US Trip 2016 – Heading west

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After spending a few days in Denver, and attending the GeoWoodstock 14er Mega, it was time to head towards Utah. But instead of driving the shortest way to Vernal, we decided to do a short detour to Cheyenne.

Tracklog - Heading west

After checking out of the hotel, we headed towards the GW 14 Farewell event. But first we had to do a short walk to find one of Denver’s most favorited cache, the GC2KCRP LoDo TB & Geocoin Hotel.

We didn’t see much people when walking around downtown, but when we got back to the event location – people everywhere! A nice way to end our visit to Denver!

GW14 Farewell event

As earlier, the top priorities on the way from Denver to Cheyenne (where we had booked the next hotel) was new counties and virtual caches. We also had a short 15-cache trail on our plan.

Virtual caches often bring us to awesome places, and the first one today did just that. Swetsville Zoo was a real fun stop! My grandfather like to make things like this himself, in a much smaller scale, but he would definitely love to see this!

The best I can do is show some pictures:

Swetsville Zoo

Funny car

Bug

Outside the zoo

After finding a few more caches, it was time to cross the border to Wyoming. Somehow I managed to drive right past the pullout to the welcome sign, where the cache we had planned to find was…

We decided to turn back at the next exit, head back into Colorado and then cross the border again. After stopping at a random cache, we headed back into Colorado, before turning back and stopping at the pullout this time. We had some bad weather while driving, but once we got back to the border, the weather was perfect!

Wyoming

The next stop was at the welcome center, and a D5-cache. We weren’t alone for very long, before several other geocachers joined us in the hunt for that cache.

We spent quite some time, and even though we ended up as a relatively large group looking all over the place, we still couldn’t find anything. Old logs were studied, old photos etc. Still nothing. We tried using various tools, still nothing.

But after spending more than an hour, it became harder and harder to give up. So I didn’t manage to leave, before everyone else left. But they didn’t, because finally it was found! More than 90 minutes after we arrived…

Wonder if it's up here...

The rest of the plan consisted mostly of virtual caches, which brought us to several nice places in and around Cheyenne.

Seeing all the huge decorated boots around Cheyenne was cool, some really nice designs!

Cheyenne boot

One of the last caches brought us to a cool place on the side of the road. Various “wind operated sculptures” all over the place, some with really clever design and mechanics.

Rocky

As if that wasn’t awesome enough in itself, the owner of the place came out and gave us a personal tour! He had some really special cars hidden in his garage, including a three-wheeled car he had designed himself.

Custom car

Meeting people with this much creativity and enthusiasm is something we really enjoy. Getting to see his collection and listen to his stories is something we will remember as one of many highlights of our caching career! I will recommend anyone traveling nearby to stop by GC502A Wyoming Wind!

Wyoming Wind

After a couple more caches, and checking in at the hotel, we headed towards Cheyenne Frontier Days – and the 4th of July celebration.

4th of July

We enjoyed the show, and the fireworks. This is not even close to how we celebrate our national day in Norway, but this was a great event!

Fireworks

Getting back to the hotel took a while, a lot of cars leaving at the same time… But we made it, and got some hours of sleep this night as well.

Since we didn’t get to do any laundry in Denver, Heltinnen had to get up at 5am to do laundry at the hotel in Cheyenne.

We had a long way to drive to get to Vernal, and mostly counties and virtuals again, and a few earthcaches. Sadly we didn’t have time to wait for the CITO-event in Cheyenne to start, so we just had to hit the road (after a stop at one of the caches closest to the hotel).

We got to see interesting places today as well, like this tree that grows on a rock!

Tree in rock

We did a quick visit to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, to do the webcam cache there. We found a few more caches around in Laramie, before continuing towards Rawlins (stopping to get a couple along the road), where we had two virtual caches planned.

Not much traffic, perfect weather and awesome views along the way. After Rawlins, and a couple more caches along the way, we reached Rocks Springs and the cache we had planned there.

Finally it was time to head south towards the Utah border. A couple earthcaches, and a really annoying DNF later, it was time to leave Wyoming, at least for today.

Entering Utah

One of the reasons we’re heading to Vernal, is to find caches in the counties we’re missing in Utah – the plan was to do all the remaining caches in Utah.

We also wanted to do as many Utah GeoTour-caches as possible, to collect some of the nice patches 😉

We did several virtual caches along the way, including a couple near the Flaming Gorge Dam. The view from right above it was amazing!

A dam good view

Little did we know that we also would get the chance to become FTF on a new cache. Unfound caches are tagged with “[Nf]” on my GPSr, so when we noticed GC6MKWQ Firefighter’s Memorial at the end of a really short trail, we hade to give it a try!

We looked all over the place, but couldn’t find anything… Giving up is not something I do easily, so we continued a bit more, expanding the search radius more and more. Eventually, we found it! And the log was empty 😀

FTF!

But the day wasn’t over yet, we still had a couple more virtual caches and a Utah GeoTour cache to find.

We didn’t get to the hotel before after dark, so after finding the cache closest to the hotel, it was time to get some rest.

Dinosaur

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