E.T. Highway Revisited

27 10 2011

The call of the power trail is irresistible.

For the second time, I made the manic, epic journey across the hills of Nevada to find the 1500 caches of the resurrected E.T. Highway Film Can Caching Extravaganza. This time, not only have I been there and done that, I got the T-shirt:

This series is all about cruising through over 150 miles of desert at an average of 9 miles per hour. One does really soak in the scenery that way. LOL!

I came out here for Round 2 with Team Perks, Albackore, deeznutz, OLdweeb, and BWidget. We found 525+ on the first day, and 975+ on the second to complete the entire run. After stopping for supplies and fuel in Alamo, about an hour north of Las Vegas, our first cache was at this entrance sign to the highway.

The aliens were immediately present, ready to haunt us and taunt us along our way.

Some cachers had put their stamps or stickers on the sign, so we followed suit.

This alien guards the first official cache of the run:


I had a chance to get a 360º video of the highway and the surrounding scenery:

I hit two milestones on the run, and this was cache #26,000:

The biggest event of the day was our lunch stop in Rachel, at about the 300th cache in the series:

We found the cache in the coffee shop there and the new earthcache outside:
Groom Mining District

We also talked for a while with Connie, one of the owners of the place and the real hero of the day. She single-handedly got the E.T. Highway run reinstated after the Nevada Department of Transportation decided to just pick up the first caches. The plethora of visitors from all over had boosted their business so much that they were hiring an extra person for the winter. The gas stations, restaurants, and hotels in Alamo and Tonopah, on either end of the run, had noticed a significant uptick, too, so Connie took on “city hall” and won.

Here’s an article about the controversy:

This is an interview with the cache owners on the return of the run:

Thanks to Connie, business is again booming and cachers are flocking in from all over the world to the teeny tiny town of Rachel, and the Little A’Le’Inn:


The other big event was finding a big cache filled with toys!
E. T. Toy Box

Thanks to f0t0m0m for placing this so the boys could play.

Next week: more photos and how we coped with a very real interference with our GPS signals that threatened our chances of completing the run….

Golden Valley

20 10 2011

This week, I found a few caches up a fire road I hadn’t explored to date out in the Placerita Canyon area. This to the north and east of where i live, and just south of Santa Clarita. I headed out first thing in the morning to get the hike in while it was still cool, and the fall angle of the sun cast dramatic shadows.

I found four of the six caches I looked for:
Highway 14 TB Hotel
GVT#1-At The Gate
GVT#2-Signs of Fire

One of them was among this classic example of how the landscape recovers from the occasional fire.

The top of the hill and the last cache was at a crossroads marked by this pole:

I saw a deer down the slope, but she disappeared too quickly. I did take a moment to enjoy the panorama.

The wildflowers are going to seed now, and their colors will soon disappear for a couple of months.

All too soon, it was time to head back down the hill and drive home.

Tapo Canyon Curiousity

13 10 2011

10/13 Tapo Canyon Curiousity

As I was scouting around for a new place to explore, I noticed that Tapo Canyon is rather sparsely populated with geocaches. I set out to find out why. The answer is the usual: it’s mostly private property in the area. Nevertheless, I did find most of the handful I’d targeted, and took in the clear air and high desert surroundings.

Simi Valley T.B. Hotel.
Hand Jive I acquired the knowledge I needed for this when I taught myself the sign alphabet as a kid.
Swinging Bridge

My first stop was near this shopping center, which features a gorgeous fountain.

It’s a fountain on both sides!

If you ignore all the electrical stuff, you can see how pretty it is out there.

I pulled up here to find the Swinging Bridge cache.

This is a mysterious looking gate.

There’s the bridge! Not many of these around:

The bridge looked a bit worse for wear, so I did not test it.

One doesn’t see signs like this every day:

Maybe these guys should talk to the miners up the road?

The lovely canyon beckons, but the signs say no…. *sigh*

…. unless I want to take up golf….

Scattered Adventures with Wifi and Rain

6 10 2011

I only had the opportunity for a couple of caches this week, as the day I had set aside for most of my caching ended up being rather rainy. I decided not to be deterred, and headed out anyway. I started with a list of five, but only found two before it got too wet to be fun.

Sunny Side Up
This one had an unusual feature:

Ducks, Fish, Cache
This was a standard hide, so it was quick to find. Lake Balboa looked very different today, dominated by an icy, grey. and spooky mistiness with muted colors rather than the bight blues, greens, and florals one usually sees here on a typical sunny California day.

This empty parking lot looked formidably muddy.

Earlier this week, I found this cache:
Los Angeles Wardriving – Multi
It involved using Wifi at the first waypoint to get the coordinates for the cache. I’d found its predecessor in Glendale, so I knew what to expect. It’s one of the more inventive ways to “hide” a waypoint.