Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2007-08-19

Musings about Geocaching

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Whooooo Hoo! A FTF, but I had to earn it . . .

This was the profile of the hike I had to make to get to Team Adelos' cache he called "Where's Jack?"

The road was rough and treacherous and in places I wondered how anyone got through, even with a tricked-out Jeep. I had to be very careful, and I was walking . . .

There was a very interesting tree growing out of some different rocks in that area. Some rocks have a very "sandstone" look to them. These were darker and were covered with lichens.

It was a bit too warm for such a long hike. I was glad there were wispy, interesting clouds that covered the sun for a while as I did my exploring after finding the cache. While I was exploring, I found another shotup vehicle that surprised me when I saw it. I just had to place a cache in it, but I didn't have a container, so I improvised with a couple of items I found on the scene.

I had a great time, but I covered the seven miles in a lot less time than last week's six-mile hike, so by the time I got back to my car, I was feeling the distance, and the elevation gain.

I wrote up the cache description tonight and it will be intersting to see how long it takes for someone to get the FTF.

UPDATE: Sunday, August 26. "lostguy" made the hike to get the FTF on my "WORST.CACHE.CONTAINER.EVER." Sounds like he had to look for too long a time, even though I thought the hint was a give-away, without giving away the container's "container."

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A "little" hike to the top of Gold Mountain

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.

Badgers and Caches and Buses . . . Oh My!

We met in the morning in the parking lot near the Discovery Center, and near a great cache by badgerdawg. The cammo was clever, as was the hint: "Alcatraz"

The drivers gathered around and decisions were made about which direction each group would go. Some of the better-equipped Jeeps decided to go one way. Here is a picture of the line of Jeeps later in the day, with Splashette and $kimmer in a "time out," in an image "Photoshopped" a bit by SD Rowdies.

Our group had thirteen 4WD vehicles, all with high clearance, but only a few that were really well-equipped. With what happened later in the day, it was good that Karstic had all the tools necessary to fix someone else's stupid mistake.

This guy, and another vehicle, zoomed past us while we stopped to find a cache. We had gone ahead of the rest of the group in order to get back to town early, so we were the first to drive around the corner and see this . . .

BRA's first comment was, "You stupid jackass." That was followed very quickly by "Is anyone hurt?" as the three of us ran up to the overturned truck.

Needless to say, our quick trip back to town was delayed for a long time, and not just by the overturned truck, but by the three lost buses.

BRA leans over to ask the bus driver, "Are you lost?"

While the buses tried to negotiate the narrow road, in reverse, several of us in the group had a little fun in front of the bus.

After the buses finally backed up to a place where we could get past them, we made it back to town and to the Event in the park later in the afternoon. I had a great time, and even won a couple of items in the raffle, with a couple of the tickets T.R. Violin gave me when he left early.

That night we had a party at the Blonds Run Amuck Big Bear hideout. We had great fun visiting with M2, SlabyFam, FlagMan, and Team Reid and other people who stopped by. After things quieted down later in the evening—much later—BRA decided it was time to visit the SoCal 4X4 group camping at the Serrano campground. We piled into TrailGators Durango and made a complete tour of the campground, visiting some of the loops more than once, before finally finding the group. Lostlad got out his laptop and logged onto the site for us to see if the new cache, placed earlier in the day by the group in the Jeeps, had been published yet.

It had. We wrote the coordinates down on a used styrofoam cut and soon we were off in our quest for a FTF, after a quick trip back to the house to get flashlights and to change vehicles again.

It took some driving around before we finally found the Old Mill Road going in the correct direction for the cache. As we made our way to the cache, I remembered SlabyDad giving us verbal directions earlier in the evening, saying "You can find it." I said to BRA, "No way we could have found this without the coordinates."

She laughed and agreed with me because we made one more wrong turn before finally finding the trail near what TrailGators called the "Red Trolley." It was about .12 to the cache and the trail got quite steep for a little stretch. I ended up bushwhacking over some manzanita bushes to get to the cache, while the other three walked back to the trail to get to the location by an easier path.

They found the container and I took a picture to document our FTF on the cache, at 12:54 in the morning.

We took our pick of the great swag in the container and wrote down the numbers for the many TBs in the cache, including four Jeep TBs: a YJTB, WJTB, GJTB, and a new-this-year RJTB. I retrieved the White Jeep to bring back to San Diego County with me. I have an idea for a cache, but have to wait until it cools off before I can get out that way to place the container. The Jeep will go into that container when I put it out.

It was a really great day, from the start in the parking lot, to the return trip from our FTF, in the wee hours of the next day.


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