My longest hike ever . . . 12.6 miles
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.