I am currently in Utah and used my time off to start working on the “Visit Utah GeoTour“. This is an official GeoTour published on the Geocaching website. I started a list of all GeoTours, official and inofficial, on this blog and you can find it here.
This GeoTour might be the most challenging one but it is split in smaller challenges. Basically you have to find at least 3 GeoTour geocaches in a county and note the code within to receive a patch of this county. There are 29 counties and to get a patch for all of them I have to find at least 87 caches and this all over Utah. I will have to travel to every single county in Utah and locate three of the GeoTour caches. Some of them are very close together which makes it easy.
Next problem is receiving the patches. Yesterday I completed caches in three counties already but was only able to get one patch. The location to pick up the patches in the other two counties is only open Monday through Friday and not on weekends. I will contact them and find out if they could mail it to me. The only one I was able to pick up on a Saturday was the patch for Wasatch County. This one is distributed at the Homestead Hotel and Resort in Midway.
I checked the cache listings of other caches and found that other patches can be picked up at restaurants but it’s mostly the chamber of commerce. And this guys have very limited opening hours, especially during the weekend. Since I will have to travel all over the country to find this caches and that will be mostly on weekends, I don’t want to drive back to every county just to get the patch.
But the best part is, if I get 10 patches or find 30 caches of the GeoTour I can get a geocoin. Even better if I am able to receive 29 patches, that will give me a Utah Geo-Ambassador Jacket. I am really looking forward to this and that makes it worth the hassle.
The tour already brought me to some fantastic places like the old mining town Ophir. I would never ever went there if it wouldn’t be for geocaching. There is a nice museum with old and historic buildings. During the opening hours you can enter all of them and see what life was about during the gold rush time.
Besides fantastic places I was able to find a well designed cache container. So far all the containers are big ammo boxes and the one at Thanksgiving Point in Provo was painted very nicely and even had a stamp inside for your stamp book, if you are interested in Letterboxing.
It’s also fantastic how some of the boxes are hidden in plain sight of everyone. Luckily they decided to chain them. Otherwise most of the boxes would be missing already.
On my second day I was caching in the North-East of the state. I liked the area around Pineview Reservoir and I will be coming back there for a relaxing weekend. The “Shooting Star Saloon” is supposedly the oldest, still operating saloon west of the Mississippi, located in Huntsville, UT.
Powder Mountain had great views on this beautiful and sunny day. It was an awesome drive up the mountain. Only a few people were up there. From the top you were able to see the Pineview Reservoir. This must be a busy area during the winter season when all the ski and snowboard fans are up here.
The drive along SR 89 towards Bear Lake was amazing. Many places to stop and enjoy nature, but unfortunately only a limited supply of time for the GeoTour. At one of the caches I had a very close encounter with a rattle snake. The snake was sitting right of the trail on my way back from the cache. Didn’t notice or heard the snake on my way up, which was about 10 minutes earlier.
Day 2 was a busy day driving the long distances to the different caches of the GeoTour. What better place can you find to hide geocaches as “Cache National Forest”. There is even a whole county named Cache. That is a great coincidence.