DECEMBER 12, 2012 – Route 66 Shield “Geoart”

After completing the 800+ cache Route 66 series last year I didn’t think that I’d go back to the area for a long time. Then Team Stevecat hid the all-hiking, 200 cache Route 66 Shield geoart series just North of the mid-point. And then Buka2 (Roxanne) scheduled a hiking event there. Donuts in the Desert (GC41ZQE).
How could I NOT go? I stayed overnight in Barstow and then met f0t0m0m (Jim) and foomanjoo (Josh) at their motel’s parking lot. We left Barstow in 2 vehicles, in total darkness and saw the sunrise during the easy 80 mile drive to the Kelbaker Road offramp.
From there it was a 1 minute ride to the event. I knew that the group assembled there planned to split into 5 subgroups to find 40 caches each. And then everyone would log all 200 caches as found. I understand that people play the game differently. This was TOO different. There’s no way I’d hike to 40 caches and log 200 finds. If I did that, my geocaching point total would be meaningless. So after a short stop to exchange greetings and donate to the group raffle the 3 of us drove just over 2 miles South to the bottom right of the shield.
Our first cache was Route 66 Geoart Supply Depot (GC3NTXE). It was filled with replacement caches. Fortunately we didn’t need any because we found every cache we visited.
Almost immediately we crossed paths with a 4” tarantula who was going the other way at a steady pace. I was glad that there were no arachnophobes with us.
Almost all of the caches were bright green prescription bottles attached to bushes by wire. They were easy to spot. Some were visible from over 200’ away. Only one was a near-DNF because its wire was missing and it was on the ground. Thanks Jim for supplying the round stickers with our caching names on them!
Here we are with Prince Albert in a can. We found him in a suspicious rock pile. It looked like he’d been there for a VERY long time. He was still inside but we couldn’t get him out. Josh took the can home to open carefully. Josh, what did you find?!
Jim kept stepping into rodent tunnels, several times sinking in to his knee. By the end of the hike we learned to recognize where “groundhog” colonies were likely to be and we hiked around them. Tortoises seemed to be faring worse than groundhogs with crushed tunnels. Throughout the hike we saw upwards of 30 dead ones. The rigor mortis tortoise below was still intact but most of the others were bleached broken up shells. We didn’t see a single live one.
I took a picture as I stepped over B2 rock.
The hike was mostly flat. The only ‘obstacle’ that we crossed (several times) was a 3’ high embankment at a dry wash. My legs were so rubbery that I almost fell off at the last crossing.
In exactly 6 hours we hiked 12 miles and found 100 caches. We’re going back next year to hike the top and the right hand “6.” Thanks Jim & Josh for physically opening all the caches and for slowing down a little near the end. And thanks Team Stevecat for the tremendous effort to put this series together.


6 Responses to DECEMBER 12, 2012 – Route 66 Shield “Geoart”

  1. cachekidz! says:

    Awesome! Sounds like another great adventure!

  2. coakford says:

    Thanks for the report. 2 mph is a pretty good pace when geocaching. Especially in the sandy desert.

  3. Don_J says:

    100 cache finds on foot is quite an accomplishment, and it somehow sounds a whole lot better than finding 40 and logging 200

  4. benh57 says:

    Looks like fun! Ping me if you need a companion for next time. (and that find-40-log-200 is ridiculous..)

  5. Ryan Ramsey says:

    Reblogged this on TheyCallMeBeef's Blog and commented:
    Im seriously going to do this… Might be a great hike with the wife and gramma can watch the kids.

  6. Ryan Ramsey says:

    I really respect the 3rd paragraph.

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