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Topic: Mike's travels!!!, "What a long strange trip it's been"< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
mikechim Offline
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    Posted: April 28 2002,2:36 am QUOTE

Hey Everyone,

I'll be heading out travelling again, living in my truck, visiting national parks, checking out grad schools, and of course geocaching.  I finished the North last fall, and I'm going to be hitting the south central, and southern states now.

Anyway I'm posting this for a few reasons

1) My net access will obviously be cut way back (grad schools and public libraries) and I didn't want you guys to think I abandoned all of you.  Plus I'll be updating this thread with my caching and travel adventures  whenever I get a chance.

2) I'm also looking for recomended caches (or other cool things, I'll be hitting all National Parks, but something like Ma Gumps seafood shack with great cheap local creole food would be great) in the states I'll be hitting.  I'll be travelling to and through AL, AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, KS, KY, LA, MD (drive through), MS, MO, NE, NV, NM, NC, OK, OR (southern to Crater Lake), SC, TX, UT, and WV (I be hitting all of them so if I forgot one it's there to).  I'm planning on dropping down the east coast to Florida, then across the south to California, up the west coast to Oregon and then back across the southcentral states.  So like I said any recomendations would be helpful.  In addition, if anyone in those areas needs a caching partner for a day feel free to let me know.

3) Finally if anyone knows of places with FREE showers (unfortunately not all state parks have them.... 7 days without in MT uhhhh....) or CHEAP CHEAP food, or even a couch or floor (after living in a 3.5 X 6 foot truck cap I'm not to proud to beg :grinnin ).  It would be greatly appreciated.  I'm doing this on a VERY tight budget, doing the north I only paid for campsites 3 times, a shower once, never got a hotel or fast food and I still ended up almost a grand in debt.  So it would be a great help
Anyway that's about it, It'll be a few days before I leave yet (yes I know I STILL haven't made it out to NY and Navicache land, but I'll get there eventually) I'll keep you all updated.

Mike

Edited by mikechim on --

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Gimpy Offline
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Posted: April 28 2002,5:06 am QUOTE

Hey, Mike. Have a good & safe trip & we'll be looking forward to your updates. I don't have any friends or relatives in the states your heading to, or I'd point you their way. If you're going to be in any 1 spot for any length of time, post here & I'll send of a care package. :grinnin . I did something like this when I was younger & had a big ol' camper on my pick-up. Spent time in many a lake with a bar of soap. ???  Had a great time, but times were different back in the 70's. Take care & have fun. :wave

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Quinn Offline
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    Posted: April 28 2002,6:33 am QUOTE

Hey Mike! if you are in the CA area you can look up George and swap hat stories and flea spray!
It wouldn't be a bad idea to make Cacher contacts before you leave, this way you can fall back on your fellow cache dudes for a little help here and there.
I wish I was about 20 years younger and could do things all over as I am certain I would be doing just what you are about to. You only live once and seeing the country and world doesn't come around often.
We should start a "Travel with Mike" fund and raise you some green to get you where you want to be... just make sure you save some dough for batteries!

By the way... Gimpy never went anywhere back in the 70's, it's just that many of those drugs the hippies used back then were so popular that he just thinks he went on a travel :grinnin

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Gimpy Offline
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Posted: April 28 2002,8:09 am QUOTE

Ohhhh yaaaa. It's all coming back now. :grinnin

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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: April 28 2002,11:05 am QUOTE

Thanks Gimpy,

Where'd your travels.... if you actually left the living room take you  :grinnin ?

A big camper hey?  When I did the northern trip I grew to well hate's probably to strong of a word and a lot of it had to do with jealousy on my part but anyway......

I was in yellowstone, it was around 34 and raining and there I am outside with my coleman stove making some condensed chicken noodle soup and running between my truck cab and the stove cooking and trying to stay warm.  Look beside me at the people with the big old RV and they got a TV on and were eating a real meal  :^^ so I hope in the cramped back of my cap and right away I'm jealous.  Got down to 15 that night and after I finally fell asleep I'm woken up at around 2:00 am.... to the sound of a generator turning on.  Look around ice is on the windows and my mummy bag's got frost on it....grrr... so now i'm a little more upset because they woke me up at 2:00.... But here's the kicker.

I'm talking to the lady the next mourning and she goes... wow it got cold last night didn't it (I'm thinking  :0o ) and then she's like it was so chilly I had to put my slippers on so I had bob start the generator up :)  Jealousy and Rage all in one nice package.  Of course I would love one of those monster's unfortunately my little ranger isn't gonna pull a tow behind (wouldn't have the $ for one anyone but that's beside the point).

Yeah bathing in lakes is pretty frowned upon now adays.... I mean if I did it i'm sure all the single girls aged 19-27 would come running  :) with cameras and camcorders but hey what ya gonna do.

Edited by mikechim on --

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Quinn Offline
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    Posted: April 28 2002,11:20 am QUOTE

Quote (mikechim @ April 28 2002,1:05 pm)
Yeah bathing in lakes is pretty frowned upon now adays.... I mean if I did it i'm sure all the single girls aged 19-27 would come running  :) with cameras and camcorders but hey what ya gonna do.

Yeah...getting photo's of a "Bigfoot" taking a bath can bring big bucks on the open market :grinnin

Gimpy has never been to yellowstone, but he has on several trips been to "Jellystone" ;)

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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: April 28 2002,11:23 am QUOTE

Quote
It wouldn't be a bad idea to make Cacher contacts before you leave, this way you can fall back on your fellow cache dudes for a little help here and there.
We should start a "Travel with Mike" fund and raise you some green to get you where you want to be... just make sure you save some dough for batteries!

I'm hoping to make some contacts, to be honest that's one of the reason's I posted here.  Like I said not to proud to beg :)

Thanks Quinn,
I would definately not object to a  "travel with Mike" fund  :grinnin.  Heck if anyone wants to come along their more then welcome (but Choberiba's got to leave the black pumps at home :D), they'd just have to foot the hotel bill as there would definately not be enough room for 2.    

I've been trying to figure out ways to get funding or claim a tax write off.  I had hoped I could do some thing with an education write off but it didn't work.  Then I had thought heck I'll plaster my car with advertisements for Gander Mountain (Kind of like freecar.com It would be perfect they'd be scene at tourist attractions, big cities, state and national parks all over the country) or do a series one the website with photos of me wearing gander gear at famous NP, reporting back, and what not.  Heck they could even say look our employees really do this stuff.  So I asked the store ops manager about it and he said nope and I let it drop.  Someone mentioned it to my manager later cause they thought it was a good idea and he agreed.  Figured I might be able to get free gear but no $ the problem is Gander mountain doesn't have any stores in the south or west so it wouldn't have been great for them.  The other problem is that it takes 2-3 months for stuff like that and it was just last week we were talking about it so it was a no go.    

Don't worry I already picked up a bunch of batteries when circuit city had them cheap, last time I did a pretty good job of replenishing my batteries from the trade items (although they were often 3/4 or half dead).

Edited by mikechim on --

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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: April 28 2002,11:26 am QUOTE

:rotflmao

Somewhere between between hat stories, flea spray, hippy gimpy, and big foot pics I lost it.  

:rotflmao

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Rob Offline
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    Posted: April 29 2002,6:20 pm QUOTE

Hi Mike,

You’re more than welcome to stop at our place in Descanso, Southern Cal.  I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s primitive but you would have a room and shower in our outbuilding on the other side of the ranch. (Even has phone & computer).  Well actually, the showers a little questionable over there (well trouble) but you could use the one at our place.
Would love to have you post updates on my website as well.  Would give you your own page like I did for Yrium.  Could call it, Geotravels with Mike. LOL

Drop me an email when you get close and I’ll turn the power on.
:wave
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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: April 29 2002,9:57 pm QUOTE

Thanks Rob,

That's great and I'll definately take you up on your offer.  Whatever it is I'm sure it's much much better then then the wood plank in the back of my truck, I don't even have enough room (store canned food underneath) to situp.  So it would be like Embassy suites or something, heck if it's got a computer it can't be all that primative.

I'd be more then willing to post updates on your website, Geotravels with Mike sounds great.  If you wanted I could even post brief highlights and summaries of my northern trip.  I kept a journal for the entire thing, like I will for this one.  Let me know and thanks again.

Mike

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Rob Offline
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Posted: April 30 2002,6:37 pm QUOTE

OK Mike, the pressures on. Your page is now at http://www.creekbed.com/geotravels.htm
And it’s up to you to fill the spaces.  :0

Seriously, good luck on your trip. I did a similar thing in Europe centuries ago when I was a hippy. It’s hard work.  I’ve sent you my contact info &  I look forward to seeing you out here.

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Gimpy Offline
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    Posted: May 01 2002,1:55 am QUOTE

Fantastic, Rob! Nice page. OK Mike. I've got a link to your new page right next to my Navicache link, so I'll be checking in every day for updates. Should be a great project. :grinnin

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GeoRockers Offline
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Posted: May 01 2002,3:59 am QUOTE

Hey Mike!

When are you planning to reach CA, NV, or UT?

I'm in Sacramento, CA.

George

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A 1/1 via the trail around the hill?
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Why follow a trail when we can blaze our own? :p

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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: May 01 2002,2:24 pm QUOTE

Thanks Rob
Looks great, if I get time before I leave (tentative depature is Friday) I'll drop over there and add a pic from the Northern travels or two, some bio info, and a few hightlights from the northern journey.

Hey George,

I'm guessing I"ll be in your area some time around the end of May or the Begining of June, I'm guessing the whole trip will take between 1.5 to 2.5 months.  Other than cash flow the time frame is no real concern.  Heck if I didn't have truck payments I'd be golden :)

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GeoRockers Offline
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Posted: May 02 2002,11:11 pm QUOTE

Quote (mikechim @ May 01 2002,1:24 pm)
I'm guessing I"ll be in your area some time around the end of May or the Begining of June

I've e-mailed my contact info to you. :)

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A 1/1 via the trail around the hill?
Nah... that's too easy!  Let's go up and over!
Why follow a trail when we can blaze our own? :p

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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: May 03 2002,5:43 pm QUOTE

Thanks Georockers,

After several delays (dang mechanics  :angry: ), lots of preparations, and of course my tendancy to procrastinate I think I'm finally ready.  Looks like I'll be taking off Saturday, looking forward to meeting everyone, can't wait to get on the road (though the first week or so will be a lot of visiting friends and what not, so I'll probably still be online). I'll keep everyone updated.

Happy caching,
Mike

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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: May 03 2002,8:16 pm QUOTE

Does Navicache have any sticker large enough to attract attention that you guys would want me to stick on my truck cap?  Something to make the outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and tourists (from all the places I visit) aware of sport and of the site?  If so let me know, I've got a relatively good idea of the addresses I'll be at in the next week or two, if somethings already made up I'll stick her on.

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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: May 06 2002,12:07 am QUOTE

Greetings all from Delmar, DE.

Not much going on really, swung over this way to visit some friends.  Hit a cache yesterday on the way down and 3 with my buddy in DE today (he's hooked went out last fall when I came down to) got 4 more planned for tomorrow.  None were great though, the only thing off interest is that Roadkill was the last one at one of the cache's (Icestorm) which was a pleasant surprise, hopped on the forums to write this and my buddy looks at roadkills pic and was like what the #%$#  :D he has yet to learn the power of the cap.  Hopefully I'll have some time to write some stuff up for my page on Rob's site tomorrow, left  Erie woefully unprepared for the trip though (didn't have any caches mapped out yet :()

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YardBoy Offline
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Posted: May 06 2002,8:51 am QUOTE

I just met a new NaviCacher named "welch" from Iowa in the Chat Room who questioned RoadKill's toupe.

(that Chat Room needs organization)

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Posted: May 17 2002,1:43 am QUOTE

:wave  How goes it Mike?

We were out on the trails last weekend and met Q.
Your name came up.......only good stuff.

Just wondering how your trip is progressing?  wish I was on the trails.  I spent 2 straight hours on Tuesday doing paperwork.  My hand got so fatigued ...hurt for the rest of the night then by morning started to balloon......I was wondering if a tick was calling me from the field...lol

May the force be with you!

Dx

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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: May 22 2002,3:09 pm QUOTE

Greetings from Meridia Mississippi everyone!  :wave
I have a couple spare hours so I figured I'd hop on the computers update you guys (and girls), log my found caches, do email (I was pumped that I'd finally be able to sit down and email Rob a bunch of info for my page over there), find more caches to do, etc. Anyway this freakin library has blocked Hotmail and Netscape.  I couldn't believe it, so I figured I'd use megaproxy or spaceproxy or something similiar and it's got those blocked as well  :angry: .  Ahh well, one of these days I'll get the info to you Rob.  Plus if anyone emailed me you probably won't hear from me til next net access.  
Anyway the trip has been good so far, though much different then last time.  Really haven't done any real hiking and no backpacking yet.  I blame the lack of National Parks in the Eastern United states.  Most of my time has been spent visiting National Monuments and other historic sites (and caching of course).  Let's see, after leaving DE/MD I went and visited friends in NC for 2 days introduced them to caching and did some decent caches down there (they're hooked).  Checked out Duke and UNC and liked both of those.  Then hit SC, darkness actually fell while I was doing a cache in a SC swamp (that just 1 more will always get you in trouble) even worse I had no light.... I know I know but there was a bunch in this area and I figured I'd be in and out in no time so I didn't bother to check if it was packed... I know I know, what kind of backpacker am I.  Anyway hiking poorly marked trails in the swamps of SC after dusk was a new experience for me.  Let's see also hit Savannah GA.  That's a nice little gem of a town I recomend it to anyone out that way.  Hit Fort Pulaski that's near there, pretty cool fort (named for a Polish noble who came over and was a hero in America's war for independence, played a part in the french british battles, had a part in the war of 1812, plus it still has shells in the wall from battle during the civil war, when it got it's arse whooped by the Union's new cannons with rifled barrels) and even had a cache to boot!  Anyway after that I hit downtown Savannah as the sun was setting, saw some southern bells wandering around  ;0o and ended the day eating supper on the banks of the river listening to the Savannah symphony perform a free concert as the sun set!  It was a great day (granted my supper was a can of tuna fish and cold from the can generic spaghetti-oo's but you can't get everything).  
From there headed south checked out a historic plantation or two and even pulled a $20.00 IHOP gift certificate (great in my situation, canned food is all I eat on these trips, cause it's so much cheaper) out of a cache plus I met some fellow cachers on the way out of that same cache.  Took 1 down through FL, even stopped and played around on a beach for awhile.  
Got down and spent the night in the Everglades.   THE MOSQUITOS (sp) are evil there!!  The cap on the back of my truck has a gap in the back (hey it was $50) anway last trip I just stuffed a foam filled plastic wind stop type of thing I glued together in there and I was fine, stopped the wind kept the bugs out etc.  Well in the glades they have these little tiny spawn of Satan Mosquitoes that apparently had no problem getting past my little plastic contraption (also stumbled upon the biggest rat I've ever scene in the bathrooms).  After killing 10 of them I thought I had them all, then I hear more buzzing after trying again and again to keep them out I finally retreated and spent the night crunched into my cab.  Bought a plastic table cover for the next night (gotta love the dollar store) and that seemed to work well enough.  ANyway the glades were dry and dissapointing hiked a little bit spent 2 nights there but really wasn't impressed.  The highlight as far as parks goes so far had to be Biscayne NP on the east coast of FLorida.  Took the snorkeling trip and spent a little over an hour diving one of the coral reefs (sharks point or something) 15 miles of the mainland.  Very cool, saw a bunch of different fish of all colors.  Great time, though my back is still peeling from the sunburn I got :) (yes I know once again, that one was my bad).  Stayed with family I'm friends with for a few days in Florida, took the kids 7+8 on their first caching trip and they loved it.  Checked out FSU and then headed up into AL, did some caching, spent the night and here I am.  IT's 4:30, just ate have some more caches to hit then it's find a state park sleep and tomorrow I'm off to Vicksburgh National Battlefield then I cache my way to New Orleans, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and then Texas.

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the great weather.... ohh yeah I forgot you guys got snow or frost or something recently didn't you? (it hasn't been below 80 during the day since I stared and it's only rained once :)..... hope I just didn't cause a little snowstorm cloud to follow me around.

Mike

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Posted: May 22 2002,4:34 pm QUOTE

Quote (mikechim @ May 22 2002,5:09 pm)
Hit Fort Pulaski that's near there, pretty cool fort (named for a Polish noble who came over and was a hero in America's war for independence, played a part in the french british battles, had a part in the war of 1812...

Upstate NYers should know General Pulaski & one of the salmon capitals of the world (sorry, http button utility isn't working)

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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: May 30 2002,4:38 pm QUOTE

Hola everyone.  I'm here at Arizona State University getting some much needed net time.  It's 110 so I figured I'd hide inside the nice air conditioned library, do some girl watching (girls my age don't tend to congregate at National Parks, Monuments, Historic areas, etc.)

I've hit around 50 caches since I left PA.  Some just ok, some pretty good.  Some of the better ones were two in North Carolina.  I took my buddy and his fiance on one of them, a monopoly based cache.  She (a self proclaimed monopoly expert :0o ) assured me she could do it which was good because I am not a monopoly guru.  If you got them all right you hit 4 spots, missed everyone you hit 9.  8 cache locations later we finally got there.  But they had a good time and truly enjoyed their first geocaching experience, her even more so then him.  Later I hit the Knight for a day cache in the same park that lead you to different areas that were supposed to resemble stuff from your stereotypical nights tale.  Both were good quality caches.  I also did an urban cache in Florida (I usually frown on those) which wasn't even indoors (even worse) that was actually very good.  The coordinates were for an internet cafe, you went there asked for the cache (which was a CD holder with wide selection of CD's and software).  The cafe then gave you free net access and a free coffee (being a non coffee drinker they gave me sprite), it made for a great airconditioned break after a hot humid mourning of caching.  I also got the first geocache ever placed in Mississippi (which was surprisingly a pretty nice hike uphill through a forest beside a little lake).  Ohh yeah one of the coolest locations for an easy 1/1 cache had to be the place that stonehenge II was placed, the cache was and easy find in a farmers field.  But the cool thing was that some people had built a 1/2 sized replica of stonehenge in this field.  I never thought I would come across a stonehenge replica on a farm in the middle of nowhere Texas!  I loved this easy cache (usually I'm not a fan of the easy ones).
My strangest and most unnerving experience so far this trip(geocaching or otherwise) happened here On the Dwarf Sumac Cache.  In New Mexico I did a fairly easy cache that was in a great location, on BLM land that used to be mining property, the neat thing was that there is turquoise lying around to be had if you searched long enough, I found several pieces that, along with swap items from caches throughout my travels will end up in a cache I'm placing when I get back.  My favorite NM cache had to be Top of the Mountain, a 2 mile one way hike with a 1100 foot elevation change.  A pretty good work out considering it was around 98 and there "forests" out here offer less shade then that one tree that many people have in their front yard.  The top had some nice views of the surrounding area.  The two caches I've done in Arizona were also neat, one was a well hidden urban cache (only 200 ft from the University of Arizona library where I spent the afternoon so I couldn't resist, even though I still am not a fan of urbans) and the other (another semi urban) was ontop of a "mountain" besides campus that has a big A painted on it.  Went up as the sun was setting and on the way back down I noticed a orange glow from a mountain across the way.  I then realized that it was the nation's #1 wildfired, the one near Tucson in the Coronado National Forest.  I sat around at an overlook were a bunch of the locals were parked, both intrigued but also intimdated when I thought if I can see the flames from this far away what is it like for the people fighting that fire?  Tonight I'm staying with cousins (which will be my first good meal and rest in awhile) and then after recovering and tying up some lose ends, it's off to the Grand Canyon.  I'd like to backpack it, though usually you have to get permits 3 months in advance.  Besides with the 110 and higher degree weather forcasted I'm not sure I want to haul all that weight up and down that canyon.  

I highly recomend White Sands National Monument (do the 4 mile hike into the "backcountry" there) and Carlsbad Caverns to everyone.  The White Sands, as the name implies is a stunning white sandune reserve.  It's gypsum sand which besides being glistening white reflects heat.  Which means even though it was mid-day, 90 something in city (and significantly hotter on the dunes) I could walk barefoot across the sand, try doing that on Presque Isle.  Carlsbad was just plain cool (though I couldn't stay around for the bat flight at night) and reminded me of the descriptions of the cave's behind Helm's Deep in Tolkien's LOTR books (minus the crystals and jewels of course).

Geocaching in the southwest:
The best thing about geocaching in the southwest is that there are practically no trees so you get God like reception (yes even with an Etrex Quinn     :D ).
The worst thing about geocaching in the south is no trees, and it's been above 90 everyday with little breeze, so your basically like bacon in a skillet.... mmmmm bacon (things that you take for granted like good food, showers, a bed, and cool drinking water, not to mention net access, become luxuries on the road).

Well that's about all for now, I may or may not update from my cousins house, we'll see.  If not talk to you after the Grand Canyon (hopefully I can get a permit and it cools down)

Mike

Say hi to everyone at the picnic for me, wish I could jump on a plane and spend the weekend there.

Edited by mikechim on --

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dgridley Offline
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    Posted: May 30 2002,6:30 pm QUOTE

Quote (mikechim @ May 30 2002,6:38 pm)
I highly recomend White Sands National Monument (do the 4 mile hike into the "backcountry" there) and Carlsbad Caverns to everyone.  The White Sands, as the name implies is a stunning white sandune reserve.  It's gypsum sand which besides being glistening white reflects heat.  Which means even though it was mid-day, 90 something in city (and significantly hotter on the dunes) I could walk barefoot across the sand, try doing that on Presque Isle.  

We traveled thru White Sands as a kid on the road.. you're right that it's a great place. I remember the lizards scurrying across the sand were white also so you had to look hard to actually see anything more than movement.

Sounds like you're having a great time!

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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: June 05 2002,4:06 pm QUOTE

Hi everyone,

Relaxing with my cousin and her husband here in Phoenix (actually goodyear) AZ.  Heading out for the Grand Canyon soon, I hope to backpack it but with a 3 month waiting list for permits I find it highly unlikely (that and the 110 temps are making me think 2x as well, maybe I'll head back out here next winter, fall, or spring with some friends and do it)

Yep dgridley I am having a GREAT time, though I miss the forests, and I am also disapointed I missed the gathering, sounds like everyone had a great time, shame I wasn't there to meet everyone (also would've liked to give hinge thunder's cache a shot as well).  But I WILL eventually get out your guys's way sooner or later this summer.

Been doing a bit of caching while I'm visiting, actually got my cousin's husband Mike and one of his neighbor's Willie into it.  They did 2 with me (total about 7 miles of hiking in the desert and arid mountains) and they're hooked, Willie's a HAM radio guy and he's already checking into GPS's and Mike already has ideas (gave him some advice) for the two of them placing a cache.  I also told them to check this place out if they ever need any help, once they get started.  Of all the people I've introduced to caching they seem the most excited.  I also have to give props to Willie he's around 60 and hung through 110 degree heat, miles of walking, and steep climbs.

Anyway that's about all, like I said I've been relaxing and spreading the good word of the sport and the site.  The next few weeks of my trip should be the main part of it.  WIth all the National Parks coming up, I'm looking forward to it.  Hopefully I'll wander into a forest somewhere!

One odd thing I noticed is that the hiking and backpacking season is reversed down here.  I did a 10 mile hike in the white tank mountains yesterday (the activity on both of the caches I found seemed to have died down come march as well)and I think I was the only one in the entire park!  One of the park employees told me that winter is the big time down here.  I guess only us Northern folk are stupid enough to hike down here in the summer heat.  Come summer, all the locals seem to hibernate indoors like we do in the winter.

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"...Not all those who wander are lost..."
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dgridley Offline
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    Posted: June 05 2002,4:26 pm QUOTE

I know the heat down here for me is REALLY oppressive since I moved down south... it's been in the high 80's and 90's alot lately with a good bit of humidity besides. People are telling me to just wait until July!! I look back wistfully at the high 50's and 60's I remember and love so well! Easier to get warm than cool...

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David Gridley
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Rob Offline
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    Posted: June 06 2002,8:50 pm QUOTE

Got a couple of logs from Mike today. You can read them at: http://www.creekbed.com/geotravels.htm

Ah, to be young again.

And yes, we do tend to hibernate in the summer down here. It was 97 at my place yesterday.  :^^
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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: June 12 2002,12:00 pm QUOTE

FINALLY I got to do some backpacking and I whooped the Grand Canyon's #$$  :grinnin .  Seriously though it was much much easier then I thought it would be.  I've heard horror stories of the canyon and how an unbelievable amount of people are rescued every day.  But I could have hiked to the bottom and back up in 1 day with a full backpack (not a day pack) easily.  I HIGHLY recomend that anyone visiting the grand canyon take a backpacking trip, in fact most of the people I met were first time backpackers.  There was a group of women (oldest 58) with a guide and a group of guys (some overweight) from a church group in Philadelphia that all made it fine (granted they said it was hard and were in pain, but hey they made it).  So go out and do it, the view is so much better and you will appreciate it so much more.  Just don't be an idiot (here starts a little rant, I'll talk more about my trip down on Rob's site once I get caught up, if not before I visit him after I leave there I will definately but caught up and updating the site with current things).  ANyway my RANT:

You should be fine in the Canyon if your semi intelligent.  Here is an example of what not to do.  Lead a group of 6 kids into the Grand Canyon at 11:00 (you want to avoid hiking between 10 and 4 as temps reach 110, on the CO river), when you go take only 1 bottle of water (even though common sense says take more and there are HUGE warning signs all over the place saying bring at least 4 liters), have no backcountry camping permit yet try to camp at a site anyway, go off the maid "corridor" trails onto less travelled more difficult trails with even less water.  Yes believe it or not on the day I hiked out some idiot actually did this.  Him and the group of kids had to be helicoptered out (not cheap either $2000 a person or a helicopter and they used 2 choppers so either way it's expensive).  If I sent my guide with someone and they were that ignorant I'd be pissed!   Anyway what else, yes you will notice I don't have much to say about geocaching.  The reason being is I"ve been denied on the last 22 caches I've tried (your thinking what the heck, did you lose your caching ability, no it's not that I couldn't find them it's that I couldn't even attempt to find them).  I got info for a bunch of them while I was staying with cousins in Phoenix (none of them mentioned they were in the NF land and that it was closed, owners should really keep up with that stuff, post a note etc) anyway AZ, CO, NM are all having the worst drought on record and have all closed ALL their national forests.  So I couldn't even cache..... I think I'm going through withdrawls.  After the canyon, visited some cliff dwellings (for the life of me can't remember thename) then headed to the Great Sand Dunes NM, and hiked to the highest Sand dune in the US (some 750 feet tall) it was a bit of work hiking up that bad boy but the view of the stars was worth it (glad I had my GPS and marked my car, still would've made it out of the giant sandbox but I would've been much more nervous as it tends to look the same at night).  ANyway the hike up was rough, sand isn't the easiest thing to walk on and my illness (I think I have bronchitis or some other lung/throat infection that's messing with my breathing, had it while I hiked the Canyon, in fact the night before I started I had a horrible sore throat, but endorphines from hiking take care of all that, also noticed some where along the way that I've become faster then most hikers when I'm doing a comfortable pass, did get passed once... these crazy 70yr old dayhikers actually run yes RUN the canyon everyday up and down... I was in awe!)   Anyway with the high altitude of the Dunes (9000 feet or so) I wasn't sure I would make it and had to rest a few times, hopefully I get healthy soon.  Though I am feeling better today.  
Anyway I'm heading to mesa verda then 4 corners (have 2 caches planned on the way so hopefully I can finally cache.... need my fix  :D ) and then up to all the stuff in Southern UT, arches, canyonlands, natural bridges, etc.  

Take care and happy caching everyone
Mike

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"...Not all those who wander are lost..."
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mikechim Offline
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    Posted: June 23 2002,3:13 am QUOTE

Hola Everyone,

Hanging down here with Rob and Catherine, FINALLY have a good solid net connection (though I'm not getting much sleep these days  :grinnin ).  Since my last update I visited Natural Bridges and then Canyonlands.  Hiked Arches NP and was interviewed for the new visitor center video (for years to come people may see me talking about respecting the parks and the ignorant things i've scene people doing in the parks as well as talking about the fiery furnace hike I had just done), did some day hikes in Bryce, backpacked Zion and saved a interp ranger there from dehydration, went to vegas and lost $20 (upset me I had set aside $10 to spend, walked around for hours checking out the place and remarking how the people on the slot machines were just like the rats in a lab trained to push a bar for food, even knowing the principles behind it, once I got a few free drinks in me combined with it being 1:00 am, next thing I know I'm playing the 75 cent slots trying to win big, then all of a sudden my wallets empty) then slept it off in the parking garage, (sorry if this isn't coherent, it's 2:00 am out here) and spent today at the San Diego beaches (kind of disapointed, I figured Saturday afternoon and nice out, Bay Watch experience here I come... and yeah there were a few hot girls but not anymore then anywhere else, where are these amazing CA girls that I heard about, where are my baywatch girls...  :angry: ahh well  ), and of course did a bunch of caches.  By the way Rob's own Scripps Cottage is the best implementation of a urban cache I've scene.   Tomorrow I'm off to find the rest of Rob and Catherine's caches.  2 down...6? more to go.  Should be back home middle of July then I'll have to finally make that trip out to Rochester  :grinnin

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Gimpy Offline
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Posted: June 23 2002,9:24 pm QUOTE

Sounds like you're having a great time, Mike. Hope to see you soon up in our neck of the woods. :grinnin  Certainly no shortage of caches to go after around here.

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