It was after 2:00 in the morning when I snuggled into my sleeping bag on the back deck of Blonds Run Amuck house. After waking up at 6:30, and convincing myself that wasn't nearly enough sleep, I fell back to the world of slumber until Nick came outside to rouse me from my comfy spot. Our hostess served up a great breakfast and after that TrailGators and I decided to go find a few caches down the road just up from a residential area. The first cache was in the cache owner's front yard. It is the type of cache I usually don't like, but TrailGators spotted it from the road, so we didn't have to look suspicious while searching for it. We had a nice visit with the cache owner's neighbor before heading up the road to the to the trailhead where we started our hike. Since we were only going to be gone a little more than an hour, I only took one bottle of water . . .
Each cache on the trail was less than .2 from the next, so we found five caches easily as we climbed steadily up the trail that wound through a beautiful pine forest.
After the last cache, we started for another one, but it turned out to be down in another drainage still more than half a mile away. TrailGators had loaded the local Terracaches in his GPSr and there was one about .7 in the other direction. Only problem . . . the trail continued on in the other direction. The brush at that elevation was thin enough we could find open spaces to walk through that weren't too hard on my sandal-clad feet.
Finally, at the top, we heard the sound of vehicles and then I saw the most tricked-out Jeep I've ever seen.
We talked to the driver for a while and I commented on the tire resting on a rock. He explained that he only had three pounds of air in the "aired-down" tire. The rim guards keep the tire from coming off the rim.
This was the incredible view looking out towards the east and the desert far, far below.
From the Geocache near the top, we walked a few hundred feet over to the Terracache, another great one placed by T.R. Violin. We took pictures of the nearby Benchmark
Then I took a picture of us on the top . . . wish I had remembered to smile after racing over to sit down in the frame of the picture . . . but now I bet TrailGators wishes he had worn a different t-shirt. He is getting teased in the Forums about it . . .
On our way, we called Blonds Run Amuck several times, first to let her know we weren't going to be back in an hour and a half. I think we made that call after we had been gone more than two hours . . . whoops. We called a couple other times to let her know our progress because we were going to need a ride back to TrailGators's truck several miles back up the highway.
One of the caches we found was in the midst of an enormous rock pile. I don't know if it was a natural Geologic feature, or not. It really didn't look like something that was created as a result of all the mining activity on the mountain more than a hundred years ago.
As I made my way down, carefully in my sandals, I noticed the rocks looked all banged up in one section, as if vehicles had driven over them. Sure enough, near the bottom, there were a couple of Jeeps getting ready for the assault. One guy, when he found out I had hiked up there, said, "I bet you are one of those Sierra Clubbers." Gee . . . do you think he has had a problem with them?
At one point, hiking down the very tough 4WD road, TrailGators took a very hard fall. It scared me, but he got up, with only a very hard bump on his shin and a sore hip. However, a bit later, he got his Garmin iQue out of his pocket and it wouldn't turn on. He fell right on it. The screen wasn't broken, so it should be easy to fix. At least we were sure hoping that was the case.
I took a picture of the "road" at one point.
Later on we saw a guy "testing" out his brand new, four-door, Jeep Rubicon. When we arrived on the scene, he was rearranging rocks to get the Jeep unstuck. Later, I took a picture of the dented bumper.
Finally, the road, which seemed to keep making turns in the wrong direction, delivered us to the bottom. I tried to find one last cache down there, but my GPSr wouldn't settle down, and then I looked up to see BRA's white Nissan XTerra, so I cut the search short and walked over to our rescuer.
Here is the Profile from the entire Gold Mountain hike.
On the entire hike, I really felt good. I wish I could hold onto that feeling after getting home and settling back into my usual routine. I'm hoping the road will beckon me again, and I hope I'll be able to take advantage of the opportunity when it arises.