US Trip 2018 – Day 24 – To Mexico and back

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The route this day took us from Twentynine Palms to Gila Bend, including a short trip across the border to Mexico. Another awesome day on the road!

Approximate time on road/out caching:  15 hours, 25 minutes
Total miles driven: 314.4 mi / 506 km
Total cahes found: 27
Total DNF: 6
States visited: California, Arizona and Baja California
Famous places visited: Salvation Mountain, World’s tallest flagpole
Most memorable cache: GC7RQ4E Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive #2521
Biggest surprise: No passport control in Mexico
Weather: Sunny, light clouds
Highest temperature: 42,2°C / 108°F
Lowest temperature: 25°C / 77°F

Early up, again

Just as the previous days, we left the hotel early – around 5am. We had a very specific goal today – enjoy the sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park.

We were almost alone in the park, and got to enjoy both the park and the sunrise. Well worth getting up early for this!

A mountain of paint and sticks

We stopped at a couple caches along the way, but the first big stop today was GCF2BF Salvation Mountain. We enjoy visiting quirky and different places, so we’ve seen pictures of Salvation Mountain several times before.

We spent some time just exploring the area, and taking lots of photos. We also made sure to find both of the caches here. It was easy to see that this has taken a lot of work – and paint.

World’s tallest flagpole

From one extreme to another, the next stop was the World’s Tallest Flagpole. It is also located in the city with the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere, Calipatria. The top of the pole is at sea level, and it’s 184 feet deep. Right next to it was the rather evil hide GC39A4F Tallest Flagpole?. We almost gave up, but find it after checking one last crazy idea 😀

Another evil hide

The next cache, GC4T6C3 Hard Times, advertised itself as evil. So we checked all the evil hiding spots we could find 😛 And we got a few new ideas for really evil hides. The cache turned out to be a lot less evil than we thought, and not nearly as hard as we made it 😛

Sand everywhere

A couple caches later, we arrived at GC3X2XX Tatooine Dunes. The Algodones Dunes is also known as the Imperial Sand Dunes, made famous by the scenes of the Great Pit of Carkoon and the Sarlaac on Tatooine in The Return of the Jedi.

Where is the passport control?

After the dunes, it was time to park the car and walk across the border to Mexico. We did what we always do when we cross borders in North America, we got our passports ready. To our surprise, we never found the border control, we were instead greeted by a couple simple questions:

You need dental? Optics? Pharmacy?

DNF in Mexico

The caches here in Los Algodones turned out to be a lot harder than we would like, so the first attempt ended with DNF. So it was nice when we finally managed to find our first Mexican cache, GC3B6FG Doc Decay. Then we ended up with two more DNFs before we found the second cache, and then two DNFs again.

The muggles in Mexico was a lot nicer than the caches, and we had a nice chat with a muggle that noticed our interest for the local power distribution system 😛 In the end, the result was 5 finds and 5 DNF in Mexico.

The line to get back across the border was ginormous. But luckily for us, that was only the car line. There was absolutely no waiting time when walking across, which made the $ we paid to park on the other side well worth it! 😀

The long way to the cache

The next stop we had planned was in Yuma, and GC4RKFJ Family Fun Series: BTW Jayden. Don’t know why, but for some reason the Nüvicam brought us on a long detour. So we got a bit surprised when we got to a large and nice parking lot, right next to the cache, after walking from the other side 😛

This train is going nowhere

We spent some time in Yuma, and one of the caches on our list, GC7RQ4E Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive #2521, is a prime example why favorite points alone cannot be trusted. This cache didn’t have many, but it is possibly the best cache in town. First, it’s a cool spot. Second, the container is epic. This is not just a quick and easy hide, this must have required both a lot of time and effort from the cache owner.

Geocachers got the nicest vacation photos

After a quick stop at a nice virtual cache, we stopped at GC1CXXW «Downtown / Main Street USA: Yuma Arizona» (and also the nearby virtual, we like virtual caches). The picture below says more than 1000 words. Geocachers often have some really weird vacation photos…

Back on the interstate

After a couple other caches in Yuma, it was time to get to the hotel. We had a couple relatively long stretches to drive now, one of them got a bit longer due to roadwork and a closed on-ramp. The last caches of the day was far from Yuma, at GC7GF9D The Mohawk’s Rest and GC72MG7 Sentinel Rest Area.

Welcome to the space age

This also turned out to be a very long day. That’s how it is when you get up before sunrise and don’t get to the hotel until after sunset. But this hotel was a lot cooler after sunset! Space themed with lots of nice details (more photos in gallery below).


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