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.

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!

Arizona Scenery

26 07 2012

I’m taking a 2 1/2 week road trip, and it’s the first long vacation I’ve taken since I found Marzipan! For the first leg of my journey, I even have my sister along, which is a treat. I have a selection of geocaches for each day, many of them strategically planned to finish off a few challenges, such as the Jasmer.

Welcome to Arizona I-40
NOT the Pet Area!

The cache here was missing, but the view was incredible.
Pirate Gate

Here’s the Colorado River, in front of some really dramatic mountains.

A quick detour through Ash Fork showed us a snapshot of history, both in the monuments and in the abandoned buildings along the former Route 66 through town. I love the design of this Historical Marker.
Ash Fork

Here’s where the local heroes hang out.

More glorious Arizona to come….

Diary of a Mad Power Cacher

17 02 2011

The Route 66 Cache Run Reportage

825 caches in 13 hours
along the historic and largely abandoned Route 66
between Barstow and Needles

Feb. 13. 2011

5:15 My iPhone alarm wakes me, and I blearily get dressed and head to the hotel lobby.

5:30 The rest of the gang arrives: f0t0m0m, Foomanjoo, & 1/2 of the VKs. I grab a cheese omelet & some sausage, fill my coffee mug, and load my day’s supplies in to the Xterra, and we’re off to the first cache.

6:15 We find the first cache – 001-Route 66

7:15 @ 080-Route 66 = 81 finds for the hour since we interpolated this extra cache: Excuse

7:29 We have found 100 caches.

8:04 @ 153-Route 66, Steve of the Ventura Kids celebrates his 26,000th find

8:15 Our find count for hour 2 is 83.

8:58 We have found 200 caches for the day so far.

9:00 We encounter a… well… curious individual walking a decorated and heavily-laden bicycle and 5 very active dogs. It was a challenge to avoid the dogs with the car, but Steve managed. He’s the only other person we encounter, other than maybe a dozen cars and trucks passing us until we get past Amboy.

9:15 Our find count for hour 3 is 69.

10:15 Our find count for hour 4 is 71.

10:26 At 316-Route 66 we celebrate another milestone as f0t0m0m bags his 28,000th find.

11:15 We only nabbed 67 caches in hour 5.

11:39 @ 400-Route 66, we are halfway through the series, and pretty much on track for finishing just after dark

12:15 Our system is now streamlined, and we maintain the same positions for the entire run: Steve drives, I’m in charge of stickering logs, Jim and Josh jump in and out to grab the caches. Our find count for hour 6 is 70.

12:30 we break for lunch and photos and gas in Amboy

1:15 Our find count for hour 7 is 45.

2:15 Back in full swing for hour 8, we find 67.

2:30 We find a very old cache up a hill near the road: lRoute 66 Pit Stop #1 It was placed in June of 2002, a year before I started caching!

3:00 Time for another celebration for yet another milestone, as I find my 25,000th cache!
Where is it?

Here it is!

587-Route 66

3:15 hour 9 = 65 finds
4:15 hour 10 = 54 finds, and yes, we are all pretty weary, but in a great rhythm. The scenery keeps us inspired:

5:15 hour 11 = 71 finds, and this is when we start losing our daylight
6:15 hour 12 = 63 finds, and Steve actually seems to have run out of specious and silly stories to ramble on about. You know it’s a long day when that happens.

6:22 Success! We find the 800th cache in the series!! The next hour and a half are spent on the way to the freeway and back to Barstow picking up another 9 caches to get a FOURTH milestone in, this one for Josh – #10,000!

This type of adventure is exhausting and crazy and silly and exciting and boring and inspiring and relaxing… and most of all… a ton of fun! What a team and what a day!