Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2007-09-02

Musings about Geocaching

Friday, September 07, 2007

A great day of caching in beautiful Balboa Park

Yesterday I went to Oceanside with a friend where I found just one cache during the errand to pick up more than 100 ammo cans she purchased . . . Look for more ammo cans hidden in the San Diego area.

It was a really fun day. When she dropped me off at my place, I thought I got all my stuff out of her vehicle . . . but I left my camera in it. So, today, when I went to beautiful Balboa Park with dillweed and rnblver, I couldn't take any pictures of that spectacular urban park . . .

We had a great time. I revisited several caches I have been to more than once, but there were a few new caches placed since I was there. One of the new ones was in the Butterfly Garden. We saw lots of different kinds fluttering around the variety of flowers in bloom.

Another highlight was walking through the cactus garden. I have to get back there one day—with my camera—to photograph the unusual shapes of all the strange, exotic species growing there.

The company was fantastic, as was the lunch rnblver treated us to on the restaurant deck above the "Wedding Crashers" cache. And, finally, the weather was great—it had cooled off from the extreme heat spell the San Diego area has been experiencing lately.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A little caching before the B.B. King concert last night

I was in town with my kayak to go to the B.B. King concert at Humphrey's By the Bay last night. I took the opportunity to attempt to find some caches. Every time I go into San Diego, and its suburbs, I add more caches to my lengthy DNF list, which is now up to 263 . . .

The first cache I looked for is called "National Embarrass-mints." It took me a while to get to it because I overshot the entrance to the frontage road and had to drive quite a distance before I could turn around. My turn-around place put me very close to a cache I DNF'd on another trip into town, but I didn't even try to look for that one. No reason to add another DNF to my list so early in my caching afternoon because I think I need a specific hint from the cache owner for that one, located in front of a Starbucks where the nearby buildings really mess with the GPSr signals . . .

Once I got back to the frontage road, I followed my GPSr, which was telling me the cache was about 20 feet to the west of the actual location. Therefore, I spent way too much time looking for the container in the bushes and down in the rocks. That was my fault . . . I should have read the cache description and hint first, because after walking back to my car and reading the description in my Palm, I quickly found the mint tin.

Before continuing on towards another cache near Sea World, I took a few pictures of the San Diego River channel.

Before I put my kayak in the water at the Bessemer Street put-in place, I found two more caches, and added two more to my DNF Bookmark list . . .

B.B. King was great, as usual. He is so kind, and so genuinely-grateful for the audience and his fans. He is 81 years old and said that at every one of his concerts now, there is someone with a poster saying "B.B.King's Last Concert." He said "With Fate's blessing, would you let me come back again next year?"

The water was crowded with all manner and type of boats. After being in one place for the first hour and a half, I finally had to move. The people behind me, who had an inflatable boat, and who were having a very good time, were standing up and dancing. My kayak was tied to their boat. Their gyrations were causing my kayak to bob and tilt making it impossible to look through the binoculars. After paddling forward, I couldn't see the performers, but I could hear B.B. better—without distraction—and enjoy the last several songs in his set much more.

It was a really fun day, but not nearly as much of a respite from the record-breaking heat as I thought it would be. When I drove through Mission Valley, the temperature was 96°. YIKES! Usually it is in the 80's by the time you get that close to the ocean.

There is another concert this Friday night—Big Bad Voodoo Daddy—so maybe I can beg some hints from the cache owners. Although I am not compulsive about having to clear up DNFs, if I am in the area anyway, I'll give it them a try . . . but not without those specific hints. I'm not enough of a masochist to return to a location with failure as a possible option . . .

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Powder Can Cache deserves its own entry

After our hike in the morning to "Laura's Memorial Cache," we found a few more caches and then had to make a long drive down S-2 before turning off onto a rough, wash-boarded single-lane, high-clearance-vehicle-only road towards the trailhead for the "Powder Can Cache."

We made it to the trailhead and after finding Lanie's Cache up the hill, set out for our destination. The trail was sandy, and made for more difficult walking. I walked off the trail a few times where the vegetation was sparse because the hardpacked soil was easier to navigate.

As we got closer to the cache, more evidence from a bygone era appeared. There were several cisterns near these ruins.

The tumbled rocks were fantastic, and made more interesting by the diffuse sunlight under high clouds. Since the temperature was 106° when we started out on our walk, the high clouds were also welcome for their shade.

If there is a woodpecker out there, it must really have a headache . . .

I could have spent a couple of hours scrambling around on the rocks, taking pictures from all different angles, but there was a cache that needed to be found, so I caught up to the guys at the ammo can where we looked through the log book for a little while before adding a Red Jeep to the rest of the contents and starting our way back to the vehicle while we still had water in our packs.

We took a little side trip off the trail to find an Archived cache owned by Travelita. M2 had some "stale" waypoints in his GPSr, otherwise I wouldn't have known about it. The cache was in a wonderful location, one I hope to get back to again on my next trip out to the desert.

We finally arrived back at the vehicles and started back out, attempting to find our way through the tangle of roads and trails. We stopped for a cache I found before called "It's in the can, man." That could be a very mean cache, especially if you have the feeling you are being watched.

We finally found our way out and back to S-2, made a quick stop for M2 at the evil rock garden cache in Ocotillo, and were on our way home, just five hours behind "schedule."

It was a fantastic day. I feel so much better out in the desert, almost like I am a different person. The health limitations I have fall far into the background and completely disappear from my experience. When I get back home, and when my health takes a bad turn, I need to remind myself I will feel better if I just drive out to the place I first learned about from a book—in a college English class—many years ago. I still have The Desert Year by Joseph Wood Krutch in my small library of books.

It might be time to take it down from the shelf and reread it until I get a chance to return to the desert for another adventure out there, hopefully when it is a bit cooler.

A fantastic all-day adventure with Chuy! and M2

Chuy! posted in the Forums that he was headed out to the desert to find three "Old Timey" caches on the list in my Mega-multi cache. I begged a ride from him and met him at 6:00 in the morning. M2 was driving his own vehicle for safety since the weather was very hot.

On our way to the trailhead for "Laura's Memorial Cache," we stopped to find the "2nd Anniversary Cache" in Julian. Then, we made the long descent down from the mountains to the desert floor to Blair Valley.

We took the sometimes soft and sandy road to the trailhead through Blair Valley from S-2. At the trailhead, it was not too hot . . . yet. We drank water before setting out, and carried plenty for the walk.

When we got near GZ, M2 made sure we walked all the way to the end of Smugglers canyon to see the view . . . and the abrupt dropoff. Too bad is was very hazy -- or was that dust? -- so the view was obscured. Chuy! and I scrambled up the the steep slope, partly because it was still in the shade and cooler. M2 took a gentler slope to the top and he beat us up to the Memorial, and saw two snakes on his trip up the "easy way."

The location for Laura's Memorial is spectacular. The cache was placed by Laura's husband and her untimely-death had to be very tragic for everyone who knew her.

On our way back down the high point, we saw two snakes. One let me take its picture; the other one didn't.

The rest of the walk back from the cache was, thankfully, uneventful. Along the way, I took several pictures of interesting rock formations accented by the high clouds that were also helping keep the temperature lower than the predicted high of 112°.

This is the boulder, with the pictographs on it, with the waning moon above it.

The clouds were beautiful, and the rocks were interesting, although they area difficult to see in this picture. At one point, I asked the guys to walk ahead so I could get a picture of them on the trail.

After we got back to the vehicles, we took a different route back to get closer to the other "Old Timey" cache on our list for the day, "Desert Peek-a-Boo." We were surprised to see these flowers blooming this late in the year.

The cache location is to the right of this pile of tumbled rocks.

At the shady cache location, Chuy! took care of the task of log-signing.

Before getting back out on the highway, we found a couple more caches and then we had a long drive down to our next trailhead, for another "Old Timey" cache, "Powder Can Cache."

I had been on that road only once before, almost two years ago, and we drove it from the other direction, but I remembered the location of a T.R. Violin cache I could show to M2. He had some of the caches in the area his GPSr, but others were not in it, so this fun one, "Where's The Beef," was sort of a "bonus" cache for him.

After our quick stop at that location, we found a couple of caches placed by Team Duckit. "Shelby's Cache" was near this cool looking pile of rocks and boulders.

That was a well-stocked ammo can that had all three of us looking through the swag deciding if there was something we just had to have. Ultimately, I think it was TNLNSL for all of us. From here, we continued to the next trailhead, and the subject of the next blog entry.

Gecko Dad was FTF on my "Mega Multi" cache

Don has been caching since 2002, and since he prefers the more-remote caches, I figured he would have found most of the caches on the list for the San Diego County "Historic" Cache Adventure," and he had. He only had one to find, W9JIM's "Border Cache Stash," before completing the challenge.

Here are some of the pictures he posted on the cache page, including one of the log book with my "Congratulatory Note" and his log.

As he hiked back out the trail, there was a pretty, puffy cloud in the sky.

He posted a great Panorama picture that looks a lot better stretched out across the full width of the monitor.

The view of Secret Canyon was quite hazy yesterday.

I stated the FTF prize would be an unactivated Geocoin or Gift Card and Gecko Dad emailed that he had his eye on a "Cache Critters" coin. I emailed the eBay seller and ordered a coin for Don, and a coin for myself . . . for for my own "collection" or for the next time I need an unactivated coin.

I wish this cache idea had been my own, but am happy how the locals have accepted the challenge. Since it had been ten months since anyone found the "Powder Can Cache," I'm glad this little project has generated interest in these older caches. It will be interesting to see who the next finder is. Chuy! only has a few caches to find. I don't know how many T.R. Violin has to find. I bet Ruscal doesn't have very many to find. FlagMan has ten to find, as do the Splashes.


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