Us part way through the series, standing right next to one of the caches
One of the things we wanted to do on this summer’s holiday was to try the massive ET Highway series in the Nevada desert.
TomTom showing all the caches laid out along the road before us
We decided to do it at the start of the holiday so stayed overnight near LAX after arriving from the UK and caught the red-eye to Las Vegas very early the next morning. Once we’d picked up the hire car, we did a few warm up caches around Vegas before driving north for just over an hour to our hotel in Alamo.
Signing the logbook and checking the next cache
Once we’d settled in, we could not resist making a start on this HUGE series. We started off at #001 and got as far as #101 before the jetlag started to take it’s toll and we needed to get back to the hotel for some food and more importantly some sleep.
A non-series cache we picked up along the highway
The next day we woke nice and early and after a hearty breakfast at the hotel, set off to try and get 300+ caches in the day. We started where we left off last night at #102 and ended up carrying on all the way to #753, picking up a few non series caches along the way.
The ET Highway
The caches are all very close together and quite a few at the miniumum 528ft required for listing on GC.com. We were expecting them to be all the same container (they were – 35mm film cans) and the same hide – they were not – there was some variety:
- at the base of the marker posts that are along the side of the road
- under piles of rocks (known as un-natural rock piles in these parts)
- in the top of marker posts
- in the top of these plastic tubes that had been banged into the sand
- probably a few more that don’t spring to mind
Discussing tactics while signing the log
All were pretty easy finds but the rock pile ones took slightly longer to find than others. During the day we topped out at about 60 finds per hour but most hours it was more like 50 finds or so (still very good by normal standards).
A non-series cache at the start of the ET Highway
Day 3 dawned and we had another hearty breakfast before starting out to do #754 to #1022 and then tackle the 51 Alien Head caches. These were great fun as they are arranged in the shape of an alien’s head off-road in the desert – it looks really good when you view them in Google Earth.
Finding the 1000th cache in the series
All too soon (well, actually a good few hours) we had come to #1022 and finished the ET Series. It was a bit surreal seeing no caches on the TomTom ahead after two and a bit days of never ending cache symbols stretching out before us.
Which way next?
We drove the 50 or so miles back to near the centre of the ET Series and set off around the Alien’s Head series. Isaac was set the task of navigating and after a fun few hours we had all the caches found.
At the far end of the ET Highway - cache #1022
On the way back to our hotel in Alamo we stopped to find a few stand alone caches around town. I’m not sure of the exact number of finds each day but it was something like:
- Day 1: 122
- Day 2: 658
- Day 3: 322
The whole area is an open range so you have to watch out for wandering cows as you drive along / get the caches
A really fun few days in a very different place for a vacation. We absolutely loved where we were staying – the Windmill Ridge in Alamo – as it had individual log cabins with great views all around. If anyone is going to do this series, you’d do a lot worse than stay here.
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