APRIL 19, 2010 – Jean, Nevada

On Sunday morning we again got the ½ price breakfast buried deep in the menu of the casino’s coffeeshop. Then we jumped into Elin’s Prius to find the Spike Series (GC1QEFD). There were 12 Spike caches in a straight line with 7 other caches in between. Almost immediately on the unpaved road we saw a HUGE ant. It paused to look at us and then wandered off at a leisurely pace. Maybe there’s a factual basis for Them!. Somewhere along this series I dropped my cellphone. If someone finds it, in any condition, please e-mail me.

The caches were all park & walks off into the flat desert, except for one The Forgotten Cache (GCN6RC) which was on top of this hill. The view from above showed us a narrow tunnel under the 15 fwy. The Prius made it through with about 2’ of clearance on each side.

Once through the tunnel, Elin drove us up and down a very steep hill, a memorable adventure in a passenger car. We stopped at a bunker cache that I’d found in 2005. It’s a good thing that the cache is NOT inside.

In early afternoon we went back to the hotel and Elin left us because of a job commitment the next day. At 4:00pm Jeff & me regrouped and headed back to Jean (10 miles N) to find the 26 cache Well series. These were scattered around another unpaved utility road. Sometimes we parked on the side and walked 10 to 300 feet to a cache. Nine on the south end of the series needed real offroading. Usually we followed faint tire tracks, probably left by previous cachers, to get within walking distance. At other times it was driving trackless, dodging bushes, rocks and holes. There were some scary sounding crunches from the undercarriage. On our way out we passed an SUV with cachers from Sacramento and Maryland. Through opened windows we let them know that all 26 caches were present. We found 3 more caches on a rougher adjacent road for a total of 29 in just under 3 hours. At sundown we had dinner at the Mad Greek in Primm.

On Monday morning, we had the same breakfast in the same place. The waitress called me a monkey. She sneered, “Monkey see, monkey do,” for ordering the same meal as Jeff, the same meal that we’d all ordered every day. She was more interested in talking with her coworkers than serving food. Anyway, after leaving a miniscule tip we went to find the 9 cache Tortoise series. To get there we drove North out of Whiskey Pete’s parking lot, parallel to the 15 fwy. We found several caches along the way too.

Though cattle guards were numerous (and sometimes contained caches), we didn’t see a single cow during the entire trip. Two days earlier we’d found one attached to an electrified fence. Very strangely, Elin & Jeff got shocked at every touch, I felt nothing, even gripping the fencepost tightly with my entire hand. And we all had similarly soled shoes. So I’m going to pseudo-scientifically postulate that my constant overeating makes me extra insulated and non-conductive.

Without power lines here , the scenery was better. This is the tortoise road. It was the roughest one this weekend for my Element because the centerline bushes were often tall enough to scrape the bottom. And the randomly scattered medium sized rocks didn’t help either.

There was a tortoise, beyond rigor mortis, next to at least 3 of the caches.

We were very careful to NOT walk into these.

I tried launching one of the large tortoise caches like I’ve seen in the movies but nothing happened.

Is there a registry where the demise of tortoise # L8478 can be reported?

We found ‘em all and rushed back to check out of the hotel. I just missed running over the 1 and only live tortoise we saw. Why DID the tortoise cross the road?

Once back in California we found 12 more caches near various offramps for a total of 33 for the day and, for me, 183 for the ½ + 2 + ½ day trip. I also achieved my personal best of 83 finds (w/a group) in 1 day on Saturday.

I learned for certain that I’ll never be a power cacher. The 3 of us averaged 33 finds an hour for about 2-1/2 hours on Saturday. That was the most fun I’ve had in a long time but the thought of caching at that speed for the entire Trail of the Gods or the upcoming 1,000 cache Extraterrestrial Highway series makes me nauseous. So I’m going back to tortoise speed caching.

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4 Responses to APRIL 19, 2010 – Jean, Nevada

  1. chaosmanor says:

    Interesting little journey. Have to agree with you about power caching; for two or three hours, it can be fun, especially with one or two other cachers, but keeping that up for ten or twelve (or 24!) hours is just not ever going to be my thing. The mind gets numb after a couple of hours, and as I absolutely, positively refuse to cut-and-paste my logs, I figure that 40-50 in a day is about the max. I got 65 in one day early last year, on a caching journey with Let’s Fly, but we had not planned it that way. We had done a run up the old Grapevine, and as it took us less time than we had expected, we decided to grab “a few” of the Tarot series, which was pretty new then. Wound up working until after sunset, with the last cache being by flashlight. That made it kind of fun, but I was totally blown the next day.

    You asked a good question: “Is there a registry where the demise of tortoise # L8478 can be reported?” Go to this website:

    http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ridgecrest
    /tortoise.3.html

    In the left-hand frame, click on “Contact Us”, and then click on the ‘Contact us by e-mail” button. Tell them that you found the tortoise in question. If you took a GPS reading, let them have that. I am not positive that they are the ones who keep the records, but they will know who does. It might be the US Fish and Wildlife Service, but the BLM manages the Desert Tortoise Natural Area, and they may have records, as well. Please post a follow-up if you get anything interesting out of them.

    BTW: I *did* run over a tortoise, more than 35 years ago, in Arizona 😦 Didn’t see it until it was too late to do anything; we were on a freeway! I made up for it many years later, out near Opal Mountain, west of Barstow. We’d been rock-hounding with the girls, and on the way home, I was driving up a small hill and saw a weird silhouette on the top of the rise. It was a tortoise that had gotten stuck in the graded road and couldn’t climb back out. I stopped and carefully lifted it up over the high berm. I have pictures of it, somewhere. A couple of minutes later, a couple of trucks and a dirt bike came roaring along, so I’m glad that we got to that hill first 🙂

    Jim

  2. geonarcissa says:

    I really hate to ask, because I feel really dumb asking this, but… is that a real ant???

    • oldweeb says:

      Hahaha. I’m glad that you asked. Of course, it’s a fake ant. It’s solid brass painted black and I got it for $12. off the clearance shelf at Target. I brought it on the trip to scare EMC but she turned around and caught me putting it on the ground. A real ant of that size would’ve made us famous!

      • geonarcissa says:

        After some of the creepy critters I’ve come across on my caching adventures, I couldn’t be sure!

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