Ridge Walking – New Mexico

March 19th, 2009

The great thing about ridge walking in New Mexico is that there aren’t any trees. Well, at least not in the areas that we were looking for caves. As we drove down many a dirt road in the Guadalupe Mountains, we saw quite a few caves from our vehicle. The bad thing is that they were on mountains across the desert and we were pressed for time to find a place to sleep. Still, its quite a bit easier than on the East Coast. There, we spent hours upon hours searching for caves. In the summer, we searched through dense brush. In the fall, we shuffled through the fallen leaves and turned up nothing. In New Mexico, we could see the caves from the comfort of our truck.

In New Mexico, the mountains were dotted with cave systems. On one dirt road, North West of Carlsbad Caverns, I saw four of them on the same mountain. As usual, Johnny wasn’t able to scout, because he was driving, so I showed them to him. He then pointed out that they were moooving.

Maybe I should wear my glasses more often. That way I wont end up sticking my head in a cow.

Work Camping Opportunity

January 10th, 2009

If you are planning to be in Kentucky this March, you can take part in this opportunity. On the weekend of the 21st and 22nd, Carter Caves State Park will be preforming its 3rd annual Cave Restoration Weekend.

For your participation, you will receive free camping during the event, an official T-shirt, a guided cave tour, new friends, and a fuzzy warm feeling that comes from making a difference.

Work will include the following:

  • Formation Repair and Cleaning

  • Visual Work to Camouflage Man-Made Features

  • Vandalism / Graffiti Work

  • Clean-Up of Trails and Commercial Areas

  • and Much Much More!

More information can be found on the website. Please ignore the 2008 date. It is a typo.

You can also contact them @ 606-286-4411.

The event will be held at:

Carter Caves State Park
344 Caveland Drive
Olive Hill, Kentucky 41164

Johnny and I had a great time in this park. It is where we worked on the bat gate. There is a ton of wildlife in the area. We saw deer every day for most of the day. We also saw a fox and a number of skunks. Its a very nice park with a lot of caves in it.

America the Beautiful

November 9th, 2008

America the Beautiful Annual PassI know a lot of fulltimers swear by various camping club memberships to keep their camping costs down throughout the year, but at Hitek Homeless, our focus is on avoiding camping fees altogether. That being said, sometimes it is just more practical to stay in an established campground overnight and some sort of discount card sure would be nice.

Recently, we stopped over in a national forest and it was getting too late to be out looking for a campsite in the dark. The fees posted for this campsite were $5/day. You can’t beat that with a stick, right? Wrong! For the first time, I noticed that our America the Beautiful pass would allow us to camp for HALF PRICE somewhere.

Now, I happen to think this interagency pass is an excellent deal for folks that want to check out the national parks as they travel, so we picked one up while visiting the Wright Brothers memorial in Kitty Hawk, NC. At the time, we joked about buying an $80 pass to avoid paying an $8 entrance fee. But, you’ve got to remember that the interagency pass takes an all you can eat approach to entrance fees. It will get you and up to three other people into just about every federal area where they charge an entrance fee for free. This includes national parks, monuments and historic sites, forestry service, bureau of land management, bureau of reclamation and fish and wildlife sites as well as federal recreation lands.

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Building a bat gate

September 24th, 2008

Well, we’ve got more than a bar of Internet tonight, so I figure it’s time we got caught up on some blogging.

Horn Hollow Cave

After we spent a couple of weekends at the Great Saltpetre Preserve caving with some great people from the area, we headed towards Boone, NC to start our next stint as carnies. However, we got sidetracked leaving Kentucky as Jenn noticed Carter Caves State Park was just a few miles out of the way. As this is where Crawl-a-thon is held in January, we decided it would be worth a quick stop over and looksee.

We got up bright and early and explored Laurel and Horn Hollow caves. Both are rather short trips, that have been ‘prepared’ for tourists, but they are still unlit, self-led trips. Horn Hollow has a beautiful entrance, but is otherwise not much to look at from inside. Laurel was quite a pretty little cave and we were able to get off-trail and explore the upper passage as well as climb a small waterfall that most non-cavers would have never seen.

Roy and Jerry. The gate is now complete.

Once we got to the camper, covered in cave mud, and I got stripped down to my high performance underwear, a couple of guys walked up, and rather than running away, they wanted to chat, which marked them as cavers and not afraid of dirty, half-dressed hippies in a parking lot. This was our introduction to Roy and Jerry. They were in the area building a bat gate, which is designed to let bats in, but keep people out during bat hibernation season. Since we were the only muddy folks around with a bat sticker on our vehicle, they assumed we’d be good suckers, err… candidates, to volunteer to help out.

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Virginia Boonies

May 4th, 2008

Saturday was spent at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, but Jenn will be posting about that soon. After we left Monticello, we needed to make some miles southward. We didn’t luck across any obviously great camp sites like Lake Frederick, but it turns out that the general rule of thumb in Virginia is that you can stay on WMA (wildlife management area) lands for up to 14 days.

Virginia has a ton of WMA’s. A list can be found here. I’d still suggest checking the individual WMA rules before heading that way, but Virginia has at least one class of public land that is boondocker friendly.

We ended up camping at the James River WMA near the thriving town of Wingina, VA; population – some, but not many. It’s not the prettiest place we’ve stayed, but the price is right (free) and the neighbors have either four legs or wings.

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