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Snowbirding and Mega Event


The Jester
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The car and trailer are all packed ready for us to get on the road in the morning. We off to Yuma for a coupe of weeks - gee, just when a Mega event is scheduled, how lucky! :lol: We're going to try a short snowbird trip to see how we like it, and how staying in one spot for a while works in the little trailer. We'll be seeing a few sights on the way (Redwoods, San Fran and such) and be looking for some warmer weather.

 

It turns out, there is a square dance festival going on the same weekend as the Mega, so Cathy will be happy (plus a whole lot of SDing going on in the area all week anyhow). She'll pick up a few dances and I'll pick up a few caches, 'tho it'll be interesting with only one car.

 

We'll try it avoid car washes, kidney stones and moose encounters - but when a Fool and an Idiot travel anything can happen. :laughing: Besides, why repeat mistakes when there are so many new ones to 'discover'.

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We're spending the night in the middle Oregon (just south of Roseburg). Tomorrow we head for the California coast and the Redwoods. By Thursday we should be in San Fran - Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz and such.

 

We picked up one cache in Portland - The Atomic Penguin - after a Weight Watcher meeting. The rest of the day was just traveling, as we get to Oregon fairly often.

 

It's good to be back on the road again, it's a joy to explore this country. It's just fun to get out and "do" things different from the norm.

 

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WM - We did Firestone back in 2005, a very cool cache.

 

SS - You'd better hurry, we'll be there in just a couple of days... :lol:

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We're spending the night in the middle Oregon (just south of Roseburg). Tomorrow we head for the California coast and the Redwoods. By Thursday we should be in San Fran - Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz and such.

 

We picked up one cache in Portland - The Atomic Penguin - after a Weight Watcher meeting. The rest of the day was just traveling, as we get to Oregon fairly often.

 

It's good to be back on the road again, it's a joy to explore this country. It's just fun to get out and "do" things different from the norm.

 

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WM - We did Firestone back in 2005, a very cool cache.

 

SS - You'd better hurry, we'll be there in just a couple of days... :lol:

Since you have done Firestone, how about this one, just west of the Golden Gate Bridge. I parked near the bridge and walked down the hill. Very nice area with few people. https://coord.info/GCC63B

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We drove down to Grants Pass (grabbing a webcam on the way - very interesting data service there, at the car we had data, 50 feet away at GZ no data) before turning towards the coast. We finally got the Neanderthal virtual in town (we've passed it how many times?) and another webcam near Cave Junction. We did a bit of sight seeing in Crescent City, then down thru the Redwoods. Oh, my! Those are some very impressive trees - the Lord does wonderful work. We did a scenic drive thru Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, stopping for a couple of short walks thru the groves. Then down along the coast to little ways south of Eureka for the night. While working on the cache logs that night, I realized that I'd missed a Jasmer & Double Jasmer Challenges up by Eureka.

 

This morning we backtracked to get the two Challenges (only 0.1 miles apart) and then off the a virtual in town. That was crazy try - the road was signed 'campers, motorhomes and trailers prohibited', but only after you'd gotten on the small one way road! Ours is a very small trailer so we went for it - yikes, that is a VERY small road with lots of tight, twisty turns. We didn't find any parking for the car & trailer (naturally) so we just enjoyed the small grove of redwoods and skipped the virtual. Farther on down the road, we drove the "Avenue of the Giants" thru Humboldt Redwoods State Park - another magnificent drive! Then a rather long drive to Olema (a little north of San Fran) to a RV camp that we'll use as a base to explore San Fran. The first rain of the trip hit along the road today, and in camp this night. Hopefully it won't be hanging around tomorrow while we're in town.

 

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WM - Thanks, that sounds like an interesting cache, I'm not sure we'll have time for it - but there is always another trip (we'll add it the hundred of other things we want to come back and do in warmer weather :D ).

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We're spending the night in the middle Oregon (just south of Roseburg). Tomorrow we head for the California coast and the Redwoods. By Thursday we should be in San Fran - Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz and such.

 

We picked up one cache in Portland - The Atomic Penguin - after a Weight Watcher meeting. The rest of the day was just traveling, as we get to Oregon fairly often.

 

It's good to be back on the road again, it's a joy to explore this country. It's just fun to get out and "do" things different from the norm.

 

---

 

WM - We did Firestone back in 2005, a very cool cache.

 

SS - You'd better hurry, we'll be there in just a couple of days... :lol:

 

Ah well.

 

Another time perhaps.

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Well, the rain didn't hold off, it dumped on and off all night. It sure made a mess of the campsite, lots of mud and standing water greeted us in the morning. But as native Western Washingtonians, we headed in to SF and the Alcatraz tour despite the weather*. There wasn't much to see along the way, with patchy rain and fog, but what we did see was nice. In town it was dry with clouds and wind (not too strong, but noticeable). It took a couple of tries but we found a parking garage that didn't charge an arm and a leg for a day's parking ($20 dollars for the day, not $10-15 per hour). We walked the waterfront to the tour dock and arrived just in time for a boat. We spent most of the afternoon on the "Rock" - quite a lot of history to see/learn. The Audio Tour alone is worth the cost. We didn't get either of the caches - we didn't look at the virtual until after the Audio Tour (which covered most of what you needed) and didn't have the time or energy to cover all the ground again. At GZ for the Earthcache we couldn't find the reference fold in the rock, so moved on.

 

After arriving back on the mainland, we headed for dinner - slowly. There's a lot to see along the waterfront. We were heading for The Stinking Rose, an Italian restaurant recommended to us, but that was several blocks away. We passed a cable car turntable and watched them turn one car around (all hand powered). We did get a couple caches along the way (Laughing Sal's is great - plan extra time there). Dinner was very good (you must like garlic to eat here) and the walk back to the car helped settle it. Then back to the campsite (which was still rainy - only a couple of very light sprinkles were felt in SF, but lots of water falling up north).

 

This morning we took a very lazy time getting ready to leave. We did a little grocery shopping be for heading across the Bay and down the east side. We found a TB hotel letterbox which was different. We enjoyed a mostly dry trip (occasional showers) to just short of San Luis Obispo.

 

Tomorrow, LA - mostly just passing thru, but there is one cache I'm trying for in town - the California half of Can't Cache Without You. I hope I have the right final co-ords, the CO hasn't responded to my check request.

 

Enough for tonight, time for bed.

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Well, the rain didn't hold off, it dumped on and off all night. It sure made a mess of the campsite, lots of mud and standing water greeted us in the morning. But as native Western Washingtonians, we headed in to SF and the Alcatraz tour despite the weather*. There wasn't much to see along the way, with patchy rain and fog, but what we did see was nice. In town it was dry with clouds and wind (not too strong, but noticeable). It took a couple of tries but we found a parking garage that didn't charge an arm and a leg for a day's parking ($20 dollars for the day, not $10-15 per hour). We walked the waterfront to the tour dock and arrived just in time for a boat. We spent most of the afternoon on the "Rock" - quite a lot of history to see/learn. The Audio Tour alone is worth the cost. We didn't get either of the caches - we didn't look at the virtual until after the Audio Tour (which covered most of what you needed) and didn't have the time or energy to cover all the ground again. At GZ for the Earthcache we couldn't find the reference fold in the rock, so moved on.

 

After arriving back on the mainland, we headed for dinner - slowly. There's a lot to see along the waterfront. We were heading for The Stinking Rose, an Italian restaurant recommended to us, but that was several blocks away. We passed a cable car turntable and watched them turn one car around (all hand powered). We did get a couple caches along the way (Laughing Sal's is great - plan extra time there). Dinner was very good (you must like garlic to eat here) and the walk back to the car helped settle it. Then back to the campsite (which was still rainy - only a couple of very light sprinkles were felt in SF, but lots of water falling up north).

 

This morning we took a very lazy time getting ready to leave. We did a little grocery shopping be for heading across the Bay and down the east side. We found a TB hotel letterbox which was different. We enjoyed a mostly dry trip (occasional showers) to just short of San Luis Obispo.

 

Tomorrow, LA - mostly just passing thru, but there is one cache I'm trying for in town - the California half of Can't Cache Without You. I hope I have the right final co-ords, the CO hasn't responded to my check request.

 

Enough for tonight, time for bed.

 

What campground were you staying at that's close to SF? I can think of some north, over the GG Bridge, but don't know of any around SF.

 

Did you find any virtuals in SF? There are a lot there. Did you get the one at the ferry dock?

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What campground were you staying at that's close to SF? I can think of some north, over the GG Bridge, but don't know of any around SF.

 

Did you find any virtuals in SF? There are a lot there. Did you get the one at the ferry dock?

We were at Olema Campground - close to SF being a relative term. It was cheaper than any of the others at a similar distance.

 

We skipped the virt on Alcatraz as to much backtracking of things we'd seen. The only one we did get was "Laughing Sal's". BTW, which/what ferry dock?

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We left camp this morning kind of late - took showers and didn't rush breakfast. If we'd realized really how long it was going to take crossing LA we'd have tried to get out sooner. The weather was much nicer, mostly sun with a few (or more) clouds, so we saw more scenery. We traveled 101 thru Pismo Beach ("I knew I should have taken that left at Pismo Beach"), down thru Santa Barbara and stopped for lunch at 'Pea Soup Andersen's' for their split pea soup - pretty darn good! Then to Burbank, down I-5 to I-10 to get Can't Cache without You - So Cal. This time we found it (last time I had my notes all messed up and was looking at the beginning co-ords, not the final). Finally across and down by the Salton Sea to an RV camp north of Desert Shores.

 

Not a real exciting day, lots of driving (rush hour on a Saturday??), two caches, and a bowl of soup. Tomorrow we'll stop in Brawley for church, grab a couple interesting sounding caches along the way and arrive at Yuma, where we'll sit for a couple of weeks (so to speak, there will be various drives to see sights and grab caches).

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I guess I should get caught up before making comments like above. We just bearly made the church service in Brawley, it's interesting how different the time estimates are between computer and GPSr. One said 45 minuts, the other said 1 hour - it makes a difference when you leave with just enough time for the first and the second is closer to the truth. Snce it would take only a couple of hours to get to Yuma, we diecided to grab a few more caches than usual along the way. Two of them were field puzzles with red herrings - very cleverly done. One was a LBH with a video to watch for directions, different. Add a virtual and an Earthcache rounded out a nice drive.

 

One ironic thing happened, at the second field puzzle, we found a Golden Corral (a favorite) on one side and a Costco gas station on the other. We weren't able to take advantage of either one, not hungery enough and just filled the tank in Brawley.

 

We arrived at the RV park an hour later than we expected, we passed the time zone line just shortly before then. So instead of getting in at 3pm we got there at 4pm - just as the office was closing! But they saw us and checked us in before closing. After dinner we went across town so Cathy could get to one of the Square Dances held during the week.

 

This morning started with a light exercise time with a group in camp, then out to Golden Corral for lunch followed by a exploration of town. We found a few places we needed to get to during the time here, found a few fun caches, and walked along the river for a bit. One Wherigo - which we had a heck of time getting going on Cathy's tablet - started us with a question 'where do you think the cache is: in canal or LPH?' and then a few steps and we had the cache. Too funny, the hunt took much less time than getting the cartridge working on Cathy's device (which won't be a problem now that we got it all worked out).

 

We're sitting here listening to a jam session of various people staying here. Hopefully we'll be able to get the hot tub for a bit after this. I hope your enjoying your snow.

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I guess I should get caught up before making comments like above. We just bearly made the church service in Brawley, it's interesting how different the time estimates are between computer and GPSr. One said 45 minuts, the other said 1 hour - it makes a difference when you leave with just enough time for the first and the second is closer to the truth. Snce it would take only a couple of hours to get to Yuma, we diecided to grab a few more caches than usual along the way. Two of them were field puzzles with red herrings - very cleverly done. One was a LBH with a video to watch for directions, different. Add a virtual and an Earthcache rounded out a nice drive.

 

One ironic thing happened, at the second field puzzle, we found a Golden Corral (a favorite) on one side and a Costco gas station on the other. We weren't able to take advantage of either one, not hungery enough and just filled the tank in Brawley.

 

We arrived at the RV park an hour later than we expected, we passed the time zone line just shortly before then. So instead of getting in at 3pm we got there at 4pm - just as the office was closing! But they saw us and checked us in before closing. After dinner we went across town so Cathy could get to one of the Square Dances held during the week.

 

This morning started with a light exercise time with a group in camp, then out to Golden Corral for lunch followed by a exploration of town. We found a few places we needed to get to during the time here, found a few fun caches, and walked along the river for a bit. One Wherigo - which we had a heck of time getting going on Cathy's tablet - started us with a question 'where do you think the cache is: in canal or LPH?' and then a few steps and we had the cache. Too funny, the hunt took much less time than getting the cartridge working on Cathy's device (which won't be a problem now that we got it all worked out).

 

We're sitting here listening to a jam session of various people staying here. Hopefully we'll be able to get the hot tub for a bit after this. I hope your enjoying your snow.

 

I am actually enjoying the snow a lot.

 

We have a lot of food in the house, but with more snow called for this week, and it freezing tonight, I went out and went shopping today. May have been a good call. The woman in the Safeway here said they're not expecting any trucks in for delivery for the rest of the week. They can't get here. So I may be able to get out to go to the store (or not) but there may not be much food there, or not the food I want.

 

Anyway, it is beautiful. I am thoroughly enjoying it.

 

It sounds like you are having a great time. Looks like you've found some great places, with hot tubs and jam sessions. I'd love to know where you're staying. Sounds really great.

 

I'm glad you're having such a great time.

 

Keep up the checking in. It's fun hearing about your trip!!

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Actually I enjoy the snow also. I've always said I prefer cold to hot weather - I can always put more clothes on in the cold, but there is a limit to what I can take off in the heat, the socia limit and the absolute limit. It is getting hard to remember that it's the middle winter when we running around in shorts & tee shirts and it's in the high 70' or low 80's.

 

The last couple of days we've spent exploring the area. A drive 20 miles north to see what the towers on the horizon were about - Picacho Mountain, a volcanic plug. Then we started a Wherigo (Only in Yuma) the tours interesting & different sights around the valley. From a steam train to a museum, a tiny church to a suspension bridge over sand and cacti, from a shop that serves date shakes to a fudge factory, and a territorial prison to an 1800'a army depot. We weren't able to complete it before dark, so we picked up the next morning. As an aside, there are a LOT of WIG caches around here, sitting still gives us a chance to do a bunch. We finished the day with a tour of the army depot - which had a lot more info than just the military use of the area. One fact I found out: the Colorado River no longer reaches the ocean, ALL the water is diverted for drinking water or irrigation. Just past the Mexico border is the last dam and the bit of water past there just fades away.

 

Today was our first trip to Mexico. It was kind of a disappointing day. We tried for a cache that hasn't been found (or, rather, logged - if it's been found is unkown). After a fairly steep climb we spent an hour searching without luck. On the drive back north we stopped at another cache, but it required another climb but we weren't up for it. The last Mexico cache we tried was also a DNF - it been something like 2,5 years since it's been found. So, while I've cached in Mexico, my stats don't reflect that. Oh, well, there's still time for other trips across the border (Monday there's an event just over the line).

 

The Mexico trip just got us in the mood for tonight's dinner at the RV park - Taco Bar night! Now we're listening to some country music by a local band. We're thinking of getting in the hot tub to soak the legs after the hike.

 

With so much to do, I'm not sure two weeks is going to be enough time... We'll see you guys when we get back home...

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Let's see, what did we do just a couple of days ago... With all that we doing, sometimes is gets "fun" to remember what happened when :unsure: (or is that old age creeping up on the brain? <_< ).

 

Friday morning we toured the Arizona Territorial Prison AKA "The Hell Hole". Quite interesting and fun, full of odd little bits of history - such as, most of the inmates were pardoned when they left. The territory needed all the voters they could get, a pardon meant they could vote, a parole meant they couldn't. We tried for a multi (based on the Dark Cell inside the prison) but couldn't find the final although I'm pretty sure we got the right area. Right next door to the prison is the Ocean to Ocean bridge - the last link for the first highway linking Atlantic & Pacific oceans - with a virtual cache, you know we had to get that one. There was an event for watching the moon rise (nearest full moon to Earth) but the clouds had moved in today and we couldn't see anything, but it was fun to meet some of the cachers in town. Cathy's square dance festival started right afterwards, so after dropping her off I did some caching around town in the dark.

 

Saturday, Cathy was at the SD festival all day, while I went to the Discovery Yuma event. This was cache run around town, collecting info from virtual sites and code words from caches (most of which I didn't have in the GPSr so had to find them "blind"). After filling out the passport you could turn it in for a coin. There was one optional stop at a cache by a castle out in the desert. As I arrived somebody was just leaving who looked very familiar. Later I found out it was Scouting4ever. While I was looking the owner stepped out and gave me a hint, we got talking and he invited me in to tour the place. Quite the house! He's putting it up for sale for about $500K (he said he'd take 475K that day, but I'd left it in my other pants). After the run (yes, I got a coin) I met Cathy for dinner. She went back to the festival for the evening dance, I went to the horse races - at the RV park, where I was doing magic between the races. I finished my gig just in time to get down to pick up Cathy at 10pm.

 

Today was the Mega event. Lots of fun. We met quite a few cachers we've met before at various Mega Events/Block Parties (being in costume does make us more easily recognized). We played some of the games (Cacher Bingo, X Marks the Spot, and such), found a couple of the caches nearby (we met Ms Marvelous and her Main Man, who asked if we found one to give her a hint, but I see she got some help and found it later) and had lunch at one of the food trucks (all the way from Idaho!). Afterwards we came back to the trailer and took a nap - it's been a full few days - before going back to find the night cache in the park. We got to the listed co-ords and looked around for the reflective arrows - and found the cache! Oops! Well, we followed the glints around just for fun before signing the log.

 

Tomorrow there's an early event to "Say Good-by to the Canadians" (but they keep coming back it seems... :lol: ) then across the border to a breakfast/lunch event in Mexico. There are a number of caches within walking distance of the event (which is within walking distance of the border, so we don't need to take the car across) so we should get a find or two (or however many I can talk Cathy into) for Mexico.

 

We've only been here a week, but it seems like a lot longer with all we done. I expect if we come back again we'll slow down as everything won't be 'new'.

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Hmm, I hadn't realized how long it's been since I updated this thread. It's raining today (looks very much like home, except for the palm trees...) so this is a good time to get caught up on things.

 

We started Monday with an early morning (at least for vacation) event to say goodbye to some neighbors to the north (Vancouver area) - quite the crowd showed up. We then had Scouting4ever & RXgal join us for a WIG nearby. A fun one, it had a train robbery theme. Blooming Idiot and I did some of the tasks differently, but got to the same results. Then a quick stop at the trailer before heading over to Mexico. This trip to Mexico went better than our last, we found 11 out 12 caches looked for (an interesting note, we did get the Mexico souvenir for the DNF's last time, I guess it counts logs not just finds). We met up with Ms Marvelous and her Main Man and ran around the town finding everything we could. They'd printed a map that made navigating a whole lot easier. I think we did more than Blooming Idiot wanted - it was plenty hot and we did several miles of walking. Then we had to stand in line for about 2.5 hours to get back into the States. A good day - both caching and otherwise.

 

Tuesday, Valentine's Day, was a very lazy day. We slept in (turned the alarm off), sat around camp (though we did get a load of laundry done), drove out so Blooming Idiot could see the Castle I toured, checked a couple of spots for square dance info, found one cache (I'm trying for a vacation streak), then had a early dinner at Texas Roadhouse. They have good food and a fun atmosphere - we've eating at them before across the country, when we find them (the only one in Washington is the Tri-Cities). Then back to camp.

 

Wednesday we took a trip to Tatooine (of Star Wars fame), well, at least to the dunes where they filmed the scenes. We found a few caches along the way, and a couple of Earthcaches at each end of the dunes (both referenced Tatooine). The Dunes are about 6 miles wide and 45 miles long. We drove the dry country just east of the Dunes. Quite different country than what we have back home. Drier than even Eastern Washington and less vegetation. We passed one ghost town from mining days and a couple of active gold mines. We'll have to come back and rent a couple of 'sand toys' and drive out into the Dunes. We got back to town in time for a Weight Watchers meeting, then back to camp for Bingo night. Again we won 2 games (1 solo, 1 split with another) so we came away with more than we spent for the cards.

 

Thursday was our WheerIGo day. We started with a Reverse WIG - a lot of fun. We were 3.4 miles from the cache at camp, drove down to an exit near that distance, and were than 137 yards away! Good guess on our part. We tried a few spots without luck and did one more distance check and then found the cache. Then we took a tour of the Inner Solar System. It's one cartridge with five cache stops (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars). We got stuck on the Moon - a stop with a code word to find Earth - when we couldn't find the container. An email conversation with the CO got us what we needed but not in time to complete it that day. We did squeeze in one more simple WIG after a late lunch/early dinner (one of the KFC's down here does a buffet). We did a short walk through historic Main Street before back to camp.

 

Friday we couldn't see any sights, mainly because we had a wind storm that kicked up the dust and sand so you could only see maybe a mile. We were checking out a coupe of square dance spots (Cathy was trying to track down a place she'd heard about at the Festival). Along the way I grabbed one nano cache and then we realized we were close to the WIG's to finish the Inner Solar System tour. So off we went. Earth was a quick find, but Mars took us a couple of miles into the dry land just outside of town. It's surprising how little distance makes it seem like you're in the middle of nowhere. One of the facts the cartridge gave about Mars is that it has the biggest sandstorms of the solar system, kind of ironic as we were in our own sand storm finding it. Then we went to the theater and watched A Dog's Purpose before heading to camp and dinner.

 

The wind hammered us most of the night (or as much as we were awake for) and then the rain started. The dry ground around here doesn't absorb the water like back home, so we have lots of puddles around camp. One of the residents called a friend to cover their gear as they are stuck in a small desert town with flash floods all around them. I am going to have to go and find a cache if I'm going to keep my vacation streak alive, but 'they' say it should ease off this afternoon (not that it really raining all that hard). A good day to be lazy.

 

Only one more full day before we move on. Sedona, the Giant Meteor Crater and then Las Vegas (where I hope to complete the Nevada County Challenge). From there we'll see what the weather is like for the route home.

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The rain didn't really quit until dark, but it was just a lite sprinkle at it worst in the afternoon and evening. I did run out and get a cache at the park where the Mega was held. A nice ammo can surrounded by mud and mucky sand, but that's just because of the deluge. We started organizing the trailer for getting back on the road a little, but mostly just kicked back and relaxed.

 

Sunday, our last full day in Yuma, started with a church service held at camp. A small group but nice. The rain had quit overnight, but there were still large lakes and streams around camp. Raining on the ground around here is like pouring water on flour, it just doesn't absorb well at all. The sun came out fully mid-day so we went for a walk to a Solar Garden - a solar array that auto-tracks the sun, Kind of cool to watch each panel adjust itself every few minutes. Of course, there was a cache there, a nano way up high. There was one last square dance that evening, so while Cathy danced I did some after-dark caching and shopping for those last few things we needed for the road (like a scrub brush to clean shoes of all the mud). One cool cache I did was named "To Book or Not To Book" placed between the Sheriff's Office and the Library - a funny placement.

 

Today, we finished packing and got ready to leave, but had to say goodbye to several people we've gotten to know so it wasn't a quick pull out. The rest of the day seemed to go just as well: a cache by the freeway, but not by an off ramp required some backtracking; checking caches at a rest stop showed one - across the highway at the other rest stop; we got tangled up in Phoenix trying to get gas at Costco (1.99 per gallon!) and exchange a ceiling light at Camping World (but it did place us right at a Ruby Tuesday, so we had a nice meal); we were running late to the RV camp, where they wanted us in by dark, and with all the delays we were pushing sunset for the arrival time - so of course we had to get a flat tire! We did make it in at dusk (a much shorter period at these latitudes). There is a Big O Tire in town, so we'll be able to get the tire taken care of tomorrow. We'll have to see if that delays us, but then we don't have much of a schedule - just an event I'm hosting in Las Vegas next Monday. Whew! It seems strange in a way to be traveling again, it was nice to just sit in one place and explore an area. We here for a couple days to explore the Red Rocks around Sedona before moving on.

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Just wandering in on this adventure of two wandering souls. Then I note that you have not posted a single picture. Where are the photos to enjoy your adventures?

They're in the camera safe and sound. :laughing: The main problem is that you need to host the picture somewhere before posting here and that takes extra time that I just don't have right now (aside from the lousy wifi a lot of places have, it's no fun having the signal drop in the middle of an upload).

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Another longish gap in the story, sigh. Too much to see and do to take the time to keep writing here (also the last couple of stops have had pretty bad wifi, it kept cutting in and out).

 

The flat tire (the first in over 30K miles of towing the trailer) did delay us a day. We dropped the tire off at the shop and headed off for a couple caches instead of sitting in the waiting room. The second one, a virtual, was at Tuzigoot National Monument - a pueblo site on top of a hill. We spent more time than expected, it was fascinating. But when we got back to the shop we found out the tire wasn't repairable. There were three or four pieces of metal in it, one went thru the sidewall. The tire was new enough that we got a free replacement, BUT they don't stock that tire here! They call the shop back home and had one ordered and shipped, but that could take a couple of days. Good thing we're not on a tight schedule. We headed up to Prescott to find a couple of The Raven's caches (very highly favored, if you get in the area check them out). We DNF'd one that used black light numbers on a tunnel wall to get the combination to the cache (we found the cache, but couldn't open it). You needed to bounce back and forth between the walls finding the numbers, when we found an extra number we knew we were in trouble, but didn't have the time to figure out our mistake(s) - there was a cold wind blowing thru the tunnel and we needed to get out in the sunshine. Another, the CO built a labyrinth board (you might remember them, two knobs that tilt a board to move a marble thru a maze with holes) into a park kiosk, with electronic instructions, theme music, taunts and such. If you get to the first "keyless keyhole" (part way thru the maze) the cache unlocks a door that holds logbook and all, the second get kudo's on the page, if you reach the end you get a brass plaque inside the container. It took me 16 tries to get to the first stage, did a happy dance to the music played, signed the log, and then dropped the ball in the second hole down the line. Too chilly and late in the day to keep trying. I kept wondering if The Raven is related to Goblindust??

 

The next day we stayed closer to camp, we didn't want to do too much more traveling on the skinny little donut spare tire. So we toured Montezuma's Castle (a cliff dwelling) and Montezuma's Well (a mix of cliff and hilltop pueblos). It seemed appropriate, as I woke up very early in the morning with a bout of Montezuma's Revenge. Cathy had a milder bout, but mine really emptied the system so hiking wasn't an option. Very interesting sights, but not the best day of vacation I've had. Mid-day when we called the shop, we found out everything seemed to work perfectly - the tire had been delivered at 7:30am and mounted shortly thereafter. Good news! So we headed back after our sightseeing to get the wheel back on the car. So we only needed one extra night. Since both of us were starting to feel better, we planned to get up the red rocks of Sedona the next day.

 

WE started the day with a return to Prescott area for a Weight Watcher's meeting (there were none closer), followed by a breakfast at Golden Corral (seems kinda wrong - they don't really go together, do they?), then the drive to Sedona. We hiked part way up Cathedral Rock, to the limit of Cathy's comfort zone (or a bit beyond if you listen to her tell the tale). We got one cache up there, then dropped down and to the side to get another. Back to downtown Sedona (thru rush hour, of course) to get a highly favored cache put out by the Police (S.P.D. 1 - Welcome). It's in the entry to the police station and locked with pair of handcuffs. When you open it the fun really begins, I won't spoil it but to say that many different cops show theme songs are brought to mind. Another stop on the way back to camp gave us a little history lesson - we saw where the town's namesake was buried (Sedona Schnebly).

 

Whoa, it's getting late here in Las Vegas, so I guess I'll have to get fully caught up later.

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A few nights of poor, or no, wifi has left me way behind on this thread. We left the next morning heading for the giant meteor crater a ways east of Flagstaff. Of course, we couldn't drive straight there but had to stop for a couple of caches and sights to see. In Sedona we stopped for SPD 2: Guns & Hoses, another great cache by the Sedona Police Dept. Then a stop at the Chapel in the Rocks, a very interesting chapel set among the red rocks near Sedona. We left town via Oak Creek Canyon - a very scenic but twisty road (one section I swear looks like intestines). Once over the top (where we found a few patches of snow) we saw our first snow covered mountain in a long time. It was Humphrey's Peak (12,633), Arizona's highest point. We headed east and dropped the trailer at the Meteor Crater RV park, continued on to Winslow to find 'Standing on the Corner', the highest favored cache in AZ.

 

The next day was spent exploring the giant Meteor Crater - 4,000 feet across and 550 feet deep - created by a meteor about 150 feet in diameter. They say they could put 20 football fields in the bottom, and have seats for 2 million spectators around the walls. Quite spectacular! The weather was sunny, but at 6,000 feet the air was a bit cool (and windy). Overnight it dropped into the 20's. Yep, it's still winter!

 

The next morning we drove into Flagstaff and found a church service. In some of the more shaded areas there were patches of snow. Afterwards we made our way to Las Vegas, with a stop or two in towns for caches along the old Route 66. They've built a new bridge past Hoover Dam since the last time we crossed, but you can't even get a glimpse of the dam from the car. After setting camp and dinner, we drove up and down the Strip to see the lights & sights (the RV park was a mile south of the end of the Strip).

 

One of the main reasons we planned our route thru Las Vegas, was to complete the County Challenge for Nevada (the final is in town). Imagine our shock, when we found the cache had been disabled just a few days earlier! It turned out the original CO had passed away, his widow didn't want the cache in the front yard anymore, and the new CO hadn't gotten a new place for it. Monday, after a Weight Watchers meeting, we drove north from town to get a few caches in Lincoln County, the last county I needed. We'd emailed the new CO and were hoping to meet and be able to sign the log. By the time we got back, we didn't quite have time to meet the CO before we had to head across town for the event I'd setup to Celebrate/Commiserate finishing (or not) the Challenge. Sort of a mixed bag, we celebrated finishing finds in all the counties, but commiserated over not getting the Challenge cache.

 

Tuesday morning we were able to make contact with the CO and he stopped by with the cache. Whoopie! Then we set out to explore the Strip by foot. We've been here one other time and saw the south end, so this time we started at the north end. We walked a few miles getting some of the virtuals along the way. We ate lunch at the Tilted Kilt, a pub with an Irish feel (although the lassies we saw in Ireland didn't wear such skimpy outfits, but then this is Las Vegas!). Which reminds me, I saw the biggest Hooters I've ever seen here (get you mind out of the gutter, didn't you see the capital H?). The Hooter's Hotel and Casino is just off the Strip. Once back to the car we had time to run down and get a picture at the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign (which is actually miles outside of Las Vegas...) before seeing Mystere, the first Cirque Du Soleil show in Las Vegas. A nice ending to our visit.

 

We'd planned on heading north along the eastern side of Nevada up to Twin Falls, Idaho and then home. But the weather thru the middle of Nevada was calling for snow, so we changed plans and headed for Death Valley. We found a cool cache in Shoshone CA - at a series of house cut into the rock walls of small canyon, built by the miners working the area. Then we drove down to Badwater to get the lowest cache (-283 feet) in North America (also the driest and hottest). Although during the winter a shallow 'lake' forms about 3/4 of mile farther out in the valley from the road. So we walked out there just for fun - it's only an inch or two deep for the most part. Then up to a campground at Furnace Creek for the night (at about -190 feet). It's one of the darkest spots in the country, so the stars were spectacular.

 

The next day we headed for Bakersfield, with a stop at the Tehachapi Loop, a very cool bit of RR history. They needed an extra 77 feet climb for the tracks to make over the pass, so they built a spiral where the track crosses over itself - if the train is a over 4000 feet (very common) the engine will pass over the trail of the train. We've been here before, but this time we were able to watch a train go thru the loop. Way cool.

 

Today, we worked our way up thru the middle of California to Lodi. It was nice to see so many growing things! The last several days have been desert scenery with a low bush if anything. We're not rushing home, but stopping to see things as they pop up (and finding a cache or three along the way). We're having mixed feelings, we'll be glad to get off the road for a while, but sad the trip is ending. We should be home in just a handful of days.

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We left Lodi and basically followed 99 north (a couple of short stretches on I-5). I'd picked up a coin that wanted to stay in the Fresno area so I had to find a cache big enough to drop it in. A Victorian Treasure in Elk Grove fit the bill, a cute cache (if you can call a large "cute") that was a fun hunt. A few virtuals along the way until we got up by Corning, where we stopped off at the Olive Pit - lots of olives to try and a very good sandwich (we've seen it many times while passing, just never had the time to stop until now). Then we followed I-5 up past Lake Shasta - which I've never seen so full, two weeks ago it was completely full, but they lowered it some - to a little RV park that was the very first RV park we ever stayed in with the trailer (4-11-15).

 

Sunday morning we drove up to Weed for a church service, at a little church we found last year on another trip thru here. Along the way the clouds were spitting a little bit of the white stuff at us. The church was doing a fellowship dinner following service so we hung out and got some lunch before heading north. We saw evidence of snowfall from the morning, but the roads were bare and wet. We made it to an RV park we've used before in Tri-City (in fact, the first night on this trip. BTW, that's Tri-City OR, not WA).

If you are coming up I-5, be sure to take the old road through Siskiyou Summit. There are some good caches along that route. That assumes, the road is passable, of course. That would be Exit 1 off of I-5.

Thanks for the idea, but we'll save that for another trip. There was enough white ground around that we decided to stick to the main route.

 

We woke this morning to snow! We almost turned around and headed for Yuma again! :lol: We were trying avoid this sort of weather with the trip. <_< It was falling pretty good while we packed up and we found that we didn't do as good a job of clearing the snow off, as later when we opened up there was a few wet patches from melted snow that leaked in. We left early so we could get to a Weigh Watcher meeting in Eugene at 10am. The roads started off bare and wet, but the farther north we went the more slush we found. About 10 miles north of Sutherlin traffic came to a complete halt. We were just short of the Rice Valley exit and after a half hour of sitting (as the snow kept falling) we decided to do as others and worked out way up the shoulder to the exit (a couple oh hundred yards was all) and went back to Sutherlin. There was a RV park there we'd used before that we could wait out the weather if needed. The library in town was closed (Sunday & Monday) so we parked at a city park, popped up the trailer (this is when we found the wet spots), turned on the heat and kicked back. We monitored a couple of traffic cams in the stopped zone, and later the roads looked good, so we headed north again. We didn't make the 10am WW meeting, but did just get there in time for the 12:30 meeting. Then up to Albany for a stop at Izzy's Pizza. After eating we decided that it just wasn't worth it to go any farther so we found a RV park in town and settled down for the evening/night. I did have to run out between rain showers to find a cache, as I'm try to keep a streak going during this vacation (earlier there was too much of that yucky white stuff on the ground - it was too tense to cache, besides it hides the containers). It's a good thing we don't have any schedule and can change plans as needed. Our mantra for traveling (and I have to work at remembering/believing it) is "We see what we see, we get as far as we get." So, about four hours of driving tomorrow should see us home - unless we find something else to do on the way, or get another snow storm on top of us.

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Our last day was a glorious reintroduction to the Great Pasific North Wet. It rained all day - sometimes pretty heavy which made driving kind of tense when you can't hardly see the taillights of the vehicle ahead. We didn't hurry out of camp, we took stops in rest areas to ease the stress, and found one cache to keep the vacation streak alive. We stopped for lucnh/supper at Spiffy's (exit 69) which has pretty good food. We arrived home about 4 pm and are still uppacking...

 

Some stats for the trip:

 

37 days total, 15 spent in Yuma (our longest time 'sitting' in one spot with the trailer)

 

8959 km traveled (5503 miles)

 

149 cache found

83 Arizona

36 California

13 Nevada

11 Mexico (a new country for us)

5 Oregon

1 Washington

83 tradtional

29 virtual

10 Wherigo

9 mystery

6 events (one hosted)

1 Mega event

4 Earth

3 letterbox hybred

2 multi

2 webcam

I set my longest streak - 37 days

I got my lowest cache - -282 feet (which will last until May, when I hope to get one at the Dead Sea -1300)

 

Only 1 minor mishap (aside from the fiery crash that killed us <_< ) - a flat tire.

 

We're already planning our next possible trip: Quad City Cache Machine II

And maybe Alaska in August ... such a tough life. :rolleyes::anitongue:

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