50 years ago (or as the card my sister gave me expressed it “A Long, Long, Long Time Ago”), on August 29, I breathed my first taste of Terran air. What better way to celebrate than with a crazy, exhausting, record-setting day of geocaching??
For those of you who have never attempted real power caching like this and wonder how on earth it can be done, here are the most essential things for achieving light speed:
1) density – there must be a LOT of caches in a concentrated area
2) ease of transition – no traffic lights or muggles, but an open country grid of roads
3) complete pre-planning – all puzzles solves and the entire route is mapped out for maximum efficiency
***I have to give Steve of the Ventura Kids great credit for handling this part!***
4) ease of finding and logging – not too many nanos, no tricky hides, no vegetation hides, no multis
5) high level of maintenance – lots of folks finding them recently, no DNFs in the history
6) excessive good humor – it’s a LONG time to be driving around… if it ain’t going to be fun, don’t bother!
7) tenacity – especially as the sun is going down again and your hourly cache count with it, you need to know you and your team will stick with it to the end
There’s your basic recipe for a wild and woolly ride through a cosmos’ worth of logbooks.
Here’s a peek into how our day went. Well, first of all, I was picked up at the airport the day before:
We found 15 caches that afternoon, then we all ate dinner and rested up for the coming marathon. At 11:15pm, we regrouped in the hotel lobby. Steve fortified himself with coffee:
We loaded up the trunk with food for the day:
and we were off! We did 5 “warmup” caches before midnight, at which time the other three sang “Happy Birthday” to me!
Here’s our first official find of the 24-hour period of August 29:
’34 Gold Wing
Cache find 100 was around 5:30am! It was still dark.
Mondo’s Silver Bullet LV
Here’s Jim signing a log on the other side of a ditch while Steve sets his GPSr for the next one. Efficiency is the name of the game, for sure.
Many of the caches were in the late summer’s overgrowth of weeds:
and we got to experience the truly vicious variety of stickers that grow all over this place:
Speaking of stickers – we used a single group one:
I tried to reserve my energy whenever possible:
There were some interesting views at cache #200
Colorado Eastern Railroad
We could see the airport from there and pretty much everywhere all day:
and these wildflowers were all over:
They’re a smaller version of these guys:
Cache find #300 was around 4:30pm
Shadow and Sandy
Sandy of the VKs wants to call Jim “Shadow” now:
Steve observes the log signing ritual behind me. Why did he park so far from the cache??
Somewhere along the way, we stopped for gas, and f0t0m0m presented me with cupcakes! They did not light the candles since we were at a gas station – whew!
The sunset looked similar to the sunrise, just in a different part of the big, broad sky:
Find #400, at just before 11pm.
Cachonomic Stimulus Plan #2
We were a little worried earlier in the evening that we might not pull this off, but now we knew we were in the clear! We found the record-breaking #407 at 11:30pm and continued to midnight to nab 413!
Douglas #12 Hungate
Oh, and here’s a short video that shows you basically what driving up to each and every cache was like:
Here are our per hour stats (listed from the beginning of each hour):
midnight = 15
1 am = 11
2 am = 23
3 am = 20
4 am = 24
5 am = 21
6 am = 19
7 am = 17
8 am = 17
9 am = 15
10 am = 20
11 am = 27
noon = 18
1 pm = 17
2 pm = 13
3 pm = 14
4 pm = 16
5 pm = 20
6 pm = 14
7 pm = 16
8 pm = 12
9 pm = 15
10 pm = 17
11 pm = 11
We also had 24 DNFs!
We don’t know how long we’ll hold this record, but we hope it will stand through the winter. Come the longer days next year, though… who will go for it??
P.S. The Daily Reviewer has me on the list of top geocaching blogs! Here’s the *LINK*. I’m honored!
p.p.s. here’s a jpg of our route! (Steve lost his track, darn it…)