Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2007-07-15

Musings about Geocaching

Thursday, July 19, 2007

And, now for something completely different . . .

For the first time in two years, I loaded my kayak onto the top of my car and took off for the big city to see a Boz Scaggs concert at Humphrey's By the Bay. I drove in on Highway 94, a route I used to take almost every two weeks. Since gas prices have gone up so much, as I drove along the now-unfamiliar highway, I realized I had not driven that route into town in seven months.

I took advantage of my trip into town to stop at one of my favorite Thrift Stores to see if I could find any treasures, or any swag for trading. I found a pair of Birkenstock sandals, nearly new, in my size for only $2.95. Can't beat that. I also found a really cool French press for making my morning coffee for only $2.95. How could I pass on that?

By the time I left the store, I didn't have time to get the bicycle out of the car and take a big tour around Mission Bay to pick up a number of caches as I thought I would. I stopped to find one cache I DNF'd on my last trip into town. It took me much longer to get a parking place in the nearby Old Town parking lot than it did to walk over, sans GPSr, to the hiding spot, retrieve the container, sign the log, and return the cache to its very-public hiding spot. From there, I drove to the parking for "Why?", another cache I DNF'd on my last trip into town. When I got there, I realized the circle of caches I put into my GPSr just missed that one, and another nearby cache I had on my "to find list" for the day. Oh well, I knew where it was this time and, having memorized the hint, went right to it.

From there, I found two caches located in the newly-completed revamping of the old Naval Training Center. At one cache location, I met a man who trained on the 2/3 scale vessel prior to shipping out on a full-size Destroyer heading for Vietnam some 41 years ago.

After signing the log on that cache, I continued to the Put-in place at the end of Bessemer Street. A woman and her kids arrived shortly after I did. It was there first time for a Humphrey's concerts, so I was sort of their guide during the .7 mile paddle across the bay to the place where the "boat people" raft up for the entertainment.

The batteries died in the GPSr prior to my return paddle, which is too bad. I would have liked to see how fast I got going on that smooth-as-glass, after-midnight water.

The concert was great, but a woman on a boat behind us talked—loudly—during the entire concert, except during the one song, "Harbor Lights" that was her favorite. The man next to me and I finally disconnected from the "pod" of boats and floated, on the incoming tide, closer to the stage. Because the tide rose quite a bit, we could see the stage from our new position. When the concert started, at a period of low tide two hours earlier, we wouldn't have been able to see anything from our new vantage point. We enjoyed the last two encores, as Boz Scaggs played another couple of classic songs from the album I played and played and played back when it was on the "Top 40 chart."

Lyle Lovett is playing next week, so I'll plan my adventure a little better. It would be great to find more than just four caches as I did today, as long as I am making that 60-mile round trip into the big city.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A wonderful evening hike to find two caches

After the flurry of new caches were placed in the Horsethief/Valley Pillar area of the National Forest northeast of my house, things have quieted down quite a bit. For a while it has been too hot to make any daytime hikes to the area, but the four-mile distance of this hike is perfect for an evening hike.

We started out parking down near the Fire Station at a bit after 5:00 p.m. Although I don't recommend that as a parking place on my cache pages, when we saw a fireman on the road and asked him if the vehicle was okay, he said, "Sure." They have done a bit of clearing right there next to the big green gate, so we just walked through that area this time, instead of having to squeeze around the narrow opening between the gate post and the big shrub on the other side.

Our first stop was at my little cache, "Slow and Steady," which is the best way to do the rest of the caches on our agenda for the evening. The container is melting in the summer heat, which is why I put it where I put it, close to the parking for easy maintenance.

The view was beautiful in the warm evening light.

We continued down the backside of the rockpile to get to fisnjack's cache "In Between," in between of which caches I'm still trying to figure out . . . CTYankee9 was looking south of the cache location, so when he finally found it, after a little hint, we took new coordinates, which, turned out to be less than six feet different. However, the micro cache is hidden in a rockpile, and gratefuldad116 did DNF it, which I think is why Chuy! put a little "duck" on top of the rock that hides the cache.

From there we headed down to one of my caches, then up to the saddle to another one of my caches that has this great view of Barrett Lake.

While CTYankee9 was signing the log, I felt a burning sensation on my thigh. By the time I figured out a red ant had somehow traveled up my pant leg and was biting me, he had gotten me good . . . twice. Boy, did that hurt.

The pain might have distracted me a bit from the effort of climbing up to the peak to my cache, "Hard Hike, Easy Find" because it sure seemed like we got to the top quickly.

We took pictures of the RJTB before it went into the cache.

And, then I took a picture of the view from under the over-handing rock towards the north.

The sun went down as we walked across the top of the peak, but I got one picture of CTYankee9 lounging in the sunset light on a "lounge chair" which is close to where I hid my second Terracache.

We found one more cache on top, then took a very steep way down to get us closer to the last cache CTYankee9 needed to find, Harmon's "Waddle up a Widdle Hill," which might get the award for WORST.CACHE.CONTAINER.EVER. LOL.

I almost made it back to the vehicle without needing a flashlight, but my night vision isn't the best. CTYankee9 handed me his very cool flashlight that provided lots of light -- I gotta get me one of those.

We hiked just over four miles in four hours which isn't bad considering we stopped to find several caches and we were not walking on a trail most of the time. The profile of the hike has an intersting shape:

It wasn't too warm during the hike, but the brisk breeze when we were up on top sure was welcome. It will be a while before any one else visits those caches — except for the people who will rush out there to retrieve the Geocoin I dropped off and the Red Jeep CTYankee9 dropped. It will be interesting to see who does the retrieval. I sure hope the cache is remote enough that the coin and the jeep do not get picked up by the thief and that they are able to continue on their travels as intended.


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