Time Grows Short

Living at 7000 ft in Arizona has some advantages. The first is that we have four seasons, which is somewhat of a rarity in Arizona. It is the cycle of the seasons that bring on urgency when your a cacher, the urgency to grab the caches that you know will be tough to get to when the snow arrives. We are feeling this urgency every morning as the Hkrs walk to work/school and the air turns cooler with the chill of the upcoming fall.

We have been trying to grab most of the caches lately that are above 8000 ft as we know that the snow has a tendency to stick and stay for most of the winter. We have also been placing caches above this altitude so that they will be ready for the quick fall season and then lie in their winter dormancy for the winter months. We place only ammo cans at these elevations as plastic has a tendency to not survive such brutal abuse. We have two more caches that we want to place at these higher elevations before it becomes to late.

The forests around Flagstaff are usually passable in the Potbellied_Pig until late November. We love traveling in the forest during this time of year as it is quiet and we seem to have it all to ourselves. Yes there is hunting going on occasionally but it is generally locals after opening day and they are always quick with a tow strap if the roads become to muddy. We also always pack some blankets and food in case we become stuck in such a harsh environment. 10°F nights are not unheard of at all and survival in such conditions are only possible if you are prepared.

What we really love looking forward to is our caching in the Verde Valley. The beauty of this area is it’s close proximity to Flagstaff, AZ. With only a 45 minute drive we have dropped over 3,000 ft and gained usually 20+ degrees in temperature increase. We can run around in our T Shirts again and do not have to fear the buzz worms that frequent the valley in the summer months.

The Verde Valley also has a very active geocaching community. There are hundreds of caches located in the region. We can spend all fall/winter in the area and still not grab most of them. Yes quite a few are of the Micro variety, but there are also quality family caches to add to your trophy case as well.

Since it isn’t tourist season in the Verde, we generally have most hikes to ourselves or shared with other Flagstaffians that come down to enjoy the warmth. With the sun lower on the horizon the red rocks of Sedona take on a beautiful glow that is impossible to explain, it must be experienced. We begrudgingly purchase a yearly pass to park at the trail heads every year and display it to avoid any fines. We don’t think you should have to pay to park and enjoy your forests as we have already been taxed for this. It just seems like a way to bilk the population out of more funds.

The best part is that in the fall and winter there are no 100° temps in the Verde, but occasional 70° temps, more our type of hiking weather. You can put more clothing on and layer but you can only take so many off without risking arrest. Learned that one years ago in Lake Havasu City, AZ.

We start taking occasional trips to the Valley of the Sun, or to Arizona’s West Coast and visit family. Winter is not a bad time for geocaching near Flagstaff, AZ. One just has to drive a little farther to enjoy year-round caching enjoyment.

Watch our future posts for more of our adventures in the Verde Valley. We hope to be able to convey to our followers how lucky the Hkrs really are to be living where they do. Winter doesn’t have to hamper a geocacher in Arizona. A geocacher here must just learn to adapt to their environment and change their preparedness just a little to still enjoy the outdoors.

Until next time,

Mark & Johnny
The Flag_Mtn_Hkrs


2 responses to this post.

  1. haha I was like … buzz worm? Doh!

    I am envious of your 4 seasons!


  2. Love the new look, keep up the great work the number of visitors must have increased?.


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