Two more days of caching and I hit 1000
The second one was "High Voltage Fun." As usual, we didn't read the cache page before setting out on our .6 mile hike. Doh! We walked past a road that went up to a trasmission line tower, thinking it went a different direction. So we walked at least another third of a mile before finding a trail to scramble up. Only when I read the cache description that night, before logging my find, did I see that the cache owner was kind to include the coordinates for where we should have turned . . . the road we passed up . . .
We walked back to the car and then went to one of Night Hunter's "Still Standing" caches that celebrate trees that are still standing after being burned. This one is striking. I wonder what it looked like when it was alive.
Now we were at number 999 so we headed to the trailhead for "Indiana Ed's Subterranean Cache." We walked to the beginning of the "tunnel" and went through a lot of preparation before making the leap, literally, into the concrete ditch. I was worried we wouldn't be able to get out, but we found a nearby branch we were able to use as an aid to our exit. Finally we started towards the tunnel, but, when we saw a light, we stopped. It looked like there was someone in there, with a headlamp on just like our own. We finally determined it was literally "the light at the end of the tunnel," far, far away.
It got cooler as we continued down the channel, but it wasn't as spooky as Princess Toadstool anticipated. I noticed the numbers on the side of the channel and knew we would be able to find the cache easily. Before that, we were wondering how in the heck, without pedometers, we were going to go 1000 feet in the tunnel.
We found the cache, examined the contents, took the TB, took some pictures, and then turned around to make our way back, examining the tunnel more carefully this time, seeing a sleeping bat and noticing the stalagtites mentioned in the cache description.
We used our "ladder" to get out of the channel. On our walk back we observed we could have entered and exited the channel near the beginning without any trouble.
From that cache we went onto one of Night Hunter's brand new caches where we were FTF! Whoo Hoo! At that cache a Border Patrolman came by and talked to us. He was very personable and friendly. I didn't feel like it was an official "encounter."
That wasn't the case after we found the next cache, "Stone Ruination #3--Wort Breath," which is very close to the border.
As we drove along the dirt road parallel to the metal border fence, we found ourselves surrounded by Border Patrolmen. One blocked our way with his Bronco, another came up behind us with his vehicle, and finally a third vehicle came on the scene.
All that for two "women of a certain age" in a PT Cruiser . . .
We ended the day in the near dark at the "Mystery Pools of Potrero Creek" cache. Princess Toadstool might have found it, but it was getting dark so I guided her around the rocks by the route I used last spring. Near where the cache was supposed to be, we found the container, exposed, with all the good swag taken and with the packaging scattered on the ground. We picked that up as trash, P.T. added some more stuff, and we returned the cache to its hiding place behind some very large rocks that keep it from floating away during the rainy season.
It was a great caching adventure on an incredibly warm December day.
Wednesday we headed up towards Ramona again, but not to attempt "Indian Head Peak." We wanted to do a couple of caches near the trailhead for Iron Mountain and then start on some of the caches in the MTB Series among other caches. The "Black Mountain Cache" took us to the most wonderful pools of water in water-sculpted rocks.
Princess Toadstool took that picture of me walking on the rocks.
Another cache, "MTB Series - The View," took us to an extraodinary view that looked like a Maynard Dixon painting.
And another one, "MTB Series - Subject to Flooding" took us to a place where the afternoon light created a wonderful scene.
It was a great day, however our trip back home was marred by a huge traffic jam on Highway 67. For many miles we coasted down the hill in neutral going just a couple of miles an hour. It took us more than 45 minutes to cover a part of the highway that takes less than 15 minutes. A fatal accident, involving a tow-truck, had happened just half an hour before we started down the road.