An Article from Aaron's Article ArchiveMy Brother Gets a G.P.S. and the Return of the Cachemobile
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My Brother Gets a G.P.S. and the Return of the Cachemobile
Saturday, 27 March 2004 6:00 PM MST
Cache Visited: Trail of the Padres? by k-9kween
Saturday, 27 March 2004 - Late Afternoon, perhaps 5:00 or 6:00 PM MST (-0600)
Congratulations, Percible! (That's my brother's Geocaching nickname.)
For my brother's birthday this year, my family got together and pooled our resources to buy him a new Garmin eTrex Vista G.P.S. receiver. I think he likes it. So of course we had to try it out before the sun went down.
Also, my formerly trustworthy cachemobile, my Chevy S-10 Blazer 4x4, after months sitting idle, unused, and broken since August, is now back in business, repaired and road-worthy once again. While I love my new Hyundai Sonata, I just can't take it cache hunting out in dirt-road country in Southern Utah. So of course we had to not only try out my brother's GPS, but give my old cachemobile a chance to taste the dust from a dirt road on the way to a stash.
Though we started late in the afternoon, there was an excellent virtual cache to meet our needs, just south of Hurricane, Utah where we were. From the description, we knew we'd hit at least a little bit of dirt road, and we'd have a bit of hiking to do. That's exactly what the doctor ordered.
Off we sped, winding our way south through the Hurricane fields, then past Sky Ranch, then into the dirt, Percible doing the navigating with his pristine eTrex in hand. Even with the cache description and a trusty G.P.S. we took a wrong turn or two and had to backtrack, but it wasn't long before we had arrived at the base of a hill, the G.P.S. pointing to the top.
We found a trail that began to wind its way up the hillside, and followed, even though it didn't go directly toward the cache location, trusting that it would be an easier route than bushwhacking straight up the steep hillside. That was a good move, since I'm out-of-shape, having slacked off on the cache hunting business for a bit.
The air was perfect for a hike up a hill, cool, with a gentle breeze. The sun was slowly sinking toward the horizon, and the long afternoon light brought out the colors around us. The moisture from the rain in early March meant the basalt-bespeckled desert hillside was alive with little green things growing here and there. It was beautiful.
Once mostly atop the hill, the navigator with his new G.P.S. informed me that the cache was off to our right, almost ninety-degrees from where the trail was taking us. It was time to leave it behind. We bid it farewell and went west as all young men should.
We crested the ridge, then began descending gently toward the edge where the hill broke off to sharply descend into the sandy basin below. There, ahead of us, was a stone cairn, with what looked like a rough wooden cross atop it. That had to be the cache!
Of course it was, a marker in the Dominguez-Escalante trail. Good job, k-9kween! My brother even discovered the pamphlet in a crevice of the rocks.
Since I'd borrowed our mother's digital camera, I went snap-happy, taking snapshots here and there and everywhere as the sun drooped lower and lower.
Below us, dust trails rose behind vehicles, some four-wheelers, a jeep, and one or two others. It was fun to watch from high above.
We took a direct route back to my vehicle, charging down the hill, pausing only so I could snap more pictures as the sun finally set.
Oh, yeah, I went a little crazy trying to take a macro shot of a large ant guarding the entrance to an ant nest, too. And when we continued our descent, I left the camera case on the ground, forgotten. Several hundred yards down the slope, I realized it was missing, so we had to retrace our steps until I found it.
It's always a little unnerving when a cell phone call comes when you're out in the middle of nowhere. My brother's friend and fellow cache hunter had tracked him down at my cell number, so I passed my phone to my brother, and we continued down the hill.
What a fun little hike, and a fun and historic cache to find! Thanks again, k-9kween!
St. George, Utah
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