Archive for April, 2011
Today was my first day back at work after 2 weeks in the US. There were a couple of jobs that needed to be done on the way in.
One task was to order a new cover for the roof top tent as the old one had seen better days. In fact it seemed to have disappeared while I was overseas.
The day was no where as exciting as what the last two weeks had been, so a lot of the day was spent catching up (or attempting to) on what has been going on while I was away.
I did get to attend a couple of meetings that required some walking through the city.
Left work early as we were having the extended family over to celebrate Bradley’s 16th Birthday. Where have those years gone. To me he is still 14 as I have missed the last 2 due to being in the US each time.
After the usual presents, food and cake, the day drew to a close ……
The trip up to Barstow for me was uneventful but for the LA bound traffic it was a carpark due to a crash and fire on the inbound lanes of the I-15 near Cajon Junction. In another hour the sun started to come up.
My first stop was to Lenwood to pick up Kay. Her truck had suffered mechanical issues with a broken drive shaft so she was camped in her caravan at the Repair Shop. Repairs were going to take a couple of days so perfect timing to tackle the trail.
It was next into Barstow to the Days Inn to meet up with our driver, Bob. After a quick meet and greet, we were on the road to the first cache which was still 45 kilometres away past Newberry Springs.
It was time to start caching after some photos at Cache #1.
The weather was perfect for a run like this with the temperature around 20 degrees, overcast and a slight breeze. It would stay like this most of the day but on Day 2 the temperatures were slightly higher and less cloud.
It didn’t take long and we had a system running with Bob driving to as close as possible with Kay and I alternating going out to grab the cache while the other wrote on the log.
It was made easier by us finding duplicate cache containers in some of the early caches. The extras would have occurred when teams on a quick run through not finding a cache within a couple of minutes putting out a replacement. Some of the extras were within one metre of the original. At the end of the 2 days we ended up with 6 extras which have come back to Australia to form a mini Route 66 Power Trail.
By the end of yesterday we had passed through Ludlow, Bagdag and Amboy stopping at Amboy Crater on the way. The whole area around Amboy was volcanic in days gone by. These towns are near on ghost towns now as most of the traffic moves through on I-40.
Just after Amboy, we found cache #500 and since it was now dark decided to call it a day and head back on the I-40 to Barstow and crash for the night – we were exhausted. We had found 508 caches for the day and there were still 300 more caches to find with 150 kilometres to drive back to the hotel.
Today was Day 2 on the Trail and we were not as enthusiastic as yesterday. With 150 kilometres to drive to pick up the Trail, we stopped off at a few other geocaches along the way to break up the journey, finally arriving at Cache #501 around 11:30 am. Today was a little warmer and the sun was out but it was still pleasant caching weather.
There were a few side journeys to pick up other caches but most of the day was spent doing the 300 caches left to go. Again there were a couple of towns of years gone by to go through – Cadiz and Essex, traffic was light and once again it got dark before we had finished.
Cache #800 was found at 7:45 pm. We had not finished yet as there were a number of thankyou caches to do before getting back on the I-40.
There was also the drive of 180 kilometres to pick up my car at Barstow then drive another 160 kilometres back to Placentia. I slept most of the trip back to Barstow, farwelled Kay and Bob and returned to Placentia just after midnight.
Team Stevecat has put together a video of the Route 66 experience found here – Route 66 – 800 Caches
It had taken two days but what an adventure. I met up with a couple of Geocachers I have never met and spent 2 days traveliing and caching on Route 66. It was a blast with a couple of very enjoyable days with a couple of great people.
What a difference from yesterday. The wind had gone, the sun was out, Mt Rose was open and the slopes looked great.
Met up with Chief Brown. He had already had an incident with a small child going headlong into a tree. I followed one of the ambulances up to the Resort.
After that was sorted, he organised a ticket for me and off I went to hit the slopes. His parting words were, “be careful out there – it is icy”.
It was only 10 minutes and I felt just how icy it was.
Coming off the first chair, I headed straight down to the second chair and as I headed over an edge, my right ski came off (still dont know how) and down I went, hard onto my right knee – Owwwww.
Scrambled up and continued, afterall, it was strapped up already so the strapping should hold it in place.
I continued skiing until 1:00 pm but then it hurt too much when on the chair lifts with bending the knee to 90 degrees and the extra weight of the boot and ski.
Oh well, it was great skiing while it lasted.
Went back to the hotel to return the skis, put the leg up for a bit before returning to the Resort for a beer with the Ski Patrol guys and give Mike a MFS cap and shirt.
As the sun set, it was time to pack up my room as I am heading out to LA tomorrow for a series of meetings with various Fire Departments.
I was looking forward to this day. A chance to ski the incredible snow that had fallen at Mt Rose and the Tahoe basin.
It was ominous though as the wind was howling as I drove up the mountain. It was soon realised when I arrived at Mt Rose to be told that the resort was closed with 80 mph winds at the Summit.
A phone call to Chief Brown and he suggested that Diamond Peak should be open as it is sheltered from most weather.
It seemed that everyone else had the same idea and was heading that way. The crowd was building quickly but I still managed a park close to the Lodge. Even still a ride on the tram from the car to the Lodge was in order – after all you have to experience everything.
Even though the Ski Resort was relatively sheltered there were still some strong winds at the Summit.
With all the people that had descended on the mountain, the best runs were the black diamond runs, and I played on these until……
With the winds, there was some weather heading across Lake Tahoe. From the chair lift you could see it coming. It hit the Resort at around 2:00 pm with wind and rain.
A good time to call it quits and explore Incline Village. I visted the Information Centre (there is a geocache there) and stopped in at the Fire Station, before heading back to Reno. Wasnt a bad day all round.
First day off after 7 days and it was time for a road trip to get out and smell the roses but we didn’t find any but did find geocaches.
Virginia City is one of those Wild West towns you see in the movies and of course, Bonanza. Its main claim to fame is the Gold and Silver mining in the 1800′s and that is the main draw card for tourists. The main street still has many of the old buildings of the time and some of the shop keepers dress up in period costume.
We walked around town taking in the sights including the cemetary which had a section for Firemen. Seemingly back when, people couldnt afford to be buried with a headstone and the like but the Unions and organisations of the time paid for the burials. Other sections included the Masons and Oddfellows.
The further we drove into the back blocks the more little groups of graves appeared on the hillsides. It would have been tough times back then but every second building seemed to be a saloon and there was a thriving red light district.
Further south and we had a run in with an old time prospector. In an area that looked more like a dump than anything else with old tin cans spread all over, we were hunting a geocache, when an old beat up jeep turned up with a prospector sporting a long scruffy beard telling us that here was active gold mining going on and we were on private land (you could have fooled us).
We left without the find as he wasn’t interested in what we were looking for as long as his gold wasn’t in jeopardy. He would have made more money from recycling the iron strewn around all over the place.
Next stop was Dayton where I was to experience the seedier part of life. Peggy said that no visit to Northern Nevada is complete without breathing the air in the Red Light District. Prostitution is legal in this area and even TV series have been made of the area.
Heading out of Dayton there was a Sherrif parked on the side of the road (obvious speed trap) – Peggy missed it. It wasn’t long before the Cruiser was behind with the lights flashing.
The Sherrif came up to my window and while Peggy looked for her paperwork, I started a conversation with him (out came the Aussie card). He had actually spent time in Melbourne (12 months actually) and had come through Adelaide to go to Alice Springs.
Next he asked what I was doing in town, telling him for a Firefighter Conference (bingo – the Aussie Firefighter card).
He took the paperwork back to the cruiser and returned, saying that it was on him and enjoy the rest of my stay. Peggy now wants an Aussie Firefighter in the car everytime she hits the road.