Page 1 of 2
Val Hamilton had her Las Vegas trip all mapped out.
She and her three buddies planned to leave the chill of British Columbia and touch down in Sin City next week. They had reservations in Ash Springs, Rachel and Tonopah.
Whoa, whoa, what? No Bellagio? No shows? No basking by luxury pools in the 70-plus-degree weather? What is this?
These women aren't interested in all that. Hamilton's grand plans included building on her 1,410 "caches," and Southern Nevada was an ideal place to do just that.
After all, 1,000 of the little treasure boxes were said to be hidden along the famed Extraterrestrial Highway, a desolate state route that runs just north of Area 51. That is, until the Nevada Department of Transportation stepped in a couple weeks ago and took them all.
If you are unfamiliar, as I was when Hamilton recently reached out for help, geocaching is an increasingly popular hobby. Enthusiasts use GPS systems to hunt down little boxes or canisters that others plant across the planet, then post the coordinates on a website.
Once cachers locate a box, they sign a log and can remove a trinket if they replace it with a knick-knack of equal or greater value. Nothing pricey typically. It can be a teeny plastic chinchilla or some such random prize.
Anyway, geocaching apparently is an inexpensive adventure enjoyed by hard-core cachers or outdoorsy families. It is all about the fun, unless, apparently, you wander into the state transportation agency's territory.
The government suits are to geocachers what vice cops are to frat parties: Buzz kills.