Bill & I were introduced to Geocaching on Thanksgiving day, 2004, and found our first geocache in Louisiana in February, 2005. As I've written before, I love this game and so far we've found caches in 49 states, 7 Canadian provinces, several Mexican states and in a total of 16 countries.
Finding a cache is a lot of fun... even looking and not finding them is an adventure. Every now and then we'll come across a cache that we have to log as a "DNF" (Did Not Find), and if I have time and opportunity, I usually go back and look again.
There was a cache in Maine that took me several trips that spanned several summers before I finally found that little rascal.
Bill's hometown is Farmington, NM, and his sister still lives here, so we've been here many times over the years. We're back here now, and yes, there is a cache that I've been trying to find since 2007. It's called "Rose N View" (GCJ6D1)
This is a 5 stage cache... by that I mean when you go to the GPS coordinates listed on the website, at that location you will find something that will give you the coordinates to Stage 2... and from there to Stage 3 etc etc.
Stage One... right in town, at 20th and Butler.... The Pigford Rose Garden
The coordinates used to be hidden under a rock by that fountain at the left. But "muggles" (folks who knowingly take away the clues) vandalized it so much the cache owner had to change the hiding place. Can you find it in the lower right photo? Yep... it's that 1" x 3" metal strip attached to that utility pole. Embossed on it are the coordinates to Stage 2.
Moving right along... we drive up Butler... WAY up Butler, just about to the outskirts of town. See that street drain in the upper right?
The big photo on the left shows the wire that attaches that waterproof match container to it. It dangles into the sewer conduit and would never be visible to anyone not looking for it. The match container contains the coordinates to Stage 3. The lower right shows me ready to drop it back into its nice hidey hole.
On April 9, 2007, I had found both Stage 1 and Stage 2. But time ran out and we had to leave. So, I posted this cache as a "DNF" and hoped we'd get back to it someday.
We're Back! Yesterday, I put the coordinates in Google Maps and saw that Stage 3 was a few miles out of town... along the La Plata Highway.
You'll never see it, but Stage 3 is hidden in a magnetic key box that's sticking to that metal fence post. Of course there were lots of sand burrs, goatheads and other sticky, prickly things to grab my legs, but I found it and recorded the coordinates for Stage 4.
Again... back to Google Maps... Darn! It's way out in the boonies... 4 wheel drive is recommended. Oh well, Bill will go with me, so maybe the little Scion can make it....
Dirt roads... probably BLM land... lots of oil well pump jacks plugging away...
A few times I got into 3rd gear, but seldom went over 15 mph... most often creeping along in 2nd... sometimes still in 1st. The road was rough and rocky... but since there hasn't been rain for quite some time, it was passable.
Parked about 360' away from the cache and proceeded to climb a rocky trail up hill.
YES! We found Stage 4!!!
That little bottle holds the coordinates for Stage 5... the final stage of this cache.
I had fears it would be a mile or more away... but... no... it's less than 200' from here.
I remember the name of the cache... Rose N View.... oh wow! the view is spectacular. But, so are the drop-offs. I know darned well that if that final hiding place is in some crevice along a drop-off that it will never see my signature in the logbook! Bill knows how klutzy I am and asks me not to stand close to the edge... that means stay at least 10' back and preferably more.
Bill finds the cache...
It's a good 20' from the edge... back far enough that even I could get close enough to sign the log.
Yeah! Stage 5, the final step.... the hiding place... we found it!
I looked all around and really did enjoy the view... I could see Arizona, Colorado, and probably looked over into Utah... I could see Shiprock in the distance...
This is a volcanic core that the Navajos consider sacred. You can see it through the haze... off in the distance.
I think I whooped and hollered all the way back... I felt so good to finally find all 5 stages of this cache...
It was the same dirt road I drove up on, but, somehow, driving back to the highway, it didn't seem as far (it was the same 2 miles) nor quite as primitive. I still had to drive about 12 mph... I still had to avoid big rocks in the road... but we did see a couple of pronghorns on the way back...
And, so ends the story of how it took 6 years, 4 months and 9 days to complete our latest Geocache Find... Find #2,104.
Who says persistence doesn't pay off?
That's All For Today!