Friday, April 10, 2020

Have a Heart

As has been my pattern for the past several years, I took the Scamp to Quartzsite and Yuma for several weeks in late January and early February. On my list of things to do while there was to purchase 40 or 50 small ammo cans. In past year there has been a vendor in the swap meet that had 30 mm ammo cans for $5 each, but this year he had none - zip - zilch - nada!

I'd been day dreaming about putting out a themed geoart but with the lack of ammo cans that had been the basis (at least in my head) I had to shuffle a bit. I finally found a source for inexpensive candle tins that would serve as the containers for much of the series.

I'm a fan of letterbox style geocaches. The posted coordinates take you to a starting place and then descriptive directions lead you to the actual cache. This series of letterboxes was based on the concept of love letters. Ideally it would have been in place for Valentine's Day but it was not to be.

Dromedary Peak was visible from much of the area where the caches were placed and was often used as a baseline to orient the seekers.

The posted coordinates were chosen to create the shape of the geoart, and then individual directions were created from each of the posted coordinates to final placement. It took an average of 30 minutes each to chose a final location, take final coordinate readings, and write up the directions to navigate from the posted coordinates to the final location of each cache.

Even some of the cactus decided to play along.

There were occasional cattle trails, but almost always headed somewhere other than where the next cache was placed. Avoiding thorny stuff is a key skill for this series!

Sometimes a route would be obvious, other times it might require a significant detour to avoid heavy growth.

There's a cache out there somewhere - I'm sure of it.

Sometimes the obvious saguaro served as "signposts" in the directions,

But sometimes they weren't as obvious from a distance.

All told, the 41 letterbox caches spanned over 5 miles of desert as the crow flies. The reality was that straight lines between caches wasn't possible so the hiking distance is considerably more. Only a very small handful are near roads, assuming your definition of "road" is loose enough!

In addition to the letterboxes, Cupid put out 17 Wherigo caches - mostly in the form of preform tubes - to create the arrow portion of the geoart.

These were published in early March and have seen more traffic than I anticipated. Most of the smart folks have broken it into 3 or 4 different days but there have been some that did it all in one day. It's out of town far enough, and enough work, that physcial distancing for cachers hasn't been an issue!

For some reason the pictures disappeared from this post and then the post itself disappeared, so this is a rebuild for the record.


  1. Very clever! and will be fun finds for those who search.

    1. People seem to be enjoying it, in spite of the amount of physical effort required.

  2. Wow! That looks like a pretty complex series of caches to put out!

    1. It was pretty complex. I ended up spending three long days to get the caches in place and at least one more day to get all the individual cache listings completed.