Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: Compared to my companions, I got a slow start on a very-exciting day

Musings about Geocaching

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Compared to my companions, I got a slow start on a very-exciting day

Several people decided to do some caches only accessible by boat, or kayak, yesterday. I woke up at 4:45 in the morning and actually thought about loading my kayak on the top of my car, but, alas, I thought about it so long I ran out of time to get that task accomplished and still get to the parking area on time . . . and then I fell back to sleep . . . so, there went that opportunity.

It's okay, however. I seriously doubt I could have paddled even half the seven-mile distance I would have had to paddle.

So, a bit after noon, I called duganrm. He suggested meeting at the trailhead for "Yorick," so I drove down the hill and parked there and waited. Soon, Jahaodi and John arrived and said the plans had changed. There were some other caches to find, for which we needed their 4WD vehicle. So, off we drove to Blossom Valley.

From one trailhead, we walked to a cache I had not found before, followed by another one I found last spring. Then, we headed off to find the caches high up on a windswept hill above the San Diego river valley. One was a puzzle cache I actually figured out myself when it first came out a while ago.

After finding those, we went to a trailhead where Nancy and I parked a few months ago. We walked down a trail that did not look familiar to me at all. It was overgrown with thistles and other vegetation. We visited one cache I had found and then headed to a new one for me, and then on to another one I thought I found before. It turned out to be a new one for me as well.

We walked back and headed out on the trail in the other direction towards two caches I found before. I was no help at all to Jahoadi and John and duganrm. My recollection of both locations was completely wrong. My only excuse is how different the area looks now that there is thick vegetation covering the hillsides. At the second location, we heard a faint rattling sound that soon stopped. When John ventured into the big California Laural bush again, the sound returned.

I said, "That sounds like a small rattlesnake." John backed away, and using my walking stick, was able to part the branches of the shrub enough to see the snake. He, somewhat-breathlessly said, "That is not a small snake."

He reached in towards the crack the snake had retreated into and took this picture of the snake's damaged rattles.

Jahoadi finally spotted the well-hidden container on the other side of the large shrub and they were able to sign the log.

We walked back to their vehicle and they drove duganrm and me back to his car, yet another classic Mustang, the third one I have "met" so far. We thanked them for driving and said "Goodbye," and from there, duganrm and I went to a nearby Burger King to fuel up for what turned out to be quite the adventure getting to my newly-archived, "Evidence From A Bygone Era," because it is now behind some "No Trespassing" signs . . .

We found a way to get into the area so duganrm could find and log this cache.

However, because of the "cache guardian," he had to wait to get the container until after the arduous trek to my cache. The once-faint trail to it is now completely obliterated by thistles and dried grass.

The sun hadn't gone down yet after we completed the mission to retrieve my cache container, so we decide to hike the one-mile round-trip distance to "Yorick." There were two other caches along the way duganrm found first and that allowed us to see this rising moon as we headed east along the powerline access road.

The light was failing as we looked for "Yorick," but duganrm zeroed in on it just as my GPSr told me to head in a different direction. We quickly signed the logbook and headed for the next nearest cache, "Look in the Crannies."

On our way to "Yorick," we scoped out the location of that cache thinking, incorrectly, that it would be up high on the hill. So, now, with quickly-failing light, we started walking East/Southeast from the trail at the top of the ridge. When we were still several hundred feet away from the cache, we got the brilliant idea to finally read about the cache in our Palms. Oooops!

It turns out the cache is rated a 3 1/2 for Difficulty and the Terrain is rated a '4.' What were we thinking? It turns out from reading the Past Logs, we are up way too high, even though we are "close" to the cache as the crow flies. So, very, very carefully, we made our way down the cliff on the south side of the hill. duganrm finally made the grab after an urgent lifeline call to Chuy, who, when he got the call, and looked at the time, said, "You aren't there now, are you?" And when duganrm said "Yes." Chuy just said, "Be careful."


After signing the logbook, we rock-scrambled back up the southeast side of the hill, and then rock-hopped, and bushwhacked our way back to the powerline road and then walked the half mile back to the cars.

It was a really fun, and very exciting day. But there are parts of it I would like to say about them: "Let's not do that again."


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