Caching the Silver State!

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'Suspicious Device' Turns out to be Geocache. PDF Print E-mail
Written by VegasCachers   
Saturday, 30 July 2011 21:29

RENO, NV - Washoe County Consolidated Bomb Squad detonated a 'suspicious device' on Foothill Road, which turned out to be a 'Geocache'.

Washoe County officials could not identify the 'box' that was reported in front of the Squeeze-In restaurant on Foothill road. Officials closed down the road and the bomb squad detonated the device.

The 'device' turned out to be a 'geocache' an item used by GPS enthusiasts and placed at coordinates to be found by other 'Geocachers'. The items was an ammo box that was placed in 2006 and had just been found. It was padlocked to a lightpole and marked 'High Explosives'. After detonation, officials determined the cache was safe, however misleading.

Trace amounts of radiation detected in Nevada. PDF Print E-mail
Written by VegasCachers   
Saturday, 26 March 2011 23:16

RENO -- Minuscule amounts of radiation from Japan's damaged nuclear plant have reached Las Vegas and Germany's Black forest, but scientists say it poses no health risk.

Extremely small amounts of the radioactive isotopes iodine-131 and zenon-133 reached a monitoring station by the city's Atomic Testing Museum this week, said Ted Hartwell, manager of the Desert Research Institute's Community Environmental Monitoring Program.

Hartwell said he's certain the isotopes came from Japan because they're not usually detected in Nevada. But he said the readings were far below levels that could pose any health risks.

"Unless you have an accident like this (in Japan) you wouldn't expect to see this. No doubt it's from Japan," Hartwell said.

Minuscule amounts of radiation from Japan have been reported elsewhere in the West, including California, Colorado, Hawaii and Washington.

In addition, air detectors in Germany's Black Forest mountains have picked up radioactive iodine blowing in from Japan 5,590 miles away, but the amount is too little to be harmful, officials said Saturday.

The instruments on Schauinsland mountain can distinguish between the much larger amount of radioactive iodine constantly emitted by the soil and rock of Germany and the nuclear power station iodine-131 from Japan.

On Friday the Japanese-originated radioactivity had been 58 microbecquerels per cubic meter of air. On Saturday this rose to 500

microbecquerels, the German federal radiation protection office said.

A spokesman in Salzgitter said this posed no health risk and was only a tiny fraction of the regular radioactivity in Germany's air. "We were expecting a slight rise," he said. "The traces are very, very tiny."

Most radiation in Germany comes from radon, a gaseous element that occurs naturally as a decay product of uranium. It is common in many areas, seeping out from the soil.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 March 2011 13:23
Nevada sends geocachers' money elsewhere PDF Print E-mail
Written by VegasCachers   
Saturday, 26 March 2011 23:06

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.

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 March 2011 23:09
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