Friday, May 8, 2015

Motocaching the Grand Canyon State - Day 7

Wickenburg was the nicest place I visited in Arizona.  It is a town of around 6,600 population at an elevation of a little over 2,000 feet.  It is considered high desert country but with much more vegetation than the areas I traveled to the south and west.  It would probably be a nice place to winter.  It’s close enough to Phoenix for big city amenities as well.

After a Super 8 breakfast I was on my way north on Highway 93 and soon had my first cache in Yavapai County.  Now I officially had logged a cache in each county.  It was a beautiful morning although windy as usual.  Everything north seems to be uphill from Wickenburg because I was continually gaining elevation.

My second cache also in Yavapai County was called Joshua I suppose because of all the Joshua trees around although it was hidden under a cactus.  I took a picture of a Joshua tree nearby.

One of my favorites was one called “A Great View of Nothing”.  It was a 100 yards or so off the road and I thought the approach to the cache was more spectacular than the featured view.
As I progressed north past Wikieup toward Kingman the wind picked up in velocity.  At Kingman I decided I would go down to Bullhead City because I had heard of it (the name always intrigued me) and never been there.  I took Highway 68 toward Bullhead City which is really down in a hole.  I think the grade down to the town must be about 3,000 feet.  As you would expect it was much warmer down there which was welcomed by me as it had not been warm at all that morning.

I climbed back out of Bullhead City and continued west toward the Nevada-California state line because I wanted to get a cache in San Bernardino County, CA.  The cache was just over the state line and the wind was blowing fiercely out of the north.  As soon as I found it I turned around and headed north into the wind on Veterans Memorial Highway.  I stopped in Searchlight, NV, at a big truck stop where I gassed up, got another cache and ate my sardine lunch.

The rest of the afternoon I spent mostly on Interstate 15 passing through Las Vegas and then northeast toward Utah fighting the wind all the way.  I was very proud of myself for getting through Las Vegas without taking a wrong fork off the Interstate because there was ample opportunity for error.  Actually I credited it a lot to luck.  I did take a little break to get another Nevada cache just off the Interstate.

Eventually I was back in Arizona again.  At Littlefield I left the Interstate and turned north on Old Highway 91 which goes into Ivins within two blocks of Chuck and Joanne’s place.  This was a nice break – twisty, hilly and no traffic.  I stopped along the way for a cache called “Cowboy Bathtub?”.  It was here that I sustained the only injury of my trip.  The cache was on the other side of a barbed wire fence.  When I climbed it the strand of wire I stood on slipped down to the ground and stuck there.  After finding the cache and returning I grabbed the wire to pull it back in place.  I didn’t realize that it was under tension and it popped back up and a barb punctured the back of my index finger.  It was bleeding quite a bit so I dug out my first aid kit and applied a band aide.

I soon arrived at Chuck and Joanne’s having traveled 388 miles for the day as well as having found geocaches in four states.  We had dinner at a Samoan restaurant that they had heard about that trains young people to work.  It turned out to be a good choice as we all enjoyed our dinner.  When we got back I had to get a picture of a cactus in front of the house that was as pretty as any I’ve seen.  I again got all my caches logged on their computer.

I had initially planned to return to Gooding the same route I had come as it is the least distance.  However, I was really tired of that Nevada wind and remote sagebrush desert.  Another option was the Interstate up through Utah but that wasn’t too appealing either.  Chuck and I examined the map and we picked a route on back roads west of the Interstate.  Part of this route Yancey and I had done when we toured Utah.  I use geocaches as navigation points so I picked several that looked interesting and downloaded them to my GPS. [To be continued] M/W



Hallie said...

That IS a very pretty cactus! I've never seen anything like that.

Mike said...

They said it was just a plain old prickly pear. It must do exceptionally well in that environment.