US Trip 2014 – From Perryton to Prescott

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After visiting Mount Rushmore, Carhenge and Mingo (oldest active cache) and finally ending up in Perryton, Texas, the next part was from Perryton to Prescott, Arizona. Since we also want to find some caches along the road, we planned to use two days on this part. The first night was in Grants, New Mexico.

Our first experience in Texas wasn’t the best, but the hotel was nice and we got a good night’s sleep. We got up early, and went to find the first cache, not too far away from the hotel.

Yesterday, we had some trouble with the car, which for some reason thought it was -40F outside! This caused the A/C to shut down. So we were pretty happy to discover that the car also felt the Texas heat, and that the A/C now worked again!

The first cache of the day wasn’t exactly a success, the place was full of muggles! Some kind of happening, there was people everywhere! But we gave it a try anyway, but couldn’t find it. Luckily, this was the only DNF on our way down towards Amarillo. When we arrived in Amarillo, we stopped at GC30FGP The Big Texas Travel Bug Hotel, which was right next to The Big Texan Steak Ranch. They serve 72oz/2kg steaks! We did not try the steak, but we did buy some fudge and souvenirs.

Big Texan

After visiting Big Texan, we discovered that there was a letterbox hybrid cache nearby. We enjoy finding non-traditional caches, so we had to go find it. It was inside a cemetery, a huge cemetery! We’re not used to finding caches in cemeteries in Norway, but we’ve been to quite a few on this trip!

After finding the letterbox, we went to find some virtuals and a earthcache. After doing the virtuals, and the earthcache, it was time for the main attraction: Cadillac Ranch! Little did we know that Cadillac Ranch also would turn out to be a Geocache of the Week! The third, of a total of four planned, Geocache of the Week we’ve visited on this trip.

Cadillac Ranch was just as awesome as we expected, but we did not expect to find so much garbage lying around. It’s a shame that people can’t pick up their own trash. Unfortunately, we hadn’t read the description of the cache, so we didn’t bring garbage bags with us. But we did pick up a few paint cans on our way back to the car.

Cadillac Ranch

Finding the virtual cache was easy, but finding the traditional was a whole other story! The fact that people was walking around spray painting the car we wanted to search, made it a whole lot harder! But, with good help from the description and hint, we made it! When taking pictures afterwards, I overheard someone reading the hint out loud – and just had to tell them that they wouldn’t find anything where they were looking. They were looking as far away from the cache as possible! We tried to help them, but ended up finding the cache for them. Always fun to meet other cachers!

After our visit to Cadillac Ranch, we found all the nearby caches, before heading to the midpoint of Route 66 and GCH2P2 MEET YA HALFWAY.

Route 66 Midpoint

We’ve been in both ends of Route 66 on previous trips, so it was fun to visit the midpoint today! After some souvenir shopping, it was time to head for the New Mexico border. In the last souvenir shop, we were told that this probably was our last stop in Texas. It wasn’t! We’re geocachers, so of course we had to do another stop in Texas, to find a cache. On our last stop in Texas, we got a visitor in the car! A huge cricket jumped in the window!

After crossing the New Mexico border (and gaining an hour due to the time zone difference), and discovering that we just went past a relatively new cache, we went to find our first cache in New Mexico (not the recently published one). When walking towards GC1G3KG Best Western, we walked in a «sea of crickets» – they were jumping everywhere!

Welcome to New Mexico

We still had a long way to drive, so we limited the amount of stops the rest of the day. But we did manage to get a find in a county we hadn’t planned to find, when we cut the corner of Santa Fe county – we even found a bonus large cache! We stopped at Route 66 Casino, outside of Albuquerque, but not to gamble. We wanted to eat at Johnny Rockets, which we like to do when we visit the states. After getting some food, we had to try the slot machines, just to be able to say that we’ve been at a casino!

When we arrived in Grants, we were exhausted, it’s been a long day. The next day started with a earthcache, that turned out to be a whole lot harder than we thought. The sun was working against us, by blocking the view. The next stop was on the Continental Divide, which we’ve visited several times earlier on this trip. So when we got to the earthcache, we knew everything about the divide.

After finding the caches at the divide, it was time to head towards the Arizona border, and once again go back in time (without having to drive in 88mph). After a stop at the visitor center, to find the cache, the next stop was Painted Desert.

Welcome to Arizona

When we got there we used some time at the visitor center, before going into the Petrified Forest National Park to find the caches in this part of the park. Since we had a long way to drive today as well, we had only planned to find the caches in the Painted Desert, and not in the Crystal Forest. But, after finding the caches we had planned to find, and a extra cache a bit further down in the park, I remembered what AmayaTom told us in Seattle. He said that Crystal Forest was the best part of the park. And that really made me want to go there!

So after downloading some of the caches in the rest of the park, we did a huge detour from our plan. It was worth it.

Crystal Forest was simply awesome! We don’t have anything like this in Norway, so this was almost like visiting another planet for us! (not that we know how that feels)

Crystal Forest

After Petrified Forest National Park, we visited Winslow and stopped by a few virtuals along Route 66, before heading towards Meteor Crater. We had planned a visit to Walnut Canyon National Monument, which closed at 5pm, so we had to hurry at the crater. But we took the time we needed to see it, do the caches and take some photos.

Meteor Crater

We got back in the car and rushed to Walnut Canyon, still obeying the speed limits of course. We didn’t make it. And I probably said some not so nice words… To not go empty handed back, we found a traditional cache nearby.

Now it was time to head towards Sedona. Turned out that all of the forest along the road was closed due to fire danger, so we couldn’t cache much along the way to Sedona. That may have been a good thing. Once we got to Sedona, and the viewpoint at the airport, the sun had started to set. If we had cached along the way, it would have been impossible to do the earthcache.

On our way towards the viewpoint, we suddenly discovered GC309EE Missing Lynx on the map. Since one of our local cachers back home is called lynxalynx, we just had to find it! It was a clever hide, and definitely worth the stop! After finding Lynx, we went to the viewpoint.

The area was full of people wanting to enjoy the view of the sunset. Luckily for us, a representative from the organisation responsible for maintaining the viewpoint was there, and could help us with some info we needed for the earthcache.

Me at the viewpoint

Our last cache in Sedona, and what turned out to be the last cache of the day due the lack of daylight, was GC45297 S.P.D. #1 – Welcome!

This was the first time ever that we’ve found a cache inside a police house! It was awesome! This is one of the coolest caches we’ve found on this trip! Well done Sedona PD! To have some fun with the people back home, we had to do a check-in on Facebook. So with no comments, we checked-in at Sedona Police Department.

We continued to Prescott without finding any more caches. We had planned to find a TB hotel, but decided to skip it.

When we arrived in Prescott, a huge (to us it was huge) spider was greeting us. Compared to the snake in Texas, this one was nice and friendly.

Spidey

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