Friday, October 3, 2014


The forecast for the next morning did not look good.  It turned out to be accurate.  It was 33 degrees and raining.  I was all for waiting a day but Yancey was raring to go.  Our destination for the day was Holyoke in the northeast part of the state.  The planned route included a loop north of Denver in order to get Weld County.  Yancey had the idea that we could do that loop in the car and if the weather moderated enough we could leave later in the day. That turned out to be a good plan.  We made the loop, got back and had a bite of lunch and left around noon.  It was still cool but the further we went the more pleasant it got.

Yance finds one.
We headed east out of Denver on US 36.  We soon were on a nice two lane highway out in the country with very little traffic.  We made two stops in Arapahoe County for roadside caches.  Then we stopped in Washington County at a little crossroads called Last Chance.  There was kind of a mini rest area/park there with portable rest rooms.  While we were there an older gentleman with a cane stopped and talked motorcycles with us.  He was from Nebraska and on his way home.  We picked up two caches at this stop.

At the crossroads we turned north on Highway 71 toward the little town of Brush.  In Brush we located a cache called “Looking for the Golf Course” which put us on an unpaved road for a bit.  We found another one at a park in town so this took care of Morgan County.

We now changed our direction to northeast.  Interstate 76 heads northeast to Julesburg but we found Highway 138 which parallels the Interstate just to the north.  It continued to get warmer and more pleasant with no traffic on this road.  We were in Logan County and stopped by the roadside to get a cache in a small town series.  We were unable to find one on an old train but I put the next cache on our list simply because of the write up.  It was named after the owner’s dog, “Somethin’ Else”.  Here’s a quote from the write up. “Somethin was the most stubborn dog alive living till the ripe age of 17 years (human years) and never taking a human instruction without growling, snarling, or biting the person in charge.”

Pony Express Museum
By the time we reached Julesburg sunset was approaching.  Of course, we had gotten a four or five hour later start than planned due to the weather.  Julesburg is in Sedgwick County and we went out to the Pony Express Museum for our first cache there.  There is a series of caches called “Colorado Spirit Quest” that are located at old cemeteries.  We did our first one just outside of Julesburg.  It was such a nice cache with a quality ammo box container that I dropped off a Travel Bug.

Golden Plains - Holyoke
Now we turned south on Highway 395 toward our evening destination of Holyoke.  It was beautiful open farm country and we had a spectacular sunset.  I was eager to get to Holyoke because deer can be a real danger this time of day.  I believe it was 8:00 pm or so before we got there.  I had reservations at the Golden Plains Motel on the southern outskirts of town and it proved to be a nice place to stay.  After unpacking we went into town at a local restaurant for a much anticipated meal that was good.  We had covered 260 miles by motorcycle this day plus around 50 more that morning in the car.

We had breakfast the next morning at a Subway and I had the chance to talk to a local about pheasant hunting in the area.  He said it was very good and that they had a large influx of hunters on opening weekend.  Maybe we can do that sometime.

Holyoke is in Phillips County and we had gotten in too late to do any caching the night before.  It was cold and overcast this morning.  We found another one of the “Spirit Quest” caches at a cemetery and then struck out on one at a fishing pond that we figured was gone.  We picked up another south of town so we had Phillips County covered.

My original plan for this day was to continue south to Burlington and then head back west on I-70.  Yancey suggested that we continue south to Cheyenne Wells, go west on Hwy 40 and then northwest on Hwy 287 thereby missing a lot of Interstate.  It would add a little distance but it sounded good to me.  As a bonus we would pick up another county (Cheyenne).  This plan was going to require a little revision to the caches I had set up.  That suggested route would bypass the Lincoln County caches I had planned but the new route would also pass through Lincoln County so it was a matter of getting them into my GPS.  We looked them up on our phones and then entered the coordinates in my GPS for the Cheyenne County caches as well as some more for Lincoln County.  I’m unable to navigate with my phone because I don’t have a setup to hold and charge it while riding.  Yancey does have that setup but I think it’s easier to navigate with the conventional GPS.

Huge bee found at lunch
Kit Carson Caboose
On the way to Burlington we passed through Yuma County and stopped just north of Wray to get a cache for that county.  We stopped in Burlington to pick up a cache for Kit Carson County and then continued south on Hwy 385.  At Cheyenne Wells we turned west on Hwy 40 and stopped at Kit Carson for lunch at the Kit Carson Museum.  We picked up a cache there at the Kit Carson Caboose.  All of this part of Colorado is open and sometimes rolling farm country and makes for a relaxed and pleasant ride with little traffic although there were some semis. We stopped in Hugo to pick up a couple of caches that were replacements for the original Lincoln County caches I had planned.  One of these was another Spirit Quest cache which I always like.

At Limon we hit I-70 but we were on it for only a short while before exiting to Hwy 86. We stopped for two caches in Elbert County.  At one of these I noticed when I returned to my motorcycle that the wire connecting my GPS to power had fallen down under the bike.  I had to get down on my hands and knees to reroute it up to the handlebars.  At the next stop which was a considerable distance I discovered that my stamp that I use to sign the geocache logs was missing.  I think it must have fallen out of my shirt pocket.  Fortunately, being a good Scout, I had a backup stamp along.

We turned north on Hwy 88 and entered Douglas County.  As we were getting closer to the greater Denver area the traffic really intensified.  We stopped and had a fairly lengthy and unsuccessful hunt for a cache.  Fortunately we did pick up one a little later and could mark off that county.

We fought traffic for the next hour or so before reaching Yancey’s before supper.  We traveled 336 miles that day and although the morning had been cool the afternoon was plenty warm. [To be continued] M/W


Kathy said...

There just has to be something that goes missing -- or gets broken. As Hallie says, Mike should just order those stamps by the dozen.

Sounds like the caching duo is having a good time.

Chris said...

I can't believe he does all that on a motorcycle!!

Hallie said...

Are you sure that's just one bug and not TWO bugs? I think that pony express statue is curious. The horse is really well done and the rider doesn't seem to quite match. I wonder if the rider was added at a later time or if it was a different artist.