Potter’s Pond

I’m working on finding a few of the oldest geocaches in the world. Canceling our trip to New Mexico messed up those plans. One of those old caches is in the Manti-La Sal National Forest in Utah. The area is a high valley (technically a graben) east of Mt. Pleasant along the Miller Flat Road.

Not to be denied, we took a several hundred mile detour from Bishop along Highway 50 (the old Lincoln Highway—and it truly is “the loneliest road in America”) to Nephi where we stayed a couple of nights.

Let’s find a way through that

Potter’s Pond is in a wetland area—a couple of larger man-made ponds among streams and smaller beaver ponds. There were lots of mosquitos, although a good breeze kept them somewhat at bay. There are about a half-dozen caches in the local area and we looked for all of them. First, however, we needed to ford a couple of streams—one by wading and one by searching for a log we could manage to keep our balance on. The target cache (the old one) was up on a hillside with lots of brush and downed timber, so it was a slow process of path-finding to get there. It was much harder to get to the cache than to actually find it. I still want to find caches that were hidden in May, June, and July of 2000. Hopefully I’ll get that chance later this year in northern Oregon.

I did not carry my SLR camera—it’s heavy and awkward when scrambling. The few photos I took were with my iPhone. We were there on a weekend and it was busy. It seemed like almost every party had an ATV or motorcycle—I think that must be a requirement to live in Utah.

As we headed back west on highway 50 toward home we encountered a bit of excitement on the boring two-lane road. I spotted the flashing red lights of an emergency vehicle coming towards us in the distance, so I began to slow to hug the right fog line. But then the flashing lights pulled over into my lane and headed straight for me. Uh oh! It was a highway patrol officer telling me a wide load was coming and that I needed to pull as far to the right as I could. This was in an area where the roadbed was raised, and I considered there was no suitable shoulder on which to pull off, so I moved over putting the left wheels on the fog line and waited. Then another highway patrol vehicle comes by and tells me if I value the left side of my pickup I should get off the road. OK, let’s get all slanty down in the ditch… Sure glad I did. That was the widest load I have ever seen—some large steel structure. I’m fairly certain the load overlapped both fog lines because as it passed the truck put its right wheels on the fog line (so the right side of the load was way over in the shoulder) and the load seemed to pass by a foot away from me. I should have whipped out the iPhone and taken a video.

Links
Potter’s Pond 2013 photo gallery

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