Posts Tagged ‘Waymarking’

We Went Platinum – Part II

This is a continuation of We Went Platinum – Part I

The road trip begins from Flagstaff at 5:00 AM on Sept 19, 2009. We knew it was going to be a long day. It is not often we are on the road before the sun comes up. We motored East at legal speeds and then headed south on AZ 191. We went down this a little ways until we hit AZ 61 East which turns into NM 53 at the border.We arrived at the border and documented our crossing at 8:09 AM.

Here is Johnny at the NM Border.

We were starting to get hungry and thought we would stop for some pancakes in Zuni Pueblo and get some gas as well. When we arrived there was only one restaurant in town. No one knew quite when it would open. We had to opt for some boxed donuts instead and continued on our journey.

We continued on until we hit El Morro National Monument. This place rocked, no pun intended. It is a sandstone bluff that had reliable water.

GCZRQE EarthcacheEl Morro's Headlands

Johnny with the pose of the El Morro Bluffs

Water is everything in an arid environment. Just ask anyone that has gone thirsty on a hike. They don’t make that mistake again.

GCG8PA Virtual CacheThe Tank at El Morro

This is Johnny @ the El Morro Tank

This means many people traveled over time to this place on their journeys to other areas. The cool thing is that many inscribed names or pictures into the sandstone.

GCZT06 EarthcacheInscription Rock - El Morro NM

Johnny in front of inscriptions

There were three Earthcaches here and one Virtual. We spent well over an hour walking around and snapping pictures and taking down information.

GCZTM0 EarthcacheThe Woodpecker of El Morro

The Woodpecker of El Morro

It was getting warmer and clouds were beginning to build about. In Flagstaff we had been getting some afternoon storms again, was NM the same?

We left El Morro and continued on NM 53 towards our next objective. This was the one that convinced Johnny to come along. He heard the name and being a huge Batman fan was mesmerized. The Earthcache here was “The Bat Cave of El Calderone“. It is in an area of cinder cones and lava tubes. We pulled up in the sprinkling rain and were going for it when a big flash of ligntening and the boom of thunder shook the car. Looking out on the proposed hike in the open wasn’t very promising now. We started up the car again and were beginning to get a little hungry. So off to Grants, NM we headed.

In Grants we asked around for a good place to eat. The gentlmen said the best in town was El Cafecito on Rt 66. So off we headed to grab a bite to eat. The food was excellent.

Johnny enjoying his Sopapilla a little to much.

Wonderful Mexican food NM style. They served it with sopapillas instead of tortillas. We spent a good hour sucking down iced tea and enjoying our food. I was trying to figure out if we should just head back or grab a few more Earthcaches. We figured that since we were already here we should continue. Back in the car and South we headed.

I had loaded up a pocket query of the area and a cache was on the GPSr. We weren’t here for geocaches but thought we would get one anyway. We hopped out of the car and Johnny led the way. We were getting close and we heard something we had never heard while Geocaching before. We both froze and then Johnny jumped back. He had almost stepped on a very upset Rattlesnake. After we gained our composure, checked our undies,  we watched it. It was the perfect learning opportunity. We watched it rattle at us for a good five minutes. The closer we came the more it rattled. The farther away we went the less it buzzed.  Now the question. To get the cache that was behind it? I sidestepped around as Johnny watched, I got close and grabbed the cache and signed the log and put it back. A very close call for sure, but a great experience for both of us.

Wowzers

The Guardian of the Cache!!

Back in the car and south we headed to El Malpais National Monument. Here the first stop was atop some sandstone bluffs that overlooked a rather large lava flow.

GCZTK4 EarthcacheEl Malpais Sandstone Bluffs

Johnny getting the smiley while wearing a smiley

The cool part about this location was not only the Earthcache, but a Virtual and Benchmark as well. We like benchmarking but don’t ever get to as many as we would like. We are usually to pooped to climb up the hills they are on. We grabbed these and off we ran back into the car.

Next we were headed to a natural arch. We have run across a few of these and they always fascinate us. They look so strong but we know that over time they will fall. This arch was no exception.

GCZRTR Earthcache La Ventana Arch - El Malpais National Monument

Sometimes Johnny looks so small. This pic is one of those. Can you see the Arch?

Back in the car and now heading back North this time.

The last stop @ El Malpais was on a trail that crossed the lava flow. It linked the pueblos of Zuni with Acoma. It had been used for hundreds of years. Out of the car and towards the lava flow we headed. We have lava flows around home but none with a trail across them. Up hills, jumping cracks, dodging this and then that. It was pretty cool. Johnny just loves the jumping climbing stuff and he was in heaven here.

GCZRTP Earthcache Zuni-Acoma Trail Lava Fields

Johnny on the Lava Flow next to a Cairn

We followed the cairns till we were about a half mile into the flow. We fulfilled the requirements and back we went to the car. We had done a lot of this today and it was time to head back home.

Back on I-40 we headed West. Johnny was getting tired and nodding off. We stopped off and grabbed some fireworks and then picked up our last Earthcache of the day. This was on the Continental Divide of the US. Divides are an interesting concept and we gathered the information for this and continued on. I could hear Johnny snoring in the back seat. He was pooped out.

He woke up just before Holebrook, AZ and Johnny woke up hungry. I have to say I was hungry too. We hit McDonalds. While there I remembered that there was a couple of Waymarks at a certain motel. Of course we stopped just before dark and snapped a pic.

Johnny at the Wigwam Motel

We arrived home after dark after 550 miles of travel during the day. Our butts were tired but we had made it without injury or harm. After Johnny went to bed I sent in the information needed to become Platinum Eartcachers. Two weeks later our pin arrived in the mail.

Until next time,

Mark & Johnny
The Flag_Mtn_Hkrs

August 12 of 12

First off folks, sorry about last week. I flaked out and didn’t even remember that I was going to post on Thursdays. I was jostled to reality today when I realized it was the 12 of 12 for August and that I could post this on Thursday.

So here we go.

Benchmark in the Old Train Station

After 1000hr feeding I took the the Kids downtown to do some tourist stuff. Flagstaff is a tourist town, there is no doubt about it. So we walked around till lunch looking for Waymarks that others had posted here. This is a Benchmark in an old train station that are offices now.

Dreaming Cowgirl Mural

Dreaming Cowgirl Mural

Flagstaff is full of Murals. I never really realized it but this is a very artistic town. The landscape of the area does it to people and draws them here. We don’t at all mind as it makes our town rather unique.

Mural commerating George L. Mancuso, one of the greatest photographers of the Grand Canyon

Mural commerating George L. Mancuso, one of the greatest photographers of the Grand Canyon

This is a tragic story captured in a mural. George L. Mancuso was one of the best photographers of the Grand Canyon. He would go off for weeks with food and his camera gear. It was a great loss when he died. The story is explained here.

The Gandy Dancer

The Gandy Dancer

We also have sculpture. Town is crawling with the stuff. This is a piece that commemorates Flagstaff’s connection to the outside world via the railroad. Without it this town would have never been a hub of activity here in Northern Arizona.

Frontier Adventure

Frontier Adventure

Another sculpture by city hall that depicts a mountain man. It was they who showed, helped, and direct the Army parties through his land showing them the water holes and good pasture for their stock. Without their knowledge that they gained from the Native Americans it would have been many more years before Eastern Whites came to this region of the continent.

In the Eagles Talons

In the Eagles Talons

Of course John had to get up on this. He liked this the most as it showed an eagle swooping down on a poor little defenseless lamb laying below. Oh the brutality.

Church Marker

Church Marker

We live in an old town too. Not old by Eastern US standards, but for the West 135 yrs is a long time. This church is the oldest in town started in 1891. Used by the Whites and then when they were done given to the local Mexican population to worship in 1927. This side of town was the shadier side for sure. It of course, is our favorite.

Oldest Stone Church

Oldest Stone Church

Yes the whites moved to the other side of the tracks and built this large stone Gothic style church out of locally quarried sandstone. This corner stone was laid in 1906. Because this church also has a plaque that isn’t a waymark yet, we submitted it for approval today when we made it back home.

Peace Pole

Peace Pole

This is one of many Peace Poles in town. It states, “May Peace Prevail on Earth”. A nice thought for sure. We sent this to Waymarking for approval as well. We had a busy morning for sure. We stopped for lunch and some oat soda after this.

War Memorial

War Memorial

This is our towns War Memorial. It goes way back to the Spanish American war and has a few of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders on it. The latest name is of a Police Officer who was called back to service in Afghanistan. He was laid to rest three weeks ago and his name is now etched on here as well.

Now the New Waymark Submission Work

Now the New Waymark Submission Work

So we came home and put the baby to bed for her nap. She was wonderful by the way. I would share more pics of her but she is not yet ours to share, state rule I guess. Anyway opening up Mapsource so I can find the coordinates for all or new Waymark submissions today. I believe we did over 10 submissions. I think we found close to 13 waymarks as well.

Giant Burro

Giant Burro

My daughter and her boyfriend just moved into a new apartment. They invited the family over for dinner. She made a big burrito. I believe the pan is a 9 X 12. It fed all 5 of us and I am sure they had left overs. It was cool seeing her so happy in their new pad.

Well that is it for us this week. Hope you enjoyed our little Waymarking day.

Until next time,

Mark & Johnny
The Flag_Mtn_Hkrs