The P.T. Cruiser said, "I think I'm a Jeep."
And, with that, off we went, up the newly-graded road to the Bear Valley caches, and finally to Rangers 'N Rattlers and beyond.
There is such a variety of cache types, and containers, along this rugged road that traverses thousands of acres of BLM land, it all becomes a blur at the end of a long day. Although I took pictures at many of the caches, I didn't at many others. I need to be more methodical about this. It's not like the "film" costs anything.
One of the fun cache containers is a relative of Al at "Al's Cache" in Sloan Canyon. This guy has been using some Crest WhiteStrips however.
T. R. Violin placed three additional caches out there while he did the loop of caches himself. One of T.R.'s caches was "Chocolate Bear." The views from way up there were really fantastic.
On the cache page for "Dooley's," as the hint, T.R. provided a portion of the lyric of an old song and both Princess Toadstool and I were humming, "Hang down your head Tom Dooley, hang down your head and cry" as we climbed the "ladder" to the "hangin' tree."
From this location, we parked the car and walked the 7/10 of a mile to "Rangers 'n Rattlers." After stumbling around trying to find the trail, which is actually the road, we continued on to "Bear Valley -- Lunch Stop." Lunch? It was almost dinnertime for us! From there we walked to "Off-road Fun," a cache I never thought I would get to, but two feet work just as well as an ATV or motorcycle.
Finally, we turned around and walked back to the "Jeep" and headed back the way we came, exiting the gate well past dinnertime.
Although there was a cache up the PCT on the way to the La Posta Cafe, dinner was more important, so that will be one for a future caching adventure.
After having dinner, we went out to get a cache owned by a brand new cacher. It was up a very steep hill, but not as bad a climb as that to "Golden Hammer." It was almost 8:00 and close to dark. When P.T. reached down to move the rock where we thought the cache might be, a rodent poked its little head out. When we finally got the rock moved, the packrat ran off in P.T.'s direction, but he startled both of us.
I hadn't brought my walking stick along for this cache because I wasn't worried about snakes at this time of the evening, but I guess the walking stick is also good for moving members of the Order Rodentia out of the way.
The cache contents were good and for a first-time cacher, he did a good job, even if the terrain was rated a bit too high. If the difference between the terrain rating on this cache, a 5, was averaged with the rating of "Golden Hammer," they might each have a correct terrain rating of about 3.5.
I would much rather go to a cache that is rated too high, than go to one that is rated much too low . . . just like I would much rather find a cache beneath a too-obvious pile of rocks than never find a cache so deviously hidden I cannot find it without the hint that isn't provided . . .
At the end of the day, I thought we had found ten caches, but when I got home and turned on the computer and the Palm and started comparing notes, we actually found 15, 17 if you count the two of mine P.T. logged that I don't get to log.