On the 71747 mile trip from Tucson to Cincinnati, Ohio and back to Tucson, we did see some odd things and managed to capture them. After a while we started to look for oddball things to include in the blog. There never seemed to be a shortage…

The Arrows

Arrows in the roundabout at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Photo by Chris Smaglik (June 2018). Used with permission.

On June 1, 2018 we arose at 6:30 am, which means we got to sleep in!  We passed this striking art (above) on our way into the town of Fort Smith in Arkansas. The art was created in 2016 by a London, United Kingdom artist named D*face. D*FACE is revered as one of most prolific contemporary urban artists of his generation. See this article to learn more.

Charlie Parker Memorial 

2Sonians and tugies at the Charlie Parker memorial. Photo selfie by tugies.

On May 30, we girls (tugies, 2Sonians, tammy_b) dropped the guys (KennyV, tusmke) off at a brewery tour and did a bunch of virtuals in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. There is a cache hidden by what looks like an oblong head of cabbage in the middle of a green patch of grass. (Yes, we got to see actual grass, that green fluffy stuff that doesn’t stab your toes when you step on it.)

When you get up close you see it is a work of art dedicated to famous musician Charlie Parker, placed near the American Jazz Museum. “Charlie Parker was one of the most influential performers and composers of jazz music to have ever put his lips to brass. The fittingly brass statue of Parker’s head is an 18 foot tall effigy that attempts to capture the musician in his most natural state: playing music. The downward tilted head has the closed eyes and pursed lips of the jazz musician in mid-blow, paying tribute to Parker’s life-long devotion to the saxophone.”  To read more of this article, go here.

After this cache we ended up going to a virtual at a cemetery (Our entire group are fanatics about cemetery caches. Tusmke has a list of 59 cemetery caches in Arizona alone.) When we got there we discovered it to be the grave of: Charlie Parker!

The disturbing cache

Photo by tugies.

This odd ball cache had an object sticking out that we were afraid to touch as A) we didn’t know what it was and B) if it is indeed a snake, is it alive and then should we NOT touch it. Living in Arizona we are aware that nearly everything in the vicinity and some things outside of it are typically trying to kill you or at least pierce you in inconvenient places on your body. This includes most plants and trees, scorpions, black widow, brown recluse and tarantula spiders, toxic centipedes, and of course coral snakes and rattlesnakes. We do not place our hands in rock piles or guard rails without direct vision of what we are getting into. This is the first thing we warn newbee cachers about.

It turns out it was a fake snake, but it was creepy. Then again, many geocaches with high favorite point counts turn out to be caches that provoke one kind of emotion or another: fear (the ones in dark tunnels or large drainage pipes filled with some of the critters mentioned a moment ago) , anger (how do you open this DAMN puzzle???), frustration (I HATE this puzzle!!), disgust (What was the source of that slime in the container?), glee ( I found the container, I got it open!), giddiness (I solved the puzzle, I got to the GZ, I found the container, I got it open, I found two trackables and a pathtag, I signed the log, I never have to look at this cache page again!), exhilaration (see previous) and any other of a myriad possibilities.

The Unfriendly Frog

Photo by tugies.

Tugies and I (tammy_b) were looking for a high favorite point cache in someone’s backyard at the edge of the woods. We carefully pulled into the driveway at the edge of the lot and parked in a spot of mud. (Mud, for native Arizonans, is a substance created when moisture, or RAIN, comes in contact with dirt, and doesn’t dry right away as it does in Arizona. This creates a sticky, heavy substance that sticks to your shoes and clothes and yes, cache containers if given the opportunity. Look in a dictionary for the definition of “moisture.”)

We tromped around in the stuff called mud in the woods and weeds and likely poison ivy in the completely wrong area for quite some time. Meanwhile, as we were barking up the wrong tree, we met this cute little frog in the knook of a tree where we thought the cache was. We gently touched him with a small stick to see if he was real and not the cache container (See discussion on “the disturbing cache” above.) He was real, but quite beautiful, and wanted to be left alone, so we took a photo and let him be.

The cache turned out to be a fun puzzle, once we realized the coordinates (or our GPS) were off by about 60 feet. A kindly gentleman cacher came by and rescued us. He even manipulated the pole up and down on the cache puzzle until the thing finally got into the right notch (Kind of like finding your way in a maze, only you cannot see the maze. See discussion above about “frustration”). We gave the cache a fav point and moved on.

The Blue Hole earth cache GC1W9BA

tusmke at the Blue Hole earth cache. Photo by tammy_b.

The Blue Hole was the most beautiful cache we saw on my leg of the trip (the second half) in my opinion. The reason it is oddball is because up until then all the water we saw was black, brown or otherwise visually impenetrable. This water was crystal clear, and even though the water temperature was very cold we were very, very tempted to dive in, clothes and all (okay I was tempted.)

The Blue Hole is a very interesting bit of geology. Read about it here.

Crystal clear water of the Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

The Shelter Rock GC6H12H

This shelf formation was a bit creepy feeling to me, as it felt like it was going to cave in on me at any moment. But it was put to good use, in years gone by, by Native Americans and possibly other indigenous peoples, by using it to corral their pigs and other animals. The cache page talks about how the rock formation occurred over the millennia. This was but one of 19 earth caches all located in one area, consisting of a hike of about three miles total. Of course we were drawn to this collection of caches like bees to honey. We got all 19 of the caches (plus a couple traditionals)  and sent off some 100 answers to the CO, all in one afternoon. After getting another earth cache later in the day, we can now create a challenge cache of 20 earth caches in one day!

 

 

 

The Grill Shaped Like Texas

Photo by tusmke.

On one of tusmke and KennyV many wanderings they came across this really cool object. I would like one for myself but frankly Arizona, basically a square, would not be a cool shape for a grill.

 

 

Bronze Statue on a Motorcycle (?)

Photo by tusmke.

We did a double take on this one. I was expecting a horse, or maybe a bull. Do colonels in the Army ride motorcycles?? If you are a full colonel and awarded the Silver Star for bravery, you can ride whatever you want. See his military career details here. We saw a few historic sites in Fort Smith, a town with a rich military history. But we never saw another Brigadier General on a motorcycle.

 

 

Check back and see more posts on oddball things we encountered on our trip….

 

 

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