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Posts Tagged ‘Nevada’

After completing the ET Highway series in Nevada over the last few days, we fancied something a bit different today.

We realised we were pretty close to the corner where Nevada, Arizona and Utah all met, so decided to go off and see if we could find a cache in each of these three States and then add a cache in California later in the day.

Here are the photos of “Isaac with the cache” from each of them. It might be a few days before we get chance to log the caches as we have a backlog of about 1200+ caches to log.

Arizona: Heart Break Hotel

Arizona: Heart Break Hotel

Arizona: Heart Break Hotel

Utah: Benchmark: HO0385 ” B 366 “

Utah: Benchmark: HO0385 " B 366"

Utah: Benchmark: HO0385 " B 366"

Nevada: Off the Reservation

Nevada: Off the Reservation

Nevada: Off the Reservation

California: Desert Country

California: Desert Country

California: Desert Country

We also did a few other caches while on our travels, including a virtual on the strip in Las Vegas.

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Us part way through the series, standing right next to one of the caches

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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?

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

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

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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I was not going to blog on holiday but just had to post the following story that happened to us yesterday (taken from our log on GCH97A):
Oh how we laughed on this one.

We were on our way from Vegas to LA and our minivan was having big problems going up the huge incline to the top of the pass. First I noticed the temperature gauge was showing a little hot, then the engine started rough running, then the temperature gauge swung to max and a few warning lights came on.

We pulled over to read the rental car manual to see what the lights on the dash meant. It looked like an electrical problem and said we would be ok to continue but that performance of the vehicle might be downgraded.

Off we set, but the car was being really slow and started marking a clanking sound. After a very short time the engine cut out totally and we had to stop at the side of the road and call Dollar for assistance. They said they would send a tow truck and replacement van out from Vegas but that it would be a 2 hour wait.

Hmmm… 2 hours in the desert at 113 degrees with no air-con. This is going to be fun. At least there is a nice breeze to make things seem not quite as hot as they were and we’d had the sense to bring tons of cold drinks for the journey.

Out of boredom I turned on my GPSr and could not believe it when I saw a cache 0.4 miles away. I did a double take when I saw the name of the cache – how very appropriate (the cache was called “Blown Engine Cache”).

Off I set along the side of the road, up off the Freeway and along to the cache. I spotted the potential hide as I walked up and sure enough there the lovely big ammo box was.

As I was putting the cache back, my Oregon 550t swung unexpectedly on it’s lanyard and made contact with one of the cache hiding rocks. I heard the horrible crack sound and knew the screen had gone. Sure enough it had. Luckily I know Garmin are really good at replacing them, but it will cost me about $120 for the privilege.

Could the day get any worse – stranded in the desert and a broken GPS. At least we found the cache though.

Just short of two hours after we stopped, a tow truck arrived with a replacement van and we were soon back on our way.

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