I was driving early before the sun, and it did not disappoint. The skies were beautiful as the sun came up over the South Dakota farmlands. Shades of pinks, blues and oranges that I rarely get to see.
I made my way toward Hot Springs with the expectation of finding out what that town was all about. I arrived in Hot Springs about an hour and a half before it opened. So, I spent that time cruising around the town, finding some geocaches and visiting some graveyards. Then I kept heading north and spent a little time in Custer. I found a couple of really fun geocaches in that town, and stocked up on food for both myself and Perrvie. Next stop, heading further north toward Campcache, the oldest geocache in South Dakota.
I spent the entire day and found the two oldest geocaches in South Dakota. I knew I was going to look for one, but didn’t realize the other one until I was nearby. Talk about an adventure that almost didn’t happen.
Holy cow. I think this has springboarded forward it to the greatest Geocaching adventure I have ever had, on all accounts.
I finally got to do some of the off-roading I’ve been wanting to do. Forest roads of South Dakota are treacherous, terrifying and unbelievably fun. After about a two-hour delay by going the wrong way and only traversing about 10 total miles, I finally ended up at the proper location to look for this geocache.
I was kept navigated, safe and alive by my great rock climbing shoes, a new application, Gaia, I put on my telephone, and my amazing adventure van, Perrvie.
At first, I followed the GPS to a Boy Scout camp that was kind of close, but not as close as I could get in Perrvie. So, thanks to the brand new off-road GPS app, I was able to figure it out and route myself, rather than trusting the Apple Overlords.
Rewind, and erase the last hour of driving to get back to where I started, and go the other way. Then I drive about 4 miles in 30 to 40 minutes and arrive at parking. Thankfully parking is within about 300 feet. The last 100 feet is a doozy and straight down through rock crevices. I made my way down no problem I spent about 15 to 20 minutes searching and finally found the ammunition can in question! I sign in, take the obligatory pictures, and realize I must get myself out of here. That was no small feat, but a week’s worth of rock climbing for babies training, and these amazing shoes, and I was up and out of there lickety-split.
I can’t believe how lucky I am to have had that adventure, it is one I will never forget.
I love that this old one had parking coordinates listed. I was easily able to navigate there and realized I was only 3/10ths of a mile away. Maybe this wouldn’t take as long as I thought. Or maybe it will take as long as I thought. I just walked in a straight line from where I parked to Ground Zero. If there was a trail up, I never saw it. That last 500 feet was 500 feet that I’m not used to traversing in such a short distance. But I made it up, then realized I had to go all the way up. I thought I saw a nice way up on the right hand side, but am all the way to the left. I checked there before backtracking and ended up wall walking up one of the crevices. It was the perfect width for me to spider man up. I would be able to that easier way down on the other side. Once It was time to go down, I didn’t find that easier way down I thought I saw. So I went back the way I knew I could, and went down like a reverse-spiderman.
From here I wanted to get to the Outlaw Campround in Kaycee Wyoming before sundown. I wanted to camp and take pictures of the night sky there. I visited there last time I was through this area, and regret not spending the night. Now I am in this monster adventure van that can get me to these spots, no problem! I made it there at dusk, and stayed up until the sunrise, taking pictures of the night sky, and the sunrise. Now that I have gone through those pictures, I have some of the best I have made yet.
All total, this could be the greatest uninterrupted, 24 hour period of my life.
Today I started late, only getting a few hours sleep, from sunrise until about 9. Once I woke, I had to pack up my camp and van, break down all my camera equipment, get cleaned up, and get on the road further west.
BUT before I did, I was going to avenge this nearby DNF from last time I was though here. The Hole in the Wall I could not get to. With this amazing 4wd adventure van, nothing was off limits. Boy was I wrong. I got a lot further than I did last time in my 4wd Tahoe, but I had to turn around when I was about 1.5 miles away. In the moment I panicked and was very anxious. I did not want to break my amazing baby, Pervvie. In hindsight I know I should have walked the last 2 miles. It was about 100 degrees, but I could have done 3 miles without issue. I just did not think of it then, I had self, and Pervvie preservation in mind. So alas, strike 2 at this same geocache in Wyoming. I have about 6 hours of my life invested. Maybe one day.
Well, I ended up driving away from there. No bath for Pervvie, my home on wheels today.
I drove almost the entire width of Wyoming today. I have no idea how it could feel like I was the only person on earth. Boy, I really love it out here.
I learned a lot about all kinds of different trails. The Postal Pony Trail, The Book of Mormon Trail, the Pioneer Trail, and of course the Oregon Trail Trail. Lots of people used this area for travel cross country. Yeah, duh, I am doing it right now. Of course this is the path they took. It is blacktop all the way. I took pictures of an amazing sunset along the way. I found a few geocaches as well. I stopped about an hour from my next destination, Bridger-Teton. I had hoped because of the title it was closer to the Tetons than it is, never too much of a good thing.
I woke up about an hour drive from Bridger-Teton, the old geocache. First I went over to Big Springs. I came all this way for the old geocache nearby, why not make my way here. Boy, am I glad I did. The find itself was a little difficult. I ended up being glad I had some off-line logs saved, read those, and then bear down to make the find. I also spent at least an hour here between showers taking pictures of the waterfall and spring. It was the perfect time to be here, overcast skies, a light rain, the wildflowers colors were popping. So glad I decided to make this little sidetrack. Thanks for bringing me to this awesome place!
After that, I had to backtrack around a mountain, and go find Bridger-Teton. I slept near a lake about an hour away from here. As soon as I got on the road, the paved road ended. That was fine with me and Perrvie, I came equipped with an adventure van, I can handle anything, I hope. On our way to the Hams Fork campground, I decided to go to Springs first. After that we doubled back to the campground near our way to this old one.
I parked within a 400-foot uphill walk. Probably not the greatest idea I’ve ever had, possibly even the worst. But I made it there, getting out might be another story. Spoiler, I made it.
I found the ammunition can I was looking for, and saw that someone had already signed in before me today. I wonder if our paths crossed anywhere.
All total I spent about four hours, found two geocaches, and traveled about maybe 6 miles. Those are some good statistics.
After leaving Wyoming for good, and Bridger national Forest, I made my way to Utah. I have an agenda there of some old ones, the cache across America, and a few others that might get in my way. I hope to also spend some time in the Moab area.
I made it to Clover Spring Campground early enough in the day. I’d bebopped around that whole area for several hours, finding some others and some challenge caches and a multi. I had a blast. Now it’s time to head off to Pony Boy.
The sun was starting to set as I got moving on the Pony Road. So many caches. It almost hurts to look at the map. I know what I am here for. I find the Pony Stash under light of a half moon, and a headlamp. Another 2000 found! I signed in on a few of the others that I stopped at for various reasons. Obviously, I went to the pet cemetery, and I also chose there to spend the night. Kinda cool, I know.
Sometimes I simply don’t understand this life I get to live.