Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2006-07-23

Musings about Geocaching

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A trip to town to rescue a coin

Although I didn't need to drive that far during my trip to town to fill my water bottles and get some groceries, I decided to go to my "Rancho Mission Canyon" cache to rescue the coin a cacher dropped a few days ago. Since the coin and Jeep thief has been active lately, I didn't want another coin to disappear. In fact, a few days ago, I contacted a cacher who lives near that cache -- but he could not get there before the weekend.

I walked the short distance down the canyon and had to look a while to find the well-hidden container. The vegetation has changed since I hid it, so my hint is not particularly helpful now . . .

I opened the container with anticipation . . . and was soon disappointed. The only coin in the cache was a quarter that looked like it had been driven over on a gravel road for many months.

With the coin gone, I didn't want the cacher I contacted to make a fruitless trip, so I went to the nearest library, logged onto, and sent him an email. I also posted a "Note" to the cache page.

After that mini-adventure, it was "coffee time." I didn't feel well enough to do any serious caching, but I was near the Starbucks where "Golden Joe" is hidden.

First there was a woman sitting near the hiding place. After I got my coffee and walked outside, I saw a well-dressed, 80-year-old man sitting in the chair.

I thought maybe I could grab the container by pretending I was looking at the headline on the newspaper in the rack. However, it would have been rude to get that close to the man without saying something. Somehow my first statement led into what became a long, meandering conversation. I genuinely enjoyed talking to him and we covered many different subjects, including the benefits of solar and wind power.

Finally, his wife and their grandson walked over. She was beautiful. It was hard to imagine she was old enough to have been married almost 50 years. The three of them walked away to continue their errands before their long drive back to Boulevard in the far east County.

As soon as they were out of sight, I grabbed the cache and signed the log.

From there, since I was driving right by the park where "Three Billy Goats Gruff" resides, I decided to stop and take a picture of the wonderful container. Last spring when P.T. and I found the cache, I didn't get a picture.

I walked up to the cache location and looked for the container, but didn't see it. I sure hope it hasn't gone missing. Today, I posted a "Note" to the cache page. Maybe the owner, or one of the three people watching the cache will go out and check on it. I sure hope I am wrong and just missed it.

- - - - - - - - - - -

The hot weather has been replaced by clouds and drizzle. If it is dry tomorrow, I will drive to Horsethief Canyon and see if the caches in the canyon possibly survivied the flames of the "Horse Fire."

I added a new quote to my Forum signature today

Since I am finally feeling better after another really bad week, I added this quote to my Forum signature.

"Health is the thing that makes you feel that now is the best time of the year." -- Franklin P. Adams American journalist (1881-1960)

People who are healthy all the time probably can't appreciate that statement the way someone with a chronic illness can.

That new quote joins a statement I made up, after making the mistake of following my GPSr arrow too many times through rough terrain I didn't need to traverse . . .

Following the arrow in a straight line is not always the best way to get to the cache.

Another quote rounds out my signature. It fits Geocaching because if everyone traded up, or at least even, and if they didn't steal coins and Jeep T.B.s, it would be wonderful.

Count no day lost in which you waited your turn, took only your share and sought advantage over no one. -- Robert Brault

Thursday, July 27, 2006

An Update on the Fire

Yesterday afternoon I drove over to Lyons Valley Road to see if I could find out if this map, posted on was accurate.

I looked at a larger version of that map very closely and there were circles of fire on the west side of Lyons Valley Road, which was scary. The circles also looked close to the road that goes up to Lawson Peak, which means some of the Lawson Series caches could have burned.

Near SMOKEY's "Castaway" cache, the road was closed. A Highway Patrolman was sitting there in his car to make sure no one disregarded the barrier.

I parked my car and walked over to ask about the fire, and whether it had crossed Lyons Valley Road. He said it hadn't. Wheeeww! That is good news.

I am anxious for the fire to be under control, and finally out, so I can go over to the Horsethief Canyon area and take a peak to see if any of the caches survived the flames.

It is cooler today, so maybe the temperature will moderate from the triple digit temperatures over the past three weeks so I can go hiking again.

My mental health needs that right now.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

You know, life is just too short for this . . .

I have a confession . . . I am way too sensitive. Several months ago, through our local "caching rumor mill," I learned that another cacher enjoyed "pushing my buttons."

When I heard that, I reacted by saying, with a flash of anger in my voice, "They don't even know me." Learning I was the subject of gossip in the caching community seared me.

Over these past several months, this person has logged several of my caches. The logs have sometimes been short, like "Nice cache," when getting to the cache involved a long hike and led to a really cool location.

Other times the logs have been completely unrelated to the cache or the experience getting to it. Another time, a graphic picture of a dead dog was posted, without a caption to warn anyone what they would see.

Now a friend of this person has praised them, and their caches, in a log on one of my caches . . .

What's up with that?

I wouldn't praise one person's caches in a log for another person's cache . . . especially if I knew there was "history" between those two people . . .

I do not know the specifics of what I did to offend this person, but I'm sure it goes back to an opinion I expressed — and which was gossiped back to them — about the placement of one of their difficult-to-access caches that doesn't have a hint, and on which I logged a DNF.

Apparently I am not allowed to have my own opinion . . .

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A fire created some excitement out my way

In the morning, about the time I heard something on the radio about a fire and evacuations, I could smell the smoke. I wasn't concerned because the location was seven miles away, but, this afternoon, when a friend called and said they had ash falling at their place, I decided to drive around on Lyons Valley Road to see where the fire was.

When I first saw the plume of smoke, the cache I thought of was SMOKEY's, "Valley Pillar via the Quail Oasis." Then I thought of his "Ghost Corral" and "cAMMO Can." By the time I got to my cache, "Lyons Valley Roadside Distraction," I could tell that none of SMOKEY's caches were in danger at the moment, and I hoped none of the caches in Horsethief Canyon were at risk either.

The smoke and the wall of flames climbing up a steep rocky ridge was terrifying.

From my house, the smoke looks less-ominous.

I'm sure glad the wind isn't blowing. Santa Ana winds blow from the east to the west, which could spell disaster for some of the caches I mentioned, as well as the caches on Gaskill and Lawson Peak.

Of course there are many homes and ranches in the area that would be also at risk under different circumstances, but I think the fire is only burning acreage in the Horsethief Canyon Wilderness Area now.

I hope it is under control soon and completely out before more of the Wilderness Area is devastated.


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