Saturday, February 28, 2009

Arizona Geocaching

Oh yea. We were up and at'em again this morning. The kids seem to enjoy this as much as their grandmother. There were two chaches within an 80 mile circle from where we are staying so about 11 am out the door we went. Grana is excited because the 3 kids are very excited. Off to find a real geocache.
Here they are fixing to head out into the desert for the first treasure of the day.

Hmmm, does "illegals" come to mind?

You can see them following the gps across the desert. I am following the trail in the vehicle. I was enjoying the car more than they were trying to avoid those cacti.

Well, they made it to where I was.

Getting close to the first treasure. Click it up and see the coral in the background.

Up the side of this mountain they go. If you look really hard you can see them chasing their dream.

And, they found it covered in rocks.

Here they are 25 miles from the first find. Following that little yellow box that Teri is holding. That thing is accurate.

The second find of the day. These guys are excited.

This is a marker for two brothers. Click the next two pictures up and read what it says.

Ain't this something? These two bothers were killed here by Indians back in the late 1800's. If not for geocaching we would never have seen this area.

Grana and Josh closing the "cowboy" gate behind us.

The poppies are coming right along.

Click this picture up and see what we found. This is the roadside marker telling about the two brothers and what happened to them. This is about a mile from the actual site. The little lizzard was as curious about us as we were him.
Now, lots of folks are asking me what in the world are we doing out here "geocaching", what is that?
I am not the pro, Teri is, but I will tell you what I know:
People hide various things all over the world. They get on the internet and tell the coordinates,, I think. Sometimes there are clues and sometimes only coordinates. Well, nuts like us, get a handheld gps unit and head out. Sometimes we find things that want to travel to other areas. We take them and will deposit them at other sites. Sometimes we take nothing and leave nothing, just log in on the paper log inside the container. Teri then logs all of our finds on the website and might comment on the find. Am I making sense here? We will hide some of our own for others to find when we get home or before we leave here. I guess it is something to get folks out and about to see what our beautiful country, and those over the seas, have to offer. Some beautiful sites that one would never see unless hunting for a "treasure". Our three grandkids here just love it. Beats video games for sure. If you are old, like me, and have a little spare time think about taking your grandkids out and doing this. If you are young and busy, well, take the kids out in the afternoons or on Saturdays. I guarentee you that they will love this. Or, if you just want your wife to learn directions, this is the way to do it.
So, no rest for the weary. I am glad tomorrow is Sunday. Teri will not be heading out doing this after church so I can sit here and watch the race.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Today I got started over at our friends' Al and Anne's. We bought a cell phone repeater and antenna. Today we were to get it all going. The first picture is the little repeater/amplifier.

This is Al on the roof. We were trying to mount one of the antennas up here but the coax was a little too short. So, for today we did an inside the house antenna install. We may rearrange our setup in a day or two. For now Al and Anne are testing the the setup with everything inside the kitchen. Not a tidy install but we will get it where we want it before we quit. They do have better cell phone coverage in the house and that is what we are after. I can fine tune it after they use it for a day or two.

Oh, here you go. Teri was giving our three grandchildren lessons on geocaching today. What a blast they had.

All over the yard looking for the treasures.

Learning how to input the coordinates.

Figuring out what they mean.

Josh's find. He was tickled with the arrowhead.

Serious now. They are searching for more. Teri hid everything before the kids got home from school.

Up and down, round and round they go.

We are getting close to the final stash. A reward for each one.

And here they have it, the grand prize. Each one had a special quarter from Grana. "Can we go on a real hunt tomorrow"? That was the question. Maybe we will get out and find a real hidden geocache tomorrow.

To close out the day, Teri and the kids cooked home made pizzas while I went over to a radio friend's place for a 160 meter dx contest. The kids' parents are gone to a school function up in northern Arizona so we have the kids. This is a blast. They are so much fun. Really good grandchildren.
Anyway, I went over to Larry's. He lives 6 or 8 miles behind us in New Mexico.

Here is one of the logging programs being used.

Up closer look. Tonight's photos need to be clicked up so you can see them better.

Milt and Rick man 2 of the three stations.

From the other end we can see Dave and Milt. Larry is the one that is only half way in the picture. These 4 guys will be up all night, my kind of guys. They will rest during the daylight hours and go at it again tomorrow night. I may try to get back over there for a while. Guys like these are the ones responsible for many modern communication modes that we enjoy today. We operated digital computer programs, communicating with each other, long before the internet, which Al Gore invented. Remember that one? We also had mobile telephone contact available to us many years before cell phones came along.

Here is one more program that the guys are using. It is a moving "sun". They can see where it is dark and where the sun is shining on the earth. Why do they want to know this? Well, it gives them the information that they need to know about the band opening on 160 meters tonight. The band will close up around sunrise so they are communicating within the dark area, as long as they are still in it. The band is closing up on eastern Africa in this shot. Pretty neat.
So, why is the title of this post Venus? Well, did you look out tonight? Venus was a big bright star tonight at the bottom of the bright moon that looked like a banana. Was pretty cool. Hope everyone got a glimpse of it.
Busy but "restful busy" for me today. Yesterday wore me out. That was a long day of geocaching. Thanks for jumping in here with us. We appreciate your presence. Will see you later. Has passed 1 am so I got to hit the sack.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chiahuahua Mountains

We were on the road by 10 this morning. Heading for Lordsburg, NM. There are 3 truckstops there and one of them had 3 stashes. Teri got all of them. The first picture is our first of the day. the stash is showing in the photo if you blow it up and look hard. Very clever.

Here Teri is at our 2nd or 3rd stop of the morning. They kinda all run together. We did 14 of these today and covered over 200 miles in 9 hours. We had a perfect day, finding every one of the caches.

See the smile on her face. What a day. We did a complete circle. Started at Lordsburg, grabbing 6 stashes there or close by. Then we headed west on I-10.

Here is one in an ammo box. I think we grabbed a traveling bug here. We took two travelers today and will drop them as we head to Lousiana in the motorhome. Oh boy, I can see us now. 2 weeks to get from here to Monroe, La. because we are geocaching all along the way. I am glad that Texas is sparsely populated with geocaches.

Steins used to be an old town. Looks like it has been bought and is now private. All closed to the public.

Teri near Steins.

An old cemetary where Teri found one nearby. This was in the Steins area. We found a note here from the Border Patrol in the stash. Warned us, and everyone, not to come here in the dark. Don't come alone anytime and make sure that you have a gun with you. See, this is a drug and human smuggling area. We should have skipped this one.

I love that smile.

Look behind the dead end sign. Someone is back there. Found the treasure but was not tall enough to get it. Guess who saved the day?

Zoom and you will see my girl again. She loves this stuff and is getting good with directions.

Oh yea, she found it.

Here is another stash in an ammo box. Grabbed the 2nd traveling bug here.

Our last one of the day. This one was a bit tough for us but should not have been. Anyway, we grabbed it. Batted 1000 for the day. Not bad for our 3rd day out. First try we were batting 500. We stopped at one that we had been to before and looked it over again. I am thinking someone has done away with it as we never found the thing.
The coordinates are very important. Without them you will find very few of these things. We used the laptop, hooked to the internet, in the car, along with my dash Lowrance gps. When we got in the area Teri jumped out with her main weapon, the Garmin handheld. That thing is right on. My Streets and Trips program is 2 miles off on all coordinates. I can not figure out why but it is no help. Going to load up the Delorme tonight so we will have it on next trip out.
What fun for rvers. We have enjoyed these past 3 days. It can get frustrating though. We have had to rely on the handheld being accurate, and it is. Was hard to depend on the thing but we will from now on. You get to an area and think you know where the item is hidden. Nope, better get out the handheld. I am telling you that Teri is a dead eye shot with that little yellow "gun" of her's.
Thanks for going with us today. We enjoyed the company. We are worn out so I suspect no more hunts for a few days. We were all over the north part of the Chiahuahua mountains today. We still have plans to get on down farther south into those mountains one of these days.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Solomon and Safford, Arizona

We were not even sore this morning. I could not believe it. I guess Teri and I are in pretty good shape. Hey, what can I say?
We started on our taxes last night and got them all finished this morning. We filed them on line. I like that. Now, we are done for another year. I dread those things from one year to the next. Been letting my friend do them for me but he has been sick and I know he was covered up at work, so we just did them and filed on line.
Took off bright and early this morning, 10 am, and headed to Solomon, Az. There were two stashes there we wanted to find. Don't get me wrong, Teri is the geocacher, I am the photographer and hypermiler. All of this goes well together. Here was our first stop this moning. The photo will have to be blown up if you want to read it. I think someone stole the stash here as we looked for nearly an hour and never found the thing. We stood right on the coordinates and it just was not there. So, off we go.

No, we did not climb Mt. Graham. I just love looking at that mountain. Could see it from our first "dig". Actually, you can see it about anywhere out here, it is big.

If you click up this picture you might see my sweetheart down there looking around.

Here we go on our second "look see". Ah ha, found this one and it was neat.

Click this up and there is a beautiful girl back in there under the bridge.

The stash. There was a traveling medallion, nice one, here that wants to make it to Houston. We grabbed it and will help it along. Will stop on I-20 at one of the geocache spots and let someone else help it along.

Yep, one happy lady. Teri had just covered up the geo and we were on our way out to Safford. She is getting good with this handheld gps. Don't tell her but one reason I got it for her was so that she could learn directions. That is all I will say.

Hmmm, what do we have here?

Yep, had a stash right here. I will not say where it is but this is where you go to check out "things".

And, here was our last one for the day. We had gone to a car dealership previous to this one but I forgot to take any pictures. I would not let Teri hunt around this place long as it was a tavern. No find here. Someone must have stolen it.
That is what we did today. This is a lot of fun. Teri loves it and I get to practice my hypermiling skills along with shooting a few pictures. I averaged 36 plus mpg today. We will be getting better at this. Already have some ideas to make the finds quicker. Can't let our secrets out though. I hope we don't do this all the way across Tx. That is 800 miles. If you watch the tracker you will know. We will see how that goes. Should be pulling out and heading for Louisana in a couple of weeks. This is a good thing for rvers like us. Gets us out to see the area. Will see if we go tomorrow, maybe yes, maybe no. It was 85 degrees today and I had on a long sleeve t shirt. Bad choice.