515. Hays, Ellis County (KS037)

Another lovely courthouse in that stately kind of 20’s/30’s kind of way. I want to give special kudos to the Sheriff’s Justice Center built on to the back of the building. It blends in so seamlessly that I thought it was the courthouse at first, but it manages to retain a modern sensibility that sets it apart from the architecture of old. Bravo. I realize after describing it that I didn’t photograph it because I don’t really care about the Sheriff’s Center, but I felt I should assign credit where credit is due.

I set myself to finding a cache and quickly realized something: not only were there a lot of caches around here compared to other places, but they had a whole lot of favorites! I mean a metric truckload of them! What’s up with that? I didn’t know this when I was on the way there (I actually learned it on the way out of town talking with someone), but Hays is a bit of a geocaching Mecca, known for its gadget caches. Had I known that, I might have dedicated more time to the town, a few hours at least, to take on some of these mechanical challenges, but I had no idea so I went for the closest, quickest, easiest cache I could grab, a virtual devoted to the founding of Hays, a few blocks from the courthouse. My duty here was done, but with all these high favorite caches I was seeing on the list, I had to at least see some. I decided to hit a trackable hotel since I had brought a good handful from Texas for sprinkling all over the state and, since it was on the way, snag a look at the highest favorited cache in town. I drove some local streets for a bit until I was in an alley between back yards in a neighborhood and saw an impressive, button covered thing that (only as I wrote this do I see) I photographed badly in the predawn light. I spared a few minutes to marvel over it, realizing that I didn’t have the slightest clue how to approach solving this thing! It’s a good thing that I didn’t choose this as my cache because I would have aborted that so fast! I don’t (unfortunately) have time for this on the road. Let’s be honest: I’m not sure I could have solved it. But it was hella impressive. So I continued on to the trackable hotel.

Another highly favorited cache, this one was a little easier. It was a giant birdhouse with two separate sections: one for the log and one for the trackables. Again, very impressive. I can see why this was also highly rated. Believe you me that it earned one of my stingily hoarded favorite points. Maybe I should make something like this back home? I’m not a wood worker, but I think I have enough skill to make something like this easily enough. A tire rim and a bag of concrete and it’s not like anyone could muggle it…

I dropped a couple of trackables and grabbed a couple as well. I couldn’t resist this giant, though I had no idea where I was going to put it. I mean, it’s literally a wooden wine bottle! How many caches do you know that are big enough to place it? I probably would have put it in the Necropolis at Britannia Manor, but I ended up giving it to another cacher at an event. Either way, it travelled with out of town. The next time I come to Kansas, I may take a half a day to come back and take a shot at some of the others. At a minimum, I need to come back for Kansas Cache-opoly. I’ve already completed by completing the set of Mingo and Arikaree, as well as getting several of the other properties like The Big Picture, Arikaree Breaks, and…well, I haven’t gotten to that one yet in the narrative, but I promise it’ll be central to a future entry. But I have to leave before I can return, don’t I? So I got back to the work, putting miles between me and what I have done, closing the gap between me and what I had to do and I drove to…

3 thoughts on “515. Hays, Ellis County (KS037)

  1. I was here! I grabbed that virtual last month as well. Hays does have a lot of nice caches in the area. At the museum by I70 there’s the fish within a fish fossil that’s also an earthcache. I wanted to grab it but I didn’t have the timing right for the museum. There’s lots of good gadget caches all along that corridor.


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