Life as a Geocacher

Caching and Reviewing

This is made up of stories from my caching and my reviewing.  It is a collection of those along with comments and thoughts.  Photos, and maps of some adventures and lists of some of the oldest caches.

Wherigo to the Cito?

Friday night was the night.  I was actually running about town all day, and doing work around the yard.  I was looking at the event tonight and thought that I was going to be too busy.  The event was a Cito event at the park the Wherigo Halloween Party  When I was within about an hour of the event I finally determined that I was going to have the time and packed it up and headed out.

The event - introduction

I got there and and it was the typical event.  People were gathering, and some were in costumes (not me I had forgotten).  We sat around and talked, then passed out some bags to get trash and head out.  The event was hosted by Joephaw and Rannthaw.  They explained about the process of a wherigo, and stepped people through a wherigo they made to introduce the cache type.   On the way through the park we picked up trash (the Cito part of the event)  PeanutsParents arrived and he and I chatted and talked together while we did the cache. 

It was a simple cache with a few steps, and was to show people how they could be made.  They talked about some of the players and some of the builders you can use to build them.  It was pretty interesting.   I have made a half dozen, but I it is cool to learn something more.

The big Wherigo

Then it began.  After a few snacks and a few chats, we were heading off for the main event.  There were a few caches that were part of the Wherigo that we were working on.

There was four caches in the one wherigo cartridge.  PeanutsParents and I hung around for a while waiting for everyone.  We finally drove up to the starting point, and began the adventure.  The park is a few hundred yards wide, and a half mile long.   

Zone after Zone

This was a long cartridge, and big.  There are about 25 zones that you can travel to (and that is just a guess).  We ran into a large number of creatures, and people that you run into.  They give you items that will help you on your quest.  We started about 6 or 6:30 and we went for about three hours.  I think my kids would think it was great, and in the dark it added another dimention to the game. 

This was not something you would just casually try.  The cache needs to be done in the dark.  There are a number of questions that you will only find the answer in the dark.  It was fun, and if I have the chance it will have to bring my daughter and a friend or two so they can try it out. 

If you want to try something like this, try. It can be a lot of fun


I would like to welcome everyone to my new site.  Hopefully this works as well as the other site.  If you see bugs or problems let me know.  Feel free to enjoy and look around. There are bugs, there will be growing pains, however I look forward to this working.

Enjoy everyone.

Earthcache O'Rama - Saturday Afternoon

Arches - Park Avenue GC337QWWell after the event....

This is part of a three or four part series from the weekend where we went to the UTAG event. This is the second part of that weekend.

I had a good time visiting with all the people at the event.  Any event that is bigger and I have the regret that I do not get around to everyone.  So I am sorry if anyone feels like I was stand offish.  People will come and say hi, and at that point I will start talking and get trapped.

I brought three coins to the event. An old Cito coin that I had never been activated and had been sitting in a corner, an BSA 100th anniversary coin, and a simple coin that I had made for myself about five years ago.  I was hoping that maybe they would get $25 our of the three.  You never know with auctions. I think in the end that got about that much for each one of them.

Whats next?  We might move forward with a UTAG coin now.  We have about that much.  So we may start the look.

Looking West through the park

And it begins - Earthcache #2 & #3

So we headed up and out of Moab, and into Arches National Park. I had already found one Earthcache Early that day.   I was not aware that the entrance to arches was so close.  Well, after 45+ years of living in Utah I finally made it into the park.  We stopped driving up to find The Moab Fault.  It was a quick stop.  Salt Valley - Not the Earthcache site

The second stop and Earthcache #3 was higher on the hill, and it was really impressive. Arches National Park - Park Avenue.  My kids did not want to get out of the car, at least my teenager, who was listening to music and sleeping. I was admiring the view.  It is actually the upper part of a hike that goes down to another stop.   I should have taken the walk, and let my wife drive down. This was a really cool cache that talked about the different stone that is in the park, and was great as an entrance to the park to get an idea of how the park was formed

Sand Dune ArchEarthcache #4 and some overloooks and other arches

The next was mixed into a few other stops.  We stopped to look over Salt Valley - Arches National Park and drove over to a few other trails as well.  There were some really cool trails.

We drove by a pothole arch that was high on a hill. Then we went and hiked up the a trail to the coolest arch that we visited during the trip.  Sand Dune Arch.

Sand Dune Arch is just off the trail.  It is up between a few of the large fins that are sticking up. so you walk through the fins.  Rather than the soil that could be found outside of the arch is a lot of sand between.  My daughter kicked off her shoes and walked the entire route.  Tucked back between the rocks is a little arch that you can walk inside.  A hole made in a fin. It was much cooler that outside the fins.  They were blocked at one end and very narrow.  So no wind moved through the shaded channel. I am not sure it would ever get more sun for more than a few minutes.

On the way out we saw a small rattlesnake.  Rolled up and sitting on a hole in a log.  I pointed it out to a family with a lot of kids.  I thought I was doing the responsible thing so that no kids ran over into the shade near where it was.  I thought the lady was going to have a seizure.  I told her long before she got there.  Her panic almost made her freeze.  I wondered if I had been irresponsible.  I think of my terror of spiders was at that level, I don't think so.  We showed the kids the snake, kept them away, and told them to keep walking about.  

I had decided to do an Earthcache here.  It is one of the locations that I sent a email about.  So I will cross my fingers and wait to hear from the park.

Pine Tree ArchEarthcache #5 and Pine Tree Arch

This one was very cool for me.  Landscape arch is another impressive arch.  However I expected to see cool when I went to Landscape arch.  The hike was a ways over, but the arch that was cooler in my mind was Pine Tree arch.  Mostly because it was one that I was not expecting to be as cool.   You walk over, past some cottontail rabbits that were running off through the bushes. We walked by another arch, and it was nice. 

You then walk over between two fins, and when you come upon the arch it has a great view through it.  It was fantastic.   The sun was going down and things were just getting quiet.  There were not many people in arches today so we could walk to different places without fighting crowds.

Earthcache #6Delicate Arch

And the run goes on.  I really did not have a desire to go after Delicate Arch one for a lot of reasons.  However, the biggest reason was the fact that it is on everything Utah.  Where some may want to see the cache because it was a Utah icon, I did not want to go because of that.  Plus a long hike with loud kids would not be pleasant.

Well in looking at the map there was a shorter hike that would not require the long long hike, but went to a spot where you could see something. 

Well, the hike was nice and the kids were good, and we made it to the overlook and the view of the arch was really impressive.  Once again there were not many people.  Actually there appeared to be far more people up the hill at the arch than there was down by us.

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EarthCache #7 and Virtual #2

We headed are way quickly to the next cache.  We headed to the windows section at arches.  I did not think much of this location.  For some reason it was an afterthought.  We headed this way when we realized that there was enough light.

This was a cool location, there were a lot of people here, and the regular parking lot was very tricky to find a parking spot. The view of the sunset was great.  We did not make any hikes here, it was getting that late.  The picture above does not really do it justice.  The sunset was awesome.  The two caches here.  The Earthcache Windows Section: Arches National Park and the virtual Arches National Park - The Arches

I think we would have stayed a lot longer at this location and hiked to a few points but we decided that it was time to move on with the sun going down.

Earthcache #8 and Virtual #3

Balanced Rock

So now we are heading back.  This was another that needed a quick stop as the sun was going down.  Two final caches the EarthCache Balanced Rock: Arches National Park, and the virtual Arches National Park - Balanced Rock.

It was dark or almost dark.   My pictures may be a bit grainy but it was just after dark.  I was balancing the camera, posts, and anything else I could find to get a picture.   It did turn out, but not as good as I had hoped

Then darkness fell, and we took an hour drive back to hotel for the night.  All in all it was an amazing day.  Thanks for people that made me come down here and experience this first hand.

Moab Memories - Saturday Morning

This last week my family and I headed down to Moab.  We were heading down to the Utah Geocachers Association fall meeting, and to spend some time in a place I have never been. 

Ok, I have to take the time to admit to the world that I am from Southern Utah.  I grew up two hours from Bryce Canyon national park, and I was only two and a half hours from Arches national park.  My high school used to compete with Moab in many sports.

Yet in all my life (well that I can recall) I have never been to Moab. We got close, every year we went to Lake Powell.  Also I saw a lot of red sandstone at my home.  So it was just never on my list of things to do.  As I got older, I just found other places to visit, many people took trips down there and I never did.  So it was about time.

I was exited when Moab came up as an option and I pushed for it for two reasons.  The first was the chance for me to go there, and the second was that UTAG had never had a meeting there.  It was time to go see another place.

I thought for a while I might be going alone, there was some waffling on the part of me and my family.  In the end we decided to go.  Actually it was pretty late, two days before we committed to go.  That also meant that we needed to reserve a room.

Gah, just for your information, do not try and get an inexpensive hotel room in a tourist town a few days before you plan on going.  So we found a place an hour away in Green River.

We headed down to Green River Friday night and crashed at the motel.  The kids went to the swimming pool and I crashed.  :P Long day, a few hour drive, some people love those things, i don't.

Dino Track

Goal #1 - Dino Tracks

I did not want to spend the entire day driving, so I tried to schedule things with a stop here and a stop there.  The geocaching event/lunch was not until noon, so we had some time.

The first stop on the adventure was to the Copper Ridge Dinosaur Tracks.  This was actually one of the early Earthcaches that were published in Utah.  I had seen it on a map for a number of weeks, and it was on my list.  Isn't a dinosaur track one of things every kid wants to see?

Well this was one that I was sure the kids would like. We left the highway and headed off road to the cache site.  We were in the car and it took a little bit of work to drive around the ruts in the sand from the recent rains, but we made our way to the trailhead.  The hike up to the cache site was pretty easy to make.

The kids got exited when we got to the site. You could find the actual tracks pretty simply.  People had taken small stones and surrounded the actual tracks.  They spent a lot of time poking around, and we walked a bit up the trail until we got the nice sign saying "Stay out of old mines, they are radioactive".  So we headed back.  It was a nice start to the day.

Wilsons Arch

Goal #2 San Juan County

San Juan county of course.   Actually not just the county but I needed to grab Wilsons Arch.    The arch is right by the side of the road.  Of course the trip to Moab from Green River is normally 45 Minutes.  We turned it into a three and half hour drive with the few stops. This was the first arch that we saw for the day, but it would not be the last of them.  I took a walk up into the hill nearby, then took a moment to snap some photos.  the light was not actually very good, but I got the information that I needed.

Goal #3 Virtual and a TraditionalMy Daughter waiting for us to return for the hunt through the weeds.

Yep I had to grab another cache while on the day. Actually a few caches.  The first was at a home that had been carved out of the canyon side.  At first I thought it would be stupid to build a home in the stone, until I thought how it may always keep it a little cooler than a house.  So to each their own.  The cache was called Holes N the Ground.   Then around the hill to a traditional cache.  That one did not turn out as well as I thought.  The walk was a ways through the weeds and I found the wrong way. 


Goal #4 - Event

My favorite part of most caching days is the event.  I am a social person that drives my kids nuts.  I took all the coins that I had mine and many that lyonden_ut had given me a while back. 

He gave me many of his coins on the condition that I made sure that I take them to events and share them with other people.  So here they came.  There were about 15 that were given to me from him, and I have about 150 to 180 coins by now, and I have a bunch of pathtags.  I seem to get one or two every month on average.  I need more containers to share them with, I have a few books that make them easy to share, they are far easier than the plastic sheets.  I used them and I seem to drop them all over and loose them.  So I moved to the other books, they hold them better.

That is it for the morning.  I will write up my arches trip all by itself.

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