The geocaching event last weekend was great, and it was a nice break from work and the everyday grind of life. We left town Wednesday afternoon as soon as the kids got out of school and arrived at our campsite just in time to set up camp and fix dinner. After we ate, I took the kids for a ride on my ATV and accidentally locked mine and Traci’s keys in the truck before I left. It took some doing, but eventually I was able to unlock the truck using a piece of wire. It was lonely the first night since we were the only people there, but we kept ourselves entertained and had a good night. We didn’t have a campfire because it was a bit windy in the evening, and we didn’t want to use up too much firewood and not have enough for the rest of the weekend.
On Thursday, we knew many of our friends would be showing up that afternoon and evening, so we spent the morning driving the truck out to a remote geocache in Red Hole Draw. It was a long and bumpy road which the truck wasn’t well-suited to. ATVs would have been a better way to reach the cache, but we only brought one with us, while Sam and Mark wouldn’t be bringing our other ATV down until later that evening. It was worth the drive though–the cache was fairly easy to find, and the scenery along the way was excellent. We returned to camp, ate a late lunch, then left again for a short drive to check out a nearby road that followed the bottom of the Red Ledges about half a mile from camp. While we were hiking around on some rocks there, we saw the first of our group pulling into camp. We went back to meet them, and spent the rest of the evening at camp just hanging out. Sam and Mark arrived that evening too, and some others got there after we’d gone to bed. It was windy again all evening and into the night, so we skipped the campfire again and didn’t spend the night socializing like we normally do.
Friday morning we set out with Sam and Mark and the Cowboyz to see the Eagle Canyon “crash site.” Chris placed a cache along the road when we were on our way back from retrieving my wrecked ATV back in January. We went to find that cache and the one I placed after I wrecked. Traci and I were riding with the kids on our ATVs, Cowboyz were in their Teryx, and Sam & Mark and their family were in their truck. On the way back, we parted with Sam & Mark so we could ride Coal Wash back to camp, which is an ATV-only route. It was a fun ride, and although we stopped at The Drips (a spring dripping out of a cliff) for a while, we still managed to catch up to Sam & Mark when our trail connected back to the main road. When we got back to camp, there were more people there, and even more showed up that evening. Mark and I went for an ATV ride south of camp and found an interesting and very old steam boiler that I think was used to power a drilling rig. There was also the remains of a wooden building there, but what it was used for I couldn’t tell. I placed a geocache there, then we rode back to camp where we spent the rest of the day. It was still a bit breezy at night, but we had a campfire and I stayed up pretty late talking to all the friends I hadn’t seen in months.
Everybody spent Saturday doing different things. Some people hiked to Sid’s Mountain, others went for an ATV ride, and Traci and I went geocaching with Sam and Mark. There were only a few caches in the are that I had yet to find, so we went looking for them. A pretty ugly storm was moving in from the west, and we were hurrying to find the caches before the ground got wet, ’cause the clay roads would be impassible and we’d get stranded if it rained hard enough while we were out there. We managed to find all of the geocaches that we wanted to before the rain hit, but the storm wasn’t as bad as we’d expected after all. It was another nice evening around the campfire, and I stayed up even later than I had the night before.
A few people left camp early on Sunday, but we stuck around and went for a hike into North Salt Wash to see some petroglyphs. I passed within a couple hundred feet of the petroglyphs when I hiked to Sid’s Mountain two years ago, but I was too exhausted to hike up the steep hill to see them at the time. I was amazed to see how high up the cliff face the rock art was. Some of it was 40 feet or more straight up a cliff, and I can only imagine that the Fremont Indians had built ladders in order to reach that high. Michael and Bradley went with me and the others on the hike while Traci waited in the truck at the trailhead. I was surprised that the boys did so well on the hike considering the 400-foot elevation change over a very short distance.
After the hike, everybody returned to camp and started packing up to go home. As is usually the case, we were the last ones to leave. We got home just in time to clean up, eat dinner, unload a few essentials from the trailer, then crash in our beds. It was a fun weekend for us all, and I’m excited to go back in October to do it again.
San Rafael – Spring 2009 – Photo Gallery