Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: Off to Santee to find those DNFs from last week

Musings about Geocaching

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Off to Santee to find those DNFs from last week

A friend invited me to have lunch, so I drove down the hill to El Cajon. After a nice visit, we went our separate ways. I turned on the GPSr and found the next nearest cache and set it to navigate by road. What an interesting route it took me over to "Hillside Park Pears III."

When I arrived at the park, there were two police cars in the parking lot. The officers had a guy sitting on the grass in handcuffs. I acted casual, glancing down at the GPSr occasionally and taking the long way around to get up on the hill where I found the cache easily.

I left a TB in the cache that the owner didn't want to go to the Event Cache next weekend. Then I took some pictures of the "pears" on a nearby cactus plant.

On my way down the hill, following gaps in the vegetation more than an actual trail, I saw two AA batteries on the ground. I thought Geocachers were supposed to Cache In/Trash Out, not contribute to the trash that is already out there. Of course someone else could have dropped the batteries, but I can't think of a "normal" person who would have been up there on that hill replacing batteries . . .

I picked them up and put them in the trash can that was about 50 yards away, on the way to the parking lot . . .

The next cache was one I drove by the week before. It is in a light industrial section and all the buildings have large "No Trespassing" signs or "Video Surveillance" signs. Thinking there was a different way in, I drove up in the nearby residential area, but there wasn't any access from there afterall.

So, I finally drove back down to the business park and walked past a somewhat-intimidating sign to the cache hidden at the back of the parking lot.

This was a TB exchange cache where five TBs are supposed to be imprisoned at all times. Since I no longer had a TB, I just signed the log. I don't think the owner of the TB, who didn't want it to go to an event, would have wanted it to go into a TB "Hotel" either.

From that cache I went to one I couldn't find the week before. I had looked the area over thoroughly, but today, even armed with the clue, I couldn't find it. When I got home, I found out the owner had disabled it that very day because it is actually missing. If I had remembered to log that DNF the week before (I couldn't remember which one it was because that hider's caches have similar names), maybe its missing status would have been discovered earlier.

Finally I followed the GPSr arrow back to the neighborhood where there is a walk/bikeway down by the river. I asked a young woman about a bridge across the river and once I found it, I was on my way to "Not Another Santee Micro."

I found what looked like a trail for a little ways, but then it was just semi-gooey mud with only four-legged critter's tracks in it. I sure wouldn't want to be wondering around down there at night.

The cache was extremely well-hidden. I actually walked right over the top of it. I didn't look for it for too long however. Something caught my eye and I moved the leaves and dirt and there it was.

From there it was onto "Santee Stroll." I had the hint, but even with that, I wasn't having any luck finding this nano-micro. I finally sat down on a rock and was watching the ants walk on the board along the bottom of the chain link fence. Something caught my eye. It was the ring on the top of the micro container that attached it to the fence.

I unscrewed the top and found what the most recent finders had seen. A wet log that has turned to pulp. Even though I carry tweezers with me, I wasn't going to try to get the log out. I'm sure it would have just crumbled. I took a picture of the log in the container, as well as the container back on the fence.

There was a cache in GSAK that I seemed to remember having problems, but I hadn't ever looked at the cache page. So I set out trying to find it. In GSAK, the visual representation of its condition was four green squares, meaning it had been found by the last four cachers to visit it. Only when its waypoint wasn't matching up with any streets did I go back and read the many logs for it.

It turned out that the coordinates were off by more than a mile . . . and it had been placed on private property. So, I finally gave up on that cache (which turned out to have been archived. I have to change my settings for my PQs so that information will be updated). I went onto another cache that was in the cacher's front yard. It was very cute.

I also went back to another cache I DNF'd the week before. I had been looking in the right sawgrass plant, I just hadn't "renovated" the area enough last week. This time, with my walking stick to aid me, I got inside that plant and lifted up those sharp-edged grass blades and found the large Lock-n-Lock container, in which I found another Travel Bug.

Finally it was time to head back home. On the way, sort of, I looked for and found another micro cache located in that "Traffic Calmed" neighborhood just south of Highway 94 near the Avocado exit.

I probably would have found this one using the GPSr alone, but since it was nearly dusk, and the walkway leading to the cache location had a "No Trespassing -- For Residents Only" sign, I read the Past Logs. I soon learned it would be easy to spot because it wasn't well-cammoed. And, it was.


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