Monday, March 18, 2019

Doing Some Legwork

With cool weather, the timing is right to tackle some of the caches that require more strenuous 'legwork.' Many of the hills around here look innocuous, but they're steep, and often trailless.

At first, it looks easy enough, but the hint on the cache says it's behind a big rock. These hills are a pile of big rocks!

As we worked our way up the hill, picking a path with the most reasonable rocks and the least vegetation, the view started to grow.

Here comes the instigator. I've been willing to ignore this cache for years until I got some gentle encouragement.

This cache hadn't been visited by anyone for two years. Maybe a few spoilers will help. There's a view of Weaver's Needle (of the Dutchman in the Superstitions fame) that defines a line through a notch,

And a very nice Saguaro cactus. If you get to the cactus, you've gone far enough.

And somewhere within a 1000' or so was this very narrow gauge railroad. There were signs of old mining attempts all over the mountain, but nothing noticeable connected to either end of the rails.

Hopefully, that will be enough help if you decide to pay this cache a visit.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

It's Supposed to be Spring

With the rain we've had, the wild flowers are trying to bloom.









We've had a couple nice warm days, but more often than not, the skies have reminded me of Seattle.

So instead of wandering the desert, I've spent more time curled up with my latest acquisition. Time to start planning - two months will go by quickly!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

White Stuff

Unlike the rest of the country, our snow has been better behaved. We've had a lot of rain in the desert and enough cool days to dump a nice coating of snow on Four Peaks.

The snow on the Superstitions drew all sorts of traffic to Apache Junction for a couple days. There was no peace & solitude to be found in the desert with people everywhere looking for just the right angle.

If you can't beat them, join them!



As usual, the snow only lasted a couple days, but we had one of the wettest February on record.

The result was worth waiting for!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Midway

One of the side benefits of youth sport tournaments is the opportunity to visit other attractions while waiting for the next game. One day, we visited the Midway, now a museum docked near the cruise terminal.

We started on the hangar deck where they had several aircraft on display - everything from WWII era trainers to jets.

My favorite was the Corsair, perhaps because I'd recently read a book by an individual who'd flow the Corsair in WWII. The aircraft design made it extremely difficult for the pilot to see while maneuvering on the flight deck.

The grandson had to check out the brig

where he found his grandmother behind bars.

On the flight deck, there were many other aircraft on display.

The last recip powered fighter used by the Navy. We had a friend who flew one and shot down a MIG in Vietnam.

Of course, I gravitated towards the helicopters, even if the Sikorsky was wearing a mask.

We ran out of time before we got to the bridge, but found the whole visit very worthwhile.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunny San Diego

With the Scamp tucked into its spot in the garage, we packed suitcases, tossed them in the Subaru, and headed for San Diego. We stopped to do an earth cache in Holtsville at a hot spring that I didn't know existed. Once again, geocaching took us to an interesting place.

Thankfully, we finished up with our Holtsville stop before the rain started. This is the first trip to California that I've ever had where the traffic was running less than the speed limit!

The whole reason for the trip was to watch our grandson in a hockey tournament. His team flew down from Alaska to take part in a tournament. BJ wore his white jersey for the first game since the team was wearing their dark uniforms that day.

He's one of the larger guys on his team and doesn't shy away from going right up the middle if the chance presents itself.

I noticed that BJ declined the opportunity to wear his dark jersey the next day. Sometime about eau de locker room.

We had some very heavy rain one day, but the sun was shining the next day and the game wasn't until late afternoon so we headed to Ramona to see what has changed since we lived there in the mid '70s. The highlight event when we lived there was when they got their first stoplight. Folks would park and watch it change color. Now there are at least six major intersections.

In spite of the additional traffic and signals, downtown still looks the same but the apartment definitely looked worse for wear.

We were making a big loop of this drive, and stopped along the way at a county park. It was pretty obvious where the rain from the day before ended up.

For years, we've heard about the Escapees Jojoba Hills RV park hidden in the hills east of Temecula. With a bit of time on our hands, we arranged for a quick windshield tour but didn't stop to visit any of our friends there.

All in all, it was a nice trip down memory lane.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

More Yuma

Yuma sunrises are every bit as impressive as the sunsets. This one was taken while waiting for the annual geocoin challenge to start.

For the past six years, the folks in Yuma have organized a geocoin challenge on the day before the Mega event. They make a list of 20 waypoints around the greater Yuma area, leaving the routing up to the individual. One of the points this year was up against "the fence." I was amazed how much US private property was on the 'wrong' side of the fence.

Yuma is known as the winter lettuce capital of the world. You can have your greens (or purples) as you chose.

Cabbage was coming off some of the fields I drove by, but I didn't get any pictures of the harvesting process.

Geocoins are incredibly difficult to photograph since they often had highly polished finishes. This year's geocoin challenge coin featured a 'cache miner' on one side, and the Southwest Arizona Geocacher logo on the other.

If you found the required information at all 20 of the waypoints, you received one of these coins.

After finishing the coin challenge, I visited a few other caches. This one had two locks and required a visit to multiple locations to solve the puzzle.

I was amazed to discover a single silver high heel in the cache with a trackable tag attached. I have a hunch it may not move quickly since it's too large for many caches!

At another cache I spotted this old Peterbilt nearby. Perhaps this is why the cache was named "Dog Pound"

The Mega Event was a blur, talking with friends. I did manage to get a picture with the Geocaching mascot,

and I bought one of the coins that SWAG created as a fund raiser for the event. This year the coin was oval and had lots of relief on the back side.

It would have been nice to spend a couple more days in town, but it was time to head for home. Thirty-four nights in the trailer this trip.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wandering Yuma

After the better part of three weeks in Quartzsite, I moved to Yuma. Every year, it seems the town gets busier as do the various boondocking locations. This year I headed back to a spot just south of Mittry Lake that I'd stayed at two years ago. It, too, was busier than in the past, but I found a spot that kept my solar panel working nicely.

Once I had the trailer organized, I headed in to town to do a series of lab caches based on murals around town. Some were historic in nature, others were very artistic.

The civic center now sports a very large mural dealing with some early history.

The one I liked the best covered the side of a grocery store.

You had to go across the street to view the whole thing. As usual, clicking on a picture will bring up a larger version.

The next morning I headed off early to find my way to the Gila Petroglyphs.
The cairns even sported their own blooming flowers although they washed out in the sun.

The hike was wonderful, and the petroglyphs were nicely done although not numerous. This was the site of the first event of the weekend related to the annual Yuma Mega geocaching event. I got there ahead of the crowd, signed the log, and headed back down the trail to make more room for others.

Later that day, after chasing caches in the desert, I enjoyed lunch and a date shake at Martha's Gardens which was the site of the second event of the day.

The "logbook" at this event took the form of a multi-segmented wooden lizard which people signed until the lizard ran out of room!

Late that afternoon, there was yet another event, this time a 'flash mob' near a local theater. It was amazing to see how many people showed up for that event.

After a long day, I got back to the trailer just in time to watch the sun set as a crop duster worked the fields.