Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bucket list

If you've seen the Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman you know that it's about two older men who create a list of things they want to do before they "kick the bucket." Since both are dying when they create this list, it becomes a race against time for the two of them. I'd heard about this movie and waited until it came out on DVD before I saw it this summer with my wife. About a week later, we saw a Bucket List movie trailer on the front end of another movie we'd rented. The trailer did nothing for either of us and my wife even commented that had she seen the trailer first, she would have been disinclined to even see the movie. The movie is much deeper than the trailer suggests and is well worth the time to see.

So where am I going with this? Well, I've decided to create a bucket list of caches that I'd like to find before my geocaching hobby ends. With the capriciousness of the Internet, I think we all have in the back of our minds that many web sites could disappear over night. I've had email discussions with friends on this very subject where we speculated which of our favorite sites would disappear first from the Internet. So I'm basing this list not on the end of my life, but more on the possible end of Geocaching. I plan to add to this list from time to time, so I'll also revisit it during the coming months. Needless to say, it's a work in progress. I would also welcome suggestions to the list.

My Bucket List - your mileage may vary.

Groundspeak Headquarters - Washington, 963.7mi from my home coordinates
Obviously, this is the headquarters of Groundspeak, the company that runs Geocaching.com. Curious, that it's archived and has been for years, yet it gets logged on an almost daily basis. If I get up to Seattle again (the last time I was there was the summer of 1988), I'll be sure to finagle an invitation to visit and log the cache. Read some of the logs. It sounds like a very interesting place.

Original Stash Tribute Plaque - Oregon, 810.7mi from my home coordinates
The spot where the first geocache was placed by Dave Ulmer on May 3, 2000. I guess this might be called the Mecca of Geocaching.

Discovering & Logging California's 58 Counties - California, 39.9mi from your my coordinates
I've written about this particular cache in past posts, so I'll not go into too much detail this time. Suffice to say, to log this cache I must prove that I've found a cache in every county in California - 58. I have 31, with 27 still to go.

GCNP Bright Angel - Arizona, 345.8mi from my home coordinates
Of all the caches on this list, I think this one will be the hardest to attain mainly because it's at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It's a level 1 difficulty, but a level 4.5 terrain. I would have to do some very serious training before I attempted to even try this one. It is one of the few actual physical caches that is located in a national park.

Devils Tower National Monument II - Wyoming, 1001mi from my home coordinates
This is sort of like a Close Encounters of a Third Kind obsession, but for as long as I can remember, I've wanted to visit this park and getting this virtual will help me fulfill that dream.

Wrinkled Rock: What really is behind Mt. Rushmore?
- South Dakota, 1018mi from my home coordinates
Mr. Rushmore is one of several places that I visited as a kid with my family, that I haven't revisited as an adult. I'd like to get back to this Black Hills Shrine.

As you have probably noticed, there are no caches outside the United States on this list. That is intentional for the moment. I'm not much of a flyer, so very likely I may never get to Europe or Asia. If can overcome the irrational fear of flying that I have, this list will change, as it should over time. Once again, this list is far from complete and is but a sampling of some of the caches I'd like to find. I welcome your suggestions for other caches that you believe should be on this list.

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chaosmanor said...

An Interesting list. All of those are on our own "Bucket List", except for the Bright Angel one, for which I am fairly certain we will never be in good enough shape. The Wrinkled Rock one might be one that we'll get after we retire, if GC is still around in 12-15 years. A couple that I would add to our own list are:

GC458E: Vinny's Topa Topa Cache. Hidden in late March of 2002, soon after the trail opened up after a winter's snows melted, this is at about 6,300 feet, which isn't all that much, but the hike starts at less than 2,000, is about 18 miles RT, and shade is minimal for just about the whole hike. There's also a summit log that is several decades old. This is the hike I would like to do in place of Half Dome, which will likely always remain a fantasy.

GCMMY0: Point Sal. I "discovered" the Point Sal Road about four years ago, as a result of geodashing. There was a dashpoint near the end of Brown Road, where a gate keeps motor vehicles from going farther, but which serves as the start of the hike up and over to Point Sal State Park. Sharon and I hiked up to the top of the crest, and Found the cache there, as well as several benchmarks along the road. At that time, this cache was one of only two caches out there; there are now a half-dozen or so, but this is the oldest, and the farthest from the road. The next cache west of there is in Japan. The hike from the gate is about 12-13 miles each way, and it's a moderate uphill halfway, then it runs steeply down, and the return is steeply uphill until it runs moderately downhill, but by then, one's legs are likely locking up. The top is only about a thousand feet above sea level, but it's a long, windy road. The nice thing is, one can camp on the beach, so this is a doable weekend.

GC1CNEG: Denali Summiteers Challenge Cache. I can't imagine ever getting to Alaska and visiting long enough to qualify for this one, but it looks like fun ;-) The final is on some peak ENE of Anchorage; access appears to be difficult and the final ascent is likely too technical for me, but one's reach should exceed one's grasp, or some such philosophical bowb ;-)

As for caching in Europe, all I can say is, I never expected to get to Europe, either, but it was a marvelous experience, and the caching was interesting. I'm less of a flier than you are, and I survived 18 hours in a plane (twice!), so I know you can do it. If you make it to Italy, look for the virtual "The Snail": GC7BFF, in Venice. We found it in a rainstorm, which really played hob with signal! Venice was magical, even in the rain :-) Milan is a great city for walking: lots of museums and churches and restaurants and what-have-you (and a fair number of caches!), a good subway and tons of trolleys and buses that run more-or-less on schedule :-)

Hick@Heart said...

I like "PeeWee Desert Lawn Jockey (Landers Ca)" GC12F. It's an old one, an adventure to reach, and a cool sight at the end.

Webfoot said...

Chaosmanor, just because you don't feel you won't be in shape to get a particular geocache, doesn't mean you can't put it on your bucket list. Situations change and it could be a goal for you to try for it, possibly working in the goal of "getting in shape" for the hike.

It's not nearly as bad in the winter time due to the lower temps. The hike is tough, but a day or two at the bottom in the winter would help rejuvinate the body for the trek up.