Several cachers received an e-mail for, “2 free nights” anytime between December 16 & 24 in Primm Nevada. Only half believing that there were no conditions we made reservations. As the trip approached the weather forecast got worse and worse. Still, we weren’t going to give up 2 free nights in an area surrounded by hundreds of unfound desert caches.
True to the forecast there was torrential rain on our start date all the way from the SFV to Yermo which is 95 miles from Primm. The short letup was perfectly timed for us to look for a new series of 26+2 phonetic alphabet caches. The pages for those caches said, “Leave your Prius at home.” I did. And EMC (Elin) left her’s near the freeway offramp and we drove to the caches in my Element. That was a good decision because a very steep hill before the first cache is too much for Priora (plural of Prius).
The 6 caches that we found (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot) were obvious from a distance. Muggles will never have a reason to be near enough to find them. The rain started again and we didn’t want to be stuck in the mud with a long walk back to the I-15. So we turned around, and reached Primm at nightfall.
We had dinner with f0t0m0m (Jim) and ventura kids (Steve) at the hotel buffet. After a few night caches in town I walked around in the casino and went to my room to read, The Joy of Geocaching by Paul & Dana Gillin.
The next morning Steve & Jim started early to find a cache behind the hotel, on the California-Nevada border. I’d found it the night before so I laughed when I drove up and saw them searching in the wrong state. We traded places and they found the cache.
A few minutes later we picked up Elin and drove back into California to Nipton. We DNF’d the only cache there.
The timing was wrong for us to test a big sign that read “Best Burgers Around.” That claim must be true since Nipton is a small collection of buildings in the middle of the desert. Continuing on Nipton Road we crossed back into Nevada to the dirt road with a series of 90 caches named after US & Mexican states, Canadian provinces and the capital cities for all of them.
Instead of the forecasted rain, there was only mist and off-and-on sprinkles. Almost all of the caches were easy to spot non-camo’d micros within 30’ of the flat road. We drove, stopped, jumped out, found-stickered-returned over and over again. There was no real mud and little danger of becoming stuck.
Compared to my spring & summer desert visits, there was very little color. I was also disappointed to NOT see any tortoises which are rumored to be plentiful. They’re probably too intelligent to be out and about in the cold wet weather.
A few bigger caches were scattered among the micros, like this “Nevada nano.”
We backtracked to a fork in the road and had lunch, cold Subway sandwiches bought the night before at the outlet mall. There were 124 more caches of the series to find on the other leg of the fork. The road was wider and better but the vegetation alongside was much thicker. We had to be extra careful to avoid cactuses and other sharp plants.
The vegetation was so dense that we decided to search only for caches that were within 200’ of the road. That excluded 2/3 of the hides but stumbling around for those would’ve meant a sure trip to the hospital.
This was one of the few caches in the clear. It didn’t involve plants, rocks or sand.
The last cache on the trail ended at another section of the California border. I stood in both states at the boundary marker.
On our way out it started to get dark and foggy.
When we finally reached the paved road, Steve got out and collapsed in relief.
In 8 wet hours, on unpaved roads, we found about 140 caches. There are many, many more to be found in the area. I’m sure that together, alone or with other groups that we’ll all go back to look for them. Thanks to the NGA (Nevada Geocachers Association) and many area cachers who took the time to hide so many caches. And thanks to Primm Valley Resorts for the free nights. We didn’t gamble as much as they’d like but we ate all of our breakfasts and dinners in the hotel and bought lots of gas in the parking lot.