Thursday, February 3, 2011

Found Some Buggers

I had nearly a 100% success rate in finding geocaches today.  The first one was on the side of a road that has trucks going back and forth every few seconds.  I dug around a lot, but when the umpteenth truck driver slowed down as he approached me, I almost gave up and decided to get out of there before someone pulled over to ask me if I needed help.  Men love to assist single women in distress.  I'm not single, but I was alone and it looked like my truck broke down on the side of the road.  I told myself I'd check one more place, then leave, and there it was!

The second geocache took me to the back country where the ATV and motorcyclists ride, only this time of year on a weekday no one was out there.  All I heard were gunshots off in the distance.  I thought it would be a great place to ride a horse if I could have the place to myself.  I found a lot of random shoes.  Just one shoe of each type -- not a matching pair, which I thought was strange.

This white one looks brand new...

I might not have found this one had I not seen a youtube video the night before showing people climbing a tree to reach a geocache.  I started looking around for fake stones and branches on the ground, but a little voice told me to look up, and the cache almost hit me in the face.  There's nothing like the little burst of joy when you realize you were almost outsmarted, but instead you used your noggin' or at least got lucky.

I was headed toward the third geocache when the batteries on my GPS died.  Shoot!  There's another lesson learned in the annals of geocaching:  Bring a spare set of batteries.  I added that to my list of bring 3 extra pens to replace the ones that run out of ink, bring a pair of gloves for digging through bushes and spiderwebs, and bring a pair of glasses, so that I can actually read the GPS.  I can't tell the difference between a 3 and an 8 without them.

So, I wasted more gas driving all the way home for batteries.  I studied my next two locations on a map and discovered that I was previously on the wrong road anyway.  That's the funny thing about rural areas.  You can be on a road with street name A and go straight the entire time, only to discover that you are now on street B, and you had to make a left to stay on street A.  I let the dogs out to pee and got something to eat and drink while getting fresh batteries, and then headed out again.

The third geocache took me to a recreation area that I didn't know existed, despite living here for 20-some years.  It's one of those places where ATVs and motorcycles share the trails with horseback riders, and no one was out there.  I'll bet if I choose a weekday in the winter months to ride, I could have the place to myself.

The fourth geocache offered the wrong coordinates, probably on purpose.  The GPS coordinates they gave me left me standing in the middle of a dirt road.  Then my batteries died again!  No fear, I brought a third pair.  People in my family are not good about properly disposing of dead batteries, so I must have picked up some old ones when I was at home.  Anyway,  I stood there in the middle of that dirt road thinking, "What is closest to this point where a geocache could be hidden?"

I figured it out and was quite impressed with the stealthiness.  It was basically on a sign that people read when they pull into the recreation area.  However, their eyes are usually pointed straight forward while they are reading, so they would not have noticed this geocache.

It was noon and I needed to get home to feed the horses.  However, I wanted to do one quick drive by along the way.  This one was just planted yesterday.  It was in an area where the new streets were paved for businesses, but then the housing market crashed and businesses were never built.  I drove out to the end of the new road where there was nothing but sagebrush, and wouldn't you know it?

Some guy was parked right next to the geocache just sitting there in his truck eating his lunch.  That was another lesson learned in the annals of geocaching:  Don't go out during the lunch hour.  People will find secluded spots to take their breaks and eat their lunches.  So, as Mikey would say -- put a fork in me.  I'm done.  (My favorite saying.) 

I drove home, fed the horses, fed myself, and logged my findings.  I'm officially up to 10 geocache finds, but the best part is that I found two new places to ride the horses if I can either get them used to the motorized vehicles or if I can just avoid the motorized vehicles all together.


Mikey said...

Lol, at least you're finding them!! That's quite a few you've found, and I love how you're finding new riding spots too.

Linda said...

I'm just catching up on your last few posts and all I can think is you're either very brave or very loco! just kidding. But I'd be chicken to go out to those remote locations and geocache. I must have watched too many scary movies!! I'm always out in the boonies on my horse, but I figure I can outrun Freddy Kruger if he happens to be in the same woods at the same time.

I like your barn pics. The one with the corner of the barn--the chinks in between and the sky would make a good background for a website with a rustic theme.

Jeni said...

The views of the mountains is breath taking!

Dreaming said...

So, which is better, letterboxing or geocaching? (you've done both, right?)
Love the pictures of the random shoes. Just how do that many people lose one shoe in the middle of nowhere?!
Hey, my word verification is PROMO
Your post is a PROMO for getting out and hunting for geocaches!

achieve1dream said...

That's awesome! Congrats!

Chrome used to be terrified of four wheelers, but now he ignores them because people ride them past his pasture so much LOL! Talk about easy desensitizing. :)s

Janie said...

Those are such incredible pictures! You have a great deal of talent!

Glad you're finding some!

lytha said...

i'm so happy you were successful!!!

one time the garmin read "0 meters to cache" and we were parked in the middle of a big empty parking lot. we looked around the car, nothing. huh? then we had the clever idea to move the car, and sure enough, we were parked on it - a little hole in the pavement had a cache in it. nutty!

i had a cache called "stock users only" and it was a horse camp (ONLY for horses, woo!) and right there on the camp sign, we removed one of the screws and stuck a cache in and put the screw back. the park ranger turned out to be a geocacher and took care of this cache for me when i moved away. it's so cool that you've found new places to ride/hike. i do worry about you though, out there alone. your husband or kids should go with you!

now you've got me all inspired to do some blogging about out trip...ok, back to logging caches from the distant past!

btw, i'm lytha on if you want to see my profile.


strivingforsavvy said...

What a beautiful place to geocache!

Stacey said...

I looked up geocaches in my area just out of curiosity and there are a bunch! This sounds like a cool hobby.

The shoes...that's...weird.

Ms Martyr said...

I have the same sandals as the red one. They're not very comfortable so I can understand not going back to retrieve it if you lost one.