How about another story from my earlier caching days?  I was trying to think of a good one to write about and decided to talk about my trip to Phoenix, AZ in 2007.  It was a job interview that brought me to Phoenix, which if you’ve followed my blog, you can tell I didn’t get.  Yet while I was there I got a chance to do some caching in and around the Tempe area, including my first webcam cache.

I arrived in Phoenix early on April 30th, 2007 and checked into my motel, located about a mile East of Papago Park.  After a brief nap I went to my interview in Western Phoenix and was asked to come back the next day.  That cut short my plans of visiting the local zoo.  Anyway, after the interview I headed back to the hotel and decided to go caching.  Prior to the trip, I had been scouting the area and had decided that I would start near the University of Arizona campus in Tempe.

My first cache was a webcam cache in what would be downtown Tempe.  But, we ran into a problem.  I know where I needed to be for the shot, but TC and 8601 found out while they were trying to snap the photo from a computer in Lincoln that the camera didn’t follow a set pattern as it rotated through it’s various shots.  In fact, we found out that on at least two occasions, I could see the camera aimed at me but the software didn’t update to show the changed position.  It wasn’t until the third pass that it showed the shot of me sitting on a park bench down below.  Once we got the photo, I was off.

I started on a loop, heading through campus first.  I hit two caches, and missed a third.  Coming around close to where I had parked, I picked up Harvey The Pooka, a quick cache located near a pretty cool looking fountain surrounded by giant stone rabbits. The REALLY fun part was trying to rehide the cache with two muggles standing literally about two – three feet away from me. I was able to do it, followed by taking some photos of the nearby fountain at night. I really love one of the photos I got:

Next, I went North just a bit to a small mountain, or a really big hill depending on how you look at it, on the North side of the university.  In fact, if you ever watched anything about the University of Arizona and saw a shot of a large yellow “A” on the side of a hill, that’s the hill I’m talking about.  I was actually standing only a few feet away from the edge of that “A” at one point during my climb.  The cache was called JP the Jet Plane, and it is a multi-cache that takes you all the way up to the top of the hill and back. This was a fun hike and finding the stage at the very top takes some careful searching. I got lucky finding it at night.

After that, I headed West, making my way to Mine’s Bigger. I’ll save you a repeat and say that if you want to ready about THAT interesting story, check out my post in May called “Memorable Archived Caches”. That finished things for the day, and I packed up and headed back to my hotel.

The next day, I went in for the second part of my interview, then went back and made an attempt at Papago Park. I had a large section planned out, but unfortunately began hitting DNF after DNF. I ended up with only five caches for that day, even though I had half the day and went after almost twice that. But, I did get some good caches, and even some ideas to keep stored away. One I thought was fun was Animal Pals 6. My first cache of the day, I was getting frustrated not finding it. Then, by accident, I looked in the right direction and almost fell over laughing when I saw how it was hidden. For me, it was extremely funny. After logging it, I moved on to the next cache, taking some photos along the way, including this photo of the North end of Papago Park. I also saw rescue training in the park and two old Native American sites. By the end, even with only five caches that day, I had a decent amount of hiking and fun exploring the park. I got a good nights rest, and the next day I hoped on the plane and headed home.

While not a big caching trip, I still had fun. I got some practice with interviews, saw some great sites, and got some photos I really liked. I would have liked to spend another day there to do a bit more sightseeing, but I needed to go home and get back to work. Oh, and if I remember correctly, it might have been my first set of caches outside of Nebraska.


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