OCTOBER 26, 2011 – after the ET2 run

October 26, 2011

So much has been written by others about the 2nd Extraterrestrial Highway series that I’m going to skip it. Besides, I stupidly left my camera in my car in Las Vegas and didn’t have it with me in the rental van on the 2 day run. But here’s 1 picture from my phone camera (didn’t know that it worked so well) to prove that I was there!

After finding the 1,500 series caches and about 30 others in the experience of a lifetime, my fellow SFVgeocachers, EMC of Northridge, Team Perks(1), BWidget, deeznutz® and Albackore went home. I stayed 2 more nights in Las Vegas and made the most out of the day in between by grabbing my first caches in Arizona and Utah.

Driving about 80 miles on I-15 I reached Mesquite NV and the Arizona border. 8 miles later I turned off at Hwy 91, a 2 lane road. Utah was 10 miles ahead.

There were some park & grabs on the way. One of them was in these ruins.

I only knew for sure that I’d crossed into Utah when I looked behind me and saw the Arizona sign. And yes, there is a cache Border Jumpers – Old 91 (GC1NDMA) about 25’ to the right. I thought that it was still in Arizona but now, back at home, the cache page shows it in Utah.

The mountains seemed redder than the ones back home in Southern California.

2 miles into Utah I turned off the paved highway, drove over a cattle guard and onto a very well maintained dirt road.

There were caches every few tenths of a mile. Some were a few steps from the road and others required walking up to 200 feet. It was easy to walk because the vegetation was sparse and the temperature was in the mid 70’s. There’s a big cache in the bottom left of the joshua tree below. Do you see it?

The end of the line was at a stockade. The cache there was an old German army butter can. Despite the stockade and cattle guard, no cows were in sight.

I turned around and drove back into Arizona. On I-15 I pulled off at a random exit, parked and looked for nearby caches in my GPSr. I wasn’t disappointed. There was 1 on each end of this bridge. The picture was taken from Bridge View (GCHXEY).

Down the road my arrow pointed into this freeway underpass. Sure enough, the cache was in the middle of the tunnel. Unlike in California, there was absolutely no trash or graffiti inside!

After 22 caches in 3-1/2 hours I drove back to Las Vegas.
My dinner was a Fremont Street Mermaids Casino 99 cent hot dog that I’d seen on a Food Network show. It tasted about the same as a Costco dog. As a bonus I got to zone out by staring at the 3 block long overhead tv screen.

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OCTOBER 10, 2011 – Witches in the Woods?

October 10, 2011

I went to Juan Bautista de Anza Park in Calabasas on Lost Hills Road to convert some more green boxes into smilies. After finding a lamppost cache in the parking lot my destination was Secret Swing Cache (GC349TB) at an oak tree beyond the South end of the park. There was a fluorescent pink Chapstick tube at the base of the tree. It looked like trash. When I couldn’t find the cache I picked up the Chapstick and found a blank log sheet rolled inside. Wow! FTF!! I returned the cache to the back (SE) side of the tree so that it won’t be so obvious from the trail. Then I hiked to the top and beyond.

5 minutes later I looked down on a bucolic scene. Empty hiking trails and a bridge over a dry streambed were all centered on an especially large oak. I took the direct route down on an animal trail.

Maybe not so coincidentally my GPSr arrow pointed to the tree.

Before searching for Roble Grandisimo (GC217H4) I sat on a convenient stump under the tree and drank Gatorade. I looked up and saw what appeared to be streamer remnants from a kid’s birthday party.

There was a strip of paper tied to a low branch. What a weird cache placement. I unrolled the paper and instead of the expected signatures of my fellow cachers it read, “Holy Spirit I join with you in peace. My Solstice wishes 1. Unlimited Wealth, 2. Perfect Health, 3. Deeper relationships with…etc…” The stuff in the branches turned out to be ribbons. Oak trees are sacred to some; a good place for a solstice ceremony. That would’ve been on June 21 this year.

Neo-pagans aren’t the only ones who write on strips of paper that they leave in the woods. 5 feet away I found the well hidden cache.

The solstice celebrants left the cache alone so I tied the wish list back on its branch. It’d be interesting to see if anything happens at the tree on Samhain.