Thursday, November 8, 2018

Left Turn On The Way Home

Continuing standby roulette, I got to watch the sun rise about half way between Anchorage & Seattle. Had I waited for a later flight, I don't know how many days I would have waited. This way, I had some options. The option I selected was a left turn out of Seattle, headed towards Idaho.

With Alaska ticking the box for my ninth state on a couple challenge caches, I wanted to spend a day doing some geocaches in Idaho in hopes I could make it my tenth qualifying state.

The little town of Grand View, Idaho caught my attention because of a long series of challenge caches on both sides of the Snake River. In addition, there were several earth caches in the general area.

I ignored the train geoart located south of town. There are over 1000 caches to make up this art form. The last person to complete it said it took them 7 1/2 days. I didn't have the time or the energy to even think about it.

I started out working on the four earth caches I needed to finish qualifying for the 5 earth caches in 10 states challenge. This one sounded interesting but didn't look like much.

The ladder leads down into a lava tube. The tube extends a fair distance in both directions, making for some interesting exploration. From the graffiti on the walls, it's clear that some artists have visited.

I'd tried to rent a compact pickup, specifically for ground clearance, but ended up with an Impala which had the ground clearance of a roller skate. The end result was I did more hiking than I expected.

The features and impacts of the volcanic impacts on the area were both obvious and interesting. There were whole areas of rocks that looked like petrified watermelons.

The views of the Snake river were beautiful, both from the cliffs and from water level.

In a few areas, I had to watch out for the trucks hauling sugar beets. It was pretty obvious where they'd gone around a corner a bit too fast for their load, leaving some huge sugar beets in the road.

Most of the challenge caches were easy to find, which was what I was hoping since I needed to find 81 caches to finish qualifications for the one of the other challenges I'd been working on.

The hint for many of them was 'urp' which I took to mean unusual rock pile.

Some seemed to be missing the rocks, but did have the log to sign.

Occasionally, one would be found in a very unlikely place. This one was spot on the coordinates, which put it out in the open, inches from the tire track. I signed it and put it back where I found it.

This one had an URP hint. There were several dried piles, but I didn't think they were unusual. Apparently, it only takes one rock to make a pile.

Not all rock piles had a cache. This pile was spot on the coords, but the cache was found 15 feet away, leaning against a fence post.

I didn't find everything I looked for, but I did get the earth caches I needed and found 84 caches during a VERY busy day, finalizing my qualifications for that challenge cache that has been tantalizing me for nearly a year - 10 states with over 100 finds in each.

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