Caching into Texas

30 08 2012

My first cache in Texas on this trip was at a general store crowded with both antiques and contemporary things to buy.

The Unique & Classic Spartan
Can you spot the cache? It’s under the really large antique.

After this rest stop cache, Fasten Seatbelts, Iowa Park Southbound, the next one on the list was this virtual, Quanah Rocket.
The rocket was much smaller than I imagined, but still holds a lot of history.

The town of Quanah itself is like a classic Western movie set.

It’s named for an amazing man, the last Comanche chief.
Quanah Parker

I love it when geocaches lead me to these unexpected discoveries, like history, and like this billboard of the brands of the local ranches around Quanah.

We had dinner in an unusual Sonic, with indoor tables and phones on each for ordering… and a full-size John Wayne statue.

The overcast weather developed into a lively thunder and lightning storm in the evening. My sister even caught a lightning strike with her camera!

Route 66

23 08 2012

On the first few days of our road trip, my sister and I primarily followed historic Route 66, which is pretty much intact, even though most of it is now freeway and bypasses many of the towns and original establishments that flourished along it in its heyday. We saw many casualties of time, like this one:

That old church is right around the corner from a gas station that’s still doing quite well.

We stopped for lunch in the little town of Tucumcari, and found a great local coffee shop: Kix on 66. As we were waiting to be seated, I chatted with some other travelers, who mentioned something about a Blue Swallow. As I scouted around for caches while we ate, I saw one with the same name.

This turned out to be one of the most fun stops of the whole trip!

The yard was full of antique cars, most of them for sale.

Each room has its own garage, painted creatively.

We stocked up on souvenirs, then headed further in to town for a cache I’d picked out for my original list:
Dino Pins

It’s in front of a dinosaur museum, and we ended up spending an hour going through it, as it’s one of the most extensive collections of fossils and dinosaur history in the country. We had two excellent adventures in the same little town!

My sister is dwarfed by this triceratops skull.

Ride a dinosaur?

I think there’s something behind me….

Here, kitty, kitty!!

Note: this is NOT Marzipan… but she does have a similar attitude sometimes. Ha.

New Mexico

16 08 2012

After spending the night in Santa Fe, I made an obligatory stop at the Opera House.
GRF270 Santa Fe Opera

We couldn’t get inside at the time, but we could enjoy the view that it affords.

The gift shop was open, and I was tempted to by this, but settled on just taking a photo.

Our route took us along the original Santa Fe Trail, and one cache was at near this marker where history meets geology.
Pooches' Party Palace for TB's

It was also surrounded by the seemingly ubiquitous little purple flowers.

This is the view from said cache!

As we headed down that highway, the views got even more spectacular.
As Close As We Can Get

The video shows it better:

A Big Hole in the Ground

9 08 2012

As we headed east from Flagstaff, my sister and I noticed a sign pointing to a meteor crater, and not just any meteor crater. The Barringer Crater is the world’s most perfectly preserved impact crater. From here, scientists discovered a wealth of knowledge about our planet and solar system.
Barringer Crater Earthcache
The earthcache page gives a good overview of its history, dimensions, and composition.

It was windy up there:

The flatness of the area around it give the illusion that the crater is not as deep as it is, but it’s as deep as the Washington Monument is tall.

These telescopes are pointed at particular things of interest in the crater, including a little statue of an astronaut waving a flag, a large rock on the rim, and various tunnels that scientists have dug to try to find the original meteor.

Inside the museum we saw a movie about the impact, and a large display of the science and history of the meteor. This is the largest chunk of it that they’ve found, and everyone can touch this piece of the sky:

We also saw am impressive display of fossils. The gift shop had fossils and little piece of meteor for sale, too!

The Grand Grand Canyon

2 08 2012

My sister had never been to this spectacular park, so we took the extra time to drive up to Mather Point.

Here’s our first look upon arrival:

No photograph can do this giant, detailed vista justice, even with all these colors, but we did our best to try:

I always listen for how many different languages I can identify when I’m in places like this.

You can just barely see a bit of the Colorado River way down at the bottom.

We got there just before sunset, which curtailed our time to gawk, but on the other hand, it’s the perfect time to admire the amazing rainbows of colors as the sun goes down.

The colors morph:

… and we were finally left with this palette in the western sky:

I had already found the easy virtuals out there, so my next cache was the following morning, and it turned out be on a lovely urban nature trail near the hotel.
love2travel – [C:DOS] 6