Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: A hike into Hollenbeck Canyon for a Terracache FTF

Musings about Geocaching

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A hike into Hollenbeck Canyon for a Terracache FTF

Because I had to make a trip to the post office, I was driving right past the road to the northern Hollenbeck Canyon trailhead. I debated with my self a bit -- Go to Target to get some necessities or go for the FTF. Hmmmm . . . what would a Geocacher choose?

So, down the Private Road to the trailhead I drove, thankful for the single lane of pavement that was put down several months ago. Since I am going to own this car for a long, long time, I didn't like beating it up on the original rough and washboarded dirt road.

The afternoon was beautiful; a perfect temperature for hiking in just a long-sleeve t-shirt. The sky was a bit hazy, so I didn't take too many pictures, although the views along the trail were great. This would be a great hike for photography on a day after a storm when little puffy clouds are still in the sky to make the monotonous blue more interesting.

I walked the road to my "Lonely Trees with a View" cache, a road I could have ridden my mountain bike down just as fisnjack had said. Even though I had the bike in my car, I decided not to ride it because of that first really rough section through which I would have to practically carry the bike.

From "Lonely Trees with a View," where I picked up a Geocoin placed there by 3cds a few weeks ago, I bushwhacked down the steep hill to the road. Only when I got off the road and started walking through the brush did I realized how terribly dry the vegetation is. So far this winter, we have had very little rain.

On the peak ahead of me, there were two caches, the elusive bradybunchboys "Hollenbeck Holiday Hide" and 3cds' Terracache. I found the Terracache first. It was an Altoids tin hidden in this rockpile . . .

Actually, it was a pretty easy find because of the excellent hint.

After signing the pristine log, I started my search for the other cache. I walked around that rockpile working my way to GZ. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted an object I am known for using as "cammo." I picked it up, looked at it, and then caught a glimpse of the object mentioned in the hint.

My log reflected my thanks to the person who left that object:
Man, oh man! I never would have found this cache if some kind soul had not left another item near the thing mentioned in the hint. I checked that out and then saw where the cache was. It was a beautiful day for a hike into the canyon. Thanks for the cache.

Near the cache, I saw this butterfly and was able to get close to it . . . its pose wasn't very photogenic, however.

After signing the log on that cache, it was still fairly early in the afternoon. I had a decision to make. Should I hike down, down, down into the canyon to hunt for "IHO: The Mountain Bikers," should I head back, or should I continue to the SW to look for three more caches that had been waiting to be found by me for more than two months.

I decided to do the latter.

The first cache I looked for was another in "lostguys" series incorporating the word "Couch." I love finding caches like that one. I circled the area where the cache might be, put my hiking stick down as I took a step, and hit the cache container. I hadn't even started my search yet!

From that cache, the "trail" was much fainter. I was bushwhacking up through waisthigh, tinder-dry chaparrel to a rocky outcrop with a commanding view to the west.

My easy find of the previous cache was made up for by a frustrating search for this one. The hint uses the word "crevice." I searched several narrow crevices in the large boulders and had no luck.

I took a bit of time out from the search to photograph this little butterfly.

It was much more shy than the other one and wouldn't let me get close . . .

I was about to give up and move on to the next cache, but decided to pick up the GPSr and try to get to exactly "0". Very near GZ, I put my hiking stick between three medium-sized boulders and something made a funny sound. It was the cache container . . .

From that cache, I had to bushwhack down to "The Ottoman Saddle." The profile of my track shows the ups and downs I made on my journey

On my way back up the hill, I had to refer to the tracks on my GPSr to find my way through the brush. Once back on the trail, I saw the camera I saw earlier.

I believe it is motion-sensitive and is meant for taking pictures of the resident mountain lion. The wildlife researchers are going to have a picture of me and my camera when they next review the pictures . . .

The sun was getting low in the sky and the view of the location where I hid my "Jamul Creek View" cache looked beautiful. Unfortunately, this picture doesn't do it justice . . .

Finally, back near the top and not too far away from my "Canyon View" cache I got several pictures of the sunset light in the canyon.

It was a beautiful day for a hike. The temperature was finally warmer than it has been over the past few weeks. While the temperature is moderate out here in the East County, I need to take advantage of it and hike as many of the trails as I can.


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