those states, and a couple we did visit, that we didn't get to. Maybe a fall trip for leaf color in New England.

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Been a few years but we have traveled US 2 many times. We even took the Trans Canada 1 all the way to Thunder Bay. Then down the west side of Lake Superior to Duluth and then home on US2. Not too many caches in those days. Just beware of ticks and skeeters. The Corp of Engineers has a very nice campground near the headwaters of the Mississippi River. We miss our Roadtrek Van. So nice when traveling not to drag all your gear into a motel. We used that mode for all states except Hawaii which we did on our 60th wedding anv. Dick & Arlene

Cathy's brother lives in Nova Scotia. In 2008 we flew back to visit and rented a car and drove across Canada, mostly on Trans Canada 1. We did dip into the US to see Mount Washington. The ticks and skeeters in Ontario were pretty bad. Big ticks (about the size of a nano cache across) and very hungry skeeters - when they heard the door open they swarmed the car! I guess it was like ringing the dinner bell. We'd spend several minutes killing the skeeters in the car after each trip out - we think the rental car must have weighted a couple of pounds extra when we turned it in from all the skeeters we mashed.


We'll be back in Toronto next May for a convention, maybe we'll drive, maybe take the train. Your right that it's much nicer not having to drag gear in and out of the vehicle with an RV vs. a motel.

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Jester, You mentioned a trip across the northern states. I did that last September on the route shown below. Unfortunately I no longer have the bookmark, but I can tell you there are some good caches along that route. I followed US 2 most of the way east.



Hmm... Looks a little short. :laughing: I was looking at something like that, but continue up thru Michigan, and into New England before looping south-ish thru the Mid-West (have to get the oldest in the state for all those states, and a couple we did visit, that we didn't get to. Maybe a fall trip for leaf color in New England.

I completely understand why you think it is a bit short, but I had limited time for the trip. I had a longer trip planned that would go through the Upper Peninsula, down through Michigan, into Kentucky, coming back through Kansas and then picking up this trail. I may well do that other part later on, but start in Minneapolis and ending in Nashville.

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