Back to Horsethief canyon for a DNF and a FTF!!!
At the staging area, a couple was getting ready for their hike, and a guy in a jeep was just leaving, and then another man drove in to get ready for his regular run, so it was pretty busy there for a Tuesday morning.
On the trail, I passed the couple just before "The Levitating Rock" cache. They were walking slowly, so I was quite a distance in front of them by the time I arrived at the first cache location. It was a large rockpile, and I was looking for a Micro . . . without a hint.
I looked up and down and all around the rock pile, occasionally looking up the trail to see if the couple was coming. I don't know where they were because they never appeared during the long time I was searching . . . and not finding the cache.
On the trail, I took lots of pictures of the flowers that are blooming now.
I continued down the trail towards the other cache, feeling discouraged, even though it was a beautiful day and there was lots to see along the trail including this completely-scorched tree . . . with some regrowth.
At the next cache location, I was disappointed the cache was not right next to the trail. The habitat in the canyon is delicate as it recovers from the fire. My GPSr was telling me to walk more than 60 feet across soft soil and delicate new growth. At GZ I started my search, poking in holes with my walking stick, and having no luck finding anything except for a bottle of salsa . . .
During my search, I stopped to take a few pictures of more flowers blooming nearby.
Near the cache, in the shade of the recovering oak trees, I saw these unusual flowers and a large, dark-colored lizard who was too shy for me to get any closer for a better picture.
I looked for a long time and greatly expanded my search before giving up and heading down the trail.
As I walked, I was very discouraged. The hike was fun, I got lots of pictures, but I had not found either of the two caches I set out to find. A few hundred yards down the trail, I decided to turn around and take another look. This time, somehow, when I poked my walking stick into a hole between two rocks, it hit the cache and made that wonderful little clunk. Whooo Hoo! A find! I signed the log and traded for one of the unusual coins SEPTICTANKHANK had put into the cache. In the caches description, he states that they came from a wreck off the coast of Santa Barbara.
I replaced the cache and then found a couple of rocks to put nearby to serve as a marker for future finders so they don't trample the area during their search.
After that, I started back up the trail, taking a few more pictures as I walked. A few weeks ago, I noticed this "flame-shaped" bush beginning the process of recovering from the devastating fire.
It was a beautiful day for the hike, and by the time I got home, I felt better. Maybe tomorrow I'll give that DNF another try on my way to the other cluster of new caches hidden by CTYankee and SEPTICTANKHANK in the "meadow" area near I-8 at the Descanso exit.