DECEMBER 31, 2016 – Year End: Barstow to Las Vegas (part 1 of 2)

After Christmas I went back to a near freezing Barstow (cheap rooms!) to convert some more annoying green boxes on the geocaching map into smilies. The desert soaked up most of the rain from 2 days earlier. A few puddles, mud and early morning ice remained.
Many of the caches I needed were reached from side trails off of Open Route 4800, the backbone of the Planes Trains Ships & Automobiles cache series.
Here a 35mm film container cache was guarded by the empty shell of a baby desert tortoise. Unfortunately they don’t molt like crabs. This one was dead.
At 10.2 miles on Open Route 4800 I crossed Hwy 395. In this area mud was replaced by sharp volcanic rocks. Driving on all-terrain tires was reassuring.
This interesting cache container seemed to be an outrigger canoe.
This bonehead cache was broken into several scattered pieces. I put it back together as best I could.
I like joshua tree caches because the destination is obvious from several hundred feet away. My Subaru is at the red arrow. Note the huge gallon size cache can at the base of the tree.
Joshua tree caches have their own sound effects too. Even light wind blowing through their leaves produces that stereotypical movie effect eerie warbling desert whistle.
At sundown I drove back to Barstow, cold, tired and with mud caked tires.


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