Tuesday, November 12, 2019

There's the Question - What's the Answer?

There's a big question mark out in the desert east of Rincon, New Mexico that's been bugging me for a couple years. It's only visible to people who know how to look for it. It's in one of the six counties in Southeast New Mexico that I hadn't cached in yet which tantalized me more.

With the temperatures dropping, but not yet freezing, it was time to check it out.

In 2004, we purchased a new Subaru Forester for BJ. In 2017, we bought her a new Subaru Outback and gave the Forester to our daughter and her husband. When they recently bought a pickup, I got the now surplus Forester back. This trip was going to be a good test of its health and possible confirmation of a concept I had for it.

I left home after church and headed east, knowing that I was going to be pushing against sunset by the time I got there. The last 4 or 5 miles was nicely graded gravel county roads.

I found a spot to park just as the sun was disappearing. My overnight project was to confirm that I could sleep comfortably in the back of the Subie. I'm glad I'm not an inch taller, and I may be making some additional mods to improve that application.

With the sun up the next morning I headed out on what turned out to be a 6 mile hike through the desert.

I located and signed all 37 caches in this series, but because they were challenge caches I couldn't claim all of them yet. Four of them were challenges with requirements that I don't yet meet.

With the challenge question out of the way, I headed north towards Spaceport America to pick up a couple caches in Sierra County before headed to Las Cruces for more caches and a spot of BLM land to call home for the night.

I stopped by White Sands,

and toured some of the statuary in downtown Artesia as I worked my way east, visiting those last remaining counties.

I was planning to stay near Hobbs, but still had some daylight so after snagging one cache in Gaines County, Texas, I turned around and headed southwest. I was just east of Carlsbad when the light got low enough that it was time to find a spot for the night.

The next morning, I continued south of Carlsbad. I made a stop for a virtual cache at Rattlesnake Springs which turned out to be a beautiful place, especially with the early morning reflections.

I swung through a bit of far west Texas to pick up three more Texas counties.

I'm not sure what the numbers indicate but this picture sums up that day. Windblown and dry.

All in all, it was a good test. The Subie performed well, got 60% better gas mileage than the truck, and had just enough space for a quick and dirty solo sleep space. Time to start modifying it into a desert runner.


  1. I remember when every service truck had a pole number kit, with those little nails that were near impossible to hold. Artesia does have some great statuary. I especilly loved the drilling rig. Looking forward to seeing your "new" Forester.

  2. I always thought if I landed in some place more permanent, that would be my vehicle of choice. Throw in a small tent, and sleep out in the open when the weather was good, but still have an option to sleep inside when the weather turned bad. I hope to hear more about the mods as they are revealed.

  3. I think the windmill would give me a headache:)