Tag Archives: outdoors

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 8, Picacho Peak

The Adventures of Sprowkey is part of a series following the whereabouts of a trackable geocaching item. Actual locations and events surrounding this trackable item form the basis for a fictional narrative, creating a unique and interactive geocaching experience. For more background on this series, see the first installment of The Adventures of Sprowkey. 

Sprowkey and Polly

Fifty miles is an admirable distance to cover in the desert heat, especially when one can’t even remember much of the journey. After leaving the care of Special Agent Eagle Eye, Sprowkey headed northwest out of Tucson, brimming with confidence and a renewed energy. His best guess put him at just a few hundred miles from his destination, though it was only a few dozen miles into the trek when his newly found drive dried up, quite literally.

Majorly miscalculating essential water supplies vital to a desert journey resulted in rapid dehydration, and ultimately, severe heat exhaustion. With no help in sight, and no other viable options, Sprowkey forged ahead. The desert heat developed a personality of its own, morphing into a blurry, pulsing, adversary. With every step his head pounded, as the sun seared his skin and the wind pummeled him with rocks and sand.

And then, in almost an instant, it was over. The pain was gone. The throbbing headaches and nausea passed, and everything became very still.  Was this the end? He casually contemplated this question, while wondering why he wasn’t considerably more concerned at such a thought, when he noticed the voices.

He could now make out a few distinct, yet mumbled voices that grew increasingly louder. He opened his eyes, initially focusing on the enormous cactus looming high above him, before noticing the three characters actually standing right in front of him.

“He’s comin’ to!”

“Better watch it – we don’t know who this feller is or where he came from.”

“Hey there, partner, have some more water. You’ve been out for over a day. This here is F. Dawg and Kandy Kane. I’m L.A. Roaming Gnome, but they call me Roman. Welcome to beautiful Picacho Peak State Park!”

Kandy Kane

Kandy Kane

Farfr Dawg

Farfr Dawg

Roamin' Roman

Roamin’ Roman

Miles traveled since last stop: 293

Total miles traveled: 7490

Previously:

The Adventures of Sprowkey, Chapter 7

The Adventures of Sprowkey, Chapter 7

The Adventures of Sprowkey is part of a series following the whereabouts of a trackable geocaching item. Actual locations and events surrounding this trackable item form the basis for a fictional narrative, creating a unique and interactive geocaching experience. For more background on this series, see the first installment of The Adventures of Sprowkey. TucsonAccording to our most current tracking information, Sprowkey is somewhere along the southwestern border of Arizona, now in the safe hands of Special Agent Eagle Eye. Together, they have slowly and carefully been making their way west through southern Arizona.

This is quite a change compared to the cold start that Sprowkey experienced in the frigid northeast. Half a year later and Sprowkey is trying to adapt to temperatures well over one hundred degrees (currently 108°). Luckily, Eagle Eye is quite at home with such bone-dry climates, not to mention the many dangers  seen around these parts.

Eagle Eye has proved to be a man of few words, just as Boomer had warned. Clearly, he prefers to travel alone, which is fair enough, just as long as he can safely get Sprowkey that much closer to his destination.

Total miles traveled: 7081

Previously:

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 6, Tucson

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 6, Tucson

The Adventures of Sprowkey is part of a series following the whereabouts of a trackable geocaching item. Actual locations and events surrounding this trackable item form the basis for a fictional narrative, creating a unique and interactive geocaching experience. For more background on this series, see the first installment of The Adventures of Sprowkey
TucsonSprowkey was becoming quite comfortable at Traveler’s Rest. He hadn’t felt this welcome amongst others since being separated from his true family. The camaraderie was nourishing to his spirit, and he would have happily stayed and rested here a bit longer, had an amazing opportunity not fallen into his lap. An experienced and fearless traveler, whom people only know as “Boomer,” had returned to Traveler’s Rest once again. Boomer’s travels have taken her around the world, so on the rare occasions that she manages to visit her home away from home, all work ceases for a short-lived celebration, until the next adventure begins.

Thomas the Donkey saw her return as a sign, and tasked Boomer with the job of guiding Sprowkey further west towards his destination. Having been indebted to Thomas for over a decade, she had felt that she may never have a chance to repay the debt. Therefore, it was without hesitation that Boomer accepted the assignment.

After an emotional goodbye with Thomas, Farm Cat, and the rest of the clan, Sprowkey and Boomer set off on a southern course, stopping in North Carolina to take care of some of Boomer’s other “business” before continuing on to Tucson, Arizona, where their journey together would come to an end. Boomer had taken Sprowkey as far west as was possible, and it was more than he could ever have hoped to accomplish in such a short time. It was now time to part ways.

For the time being, Sprowkey is lying low in a geo-hotel occupied by other weary travelers and rough characters. According to Boomer, a trustworthy acquaintance will find him and further assist him in his travels. While he has not had any trouble here yet, these folk are nothing like the close-knit clan at Traveler’s Rest. They all appear to be ruthless nomads looking out for no one but themselves. Will this “acquaintance” prove any different?

Total miles traveled: 6604

Previously:

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 5

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 5

Sprowkey and Polly25c5cdbb-dca2-46c3-bcbe-7075dbeb0d76After fleeing from the soggy marshes of Pathway to Panache, Sprowkey has finally completed  what has been his longest and most grueling journey to date. It is here at Traveler’s Rest, a whopping eighty miles west, that Sprowkey has made the acquaintance of a motley band of characters that call themselves the Travelers.

Farm Cat was the one to make first contact with the weary red drifter. He was hunting for food on the outskirts of camp when he caught the scent of something that was clearly alien to this land. On an ordinary day he could have easily caught Sprowkey unawares and without effort. Today, however, was no ordinary day. Farm Cat came in close for the kill, when some strange, heavy feeling in his gut caused him to hesitate at the very last moment. He froze, surprised at his sudden fallibility, and their eyes met. Farm Cat gazed at Sprowkey, his mind numb, and he slowly began to let down his guard. Somehow he recognized that Sprowkey was no threat to him or his people, and just a short time later, he was up to speed with all of his adventures of the last several weeks. Farm Cat realized what he had to do next. He would take Sprowkey to meet the rest of his clan, including their venerable leader, Thomas the donkey. Surely, Thomas would be able to aid Sprowkey in his noble quest.

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Miles traveled since last making camp: 80

Total miles traveled: 94 Previously:

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 4

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 3

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 2

The Adventures of Sprowkey : Chapter 1

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 4

Sprowkey and Polly

Sprowkey’s current base camp, the Pathway to Panache, has seen a deluge of rain over the last several days. The area is becoming flooded, and though it seems as if the downpours are only temporarily stalled, Sprowkey will be taking this opportunity in between downpours to relocate his base. When and where he lands next is anybody’s guess, but hopefully it will be much further west, and that much closer to his goal.

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Miles traveled since last making camp: 7.2

Total miles traveled: 13.7

Previously:

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 3

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 2

The Adventures of Sprowkey : Chapter 1

The Adventures of Sprowkey #3

Sprowkey and Polly

This just in: Sprowkey is back on the grid, having just settled in at his third camp! He had narrowly escaped the local inhabitants at his previous camp, having had to backtrack and change directions multiple times in order to completely throw them from his scent. After regaining his bearings, the search for the next suitable base camp continued, and he is now in a secure container (a full-sized cammo ammo can) getting much-needed rest before his next westward adventure. It is an idyllic location to make camp, being that it is within close proximity to water and is heavily fortified. With the weather being as beautiful as it is, however, this sojourn may not last long. “Westward, Ho!”

Cammo ammo box347670fe-3854-4f90-89b2-0011c1ec405f

fb620aec-0321-4851-85b0-3f0bebef49c6Miles traveled since last making camp: 7.2

Total miles traveled: 13.7

Previously:

The Adventures of Sprowkey #2

The Adventures of Sprowkey 

The Adventures of Sprowkey #2

Sprowkey and Polly

Stop the presses! Sprowkey has made his first move!  After several weeks in the wild, our favorite geocache adventurer finally began his quest, traveling almost six miles west. He is now taking cover in a new hideout, awaiting his next move.

So far, the only danger that Sprowkey has encountered has been bitter temperatures and persistent, blustery winds that slowed his pace to crawl. At first, the howling winds played at his fears of traveling alone, but they soon became such a familiar part of the landscape that he no longer even noticed they were there. In fact, he had gotten so used to fierce winds, that he didn’t even take notice of the stirring sounds of mysterious local creatures around which he was selecting his new camp location. He had stumbled right smack in the middle of their village!

What’s in store for Sprowkey? Will the strange creatures detect his presence, or will he confront them first? Will he take off and make a run for it? Will he slip by unnoticed? Anything can happen. Be sure to stay tuned for the next chapter in Sprowkey’s Adventure!

Special thanks to SCPA Backpackers for facilitating Sprowkey’s maiden voyage.

Sprowkey 1 Sprowkey 2 Sprowkey 3

Special thanks to SCPA Backpackers for facilitating Sprowkey’s maiden voyage.

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The Adventures of Sprowkey

Sprowkey and PollyAllow me to introduce you to Sprowkey (my daughter named him), a geocaching trackable figurine that we customized and unleashed into the wild last week. He is made of polymer clay that was sculpted around an official geocaching identification tag called a travel bug. If you have never heard of geocaching, it is a growing hobby akin to a treasure hunt, that uses smartphones or other GPS devices, as well as online clues, to track down and find hidden geocaches. Although modern technology can help get you in the vicinity of caches, you’ll probably still have to do some serious old-school hunting as well as some problem-solving to find the prize.

Sprowkey Rear

There are many types of caches, ranging in size from large Tupperware containers to micro-containers the size of a pen cap. Then there are virtual caches, where the goal is to find a specific location as opposed to a container. Inside the cache there is typically a log book for geocachers to sign, trinkets and other swag available for trade, and if you are lucky, you may even find collectible or trackable items, like Sprowkey, that have specific goals. Geocachers may remove trackable items, log them online at geocaching.com, and move them to other geocaches.

Sprowkey’s insanely ambitious goal is to travel all the way to California, or as far west as possible, and for his adventures to be recorded along the way. Surely his travels will be chock-full of suspense, mystery, and all kinds of mayhem, and I’m hoping that fellow geocachers will play along and send me their own stories of Sprowkey’s exploits so I may highlight them here on this blog. Will he meet new friends and confront old foes, traverse difficult terrain, perhaps even fall in love? Time will tell.

As spring approaches and you yearn for some outdoor family fun, give geocaching a shot. Still not sure? Try looking at a map of your area on geocaching.com. You’ll be surprised at the number of caches quietly hiding right under your nose that you never even knew existed. There could be fantastic treasures hiding just around the corner….and maybe, just maybe, you’ll even stumble upon Sprowkey.