I finally found two "nearby" caches and placed two more
When another cacher went in this way, he actually drove to within .15 of a mile from the cache, but that trail is not meant for vehicles. I parked my car just outside a gate that has a "No Trespassing" sign on it and walked the first several hundred feet on an eroded and dusty horse track. This trail intersects the nice wide trail and the rest of the .84 mile walk was easy.
On the way, I saw a cool rock outcrop that just had to have a cache, so I placed a small Rubbermaid container there. It is easy to walk up on the rocks from the trail, but on the other side, the rocks drop off suddenly. A fall from up there would be very bad.
I took two readings initially and then on my way back took two more readings. All but one were within a single digit of the others, so it was easy to average them. I don't know what happened with the first reading that was off by almost 30 feet . . .
After finding the well-stocked "It Got Me Off the Couch #3," I continued walking toward "#2." Since the trail went down and down and down, I had second thoughts about continuing on for the additional .6 of a mile, but it was such a beautiful day, I couldn't think of a valid excuse to turn back. Along the trail I ran into a father and his son who were out on their mountain bikes. I told them all about Geocaching and showed off my GPSr. They both seemed interested and I bet he looked it up on his computer when he got home . . .
After finding the well-cammoed "#2" cache, I headed back up and up and up the trail. At one point, I saw a short cut that went up very steeply. I took that trail, but shouldn't have. At the top, I was just five-feet below the main trail and had trouble finding decent footing to get up those last five feet without falling. That stretch of the hike was good conditioning for our trip to "Lawson #4" in the next week or two.
This is the track showing my short cut up, up, up the steep hillside.
Along the trail on the return trip, I saw a fantastic oak tree. I had a small pill container with me, along with a very rusty can, so I put a cache in the rock pile across the trail from the tree. I gave a very specific hint so people don't have to look and look and look in that rock pile for a micro like I had to with a couple of those caches on old Highway 80 or the "Vector YMCA" cache up by Julian.
It was a wonderful day and I'm looking forward to taking more long hikes like that now that the weather has cooled off. I enjoy hiking to a single cache much more than racing around finding ten or twelve micro caches hidden beneath lamp post skirts in parking lots or on shopping center signs . . .