Roughneck Rendezvous III

Ocotillo Wells SVRA

The Roughneck Rendezvous III is a geocaching event held at the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Recreation Area. Several of my geocaching friends spoke highly of it, having attended the one last year. It was ostensibly the reason I made the long trip south.

Since activities began at 7 am, we agreed to get an early start from our motel in Borrego Springs—6 am. We arrived at the meeting place early and were first in line to pick up the CD containing the GPS coordinates. It took us a few minutes to get the .gpx file loaded onto our GPSr, and then we were off. Notably, what we were given appeared on on GPSr as waypoints, not geocaches, which meant we needed to depend on a paper record to record our finds.

Up and down, follow the twisty trail

Here’s how the activities sort of worked. Along with the .gpx file of coordinates, we were given a pamphlet into which we recorded information about every cache found. There were various types of activities; regular geocaches, earth caches, caches along a nature trail, ranger-led activities, etc. At the end of the day we totaled up what we had found and were given raffle tickets accordingly. There were a lot of prizes (donated by sponsors), but most were of use only to southern California folks. Only one of our group won a prize.

Given that I was unsure what the 4×4 trails would be like, I elected to ride along—in fact, we split our group of eight into two vehicles. In retrospect, I’m glad I did this. While I’m confident I could have taken the Ridgeline on many of the sandy trails, some of the badlands trails we did were too tough. On a couple of occasions I was anxious as a passenger, let alone as the driver.

Our strategy was to head north clear across the SVRA in order to avoid congestion. This worked, but took us into a badlands area of narrow, twisty washes, and tough, steep climbs out of and into the washes. I think we kind of got lost in the twisty maze, and burned a lot of time driving around without finding any caches.

The pumpkin patch

One of the very interesting places we stopped at was called the pumpkin patch—an area of weathered concretions that resemble pumpkins (or in other places, large cannonballs). Another was the gas domes where gas (CO2, I think) and water pressure combine to push up the soil into large domes that bubble gas and water at the top.

I finished the day with 44 cache finds.

Roughneck Rendezvous 2012 photo gallery

3 comments to Roughneck Rendezvous III

  • Nice report and great photos as always!

    How’d you free the stuck Xterra?

    I’m not sure what you meant about the caches being marked as non-geocache waypoints and so you had to record finds on paper? You could just change the icon to “geocache – found” or something when you located one?

  • Um…TidyTip is the one that got stuck. 🙂 Entirely driver error; the FJ did very well.

  • Ah, OK, I thought it was the black Xterra from the photo, but looking closer I see that TT does have black paint around there. Glad it got un-stuck in any case. 🙂

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