Saturday, November 3, 2018

Geocaching Alaska

I've been working on qualifying for a couple challenge caches all summer. I 'need' 10 states with at least 100 finds in each state. Another one needs at least five earthcaches in each of 10 states. My plan was to try to get at least 5 earthcaches and at least 51 total additional caches while in Alaska to make Alaska my 9th qualifying state. I tried to concentrate on easy to find caches since I had limited time.

I quickly discovered that Alaska sizes and terrain ratings were suspect. This was supposed to be a wheelchair accessible, regular size. Instead it was small, located 15 feet up a wooded slope.

This one was supposed to be a small, but was a micro lying loose in a hole under the tree. Apparently they don't have problems with pack rats carrying away small shiny things. I logged it and then replaced the old leaves that covered the hole.

This one was supposed to be a "park and grab." I parked, but didn't grab. :-(  I'm sure it's there somewhere...

I do think that caching Alaska in the fall might be easier than any other season. There were some bugs, but not many. The devil's club had died back, making access to some cache locations easier than it would be at other times of the year.

I loved the sign, but it was obvious that the dogs couldn't read. I saw quite a few dogs with their jogging or bike riding  owners, but never saw one on a leash.

Most of the time I was caching alone while Spencer was in school or at hockey practice. I was pretty cautious about the areas I elected to visit.

Never saw a bear, but did see three moose, including one that was closer than I needed to be. I came back to this cache later in the day!

There were some excellent earthcaches, including several that were clustered fairly close together. Each one involved more time and more hiking than I'd expected, but each of them was very interesting and educational.

Spencer and I visited Potter Marsh before one of his hockey games. We were supposed to observe the mountain in the background - not the visible hill, but the cloud shrouded mountain...

Several of the caches were related to the earthquake in 1964. Trees have grown up, camouflaging some of the details but the results are still visible when you know where to look.

I really enjoyed a series of caches around the approach end of the Anchorage airport. Not only were there caches to be found, but you could also do a landing gear inspection on the aircraft as they flew by.

This picture is less about the cache than the Alaskan cacher's attire. These oversize bison tubes were a popular cache container.

We didn't have much time to cache together, but Spencer did manage to get an earthcache and enough other caches to earn a couple souvenirs. Note the difference in desert dweller clothing as compared to the local. The termination dust on the mountains made for chilly temps, I thought...

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