I started the Utah GeoTour two weeks ago and got hooked by the beauty of this state and of course geocaching. This last weekend I had only Sunday available for geocaching.
The plan was to find at least three caches of the Visit Utah GeoTour in Carbon County. The adventure started with a 1.5-hour drive from Salt Lake City to the first cache. The description on the cache page promised a great location. The location was not bad at all but the cache was nowhere to be found. After a while searching, I gave up and headed over to the next location.
I had more luck finding the box at the Pinnacle Park Fairgrounds. Nobody was around and it was very easy to log the cache as found. Unfortunately not a lot to see here. The building close to the cache needs some serious remodeling.
Next up was the North Springs Shooting Range & Recreation Area. The cache there was found quickly and I decided to head to the main building at the shooting range to check-in. The host was great and even let me check out the whole range for free. He explained the ground of the range and what kind of ranges are available. Heck, they have a 2000 ft range here. That is impressive. It was not very busy only a couple of archers were out on the range and practicing. The Cowboy-Town was my favorite part of the range. Most of the buildings had shooting bays behind them. Even the outhouse – check it out. If you want to spend a lot of time shooting, they even have a campground on site. The prices are very reasonable too. $7 for an adult all day long with in and out privileges. A family day pass is $25.
From there I went to the Nine Mile Canyon. Why the call it Nine Mile Canyon is unknown to me because the canyon is about 40 miles long. The GPS brought me near GZ and I started looking for the cache (where I thought it would be). Unfortunately, I was quite a bit off and decided to re-check on my GPS. After that, it was an easy and quick find.
As the cache description suggested I kept on driving through Nine Mile Canyon. Even tho that it was a beautiful day, nobody was driving on this road and I had it all for myself. I picked up a map of the canyon with all the sights at the gas station before continuing. It’s also best to refuel your car, because there is no service for the next 75 miles, according to a sign.
The canyon is promoted as “the world’s longest art gallery” and known for its extensive rock art. Along the way you can find several, easy to reach spots with rock art. A highlight of the canyon is the “Balanced Rock”. The rock is right next to the street and it looks like the rock is ready to fall.
At milepost 38 I headed north towards Myton, which should also bring me back home towards Salt Lake City. Realizing that Myton is in another county I haven’t found any caches for the GeoTour yet. I checked for the best three caches close to my way back home. The road there was almost half way without any real pavement. It was kinda fun to drive along there. I didn’t see one single car the entire time driving through the canyon. Also, cell phone reception is not existent in this canyon. If you want to cache out here, make sure you download offline maps for your GPS device.
After re-entering the “civilization” and seeing finally other cars on the street again, the next cache of the GeoTour was coming up along the way. Located right next to an orientation and information board about the Nine Mile Canyon. Another quick and easy find and log on my way to complete this county as well.
The Old Time Soda Shop and Roosevelt Golf Course were next on my list. At the Soda Shop, I ran out of luck for a while. I wasn’t able to unlock the cache container even with the hint in the description. I was sure what I had to do, but I was just not doing it correctly to be able to unlock it. But in the end, I found the way back to my luck and was able to sign the logbook.
The cache at the golf course was also an easy and quick grab. Not a lot of people were out on such a beautiful day. This made it easier for me to find the caches with stealth. Even tho some of them are really placed in plain sight of everyone. A great example is the Old Time Soda Shop.
The pickup location for the Duchesne patch was the Frontier Grill in Roosevelt. This lets me hope to pick up my patch on a Sunday late afternoon. Once inside the restaurant, I talked to the hostess that I was here to pick up the patch for the GeoTour. She went to the back and another hostess came out and told me that the pickup location is actually the Frontier Hotel and not the Grill. Strange to me that they were not able to figure this out before putting the sticker in the cache boxes. Anyway, no big deal and I headed over to the hotel lobby. The lobby was across the parking lot from the grill and I talked to the woman at the front desk. She knew about the GeoTour and the patches but told me that the county doesn’t have them ready yet and I should write down my information on a piece of paper to have the patch mailed to me once it’s available. I really hope that they will mail it!
After that, I decided to head back to my hotel near the Salt Lake City Airport. My GPS told me that it would be about a two-hour drive from here. I didn’t mind it because it was a very scenic route and along the way, I passed Starvation Reservoir.