Monday, February 28, 2011

"Picture This" Orienteering Geocache - Part 2

This is mostly for those who participated in Part 1. I did not blog about part 1, so don't look for it.

Dale's son Dave and his wife Lisa visited this week and one of the things we all did together was to try a new geocache near us. It was a combination geocache, orienteering and photo identification multi-part cache. The GPS coordinates to the first cache were given. Dianna, Dale, Donna, Daryl, Dave and Lisa all joined in.

We began by driving to another parking area just a half mile or so up the river. We parked the car and used the coordinates given for the first hide and set out across hill and valley. Finding the first cache was pretty easy. In the container we found a topo map and another small section of that map with a location on it. Matching the small section to the whole map showed us where the next cache was located. We needed to use the topo map to locate it since there were no coordinates given. Fortunately my GPS has the capability of entering a bearing and distance from a known point, and we used our best guess at those items by looking at the topo map. A protractor sure would have been handy.

Also at the first location was a number that we needed to locate the final cache. Each of the first five caches had a number and a code that when put together correctly would give the GPS coordinates of the sixth and final cache.

The trek to the second cache was not too bad. Some of us tried to stay on a main trail for most of the way, but Daryl headed cross country and got there first. The third cache was quite a distance away and required a healthy climb. Lisa found it first. After comparing the small section of map to the main map we discovered that the next one was quite a long way away. In fact, it was closer to our trailer than where the car was parked. By then we were all getting tired and Donna needed to head back to check on her turkey which was in the oven. On the way back to the car we found another cache, not part of the multi-part one we were doing, right near the trail we were on, so we all logged that one too.

Today Dianna and I finished the cache. We walked from our trailer to the first cache. It was just over half a mile and a fairly easy hike. After working out the location of next cache we hiked over hill and valley again to locate it. It was about seven tenths of a mile away but was not too strenuous. There we obtained the map for the fifth cache and worked out its location. Again the hike was not terribly strenuous but it was up and down. As we neared the area of the cache we came upon a group of wild horses. They wouldn't let us get too close but they didn't bolt and run away either.

We searched for nearly half an hour for this cache. We had a photo that marked the location and we finally located the right rock outcropping, but we searched and searched for a long time without success. Finally I went around the rock and noticed a small opening. I would not have stuck my hand in there during the summer when creepy, crawly things are out, but I did and it was there. This time there was no map; just the final numbers we needed to complete the GPS coordinates of the final cache which I entered in my GPS.

This time the route took us down a very narrow canyon that required climbing over and sliding down rocks. It was a really neat place. I just would not have wanted to be there during a rain storm. After we were through the canyon we again had to climb to the top of another hill where the GPS said the final cache should be located. It was on a hill with a great view of the Salt River flowing below. After some more searching we finally located it, again in a very small crevice and completely covered with rocks. We entered our name in the log and set off for the home.

Once again we found our way blocked by a steep cliff and had to carefully work our way down to the river. We followed it back to the trailer. The total distance covered today was 2.85 miles.

We look forward to geocaching with family and friends again. I hope everyone had fun on the first half. I know you would have enjoyed this part too.


  1. Sounds like you had fun! I would have loved to scramble over rocks with you.

  2. Re: your second paragraph. I want you to remember that I am also one of this family--in fact, one of the founders, and I didn't go on your hike. (You said, "We all did together." You meant that everyone under 65 went.) My hiking days are over.

  3. That was a pretty interesting challenge. Are there more of this type of orienteering "games"?

  4. I'm disappointed I didn't get to help find the remaining puzzles and final cache, but considering I don't have a premium membership anyway, I guess I should consider myself lucky I got to participate in what I did. And drat! missed the horses, too! Thanks for posting a picture of them.