By the time I got here, I was a bit surly. It took me a lot of time to get here because I wanted to avoid dirt roads, but one of those crappy dirt roads that I didn’t want to drive on led directly to the cache. That alone would probably have saved me thirty minutes of driving. On the other hand, I did get that nice voice saying “Welcome to Kansas,” so at least I got to have that, unlike the trip to Ashland. Add to that that there was a motorcycle rally near the courthouse! Apparently there is a motorcycle museum here in Saint Francis and they were having an event. There were bikes, concession setups, and (most irritatingly) hordes of unmasked riders not bothering to physically distance. A small part of me was vaguely interested in the museum, but there is no way on God’s green Earth that I’m going near that many people during the time of cholera. And bikers especially ought to know better after what happened at Sturgis this year. I took my photographs and, cursing under my breath, got on the street that turned into one of those dreaded dirt roads I’ve been trying to avoid. But it was worth it.
Ladies and Gentlemen (or however you identify. I don’t mean to be gender assumptive), I give you GC31, known more colloquially as Arikaree. Placed in the same month as Mingo by the same CO, it doesn’t seem all that interesting. Just an ammo can in the middle of nowhere, right? Wrong.
I’m not going to put The Geocahcing Vlogger out of business, but WOW. That is, in fact, a heck of a thing. I know you can see it from the video, but I only wish that you could see it with your own eyes as I have. You know, I usually don’t think about the wonders of the Earth that much. I consider myself a city boy, and don’t always feel the call of nature as some people do. That said, seeing things like this just takes your breath away. Obviously, it inspired me to make a rare video entry from it. I also ended up spending 15-20 minutes talking to a couple of young hunters who drove up after I had been admiring the view for a while. Apparently, one of them comes up here every year or two to check for elk in the Breaks here. It’s complicated by the fact that it’s hard to get a kill out because, well, look at it… The other had never been here before, and was as blown away as I was. I told them a bit about geocaching. They told me a bit about elk hunting. Good conversation was had, but eventually I had to turn around and get going.
I was a little annoyed at myself. I had burned a lot of time on this leg with the driving and the chatting and trying to find internet access and all. I had several more stops before I could call it a day. The night before, I decided to alter my route significantly. My original plan would have gotten me a handful of extra counties, including the Oklahoma Panhandle, before I had to spend all day driving through the Texas Panhandle to get home. I’m getting sick of the Panhandle. I almost feel like I can drive Amarillo to Lubbock to Austin in my sleep. But it would take a lot of driving in Texas (about 9-ish hours) to do it. If, on the other hand, I strategically redeployed in the night, I could get more Oklahoma counties most of the next day, and be close to Montague (4.5-ish hours away). I decided on more counties with shorter drive home. I had to ensure I was well fed and watered and all that good stuff before I started the night trek. That was a few hours in the future, though. I still had work to do before the sun went down. I went back the way I had come, passing the courthouse and the dwindling ridership, making my way with haste to…