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Geocaching in Central Oregon: Three Buttes Cache
The Badlands east of Bend, Oregon

View south east from the third butte. Were is the cab?


View north west from the third butte


The real Baron Max


Desert lillies


Flat tire experience
Images on this page Copyright © 2003 by Robert Speik.  All Rights Reserved.


Three Buttes Cache Log for May 5, 2003

We like Chief Paulina's desert caches. They always show us features and areas we might never have found. Three Buttes was no exception. I hunted with pals Cougarmeat and Calliopal.

As with Rooster Comb Cache, it is best to plan ahead, or you may never find the right roads in or out. I put in four waypoints from MapTech's Terrain Navigator, on desert road junctions shown on the USGS Quad maps from the 1960s. A problem on this cache: the access is on three Quad maps and by unfortunate coincidence on three Terrain Navigator CDs. 

We approached the Three Buttes from Badlands Road Eight. Chief Paulina, responding to our whine that the second tag was missing, suggested a shorter route in was from the east down a power line road. Do not believe it. Paulina, who says the Rooster Comb is in his back yard, does not live in Bend.

As noted above, we ran out of time looking for the second tag and did not attack the third butte on our first try. Paulina tells us that he has fixed stronger tags, I found the first one on the ground, and gave us the missing coords of the cache.

We came back the second day. I drove the desert roads in my Cherokee like the wind. I had learned to drive like the wind when I was seventeen on the desert roads of the Mojave. We quickly found the cache using the hint by putting the red end of the compass on true north instead of in the declination adjusted red shed on our favorite compass, see . I had run out of trade goods, so I took nothing and left nothing, I think.

Then we were off like the desert wind to bag Paulina's Bear Creek Arm Cache when, having just hit the pavement, I noticed that my right rear tire was a little soft. It must have been one of those desert rocks that I breezed by. See the photos above.

No problem. Out came the jack and the lug wrench. Ooops, I must have taken my special tool bag out a couple of years ago. We had no way to take the spare off its mount in the Jeep. Ooops, the lug wrench would not fit on the anti theft nut on the wheel. I did have a shovel, first aid kit, towrope, gas siphon rig, jumper cables, flairs, a blanket, etc. 

OK we will just call AAA. NO problem. Oh, and ask the AAA guy to bring an anti theft lug nut remover. What, you don't carry a set? What, you will have to tow us back the Prineville. Will AAA cover that? Probably? Leave the cell phone on? Hmmm, the battery indicators on two cell phones are on level two out of five. What are the chances of that happening! What, they lose a charge even if they are turned off and riding in the pack? We'll be OK. We'll be OK.

Well, much to the tow driver's chagrin, we found the lug nut remover and the spare was on the wheel in a jiffy. What, it only has ten pounds of air?!? I checked it in 1999. And the tire seemed hard when I hit it with my fist in 2002.

Well, with the very soft tire, we followed the tow driver (both of us had our fingers crossed, but for different outcomes) slowly for 20 miles to Prineville (it was closer), got gas, got air and some high-fat comfort food and headed the 40 miles back to Bend at 7PM. Another great cache in the bag! 

--By Baron Max and Little Max.  Mrs. Max was at home cooking up a special dinner.





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  The Badlands Wilderness
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BLM's final UDRMP opens Bend's Badlands to Geocaching
BLM's final UDRMP closes Bend's Badlands WSA to motorized vehicle use
BLM's UDRMP plans for Badlands deal with exploding public use
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Deschutes County takes no position on Badlands Wilderness
Deschutes County Commissioner DeWolf supports Badlands Wilderness
OpEd - Dirt road through The Badlands must close
Photos of Road 8 damage sent to Commissioners
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The Badlands have unique interest for the hiker
BLM guidelines for Geocaching on public lands
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OpEd - Geocaching should not be banned in the Badlands
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Protest of exclusion of Geocaching in Badlands WSA in BLM's UDRMP
BLM's UDRMP puts Bend's Badlands off limits to Geocaching
Deschutes County Commissioners hearing on Badlands Wilderness support
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OHVs to be held to designated trails by USDA Forest Service!
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BLM weighing public input on management plan
Oregon's Badlands hit by old growth Juniper rustlers   Photos