Monday, August 31, 2009


After getting to Couer d'Alene, Idaho, we spent most of the day just resting.  We'd literally been on the road for nine straight days and caching all of those days.  I slept in a little, then spent the better part of the day just watching the water lap up on shore.  It was very peaceful.  Then my dad's realtor came by with his boat wondering if the boys wanted to go boating.  I came along and enjoyed the ride watching 11 pre-teen and teenagers get towed behind the boat for the rest of the afternoon.  It was a relaxing day to say the least.

The next day, the Tadpole and I had decided that we wanted to do some caching along Interstate 90.  We figured we'd spend most of the day, grabbing caches here and there and would eventually make our way into Montana, which would be our 5th and last state we would cache in on this trip.  I had placed three caches inside Montana into the PQ I ran for the trip.

Just inside the border there were dueling rest areas on both side of the interstate, with caches hidden at each one, so those two made obvious choices.  Since we were driving east, we had to get off the freeway and make our way to the westbound side, so the first exit into Montana past the rest areas, I noticed another cache, so I put that one in there as well.

The eastbound rest area, our first cache find in Montana ended up being the most enjoyable and also the most difficult find of the three we found in Big Sky Country.  The rest area was a bit of a geographical curiosity for these two Southern California boys.  At first, I assumed that the state of Montana was just putting a lot of effort into their rest areas.  The bathrooms were all single stalls found inside a common room area.  The entire building was very nicely done with historical displays along the inner panel separating the men's side from the women's side.  It wasn't until after we'd gotten home that I realized that this was built more because of the weather in the area as opposed to extra tax money being available.  I would expect with lots of snow in an area, people would appreciate indoor areas to wait for a bathroom.

Eventually, we headed over the cache area.  The cache was well hidden away from the main rest area along a service road.  We didn't have to worry about muggles trying to figure out what we were doing.  Behind the rest area we found a stream, with a multitude of plants and trees growing beside it.  Wildflowers were blooming everywhere.  I noticed Indian Paintbrush, Lupine and some sort of daisy alongside the service road.

We also spotted snakes.  At least the Tadpole spotted snakes.  I just spotted one garter snake, but it was a nice two footer who seemed to tolerate me getting close enough to get a decent picture of it.  While I was stalking that one, the Tadpole spotted two others in an area he had been searching.

At first, I thought we might strike out on this one, but I've found with perseverance, we are usually successful.  The key was taking my camera back to the van.  I know I don't tend to search as vigorously when I have my camera strapped around my neck, so the act of putting it back in the car, I believe, liberated me enough that I wasn't as afraid to put my hand into bushes in search of the cache.  In this case, it wasn't bushes that I needed to be parting, but rather rocks that needed to be moved.  We had the cache in short order after that.  Because of the scenic beauty of the area, I put this cache on my top five percent list.  It was a worthy addition to the list.

Pictures were taken at or near the following geocache:
Rockhound - by RockhoundMT

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