Monday, August 8, 2011

Geocaching Recap - Dakotas Trip

The Dakotas trip was exactly as productive as I had hoped it would be. I knew that going with one geocacher and two non-geocachers would make any kind of large numbers not feasible, but the goal for the trip was to chalk up some new states, which is precisely what we were able to accomplish. Planning was important, as Leo and Ted were supportive of my desire to find caches in all these new states, but I didn't want to test the patience of the group by trying for too many extra stops. As it was, the planning I did paid off, as we were able to find a total of 14 caches in 7 states. All of those states were new for Dave, and only Wyoming was a repeat for me.

I began the trip with 847 finds in 12 states, and ended with 861 finds in 18 states. The final tally was 1 Colorado, 1 Nebraska, 3 South Dakota, 3 Wyoming (added to the 6 I already had), 1 Montana, 4 North Dakota, and 1 Minnesota. Courtesy of the roughly 3,000 mile round trip, my total cache-to-cache distance is now over 18,650 miles.

Highlights of the trip were the virtual cache that is Devils Tower, and the earthcache at the top of Harney Peak. Several of the caches were nice easy roadside ones at pullout locations that provided amazing views of the countryside. My only regrets from a planning perspective were a few things that would have been easy to do with a little better foresight. In Theodore Roosevelt National Park, there was an earthcache along the Caprock Coulee Trail, which we hiked in its entirety, but I forgot to note the requirements before setting out. Consequently, I didn't gather the appropriate information off of a few placards along the way, and didn't take the required photo at the proper location. There were also a number of opportunities for a few extra North Dakota and Minnesota caches on the final Friday during our 9 hours of driving. We made several stretch the legs stops along the way, and those could have been made to coincide with a few known cache locations. Oh well. Small complaints in an otherwise very successful trip. I love the look of my state map now.

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