Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: An Interesting Non-Geocaching Day

Musings about Geocaching

Sunday, February 25, 2007

An Interesting Non-Geocaching Day

It was an absolutely gorgeous day today, so I decided to head out to Alpine to set out some caches along the trail to Bell Bluff. I needed to mail a card to my sister, so I stopped at the post office first and, in the lobby, met some people who were trying to figure out the Stamp Machine. Since I had just purchased stamps, and they only needed two for the letter they were mailing, I sold them two of mine.

Somehow the subject of Geocaching came up — so what else is new with me — and the use of a GPS receiver. The woman is a scientist and was interested in coordinates and how they work. On my GPSr, I showed them how the units can be changed, and how the numbers change with the different selections.

From there the conversation continued and meandered and wandered, covering all sorts of subjects before we said our goodbyes more than two hours later.

Before I started out for the trailhead, I needed to eat something, so I stopped at the Carl's Jr. where I met another person, a man in charge of an Aid Station for bicyclists participating in a 180-mile ride. WOW! I cannot imagine riding that far in a day. Twenty-five years ago when I lived in Idaho, I rode 140 miles over a two-day weekend in the Ketchum to Stanley bike ride, and in 1977, I rode the 75 miles from Tecate to Ensenada, but 180 miles . . . ? When a woman my age showed up at the Aid Station for some water and carbohydrate-laden snacks, I was impressed.

Finally, after more than three hours elapsed since I arrived in Alpine, I set out for the trailhead.

I had a bit of trouble remembering the route through those residential streets in that neighborhood, so I had to pull over and "ask" the GSPr to direct me to the intersection of two streets I remembered from my review of my Mapsource maps.

After I finally found the parking area, I put on my hiking boots and put several caches in my backpack. I hefted it onto my shoulders and set out, only walking a short distance before getting to the stream crossing. Since I did this hike last August, I hardly remembered there was a low spot across the trail here.

The water was deep and flowing at a good rate. I had my walking stick and there were some rocks, but not enough large ones to ensure a dry crossing . . .

So, after scouting the creek up and down, I turned around and walked back to the car, covering only half-mile distance, instead of several miles I hoped to cover today. Next time I will wear my Chaco sandals and walk through the water wearing them. In fact, I can wear my Chaco sandals the entire distance of this trail until the climb to the peak begins.

On my way back home, I checked out the California Riding and Hiking trail near Loveland Reservoir, but accessing the Bell Bluff trail from there adds a lot of distance to the hike, so I decided not to investigate it any further.

It was an unbelievable day, as evidenced by FlagMan's photographs and his kind log on my "Only Two Redeeming Qualities" caches at the base of Sycuan Peak.

The forecast for the next couple of days is for rain, so I'll have to get my exercise on my Cardio-Glide . . .


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