US Trip 2018 – Day 21 – Vegas!

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The route this day took us from Mesquite to Las Vegas, via Valley of Fire. Beautiful weather all day, but a bit hot.

Approximate time on road/out caching:  16 hours
Total miles driven: 121 mi / 194.73 km
Total cahes found: 23
Total DNF: 0
States visited: Nevada
Famous places visited: Valley of Fire, Las Vegas
Most memorable cache: GC7WH6E Seven Sisters
Biggest surprise: FTF on the earthcache!
Weather: Sunny
Highest temperature: 38,9°C / 102°F
Lowest temperature: 23,9°C / 75°F

Early start

Since we wanted to get to Vegas as early as possible, we left the hotel before 7am. After a quick breakfast stop, we drove for almost an hour before we stopped at the first cache, GC7BW02 Buttes, wait or Mesas?.

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

The next cache on the plan, GCQ4H4 Test Tube 1, brought us to this interesting location (random fact: in Norway, we do the testing on regular roads):

A couple caches later, we arrived at GC2ZXCE Noise Suppression. Caching in rural areas has some advantages, less muggles to worry about, so we could use the time we needed to find this one.

Valley of Fire

The main attraction of the day was Valley of Fire State Park, and the first cache we stopped at was GC32DT0 Valley of Fire State Park – Elephant Rock. It’s funny how you instantly see the elephant here, just because of the name. If you look at it the right way, the rock to the right of the elephant rock also kinda looks like an elephant.

Wait, what!?

While finding the answers for the Elephant Rock earthcache, we noticed another nearby earthcache tagged with [Nf] on the GPSr. That is how we tag caches that doesn’t have any found it-logs. A quick check revealed that this was a brand new – unfound – earthcache. We’re not very big FTF hunters anymore, but sometimes we just have to. And this was one of those times. We switched gears, and headed straight to GC7WH6E Seven Sisters.

The fact that it was right next to our route anyway was a nice bonus 😛 We couldn’t see any muggles when we arrived at GZ, and there was still no logs. We have been talking about making an earthcache about the same subject several times on this trip, so we had no trouble figuring out the required answers.

Not wanting to risk losing the FTF, we wrote and sent the answer while standing there. While writing, another car parked next to us. You know how it is, we instantly thought «oh, competition!?». So I wrote as fast as I could on my tiny phone (I prefer writing earthcache answers with a proper keyboard), and then struggled for a couple minutes to get it sent.

It was so nice to receive the FTF confirmation from the owner shortly after 😀

Warning – probably not the best day to find this cache

We stopped at the visitor center to get our book, plan etc stamped, and see if they had any nice souvenirs. A huge announcement stating that hiking was not recommended, was the first we saw when we entered the visitor center.

And we saw another warning when we started the hike to GCH723 Playing the Slots and GC1PPNP Mouse’s Tank-Natural Watering Hole.

We had to hike anyway. It wasn’t too far out to the two caches, and we brought enough water. But it was hot, and we wouldn’t want to hike very far in this heat.

We also had to do a quick non-cache detour to the nearby viewpoint.

More earthcaches

We continued along the way out of the park, stopping at the earthcaches along the way. We noticed more and more muggles as we got closer to the exit. So I guess we entered the park from the right direction today.

A Special Memory

Since we started so early, we also finished in the park early, and we had plenty of time to find a couple extra caches in Vegas. We decided that it was finally time to find GCQ596 A Special Memory.

We did as instructed, and stopped at the drive-thru. The cache is very nice and appropriate, but the best thing about this stop was the greeting we got:

Welcome to McDonald’s, what can I get you?

We asked for the cache, and got it 😛

The Pawn Shop

While we were at it, we decided to give GC5H20C Sign of Pawn Stars a try as well. This was our third visit to Las Vegas, but the first time we’ve seen the world famous pawn shop.

We decided to have a look inside before finding the cache. The shop was a lot bigger than it looks on TV!

Getting lost in downtown

After a quick stop at the hotel, we parked the car and used the Las Vegas Monorail to get around the city. We almost got lost trying to find the way to the first cache, GC4QY47 Big Wheel, Great View. Big buildings, people everywhere, streets blocked due to temporary exhibits etc. The hardest part was getting out of the casinos, since the monorail dropped us of dead center in the casino. But we made it, and we even found the way back 😛

We had the exact same problem at the next cache, GC4E94 IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST. The monorail station once again brought us to the middle of a casino. With no GPS reception, and signs designed to keep you there…

Tastes of the World

Before finding GC4CE1 MM MM Good, we stopped by the neighboring Coca-Cola Store. After doing way too much shopping, we decided to try the Tastes of the World. Some tasted good, some tasted really got and some tasted not good at all…

To the top!

The last cache of the day was GC68E7 Watch that first step… The monorail didn’t take us all the way, but once we finally got out of the casino it dropped us of at, it wasn’t too hard to get to the Stratosphere. We made it to the top, and enjoyed the magnificent view of the colorful city.

After spending some time on the top, we had to get back to the hotel. This turned out to be a very long day. But besides from the confusion when we got lost in the casinos, we had a great day!


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