Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2007-04-01

Musings about Geocaching

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A six-mile hike to get a Terracache and a Geocache

3cd's and his son were going to climb Cuyamaca Peak today. It was an opportunity I did not want to miss, so I met him at the Park 'n Ride at 9:00 this morning. Well, actually I was a little late. Along one stretch of the 15-mile distance had to cover, I was behind a pickup truck traveling the 55-mph road at only 35 to 45 mph and then, when that vehicle turned to go left at Japatul Road, I ended up behind a large semi hauling a concrete septic tank. He was only going 30 mph where I can usually hit 45 mph to 55 mph . . .

Once I put all my essentials—fanny pack, jacket and vest and sandals, walking stick, and cooler with food and extra water—in 3cd's truck, we took off, going the long way around to get a couple of caches along the Sunrise Highway first. Two of the four we looked for along the route were DNFs for 3cd's which was too bad for him, and for the cache owners.

Finally, we arrived at the Fire Road near the campground on Highway 79 and started up, up, up the narrow paved road. It was a steady, consistent uphill for three miles. Because of the fire damage from the fire of 2003, there was very little shade, although I stopped whenever there was a large enough "piece of shade" to offer a bit of relief from the hazy sun.

On the way up, we saw this amazing tree that survived the fires of October 2003, and no doubt many others over the centuries.

Once on the top, we first found the Terracache placed by GeckoDad. I traded a Travelita angel pendant for a couple of carabiners. At the site of an old Fire Lookout, and near several benchmarks, we found the Geocache, also placed by GeckoDad. I traded a carabiner for a pretty collared lizard GeckoDad had put in the cache along with a whole familiy of other plastic lizard species.

I took some pictures of the fire damage and the views which were obscured by the strong onshore flow of moisture-laden air.

We also took pictures of the benchmarks on the peak, and this rock carved with the names of fire lookouts who manned the Lookout Tower when it existed.

On the way back down the trail, 3cd's spotted this shrub starting its life anew atop a tall stump of a burned tree.

And near that, I spotted many of these little blue flowers adding some color to an otherwise monochromatic landscape.

This is what the tracks and profile of the hike looked like:

It was another fantastic day. I am very grateful to 3cd's for doing the driving to these East County caches.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Two FTFs on Gaskill Peak and a great hike

CTYankee placed two caches during his long hike Monday, so fisnjack and I set out to get the FTFs.

The day could not have been more spectacular. There were interesting clouds in the sky that made the already scenic hike even more photogenic.

I made up this collage of pictures for a new cache I placed near the parking pullout.

Here are the full-size pictures and the tracks and profiles of the two hikes we made:

The two rock outcrops on either side of the trail provide a "gateway" to the boulder-strewn Gaskill Peak.

The flower is a bit out of focus—I got the camera about an inch away from the blossom—but I wanted to include it since it was so colorful.

Along the trail, this big guy buzzed by me. Aren't his little antennae cute?

When it landed, it started to burrow into the ground in the shade beneath a small plant.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A couple of days of caching the easy way

Sunday I wanted to take advantage of a 20%-off coupon I had for R.E.I.—plus there was a cache near the entrance to that store—so I set off to the new, very fancy shopping center southwest of me called Otay Ranch.

On the way, I stopped to finally look for a cache called "It's Still Not an Island." I have driven past the access road on many occasions because either the gate wasn't open, or I didn't have time for the half mile walk.

Otay Lake Reservoir was serene and beautiful from near the cache location.

The cache location was well-guarded by cholla cacti.

Yesterday, I revisited many caches on a caching trip to the East County with 3cds. He found 24 caches . . . I got three . . .

It was great fun however, and it was an absolutely beautiful day. We went to all the Sandy Creek Cowboy caches, which are "world famous" for their twisted sense of humor and creativity.

After finishing off the SCC caches on La Posta Road, we headed off to the east where we found Chuy!'s "Got Wind" cache. Near the cache was this interesting rock.

There was another "levitating" rock near the cache which offered a great view of the enormouse wind turbines.

Also near the cache was a motorcycle frame, and two motorcycle engines, and a couple of seats from a vehicle. 3cds called in the VIN numbers and the bikes had been stolen more than a year ago from El Cajon. However, the parts looked like they had just been dumped there this weekend. There was no rust on the parts, and the upholstered seats looked clean.

The dump site is very close to the border of the La Posta Indian Reservation, so I don't know what will happen now that the Sheriff's office has the information.

When you are out caching, you just never know what you are going to find . . .

I had a great day and was glad 3cds bested his "one-day record" by eight caches.


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