Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: Lots of pictures from our day in the desert

Musings about Geocaching

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Lots of pictures from our day in the desert

Our day started long before dawn in Rancho San Diego where the four of us met, CTYankee9, fisnjack, SEPTICTANKHANK, and me. I was late this morning because I set one of my alarms for 4:15 pm and slept through the "Snooze" of another alarm . . . The guys weren't mad at me, but it did set us back a bit. CTYankee9 wanted the early start for the photo opportunities in early morning light.

The sun was coming up just as we got to the little desert town of Ocotillo and I got this picture at the Desert Museum where T.R. Violin has a cache called "No See Um Yet."

The first caches on our list for the day were near an old Dolomite Mine. The cache was in a challenging location, but each of us made it up the treacherous and steep "trail" to the container.

High up on Mine Peak behind the Geocache, there was a Terracache. It was only .3 away, as the crow flies, so fisnjack and I headed up the hill, me with my GPSr in one hand and my camera in the other hand. I won't go that unprepared again. I could have really used my walking stick on that crumbly rock, and I should have had my hands free, but then we didn't think it would take more than an hour to cover that distance . . .

The views from the peak were incredible. We got a good view of the mud caves we were heading for next.

I was grateful to CTYankee9 for letting fisnjack and me find that "uppity" cache, because it did take time out of his day. However, he and SEPTICTANKHANK made good use of the time investigating the remnants of the mining operation and taking some great photographs in the early-morning light.

After fisnjack and I made it back down, we took off for the mudcaves area. The first cache we found was "Dead Things?", a cache hidden by $kimmer. Then we started for a great cache hidden several years ago by W9JIM, seeing amazing geologic features along the way.

On our way up to a Virtual cache called the "Peanut Gallery," we stopped under a natural arch to take a picture of our little group.

The "Peanut Gallery" was a place where hikers have collected different concretions that take an amazing variety of shapes.

This guy sort of looked like a smurf.

On of our goals in this area was a puzzle cache for which we didn't have the final coordinates. Until we got to the parking coordinates, I didn't realize we wouldn't be able to find the final container . . . We had lots of fun exploring the mudcave anyway.

When we emerged at the other end, there was a "Pyramid."

High up on the top of the mud hills, there is an amazingly barren landscape.

By the time we finally left the tangle of roads and tracks in the mudcaves area, we had covered more than thirty miles.

From there, we drove, and drove, and drove, to ultimately get within a mile of where we had been . . . With a tricked-out vehicle raised up and equipped with lockers, we could have descended the Diablo Dropoff, but after looking at it, we turned away from the challenge . . . but not before getting a FTF on a new T.R. Violin cache hidden a short distance away from the drop off.

In that other part of the desert, near Ocotillo Wells, and up Fish Creek wash, we found three Earthcaches and a few other caches. We scouted the "Basilisk" and found we weren't equipped for that one, plus it was a bit late to start such a challenge.

A couple of hours later, on our way home, we stopped to look for Gecko Dad's "Ranchita Microvillage" cache again. It was after dark, as it was the last time, but this time there were four of us, with four lights, and we still couldn't find the container. I did see more of the little houses and took more pictures. This was a little "Mosaic House."

Then I got a picture of part of the "village."

There was even a little log house.

By the time I got home, it was almost midnight. Wheeeuu! What a fun day! Fortunately, CTYankee9 likes the desert, and doesn't like being stymied by caches, so we will be back out there next week to find the container for the puzzle cache, and get past the physical obstacles in our way to the "Basilisk."

I have still more pictures to post and I'll continue "fleshing this out" as I get the time.


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