Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: I placed five new caches in Jamul

Musings about Geocaching

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I placed five new caches in Jamul

I have had these five caches, and others, in my car for the past couple of months, but I just couldn't find the time to get out there and place them. I've been too busy out finding caches.

So, finally, on a warm Saturday afternoon, I drove the five miles down the hill from my house to the parking area at the end of a dead-end street in the Hidden Valley subdivision. This is an area I discovered about nine years ago. There was a "Garage Sale" sign on Lyons Valley Road. My neighbor and I turned on Hidden Trail and drove over the hill to this most amazing vista.

There were all these huge houses, most of them at least 3,000 square feet in size, others probably 7,000 square feet, and they stuck out in the valley below like something out of a science fiction movie. There were no trees or plants to speak of, only these huge, white-stuccoed houses out in the middle of a valley surrounded by native chapparel vegetation.

The development was new, and none of the landscaping, what had been planted, had had time to grow around the enormous two and two-and-a-half story red-tile-roofed homes.

Now when you drive over Hidden Trail, the trees mask the hugeness of the homes -- somewhat -- but I still marvel that this is the normal way some people live, with swimming pools and tennis courts and horse stables in their back yards. One home has a "forest" of palm trees and other plants. I bet their water bill is twice what my rent is every month . . .

Fortunately, there is this little public access area in the subdivision that allows people without such means to enjoy the hiking trails that head off from here in several different directions.

When I hiked to the top of McGinty Peak a few years ago, going from the Jamul Dr. trailhead, the hike was a killer. It is six miles round trip from there, and the hiking boots I was wearing were half a size too small. By the time I got back to the car, my feet were killing me, and one toenail actually turned black a few days after the hike . . .

Earlier this year when I hiked to "No Hinty on McGinty," I used this trailhead and getting to the top wasn't nearly as arduous, but there were no other caches along the one and a half mile trail. I vowed to do something about that.

So, on a day with the temperature in the high 80's, I put the two ammo cans and two other containers in my back pack and headed up the hill. The pack was pretty heavy, but I made it up the steep hill slowly and steadily. Some off-road motorcyclists went past me at one point and I had to breathe their noxious exhaust for a while until the breeze blew it away.

The first cache I placed was an ammo can given to me by a friend. It had a "Smiley-face" sticker on it when he gave it to me, so I left it on there and added some "Smiley-face" items to the can, along with other swag.

The next cache I placed was inspired by T.R. Violin's "Al's Cache." It is called "Blue's Blue View." This nearly perfect Yucca -- or is it a Nolina? -- is nearby.

Finally I headed up the hill to another viewpoint that is within sight of the summit and "No Hinty on McGinty." I didn't even cover the ammo can at that location because it should be well-hidden from any casual observers, and might still be a challenge for some Geocachers.

I took a few pictures, but the air was very hazy, as it often is this time of the year when there is a bit of an onshore flow.

I'll have to hike up there someday when it is really clear to get some really good pictures of the views.

There were still some flowers blooming and these were very aromatic.

Here is another picture up close with the late afternoon backlighting.

I don't expect a lot of Geocachers to be rushing out to be FTF on these caches because it is warm out here, and people who live closer to the coast aren't used to the heat we have in the East County at this time of the year.


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