Monday, June 12, 2017

Big Bend & The Land of Enchantment - 3

After a good motel breakfast the next morning we headed south on Hwy 602 which eventually changed to Hwy 36. I had pictured this route as desolate desert country but it was really quite picturesque with rolling hills, junipers and pine trees. The next county was Cibola and there were only 2 geocaches anywhere near our route. I was worried about the first one because it hadn’t been found in five months and it had new coordinates. We looked for some time with no luck. The only other cache near our route was “Moreno Hill Overlook” which was about nine miles off our route on a gravel road. There was nothing else to do but go after it. Sam went just a little ways and then turned back because his bike did not handle those roads well. I eventually made it out to the cache site and looked a long time before finding it. It was a bison tube in a tree which is always tough for me to find. Finding that one was a big relief.

Now on to Catron County. We turned east and then south riding in similar country and picking up two more caches for that county. The first one was at the little town of Quemado where we stopped for gas. The next one was in the little town of Reserve appropriately named “Reserve Cache”. It was hot and I rested here in the shade while Sam made a stop at a nearby convenience store.
Next was Grant County and our the first stop was at a Rest Area a little ways off the highway. While Sam was preparing his lunch (the usual tuna and beans) I took a hike to find the cache. It was a good distance behind the Rest Area in rough terrain. I finally found it in a bush on the other side of a little wash. After hiking all the way back I discovered I had lost my stamp which is my brand that I use to sign the cache log books. I retraced my steps back with Sam along to help find it and find it he did just a short distance from the cache. Even though I had an extra one along I was extremely relieved to find it.

Lunch at Rest Area
Now Sam and I had the very workable agreement that even though we were traveling together either one of us could diverge and do our own thing so long as we met at the end of the day. Sam had a new Zumi GPS made specifically for motorcycle travel but I had loaded in all the geocaches as well as the motels. That way if we parted we could agree to meet at a certain cache or the motel. I had to go south to Lordsburg in Hidalgo County but Sam found a more scenic route to the east that looked good to him. It turned out to be an excellent decision for him because he said it was fantastic riding as well as beautiful scenery.

Meanwhile I headed south. My first stop was for a regular sized cache called “Big Oak” located about 30’ off the road. After finding it I was peeling off some layers as it was really hot when Sam passed by. I didn’t see him again until that afternoon at the motel in Deming.

"What Service"
One cache in Lordsburg was called “Overpass Park” located next to a sort of cloverleaf alongside the Interstate. I had a little trouble figuring how to enter the park and ended up parking on a side adjoining a rather down and out looking neighborhood. I couldn’t locate a gate so I hopped the fence and found the cache on the other side of the little park. As I started to leave I spotted the gate in the corner under a tree. Same old story – geocaches are often much harder to get to than to leave.

One of the more interesting caches of the day was a DNF. It was called “What service?” and was an old graffiti covered long since abandoned gas station just off the Interstate.

Sam had already checked in when I reached Deming. As usual, after unloading I went out to get some caches for Luna County. I found two out of three very uninspiring caches before returning to the motel. I believe Sam and I then made one of our many Subway stops for dinner. This one was in a Walmart and was memorable in that the one employee was extremely slow and they were out of several items. Totals for the day were 397 miles, 9 finds and 2 DNF’s. To be continued.


Kathy said...

With a goal of finding a cache in every county, it puts pressure on the find. I think when Mike first started geocaching, I was at least as good as he was, but he has probably surpassed me now. Still, the man is challenged to find utensils -- and food -- in the kitchen, so I wonder how he manages with these geocaches. Believe me, it is not second nature to him to find things, so it's admirable that he's as successful with geocaching as he is.

Hallie said...

Tuna and beans? That sounds disgusting. What kind of beans?

Hallie said...

P.S. I think that with gates and fences, you can usually trace the edge of the fence to the gate. I'm not sure you tried to hard to solve that puzzle.