Friday, October 14, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Lots of hiking on our two days of caching
Therefore, on Tuesday, instead of driving down the old Viejas Grade to find the four caches hidden along there, we walked down the road. One of the caches is called "Back Seat Driver." P.T. is checking out the car to see if it might run again someday.
Actually, the car got caught in the fire of Ocotber 2003 and anything on it that could burn, or melt, did. Only the metal shell remained.
It was a good long hike of nearly four miles and we collected lots of cans and bottles along the way.
After we got back to the Geomobile, we headed up Hwy 79 toward Cuyamaca State Park to find Duncan!'s new cache and continue on toward an Earthcache and the Sunrise Highway. Passing Wind's "Julian Schist Earthcache" was cache number 800 for me. The description of the rocks, and the gold-bearing veins, was very educational. When we arrived at the road cut, it was in shadow, so the pictures we took were not as vivid as they could be. When I'm back on that road, I'll stop and get some better pictures of the interesting geological feature.
Although the air was hazy, it was an absolutely beautiful day to be up in the mountains. One of the most fun caches on the Sunrise Highway was "Vista del Fuego." It was placed a few months after the devastating Cedar Fire in October 2003 that burned thousands of acres. On a clear day this view would really be fantastic.
From there we headed on to a cache I had found a few months ago. While P.T. climbed up the hill, I took some pictures of the "Guardrail Philosophy."
I have an alarm clock that runs on happiness . . .
Everytime someone smiles, I wake up . . .
Our last stop of the day was a cache I found a few months ago that has since gone missing . . . again. It is called "Vallecito View" and highlights a wonderful viewpoint. I hope Duncan! will replace it so people will stop and see the view of the desert to the east.
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Wednesday morning we started out at my "Steele Canyon Park" cache. While P.T. found and logged it, I collected a few more cans and bottles for the recyling center. From there we drove just a little ways to the end of Par Four Street and started what turned out to be a very long walk to attempt the multi, "Par Four," and continue up the hill to the difficult-to-access "Golden 94."
At the first waypoint for "Par Four," we found this guy:
The second waypoint was difficult to find and we looked a long time. It shouldn't have been that hard; in fact I looked in a location similar to the hiding spot, but missed searching the actual hiding spot. P.T. ultimately made the find. We took quite a few pictures of the ruins we found there.
This amazing tree might have been the hiding place for WP #3. We may never know since we looked for half an hour and never found it.
"Golden 94" was only .22 miles away from that place, but we couldn't see any direct trail to it. I was certain it was at the end of a power line access road, so we started walking up the horse trail, in our Chaco sandals, not thinking we were going to be doing all the bushwacking we ended up doing after we went up, then down, then up, then back down, then up, up, up to the ammo can hidden in a pile of rocks that can just be seen in this picture taken from "See How They Run" later in the day.
We probably hiked four or five miles during our day and had quite a bit of elevation gain and loss climbing to both of those caches.
The last cache of the day was another new one by Pathfinder and Snoopy, two cachers who really helped me out when I was a brand new cacher back in January. There caches are always fun, well-cammoed, or in interesting locations. In fact, the very first cache I found, "Hollenbeck Canyon Cache" was a Pathfinder and Snoopy cache.
Thanks, Pathfinder and Snoopy for getting me started on this obsession/addiction . . .
Monday, October 10, 2005
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 . . .