Since the "MTRP War" has been raging for several weeks, it was time for an "Armistice Barbeque
." Chuy! and Jahoadi & John, and GD Ginger were the organizers of a very successful event Friday afternoon and evening. It was attended by more than 100 people who enjoyed Chuy!'s carne asada and FlagMan's chille relleno casserole, among many other delicious offerings.
It was great to see friends and hiking companions I hadn't seen since the last event, or since our last hike. I also got to meet Mrs. Duncan! and that was a wonderful conversation.
Around 8:00 p.m., under a nearly-full moon, about 40 people headed out on a night hike. Since I had walked 12 miles through the park a few weeks ago, I wasn't ready to make that hike again, especially after dark, and I was sure glad the hike was not required to get the "Attended-smilie."
Shortly after the group departed, I walked back to my car and then made the 40-minute drive home, thinking about the SDCET hike the next day in the Blue Sky Preserve in Poway.
After I got home, and after I figured out how far it was up there using my Mapsource maps, I decided I couldn't justify driving that far, even though I had hardly driven my car since I arrived home ten days earlier on May 2.
However, when I woke up very early Saturday morning and realized this was an opportunity that wouldn't arise again, I got my hiking snacks ready, filled a couple of water bottles, and took off, arriving at the parking area about ten minutes early.
Soon Let's Look Over Thayer and TrailGators and his neighbor arrived. As we were visiting, duganrm pulled in, "fresh" from the night hike, having gotten home after 3:00 in the morning.
It was slightly overcast when we started down the oak-shaded trail. The first cache we stopped at was "Keren's Blue Sky Micro," one I had found several months ago with P.T. It had gone missing, so Let's Look Over Thayer replaced the container in the original hiding spot.
By the time we headed for the first waypoint of Shandon's Multi-cache, Two Dams View - Blue Sky
," the sun had come out and the day was warming up quickly. I was glad it wasn't any warmer than the high 70's as we ascended the trail up towards the dam because along that part of the trail, there is no shade at all.
We found the final waypoint, and then the final cache where I placed one of the T.B.s I brought back from Colorado with me. After that, we continued on up to the dam.
We rested there for a while, enjoying the cool breeze that was coming up the valley. Finally, we pushed on to another cache situated in a rock pile at the top of a steep section of trail that was slippery with tiny stones that made each footstep treacherous.
We found two more caches, including a puzzle cache I never would have figured out, before finally heading back to the cars.
When we got back to the parking area, my GPSr Trip Computer said we had traveled more than seven miles. My feet told me we had covered that distance also. I love my Asolo boots, but after about four hours on the trail, my feet start hurting just as bad as they did in my also-comfortable-for-only-four-hours Lowa boots.
After TrailGators and LLOT took off, and after I changed from my hiking boots to my Chaco sandals, duganrm and I continued caching around the Poway area.
We had a great time doing LLOT's "All Aboard II
The final cache was located in an area of open space right in the center of Poway.
After walking to that cache and a Team Gecko cache called "Giant Geckos - The Lost World
," we headed over towards Scripps Ranch to find some puzzle caches duganrm had solved. Once again I was able to sign the logbook for caches I never would have figured out.
FlagMan had a fun one called "Three Sisters - Scripps
Nearby there was a Traditional cache called "Opus 4: Frog Fugue
." It was a small container that some critter seems to like because it has been found open and strewn around on the ground a couple of times, and we could see the container had been chewed on.
It was a great day, I found 14 caches, and really appreciated duganrm's encouragement to get out and get caching again.