2021 Road Trip, Day 7: Colby, KS to Salina, KS – The Holy Grail

This was it – the day I’d planned for. I slept in since my only plans were to find the oldest active geocache and then find some others around town until it was time to meet a friend for lunch.

That’s it there, a hole in the ground along a fence just of I70. The container was literally stuffed with travelbugs and trackables. I had a bunch to drop there, so I ended up taking some out so I could leave mine. I dropped them in another cache not too far away.

The area of Colby, Kansas is loaded with “gadget caches.” These are wonderfully clever caches designed to challenge the finder to more than just a quick sign and go.

Above center is a cache inside of a block of wood that has all kinds of plastic bugs attached to it. The real special one though is the elaborate “general store” setup not too far away. It has a separate “building” for the log from the swag and trackables that can be exchanged. This is where I moved all of the trackables I had found in Mingo about a half-hour earlier.

Another elaborate cache in the area. This one there was a bit of a puzzle to figure out how to open it and access the log. Once it’s open, it was pretty easy.

For this one, titled “Chair Logging,” I needed to carry a 9-volt battery with me. The correct sequence of buttons would allow the door on the yellow box to open and reveal the log sheet to sign for the cache. For the next one I needed two 9-volt batteries, so it was off to a nearby Walmart since I only had one.

This one is at the Visitor’s Center and is called “Grain Bin.” After putting the two batteries on the connectors, I had to get the plugs in the correct two holes to open the bin on the bottom. I tried every combination once and nothing happened. I went through it a second time and got the door to release this time. I gave out a lot of favorite points on caches today. It was also a beautiful spot where I parked my car under a cherry tree in full bloom.

This one was at the Prairie Museum of Art and History. It’s called…. Little House on the Prairie. When I put in the batter the lights flashed in a pattern that I had to decipher to get the combination to release the cache log.

The area around Colby is loaded with these great caches. I wish I had time to do more.

Peggy is a friend I’ve had since my early days writing on a site called Epinions. We’ve “known” each other online for around 20 years. She geocaches too and lives in Colorado. When I started talking about the trip on Facebook, she mentioned that she hadn’t found Mingo yet and lived about 4 hours away. We planned to meet up for lunch in Colby. We had a great lunch at a Mexican restaurant. I wish we’d thought to have someone at the restaurant take our picture together. She brought me a giant Baby Yoda pillow because she knows how crazy I am about him.

After that, it was time to point my car East.

Hays, Kansas was my next stop. There’s a lot of interesting history here, especially in the construction of the buildings. The children in a circle are a bronze statue called Circle of Peace.

My next stop was a quick visit to the Cathedral of the Plains. This is another spot I would have loved to have the time to explore more. The construction of this is absolutely stunning. It was a beautiful day to be there too, without a cloud in the sky.

My next stop took me to the abandoned Walker Army Airfield. There’s no trespassing here, so I just wandered around outside of the property.

This church has a beautiful and unique cross the lights up along I70. I wish I could see how it looked at night on the Interstate, although it probably isn’t as big of a deal to someone who sees it all of the time.

Right about now was when I scouted out where I would stay at night. I ended up opting for Salinas. There was a nearly brand new Homewood Suites there that had great rates. I made one more stop, though, at a rest area with some interesting rock formations.

These formations are known as “toadstools” and are very interesting. There were actually two earthcaches in this rest area dedicated to them.

I loved seeing this part of the country. It’s someplace so unique to those of us who live east, among the mountains and the beaches. I really enjoyed driving it, I only wish I’d had more time.

6 replies »

  1. The sculpture of the children I think is a virtual cache… as I got that one when we were swinging through Kansas on a whirlwind geoadventure! I love the gadget caches! I can’t wait to get to Gilby, ND! It looks like you had a ton of fun! Do you think you’ll get to Geowoodstock next year? If so I’d love to meet you!

    • Yes, that was a virtual as was the mural. I think the buildings there were an earthcache. I wanted to go into the museum and see the fish inside a fish but I didn’t have time.

      I have a friend who’s a traveling nurse in Alaska that I want to go visit. I might be able to time a visit to her with Geowoodstock next year.