Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2007-02-18

Musings about Geocaching

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Two FTFs on caches near Kitchen Creek

Two new caches appeared out in the East County and as soon as the weather improved, 3cds wanted to go hiking again. Bad weather had kept us from getting out on his days off for the past two weeks and the possibility of getting two FTFs lured us to the Kitchen Creek exit off I-8.

We arrived at the first cache location early in the morning.

The backlight on the cactus was beautiful, and water beads on the Nolina plants looked like clear, glittering pearls.

After a somewhat treacherous walk down slippery rocks, we arrived at GZ and started our search. Nothing in the area looked disturbed and we were not having any luck. I used my walking stick to get all the water off the leaves of the bush so we wouldn't get too wet during our search "under the bush."

After looking for a long time, we wondered if the coordinates could have been transposed since the view of the pools mentioned in the cache description wasn't as nice from that particular location as it was from another spot across the way. So, we greatly expanded our search.

While I went back to the truck to read the description in my Palm, which someone hadn't gotten in the Palm . . . Whoops, Chuck went back to GZ and looked some more. I continued looking nearer the pool, but finally made my way back across the creek to continue searching at GZ.

I was really ready to call it a DNF and move on to the other cache further up the road when I moved a single flat rock with my walking stick and there was the cache . . .

We were taking the word "under" in the hint way too literally since the cache is really under at rock at the "edge" of the large laurel bush.

There was great swag in the container and Chuck took the unactivated TB tags as his FTF prize.

After logging our finds, we walked back to the truck and drove further up the canyon to get the other cache. The sun was warm, but there was snow on the ground as we climbed higher and higher.

Chuck made the find fairly quickly, although we did have to look at the hint since we were searching in another large rockpile . . .

This is what the profile of that hike looked like:

After hiking back down the road, we drove down Kitchen Creek Road to the PCT trailhead where we set out hiking east towards the "Double D's" cache Princess Toadstool and I found in 2005. Along the way, we ran into some college-age kids working on the trail, making steps and water bars to counteract erosion.

When we got to the location, the young man working there asked if we were looking for the Geocache. He and the others had found it accidentally, which, considering how many cachers have logged DNFs on that well-hidden cache, was ironic.

I took a few pictures of us at that location and then more pictures as we walked further up the trail to my "Do you see Don Quixote?" cache.

My cache container was missing. I was thankful 3cds had an M & M's tube with him, complete with a log, so I replaced the cache with that. We admired the views and the interesting geology as we walked the nearly mile-long distance back to Kitchen Creek Road.

That section of the PCT has a more moderate profile than our earlier hike:

Back at the road, we walked past the truck and continued hiking west on the PCT to the "kitchen Creek: Monteverde2" cache.

After finding that cache, 3cds and I walked further down the creek. I remembered Duncan had posted some spectacular pictures in his log when he found the cache several years ago.

It is hard to tell how far down I am looking from the vantage point, but it is a long way down . . .

The roar of the falls as we walked along the creek was such a wonderful sound, I wanted to just sit down and be enveloped by it for a few hours. The day was not very warm, but the water still looked inviting and I was tempted to take off my boots and socks and soak my feet in the icy cold water for a little while.

On the way back, I took a picture of this amazing cactus that has somehow survivied with its roots in this boulder.

This is the track and profile of that hike:

After we walked back to the truck, we made a quick visit to the wonderful La Posta Diner where I had a cup of coffee and a piece of homemade cherry pie. The waitress was friendly and outgoing. It made me wish I could make more regular visits out there to enjoy that "country hospitality."

On the way back, we stopped at several caches I had already found. That was fun. Watching someone else look for a cache when you know where it is located is always interesting.

All together, we hiked nearly ten miles as we found the eleven caches. I got a DNF     on one of duganrm's caches, but I got "smilies" for two caches     and performed cache maintenance on one of my own caches   .

It was a great day. My thanks to 3cds for doing the driving, and for providing the replacement container for my missing cache.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Almost "Mega" Event in Temecula Sunday

It was such a nice day yesterday, I wanted to get out of the house. I can't say I 'decided" to go to the Event, it just sort of happened. I already had the caches in the area in my GSAK database, so all I had to do was a couple of quick filters to get the GPSr loaded. When I started down the road, I didn't really know if I would continue driving all the way.

If I had done a "Route" from my house to the Event ahead of time and had found out it was actually 87 miles away, I would not have gone. Since I had a really good time seeing people I hadn't seen in a long time, like the high-numbers cacher, Mighty Dee, and getting to know other cachers, like Kwver and Mrs. Kwver a bit better, and meeting new people like Zeber, I am glad I didn't know how far it was to the "Cornerstone 4" church before I started down the highway.

(The '4' was added to the picture by the Podcacher folks.)

I suppose the possibility of getting a "Mega" Event icon in my profile was one of the other reasons I drove all that way, and although we didn't quite get that many people at the Event, it was a great success and was very well-organized.

The raffle offered lots of cool prizes, including some well-cammoed cache containers. The Event provided an opportunity to present the "Best of Southern California" cache awards. They were given out to cache owners who have put creativity and thought into their caches.

We have such a great group of cachers in this area that going to Events like this one and socializing has become one of my favorite things to do. Until now, I never enjoyed going to social gatherings.

Geocaching has opened up my life in more ways than I ever imagined it would when I found that first cache—a Pathfinder & Snoopy ammo can under an artificial pile of rocks—a little more than two years ago.

I am extremely grateful to Dave Ulmer for placing that very first "stash," and to Jeremy for continuing the site and feeding our obsession.

UPDATE: Whooo Hoo!! I just saw that the Event was determined to be a Mega Event afterall and I now have this icon in my Profile:

Whooo Hoo!!


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