Power Trailing (for reals)

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’ve never been much for power trails. So what led us to Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway, home to the E.T. power trail? I guess I just felt like I should see what it’s all about. Plus, the promise of sunny skies and dry air was a welcome respite from Seattle winter!

After a couple days in Vegas (where I filled in another elusive CA Fizzy grid square), we headed north to Alamo, just a few miles from the start of the E.T. trail. Should you ever decide to partake in the trail yourself, I highly recommend lodging at the Windmill Ridge. It’s only 15 or so minutes drive from 0001-E.T., and proved to be a great base for our stay.

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South of Las Vegas

As for the E.T. trail itself, it’s not hard to describe. Miles upon miles of 35mm film canisters and pill bottles hidden every 0.1 mile from each other. For us, it was fun for about two hours. Then we skipped ahead to Rachel, a very small town which is home to a nice little restaurant. Strengthened by a Little A’Le’Inn Alien Burger, we continued along the trail until the sun had nearly set and we’d found 500 caches. If I never do it again, it’ll be too soon. But there are worse ways to spend a December day than driving along a desolate road surrounded by desert vistas!

At the start of the E.T. Highway

At the start of the E.T. Highway

The next day, Mrs. RC and I stayed closer to Alamo and did a bit of hiking. The highlight was finding Pale Raven, Nevada Cacher Series, a multi-cache which hadn’t been found in three years!

Finding a lonely cache

Finding a lonely cache

On two mornings, while Mrs. RC slept at the Windmill Ridge, I drove over to Rachel and worked on a pair of geo-art series. Head Alien and UFO each consist of around 50 caches in a desert range. I had a nice time jogging from cache to cache in each series, despite it being 11 degrees when I started on the Head Alien one morning! (Sadly, some cachers have chosen to drive the caches, which has resulted in a visible trail for the Head Alien area. The cache owners have added warnings against that on the cache pages, so hopefully it’s not happening anymore.)

Foggy morning near geo-art

Foggy morning near geo-art

After our time in Alamo, we returned to Vegas by way of Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada’s oldest and largest state park. It was the highlight of the trip. The Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. We enjoyed seven EarthCaches in the park, and I highly recommend them all.

Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park