A nearly five-mile hike to the top of Black Mountain
We started our ascent from the parking lot on the north side of the mountain and made the climb slowly on a hazy, humid day. The trail was great for my Chaco sandals and my feet were happy they didn't have to be confined to hiking boots.
At "BM Friendly Skies," it was too hazy for pictures, but I could tell the views from that location would be great on a clear day. This was sort of a "bonus" cache for 3cd's because he has been having problems with his Magellan recently and did not have this cache in his GPS unit. On our way to the hiding place, we walked across a bunch of carpeted ground that had us a bit confused. The cache location didn't confuse us however. It was an easily-spotted pile of rocks.
At the "Black Mountain Summit" cache, there were some muggles just up the hill from us, so we walked around the towers to find the Terracache and came back a bit later after they descended the peak. The cache owner used a large, plastic ice cream tub and the poor, sad, container had completely collapsed. It needs to be replaced with something that won't succumb to the sun and heat.
From this vantage point, on a less-hazy day, I'm sure you can see the ocean, and lots of mountain peaks.
After we signed the logbook and started down the hill, 3cd's remembered the Confirmation Code for the Terracache, so we walked back over there to get it before beginning our descent again.
On the way down, we finally figured out which trail headed over to an old cache, "Chupy 3: Road Warrior Overlook." It seemed like we were parallel to it for quite a while as we walked, and walked, and walked through the tall chapparal. Once we got to GZ, according to our GPSrs, we looked for quite a while, and from the looks of all the over-turned rocks, it looks as if others have also been there looking for the elusive cache. We finally made a lifeline call to The Polar Bear, who just completed a summit of Mt. Whitney. I congratulated him and then asked about this cache. Even though he found the cache a long time ago, he remembered the coordinates were off and that the cache was to the left of the "clearing." I walked in that direction and easily found the large container. Wheeeeuuu! I didn't really want a DNF on that mountain.
We walked back the side trail and then the rest of the way down the hill to the truck. After making a quick stop for a fountain drink for 3cd's and a cup of coffee for me, we headed back to Alpine, but not before 3cd's stopped for a couple of close caches he had already found, but which were right on the road. At one of them, he made a "coffee-spilling" U-turn to get me within about six feet of the cache.
After I got in my own car, I headed home, but I stopped to fix up "Minnie Tinnie Starts Out on a Hike," the third time I have had to fix "her."
I got home in plenty of time to log the caches at my leisure and prepare for the long day tomorrow up to Oceanside to the Events.