US Trip 2016 – The long way to Denver

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After driving through a lot of states, and spending a night in New Orleans, it was time to head towards Denver. We used three days to get from New Orleans to Denver, and we didn’t exactly drive the shortest route…

Parts of this route could have included toll roads, but we managed to avoid all of them (mostly to avoid the hassle, not the cost itself).

Tracklog - The long way to Denver

Finding caches in as many counties as possible is still high on our list of priorities. So the first stops after leaving New Orleans, were to secure new counties. One of them had us doing a short detour off the Interstate, and since the cache we needed was a part of a 30-cache trail, we did as many as we could in that trail.

Nice road for a trail like this
Nice road for a trail like this
Only alligators we saw were roadkill :(
Only alligators we saw were roadkill 🙁
Scenery along the trail
Scenery along the trail

After finishing the trail, we continued towards Texarkana, where we had booked the next hotel.

The caches we needed to find to get all the counties we wanted, brought us to a lot of interesting places. We enjoyed a clever multi cache, and we got to see this huge alligator at a visitor center in West Baton Rouge:


Some caches, we simply skipped – when we saw the two signs below and noticed that the cache was hidden inside the swamp, we decided to do the next one instead…

Beware of alligators IMG_7704_20160629_125207

In addition to counties, we also did some detours for a few virtual caches. One of them brought us to the point where Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas meet.


We also got to drive on Monster Expressway, and visit the Boggy Creek Monster in Fouke, Arkansas (after crossing the borders several times to find other caches first).

Boggy Creek Monster

After saying hello to the monster, it didn’t take too long before we arrived in Texarkana. The virtual cache on the border was high on our list, and we were a bit surprised when we arrived – and the place looked completely abandoned! Only muggles around were a family going to a nearby pizza place.


Before continuing to the last caches on our plan, we stopped by Cavender’s to see if they had any nice hats. The sun is too bright for us Norwegians, so we need a hat 😉

After purchasing two nice hats, and finding a few more caches, it was time to head to the hotel. We tried ordering a pizza to the room, but since we were located right next to the state border, that turned out to be a lot harder than we had anticipated. After three calls to Domino’s (they kept sending us all around the area), we gave up and called another company – which finally got us what we wanted.

We started early the next day, and crossed the border to Texas shortly after checking out.

Texas Visitor Center

After a short stop at the visitor center, we headed towards Paris.

We only did a few stops (yes, to get the counties) before arriving in Paris. The only thing we wanted to do in Paris today, was to see the tower – the Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower

We continued towards the Oklahoma border, and up towards the webcam cache outside of Oklahoma City. Collecting counties along the way, and stopping at some interesting places along the way.

Antlers, Oklahoma
Antlers, Oklahoma
Old gas station
Old gas station

After doing the webcam cache, we continued towards Route 66. We didn’t drive very long on Route 66, but just enough to visit the Arcadia Round Barn, and Pops.

Arcadia Round Barn
Arcadia Round Barn
Pops, they have more than 700 different types of bottled soda!
Pops, they have more than 700 different types of bottled soda!
We had to try some
We had to try some


We bought some strange and unknown sodas at Pops, that we brought with us to test along the road.

A bit further north, on route towards the Kansas border, we got hit by heavy rain. See for yourself:

Fortunately, the weather cleared, and the sun was shining when we crossed the border to Kansas.

Sun in Kansas

We made it to the hotel before the sun was completely gone (since we decided to skip the detour down to Mulvane).

Since we stayed at a hotel that shared the building with a casino, we had to visit the casino. For the first time ever our Norwegian drivers license wasn’t accepted as ID, and we had to get our passports to get into the casino.

But we couldn’t stay there long, we had to get up early next morning. We had 617 miles (~990km) ahead of us on our route to Denver…

And by early, I really mean early – before 6am (that’s early when you’re on holiday).

Even earlier than the sun
Even earlier than the sun
Texas shaped waffle
Texas shaped waffle

We had a long road ahead of us, but not too many caches planned. It was mostly counties (again) and virtual caches. A big contributor to the length of the route was a detour to Cawker. Last year, we visited the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota, this year it was time to visit the Biggest Ball of Twine in Cawker.

Biggest Ball of Twine

This one was a bit more exposed to the elements, but the constant adding of new layers adds some protection to it. We even got to add some twine ourselves!

Heltinnen adding twine to the twine ball
Heltinnen adding twine to the twine ball

After adding the twine, talking to the caretaker and some other tourists arriving, we continued to the Geodetic Center of North America (or at least the sign that is close to the center).

But first we had to do a detour to grab some more virtuals – like this one:

Statue of Liberty

Even though the historical marker at the geodetic center, isn’t at the center, it’s fun to say that we’ve been there!

Geodetic center of North America

We continued to find some more virtual caches, before it was time to head towards the border. Luckily, we gained an hour when crossing the border to the Mountain Time Zone – we needed that this day…

When stopping at the Colorado Welcome Center, we met another geocacher on his way to GeoWoodstock – that’s always fun! We also (both of us) mistook a muggle family for being geocachers. But they were interested in what we were looking for, so who knows, they might be geocachers now..?

Colorado Welcome Center

We didn’t get very far into Colorado before we got hit by bad weather.

We stopped at the next rest area, where the next cache on our list was. A cache we needed to find to get the county. But the rain wasn’t stopping, and the Minute Cast on AccuWeather just kept saying “the rain will end in 7 minutes”.

Going outside to look for the cache in the rain was not an option, see why here:

We used the time to look for alternative caches in this county, and found a couple candidates. We decided to just leave the rest area, and hope the weahter cleared by the time we got to one of the other caches. We also needed some gas, since we’ve been driving forever without passing a gas station. The only one available here, was full of parked cars waiting for better weather…

And so was the rest area, we barely managed to drive out of there.

Cars everywhere

When we got back onto the Interstate, it didn’t take more than a couple minutes before we were out of the bad weather. We probably should have done that right away…

We found the cache we needed, and also a gas station. We made it safely to Denver, well in time to attend the midnight event.

When checking in at the hotel, they spent a lot of time explaining that the AC didn’t work, and how sorry they were. What they forgot to mention, was that the sound proofed room we had booked – weren’t sound proofed at all. We could hear everything they said in the room next door, and everything going on in the hallway. The temperature wasn’t bad at all…

Our Norwegian friends, Imit42 and Nja42 arrived in Denver a day earlier than us, and they picked us up at the hotel so we could go to the midnight event together.

We arrived in time, and even though it was raining a bit, the location was filled with smiling geocachers – just the way it should be!

Midnight at the mile

We stayed until the event was over, found another cache downtown and then it was time to get some well deserved, and needed, sleep.

One mile above...

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