James Gadsden, the U.S. Minister to Mexico, negotiated an agreement with Mexico, finalized in 1854. The United States agreed to pay Mexico $10 million for a 29,670 square mile portion of Mexico. This provided the land necessary for a southern transcontinental railroad and attempted to resolve conflicts that lingered after the Mexican-American War. Without this purchase, Tucson and Yuma would be in Mexico.In April, 2020, a Tucson based geocacher developed a "Challenge Cache" based on the Gadsden Purchase. It required finding at least five caches in each of the 11 current counties that included land from the Gadsden Purchase. I already had finds in all 11 counties, but in five of them, I did not yet have at least 5 finds. In a couple of the others, I had over 1000 finds but that didn't help!I spent some time studying the map with one eye on county lines and the other on potential geocaches that would be relatively easy to find. I added a handful of others, just because I was going to be driving by and they were cache types that interest me. I developed a plan in Cachetur which told me it would be 720 miles. First stop of importance was Santa Cruz County where I logged the caches I needed and spotted some pronghorn on the hill keeping an eye on me.The next caches I "had" to have were in New Mexico, but I wasn't going to pass the the chance for a couple Whereigo caches, including one that highlighted some of the remaining neon signs in Benson.The Texas Canyon rest stop was a worthy stop where I studied some of the granite boulders for an Earthcache. It's amazing how much geology I've learned from Earthcaches. Makes me wish I'd studied some geology in school.I knew I wasn't going to want to try to do this as one massively long day so I started late enough that Hidalgo County, NM became a good spot for a boondock. There were a couple caches at exit 4, and I knew that there were some defunct businesses there, but the area was less inviting than the last time I was through here.I wandered down to exit 11 where I found some waterfront property for my overnight boondock, just as the sun was setting. It got down to 34 degrees overnight, but I was expecting that.I headed east as the sun rose the next morning, grabbing coffee in Lordsburg and then heading to Deming where I logged the caches I needed in Luna County before turning back to the northwest towards Silver City.
I picked up several in the Silver City area, completing what I needed for Grant County. In the process, I solved a puzzle cache and got a bit of education at Western New Mexico University. Geocaching is certainly easier when classes aren't in session!By noon I was back in Arizona, enjoying the twistiest road of the trip, headed for the last cache I would need to meet the requirements of the challenge.Once again, I got a chance to see things I wouldn't have seen otherwise, and enjoy some socially distanced windshield time. Life is good!