Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2007-02-11

Musings about Geocaching

Friday, February 16, 2007

My longest hike ever . . . 12.6 miles

Although I have walked more than 12.6 miles in a day, this was the first time I hiked that many miles on a single hike. This is what our tracks looked like.

I made the hike with dillweed, who had already found all the caches along the trails. She was kind to go with me and allow me to find the caches as we hiked . . .

Some of the caches were hard for me to spot, so I'm sure glad she was there to offer a little hint or I would not have gotten back to my car before dark. As it was, even though we started at 8:30 in the morning, we did not get back to the vehicles before sunset . . . which is when the gate to the parking lot at Summit Park is closed.

At the top of our hike, we got to see this most interesting structure. I have no idea who created it, but it sure involved many, many hours of labor. As I looked at it, I thought about a section in one of my favorite bookw, Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon. Along his travels, he helps a man repair a stone wall in New England. As he worked, he got the sense that the rocks were choosing themselves for the correct placement in the wall, allowing it to be created with beauty and stability.

It was a beautiful day, very warm for February, but it was a bit smoggy, so I didn't get the best pictures from that high vantage point on the top of Mother Miguel.

Looking to the northeast, we could see the daunting granite peak of El Cajon mountain.

Below the peak we found another cache hidden in a rockpile. That cache had a great view to the south.

One of the caches we found on the east side of Mother Miguel was a huge container. I should have taken a picture of it and the great view it had, but since there are still caches to be found on the mountain, I'll be back. I can get the pictures then.

Although we were heading back to the vehicles, we took a little side trip up a trail to get a cache called "A Long, Slow, Steady Climb." On the trail, this little guy stopped and posed for me.

About ten miles into the hike, my left knee gave me some trouble. Fortunately, the sharp pains were intermittent, and each time, only lasted for a little while. The pain certainly let me know I was at about my physical limit.

As the sun descended in the sky, the light was beautiful. We were in a to make it back to the vehicles before sunset, but at this point, I stopped to take a couple of pictures, including this one.

I had a great time, and found 24 caches. There are still many more to be found in that area, but the next time I hike with dillweed, we will have to go where she will also find a lot of caches. I am grateful for her company on the hike, and grateful for her help spotting some of the elusive containers. I think I would have had a few DNFs if she had not helped me spot some of the caches . . .

We did have one DNF for a cache I had filtered out of my database because the last two people there couldn't find it. Since she had found "A Little Clear Heart" before and knew where it was supposed to be, we stopped at the "Tiki Hut" and spent a little time looking for the cache. Just like the previous visitors, we had no luck finding the cache.

Another thing I am grateful for is the wonderful weather. Right now people in the midwest and back east are contending with ice storms and record snowfalls. I am so glad to live here now where I no longer have to own a snow shovel.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Yuma Event provided great fun for two days!

On our way out to the Yuma Event, Team Adelos, Toby's Gang, and I stopped at a cache hidden in the end of a vehicle barrier located at the edge of the sand dunes. Toby's Gang made the find and after we put the cache back, we noticed a Border Patrol vehicle across the way. We didn't think anything of that until a while later on the freeway, Team Adelos said he was being pulled over by the Border Patrol. One of the officers was ready to pull his gun as he walked towards the truck. Although we told them all about our innocent little game, they said they don't like people messing around the vehicle barriers . . .

Our next stop along the drive was at the "Center of the World" Virtual. I misread the information in my Palm, so we got a bit dizzy counting the steps, before we made it to the place where we were actually supposed to be to count "Ceremonial Steps." This place was really interesting and worthy of another visit . . . in the late fall, winter, or early spring when it isn't over 100° there . . .

This spiral staircase came from the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

There was the most unusual sundial at the "Center of the World."

Just outside of Yuma, we found the "Stomp" cache. There was an interesting, abandoned building across the street from the hiding place for the ammo can. Only the pigeons were making use of it now.

In the background, there was this beautiful, Spanish-style church building.

As we headed off to the next cache, I realized I didn't have it in my GSPr. Good thing I was caching with Toby's Gang and Team Adelos because I had filtered out the caches that had a difficulty rating of more than '3' and the caches that had DNFs as the last two logs. I won't do that again when I am caching with other people . . .

After finding that cache, we headed off for one called "Hi Mom." That one was confusing because it was listed as a "Traditional," but it was really a Multi-cache, and a "Web cam cache." We didn't find out there was actually a container at the final location until later.

Another of the "Old Town" caches was "offset." Since we aren't used to those kinds of caches, and since we were caching "paperless" and not reading the descriptions in detail, it was difficult for us to find. Finally, with the observant eyes of another cacher, we were able to find it and sign the logbook.

When we first drove into town, I saw the sign for Lutes Casino. I learned about this interesting place on a KPBS TV show with Heull Howser. I wanted to go there, and in order to find the next cache, I got to walk through the restaurant where I took a few pictures of the murals, artwork, and signs.

Several of the Yuma cachers are creative with their hides and their cammo. One cache was giving us a hard time. We had given up and were walking away when the other cachers who had arrived on the scene after us found it and let us share the find. If we had parked on the other side of the vegetation "island," we might have figured this one out more quickly, and wouldn't have smelled like an Italian Restaurant after the search was over . . .

We worked our way through town and got to one at this interesting location.

Even though the coordinates were right on, this little cache took us quite a bit of time to find. Then it took a bit of effort to extract the tiny, breath-strip container from its hiding place.

One of the caches we found was at the location of a "Drive-in" that was built in 1930. Too bad the place doesn't exist anymore.

Down the main street in town, we found a couple more caches, the largest I have ever found. One was in this non-working ATM.

From there, where we ran into several other cachers, we continued caching on through the afternoon and long into the night. At one of the caches, we found this tiny hummingbird sitting on her nest.

The next day the Event was a great success. I saw people I had not seen for a few months, saw people I had only heard of before, and met some new people.

One of the "highlights" of the Event was the revealing of the Original Can of Beans, the OCB, being watched over by 360 . . .

After eating great food and visiting with new and old friends, it was time to head home. Before leaving the area, we wanted to get the information for the "Ocean to Ocean Highway" Virtual cache at a wonderful, old, one-lane bridge. I really enjoyed walking across this historic bridge where I watched a train, full of rocks, go by on the other bridge.

Along the drive home, the wind really picked up, and before we got home, we drove through clouds and rain, which was quite a contrast to the great weather we had while in Yuma.


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