An Article from Aaron's Article ArchiveCanyons, Glass, and Sand
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Canyons, Glass, and Sand
Saturday, 17 January 2004 9:01 PM MST
1st Cache Visited: Cody's pee canyon ( AKA Dutchmans wash ) 1:15 PM MDT (-0600)
Travel Bug Picked Up: Megan's Lizard at Cody's pee canyon ( AKA Dutchmans wash )
2nd Cache Visited: Glass Mine at 1:53 PM MDT (-0600)
3rd Cache Visited: Bigfoot Was Here! at 2:52 PM MDT (-0600)
4th Cache Visited: Fort Pierce at 3:55 PM MDT (-0600)
Travel Bug Dropped Off: Megan's Lizard at the Fort Pierce cache
5th Cache Visited: BEDROCK at sometime around 4:15 PM MDT (-0600)
Saturday, 17 January 2004
Ah, what a perfect Southern Utah winter day for cache hunting! The weather outside was cool, but not cold, just perfect, and the sun was shining brightly. That's what I was thinking that morning, so I called up my brother (cache nickname: Percible) in Hurricane to see if he wanted to go cache hunting with me. He did.
Then I spoke with my friend (cache name: AlAndaluz) and he too wanted to go cache hunting, and agreed to supply the transportation, his four-wheel-drive truck, with just enough room to squeeze in three adults into the cab, so long as one person was willing to sit sideways behind the front seats in the narrow cab extension. I volunteered my brother. (My old dirt road Chevy Blazer was still out-of-commission with transmission problems.)
Not long after getting off the phone, AlAndaluz arrived at my house. We waited for a few minutes for Percible to arrive, and in the interim I printed off pages from five caches south (and a bit east) of St. George that none of us had found as of yet. When Percible arrived, I grabbed freshly charged batteries for my GPS, and the three of us were off.
Well almost. We stopped at the Subway store inside the Texaco gas station on the corner of Red Cliffs Drive/River Road and St. George Boulevard so AlAndaluz and I could grab some lunch to take with us. Percible had thought ahead and had brought food with him.
Then we were off, heading south on River road, crossing the Virgin River, turning left just past the bridge, heading into the Washington fields, then driving southward on dirt roads. Our first goal? The unusually named Cody's pee canyon ( AKA Dutchmans wash ) cache. It sounded interesting.
It wasn't long before we were at the end of the road, at the mouth of a narrow, interesting-looking canyon cut into the gray limestone terrain east of where we parked. We disembarked, grabbed our food, and began our walk along gravely wash bottom into the canyon.
My brother and I both remarked how much this canyon reminded us of the Goulds Wash canyon cut into the Hurricane Cliffs not far from our parents' home in Hurricane. We'd hiked to the end of that box canyon just a few months ago. As the canyon enclosed us, I was surprised that our GPS receivers were still getting a good signal, despite so much of the sky being occluded by the cliffs.
Very shortly, the canyon began to curve to the south, and both GPS receivers said we were almost there (though they disagreed with each other by about 60-100 feet, probably because of the cliffs blocking the satellite signals). I pulled out my print-out and read aloud the cache description, and even cheated by reading the hint.
Once near ground zero, we began scrabbling about looking over and under various rocks, and peering into any nooks (there are plenty). To get a GPS reading, I would stand in the center of the canyon. Whenever I came too close to the sides, my GPS lost the satellite signals. I relied on my built-in electronic compass to point the way to where the cache was hidden, and the GPS to tell me how far away in that direction I should look.
Woe is me, I was not the first one to spot the cache! AlAndaluz found its hiding spot and brought it out. I found a nice rock in the middle of the canyon, sat down, and began to eat lunch while first AlAndaluz, and then Percible made log entries and ate their own fare. Then I made my usual lengthy log entry, and exchanged a VHS video for the Megan's Lizard travel bug. I figured I could help the bug move at least a short way in the general direction of South Dakota (the bug's goal).
This little canyon was a fun and interesting place to visit. I never would have known it was here if it weren't for this cache. Thanks for a great cache spot, and an excellent place to eat lunch (so long as we were in the sunlight and the air was still, the temperature was just right).
We cleaned up our respective messes, hid the cache again, then hiked out of the canyon back to AlAndaluz's vehicle. On the way we picked up some litter we encountered. It reminded me that I need to make it a regular habit to carry along a garbage sack when I go cache hunting so I can not just pack out my own garbage, but leave the place a little cleaner than I found it. Cache in, trash out!
Next on our cache hunting hit list, was another nearby cache called Glass Mine. The cache description sounded fascinating!
As we headed down the dirt road toward this cache, after having back-tracked to the main dirt road we'd been on before, I spotted a gleam of sunlight in the direction our GPS units were pointing toward, and commented, "Hey, it looks like there are some other vehicles over there close to the cache site," thinking that the gleam was a reflection of several parked truck or car windshields. It turns out, I was wrong. The reflection was off the glassy mineral in abundance near the cache site. We did encounter another vehicle, some folks who were just ahead of us and parked at the site, but they only just arrived before we did.
We parked at the bottom of the hill where mounds of earth and glass-like mineral surrounded a large hole in the ground from which the mounds had been excavated. We walked around the rim of the excavation, our shoes trampling exposed chunks of mineral. The pieces of clear, crystaline mineral were surprisingly pliabe beneath our feet.
Since the cache wasn't located immedately ay this glass mine (the G.P.S. was pointing up the hill west of the pit), we followed the GPS directions dutifully up the hill, and in short order found the cache. We clocked the find at 1:53 PM MST (-0700). I don't recall who spotted the cache first—remember, I'm writing this quite some time after-the-fact. I dropped off a VHS video, and took Kirby (some item based on a Nintendo game character, I'm guessing?).
After we'd all made our trades and log entries, we retraced our steps down the hill, and completed our circumnavigation of the glass mine pit. I picked up a particularly unblemished specimen for further examination at a later time.
Back in the cab of AlAndaluz's truck, we discussed where to go next. We settled on Bigfood Was Here! since it was nearby, and from the description, it sounded very interesting. Petroglyphs. Need I say more?
Found that cache at about 2:52 PM at the end of the trail... drove around too far, had to go back to the parking area - after finding, explored the site more...
___UNFINISHED___ MORE TO COME!
Ford Pierce - Amazed at the recent clean-up.... The last time my brother and I were in the area, there was a lot of litter in the area, especially in the sandy wash. Someone has been doing a [em]lot[/em] of clean-up work, in addition to the recent rock wall masonry work bordering the parking area. Wow!
Dropped off travel bug in Ft. Pierce cache...
Drove to nearby bedrock cache... AlAndaluz drove off the main road almost right to the cache, and found it almost instantly.. last cache of the day
___UNFINISHED___ MORE TO COME!