Yuma Mega 2024

SWAG Event Board

LogBook

February 4th 2024 marked the 20th Anniversary of the S*W*A*G* ‘s Yuma Geocaching Event in Yuma Arizona. This is the longest running Event in Geocaching at the same location.
SWAG Stands for Southwest Area Geocachers. IT was started by a group who wintered in the Yuma area and continues today.

Since this years event was 20 years there was a whole week’s worth of Events planned.

Tuesday, January 30 2024 3:30 PM GCAJ2RM S*W*A*G Taco Tuesday
Wednesday, January 31, 2024, 8:00 PM GCAJKZR Where Are You From? Cachers Anonymous Support Grp
Thursday, February 1 2024 8:30 AM GCAGGQ3 S*W*A*G CITO EVENT At WETLANDS PARK
Friday, February 2 2024, 10:00 AM GCAHHZ0 Meet & Greet in the Muggins Mountain Wilderness
Friday, February 2 2024, 11:00 AM GCAJKY9 Los Algodones Meets the Squirrels
Friday, February 2 2024, 5:15 PM GCAGNTW Yuma “Geo-cash-ing” Flash Mob
Saturday, February 3, 2024, 8:00 AM GCAG8F9 DISCOVER YUMA SERIES #10
Saturday, February 3, 2024, 5:00 PM GCAJ26A What’s for Dinner
Monday, February 5, 2024, 8:00 AM GCAGJ4J Say Goodbye to the Canadians VIII
Monday, February 5, 2024, 11:00 AM GCAH4V5 The OndrTeam’s 2nd Annual Lunch in Margaritaville! Los Algodones Mexico
Tuesday, February 6, 2024, 6:30 AM GCAGAGA Donut Miss This III
Tuesday, February 6, 2024, 3:30 PM GCAJRHC S*W*A*G Taco Tuesday, redux

My plan this year was to fly into Phoenix on Wednesday and stay the night there and then drive to Yuma on Thursday caching along the way.

Arriving in Phoenix early afternoon I wen to get my Rental Car and headed off to do a cache I have tried to do twice before with no luck. Lumpy likely has a 60% Did Not Find (DNF) rate. I spent another 45 – 60 minutes here and nothing. The area was very different from the last time I was here and all the brush was now cleared away. This did not help.
I continued on to do a few more of this Cache Owner’s caches. He is known in Phoenix for his cleaver caches. I recommend them to anyone who wants something different.

Lump

Lumpy

I should note that last year this cacher passed away from Cancer. His wife and fellow cachers are looking after his caches. He was also a reviewer for Arizona and I had the run into a few times at past Yuma Mega Events. There is a tribute cache for him in Yuma.

On Thursday morning I left Goodyear headed to Luke AFB to do a virtual there and a few other caches. When I go to somewhere Rural or next to a Military Base I always like to look on Google Street view to see what I may encounter.
One of the questions of this Virtual is what is written on the pole.
So on street view this is what I see.

telephone pole

Cachers?

From here it was off to head west on 1-10 then down 85 to get onto I-8 at Gilla Bend.
In Gilla Bend I grabbed a few caches and did an Adventure Lab.

From here my plan was to head west and stop and do some of the Dateland caches. I loaded them on my GPS and started them.
I got 11 caches done before something caught my eye. I read the cache page on my last find to read in bold ATL Permit needed to do these caches. An Arizona Trust Land Permit in needed to be on this dirt road, something I did not have.
I should add that halfway along these caches I noticed not far away a whole bunch of boxes stacked up. I drove over to see what they were and low and behold they were boxes of packaged Brussels sprouts. I mean I am in the middle of nowhere and no reason for these to be here other than they “fell” off a truck to be picked up later.

Brussels sprout

Brussels sprout

Brussels sprout

Brussels sprout

It is amazing what one finds when caching.

I moved along and checked into my Hotel about 5 PM. Shortly after checking in I headed for dinner.

Now lets talk about dinner and cost of food.  Now having stopped in Gila Bend at McDonald’s was a real eye opener. I had a Quarter Pounder Meal and that came to something like $14.50 USD which converted to $19.60 CAD. You have to be kidding on this price. The same meal back in Canada costs be like $13.00, which is still pricey.
I have been told this is all to do with a living wage paid to workers at Fast Food Restaurant workers are paid way less and rely on tips.
I went to Applebee’s where they had all you can eat for $15.00 which was wings, ribs and shrimp your choice with fries.
While the later one cost me slightly more with tip it was a far better meal.
Fast Food is no longer a cheap meal in this part of the world.

So on Friday brings 3 Events which I only attended 1 which was the Flash mob in Old Town. This is followed by a dinner get together hosted by the San Diego cachers which I have attended in the past at Prison Hill Brewing Company.

I have in the past tried to promote eat local as this helps get out the fact that this Event along with the SnowBirds put money into Yuma. This was the first year that the City of Yuma really stepped up to the plate and provided the Park for the Event at a cost of 2 CITO Events and 2 Caching 101 courses. This is small price to pay.
The Flash Mob this year raised money for the local Hospice.

Friday Flash Mob

Friday Flash Mob

Collection

Money Collection

Saturday is another BIG day with the Discovery Event starting at 0800. At 0830 the booklets are handed out and you can now leave and go find the 20 caches around Yuma that have code names etc. in them. This takes about 4 hours to complete and once you finish you head back to the start which is at Martha’s Gardens Date Farm. The special teat is buying a Date Shake when one returns to get their trackable coin for completing the Event.

Date Palms

Date Palms

There is always a Saturday night Event somewhere and this year it was held by WSGA . It was held to discuss this years plans for a new series of caches in Washington State.

Of course Sunday is the Mega Event. This year was not as well attended as we had hoped being the longest running Event in Geocaching. Despite marking 20 years it was still well attended at 454 logged visits.
Talking to many they had said they had to make a choice between Yuma and Geowoodstock. Since both were in Arizona one had to go and Yuma was it.

While this year had something new called the Caching Olympics that required you to complete 8 puzzles and once completed go and find the cache and get the code out of it.
While this was a great idea it turned out that this part of the Mega was too long as all had not even finished the puzzles in the allotted 3 time frame. There was no time to socialize with anyone there was the big complaint.
While this appeared to be a great idea the length of it just didn’t work and thus it won’t be back next year.

The Winner is MooseMob for the 50/50 draw!

The Winner is MooseMob for the 50/50 draw!

Now having just touched on next year 2025, Swag will be hosting a Block Party for Geocaching marking 25 years of Geocaching. Mark your calendars for February 02 2025 0800 – 1400.

Monday morning brings the Say Goodbye to the Canadians Event then off to Mexico for lunch for another event.

Goodbye Canadians

Goodbye Canadians

Los Algodones Mexico

Los Algodones Mexico

Los Algodones Mexico

Los Algodones Mexico

This is a very fun Event. There are many Geocaches in the area and once you attend the Event you can get your Duty Free or visit the local Pharmacy to get pills or stop in a the Dentist and get that Root Canal and some prescription glasses. This is a one stop shop town. The fun then begins to get back into the USA.

Tuesday this year brought Taco Tuesday which I did not attend.

If you ever want to do some very creative caches Yuma has that as well. Just look up FATL0L0 caches and that is a start.

So please visit the SWAG Event page for more info.

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