An American Caching Adventure (Part 4) – Route66

Our final power trail for the trip was the famous Mother road, Route 66, running along about 100 miles of the highway between Barstow and Needles. There are 804 caches in the series with other caches in between. We set off from Barstow at about 6:15am and started caching at 7am! Our ambitious goal was to complete the whole series in a day, like many had done before. We weren’t sure if we would make it though, what with us grabbing around 400-500 each day on the ET and needing to get over 800 in a day to finish the Route66 series. I’d booked us a night in Needles at the east end of the series in case we needed to head there and finish the series on the second day.

Like the ET series, this power trail consisted of hundreds of film cans placed as close to each other as possible. Some of the caches in the series were placed right up against poles by the side of the road just a small step from where the car would pull up. These were obviously very easy to find. What with doing all of these power trails in the US we have learnt what a SPOR is, “Small Pile Of Rocks”. All of the Route 66 caches were hidden under these.

Your typical SPOR

Not all of the caches were like this though, and there was at least a little skill involved after a mad rush out of the car there were dozens of bushes to hunt around for the SPORs.

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An American Caching Adventure (Part 3) – Los Angeles

From San Francisco we took another long road trip to Calabasas, where we were staying, just outside LA. We decided to take a detour on our way there and pass through Los Padres National Forest. There were hundreds of caches in there and it looked like such a lovely area to visit.

We stopped off at just GBttS # 300 “CACTI” on our way there, but it was a nice cache hidden at a fruit/nut farm just off of the highway. The cache itself was hidden in a prickly pear plant! We had to be very careful retrieving it!

A prickly pear tree

The cache concealed in the tree

The fruit and nut shop itself had hundreds of locally grown nuts, seeds, and fruit for sale. It looked very orange inside! They also gave free tasters of everything, perfect for hungry travelers! 😉

Inside the fruit shop

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An American caching adventure (Part 2) – San Francisco

It was a long trip from Tonopah to San Francisco, about 9 hours of driving. We left windy Tonopah very early, passed through glorious sunshine, and then through deep, thick snow as we drove through the top of Yosemite on the way towards Reno. We couldn’t believe it. We stopped for a single cache on our way through, DIZFIZ all mountain terrain park. It was a real effort to get as we weren’t prepared for such weather and we all ended up very cold and with freezing fingers!

Sheltering from the snow!

There's a cache up there!!!

It's not so deep!

After passing through Yosemite the car was absolutely filthy again, after the boys did such a good job cleaning it too!!! It wasn’t long before the glorious sunshine returned and we were in San Francisco.

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An American caching adventure (Part 1) – The ET highway

And now for something completely different…

Thanks to everyone who asked me, tweeted me, and emailed me over the past few months asking “What’s going on with your blog? I want to see a new entry!” Sorry guys, I’ve been extremely busy with work and other commitments. I haven’t given up blogging, I was just on a break and normal service will be resumed shortly. So, thanks for waiting. I hope this makes up for it… 😉

After months of planning (and months of saving!) we jetted off to America at the end of March. Going to America has always been a dream of mine, and it finally came true! It took us a long while to decide where we wanted to go, but in the end caching got the best of us and we decided that Nevada would be our destination. Home to The ET Highway and Route 66 Geocaching power trails we knew that we would have a good time caching there. No big caching adventure would be complete without our caching partners, mel-ray and they joined us on our US adventure. We had planned at first to just stay in Las Vegas, however shortly decided to also visit San Francisco and Los Angeles, turning our simple American trip into a real adventure…

Las Vegas

We started off by staying in Las Vegas for a few nights. It was so overwhelming! So many grand hotels and shopping malls, each trying to out-do the other. Possibly the greatest place that we visited along the strip was “The Venetian”. An Italian-style shopping mall complete with a canal running through and gondolier rides through it. There was a hotel shaped like a pyramid, a hotel with a giant pirate ship show outside, a hotel with waterfalls and an erupting volcano outside… it was breath-taking! It was a little hard at first to do caching around the city. We didn’t feel completely “comfortable” searching in a foreign area and we weren’t sure of the hiding styles there so we only grabbed a couple of urban caches on our first few nights, it was mainly a sight seeing couple of days. We did however return to Vegas at the very end of our trip feeling a bit more comfortable caching in another country and were able to grab some great caches which took us to some lovely spots along the strip.

There were quite a lot of virtuals along the strip. There was Toga Party which took us outside Caesar’s palace to grab a snap of the man himself, IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST which took us to the Lion outside MGM Grand, Eiffel Tower which took us to the Paris hotel complete with its $20 million half size replica Eiffel tower, and MM MM Good which took us to the huge 4 floored M&M world!

Me and Mel with Caesar

It had to be done!

Perhaps the best virtual however was one that we completely overlooked until our very last night. It was in the Flamingo casino. It didn’t look very grand on the outside so we hadn’t explored any deeper, but if you follow the casino right to the back there is actually a big wildlife habitat complete with waterfalls, HUGE Koi carp, various types of duck, and 10 pink flamingos. Wow! It was just like being at the zoo.

One of the many waterfalls at the Flamingo

The pink flamingos

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