Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Geocaching Out West

We've spent the last three weeks out west: Arizona, California, and points in between.  It’s always fun to geocache away from your home base because you see a lot of different kinds of caches and you learn a lot of new stuff.

Mona wanted to geocache around Sedona, Arizona on her birthday.  We started with an Earthcache called Red “Rocks” (GC1DBA2).  This cache takes you to a location overlooking the valley and helps you learn to identify some of the beautiful red rock formations.  This is probably the best view in the valley that you can get to without climbing.  (Our climbing days were yet to come!)  Another neat cache we found on her birthday was Sedona Historical Marker (GC36JE1).  This is a cemetery cache that takes you to the grave of Sedona Schnebly, the city’s namesake.

A couple of days later we visited Jerome, Arizona.  At a nearby state park we saw a video depicting the town’s heritage.  The video was narrated by a ghost and a lot of it was set in an unusual cemetery.  We decided we wanted to find that cemetery.  We decided to look for caches that were probably in cemeteries.  We saw Los dias del muerto en Jerome (GCYXD6)and decided that sounded “cemeteryish”.  Sure enough, it took us down a little dirt road to an abandoned-looking cemetery…the same one that we saw in the video.  The graves here all around surrounded by iron fences and the graves are covered with rocks.  It’s very different from our Midwestern cemeteries!  (Not to mention it’s the perfect environment for rattlesnakes!)
There's a cache around here somewhere!

Two caches illustrate the wide variety of caches to be found in the Coachella Valley.  First up is Marilyn’s ASSets (GC3N8KX).  Here you are caching in downtown Palm Springs and trying to not attract the attention of the thousands of Muggles who are here to see Marilyn.  On the opposite side of the spectrum is Welcome to Palm Desert (GC331X0) where you’re trying hard to not attract the attention of the many rattlesnakes in the area.  Both were fun, but for totally different reasons.

We had been carrying a travel coin (Ocean Kami Geocoin) whose goal was to visit oceans.  We’ve been carrying the coin for about six weeks, knowing that we were going to visit Monterey.  Finally we got the coin to the Pacific at Monterey Bay View (GC36HA0).  Glad to have helped!

No wild horses, but no rattlers, either!
On the way through Nevada we stopped at a rest area hoping to find a cache to break up the monotony.  Darn, no signal!  We did some walking around to stretch our legs, read the signs about the wild horses that were in the area, then got in the car to leave.  Just then we got a signal and found that there was a cache (Break the Monotony of I-80 E1 (GC71BA)) up the hill 2 tenths above us.  Out of the car we went…hoping that the snakes and scorpions weren’t out because of the cold.  Got to the top of the hill and got a breathtaking view of the countryside…no wild horses, but we got the smiley!

We found two very interesting caches in Rawlins, Wyoming.  The first was at an old prison cemetery.  The Unclaimed (GCRREQ) takes you to the graves of prisoners whose families didn’t claim them.  All that is here are some simple stones with just names on them and a board outside showing their birthdays and the date they died or were executed.  At least one had “birthdate unknown”.

At second cache (Wild West Redux (GCG010)  we learned about Big Nose George Parrot, the Outlaw Who Grew to Be A Shoe. ( It’s amazing what you see/learn from geocaching!

Had lots of fun traveling and geocaching out west.  But, now we’re home and hoping to catch up on some new local caches. 

MOGA is soon and can’t wait to meet up with a lot of geocaching friends.  Hope to see you there!

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