One of the most used sayings in geocaching is “It’s not about the numbers.”
Though, in reality, numbers have a big part of the game.
People like finding a lot of caches. Sure, I would assume most enjoy quality with the quantity, but people don’t usually like to go out and find only a cache or two — especially if they have to travel to find them. Now, this isn’t everybody. Believe me, I know some people who will travel many miles to do one geocache and be fully satisfied.
I’ve become like that. I’ve been through the phases — the early excitement, the numbers run, the grab anything you can get your hands on…
I like to mix geocaching with other things. I still absolutely love events, especially the really big ones. I haven’t done many geocaching days recently.
Take, for example, Wednesday. Two of us headed to Schenectady to play disc golf and we grabbed two caches while there. It was a nice mix. Over Labor Day weekend, I hit up that major disc golf event. For the weekend, I think I also added five caches and most of them were pretty solid ones, too.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against a numbers day. I just haven’t had the chance recently and haven’t really looked to do it. There are a lot of new caches in the area, though, and I’d like to get out one day and get them all.
But I think it’s fair to say that I like quality over quantity now. And with that in mind, it’s probably why I won’t be heading out to Nevada any time soon to do a major power trail.
Just because I won’t be going out there doesn’t mean others won’t.
A power trail in geocaching terms is a trail where people can get a large amount of finds in one stretch — it could be a few miles or many more.
Enter the Extraterrestrial Highway, which is in the desert in Nevada. A few years ago, a couple of people placed the ET Series, a trail of upwards of 1,000 geocaches that dotted the side of the highway. They were all film canisters and the owners encouraged you to bring spares, in case one was missing. Alas, eventually careless geocachers (it happens) caused the Nevada DOT to get involved and everything was archived as it complained to Groundspeak, the owners of geocaching.com.
This brought the ire of more than geocachers, however. Businesses, who were seeing a lot of traffic during the off-season were peeved. Motels, which had closed normally, were upset at the lost money. Geocachers wrote the Nevada DOT saying how they had planned to take their vacation money elsewhere.
People from around the world planned to do this loop of geocaches. Whether you agree with this type of trail or not is irrelevant — it drew a lot of people.
More than 500 geocachers had logged that series. That’s a lot of people. And a lot of money.
So the tourism industry threw a fit.
Then, geocaching and the Nevada DOT came together. Some rules were made. Some other things were discussed. Soon, a second series was in the works. A big event was planned to release them all. Excitement was back.
This time? 1,500 in the series!
And that doesn’t include the two side-trail series — one that forms an alien’s head and the other that forms a UFO. Those are each, I believe, 50 caches. So that’s another 100. On top of these, there are other caches out there along this trail and right off the trail. It would be hard to not try and do them all. When all said and done, I have a feeling someone could get upwards of 1,700 caches or more while out there. Of course, you’ll be going a day or more without sleep, or snoozing in the car. You need to make sure you have a lot of supplies!
There is a distance that people have to adhere to in between caches — .10 of a mile. These caches are set up for that. This series (not including the side-trail caches) is about 175 miles long. Part of it, about 60 miles, isn’t on a major road. There’s not a lot of spots out there with cell service. It’s desolate.
In other words, don’t go doing this alone without telling someone where you’ll be!
On the cache pages, they do tell you a bunch of things you should do before doing this:
- Start with low numbered caches & work towards higher numbered caches.
- Make sure you have plenty of water.
- Cell reception out here is not great so don’t count on having phone service.
- Make sure someone knows where you are heading.
- Make sure you keep a full tank of gas (closest gas stations are Ash Springs, Alamo and Tonopah).
- Make sure you have a good spare tire.
- Be careful! This road isn’t very busy but still well traveled. Watch for and yield to oncoming traffic.
- Pull completely off the roadway. (All tires to the right of the white line)
- Driving with your Hazard Lights on will help others see you.
- Probably not a good series to have small kids or pets roaming around.
- This area is OPEN RANGE, there are cows on the road and they have the right of way.
- If traveling at night, watch your speed and don’t over do it.
- Have fun!
A lot of good advice there, I think.
If you want to see more, the series even has its own website!
It wouldn’t be my goal to do this series. BUT, if there was an SUV full of some caching friends, a lot of water, some good subs (we’d have to eat) and some extra gas and all, I’d probably do it. If you did it with the right people, I imagine it would be a whole heap of fun (and I could try and find a creative way to make each log original…), but I wouldn’t do it out of the blue or with, say, just one person.
How about you other geocachers? Would this interest you? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below.
Reminder! Contest going on! I am holding my first (of hopefully many) contests this week. It runs from Sept. 11- to 12:01 a.m. Sept. 18. You can see all the details on the contest post. Enter for your chance to win!
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook by clicking the button on the right side of the page!