Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: A long, disappointing quest for a White Jeep

Musings about Geocaching

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A long, disappointing quest for a White Jeep

That is just a piece of the actual Magnalog and story that can be found here.

The location was fantastic, and I loved the boulder scrambling.

It was the long -- more-than-an-hour -- unsuccessful and frustrating search, with no hint to guide us to the cache, that made the experience a disappointment.

That is the lengthy, scrambled track we created wandering in and around and under some huge boulders. Princess Toadstool took some pictures of me inside the cavern where the evidence of packrats was everywhere. I was just glad I didn't see any mountain lions. There were many places that would have provided a nice den for one.

When I am looking for a cache, I often won't even read the description in my Palm, or look at the hint, until I have looked for the cache for a while. However, if I'm having trouble finding a cache, I sure appreciate a hint. That is what I do for my caches. After someone has hiked to the viewpoint or walked to the cache location, I want them to find the cache. Even though some of my cache locations are worthy of a second visit, I think most people would rather go somewhere new than return to look for the cache again . . .

Oh, and I also don't want to get those DNF emails in my InBox.

For "Lawson 4," Tom by Himself included a long, detailed hint. For some downtown San Diego caches, the cache owners have noted the "elevation," which helps to get you to the right spot, since the GPS signals are so scattered and unreliable around all those tall buildings.

That is what we were contending with on Indian Head Peak. The boulders are as tall as two- and three-storey buildings, and the boulder "caves" we went through caused the GPSrs to lose signal. We thought we had a good arrow pointing us in the right direction, but if the coordinates are off by a couple of digits because of the interference of all the boulders, a hint would have encouraged us to expand the search in a different direction.

Expanding the search is what I did in this position out on a ledge.

I found the greatest hiding place out there and couldn't believe the cache wasn't in it.

The actual cache hiding place is probably like that, but our GPSrs just didn't point in a different direction. We tried to get up on the huge boulders through a sort of "chimney," but the rocks were so slick, it was too dangerous for us to go further up than we did. We looked for other ways to get on top, including inspecting a nearby tree, but did not see a way.

Our search covered a 60-foot ellipsoid around the cavern, except for the seemingly-inaccessible top of the boulders. That is the part of the "circle" we missed searching . . . and where the cache is sitting right now, taunting me, taunting me, taunting me . . .

We might not have found the cache, or taken possession of the White Jeep, but we were on top and took pictures to prove it.

I woke up early this morning thinking about our quest. It was fresh in my mind, as one would expect for a ordeal that lasted that long, and I seriously considered going back up there to search again . . . but if the two of us couldn't find a way to get to the cache yesterday, how could I do it on my own?

Oh, and then there is the issue with my sore muscles. My legs are sore, my shoulders are sore, and my hands are fatigued. At my age, I'm surprised I'm able to do the things Geocaching has "encouraged" me to do, but I need a bit of recovery time now before accepting the challenge of "Indian Head Peak" again.


  • Wow. Very nice pictures & geo-tracking. What a great area to be in, for geocaching. I'm a bit jealous. Everything here is flat, trees & woods. I should like to try geocaching sometime when I can tumble on rocks instead of getting scratched up by briars & nibbled by ticks.

    By Blogger Smukke, at 7:51 AM  

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