Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2007-09-30

Musings about Geocaching

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Another FTF and a new cache placed

There has been a new, unfound cache sitting only 2.5 miles from my house. However, as they say, "you can't get there from here." Well . . . you can, but I had to drive ten miles, round trip, then hike a total of seven miles to get to it. Well . . . actually, I didn't have to walk quite that far . . . if I had followed the excellent directions in the cache description. I did quite a bit of wandering around before putting the waypoints in the description into my GPSr to finally find the elusive trail.

This is the Profile of my hike:

I placed a cache on my way up the hill and from there, this is the view of the boulder-strewn Lawson Peak.

From that vantage point, you can see the location of four of my "peak-top" caches.

After crossing over the saddle and starting down the other side, I got this "backside" view of Lawson Peak.

When I look at that pile of boulders, it is hard to believe I have been on the top, not just once, but twice . . .

On my way back down the hill I met a guy doing some 4-wheeling up the challenging Jeep trail. Of course I bent his ear for a long time, telling him all about Geocaching. I hope he signs up. We could use more people with great 4WD vehicles, with lockers, for some of our adventures.

At the bottom, there was a vehicle, with Virginia license plates, parked there. I wondered where the people where since I didn't see anyone else on the trail. Soon, the father and two boys came down the trail, and as I talked to him, his wife and daughter caught up. They had climbed Lawson Peak . . . I was incredulous, until the father said they are "Fourteeners" and have all been to the top of Mt. Whitney, as well as the top of many other over 14,000 foot peaks . . . Compared to their other climbs, Lawson must have been an easy summit.

We had an interesting conversation, and of course I told them about Geocaching. I hope they sign up. They are such adventurers, if they do sign up and ever place any caches, they will be rated '4' or above for Terrain.

When I got home, I couldn't believe how good I felt. I was physically tired, but the usual brain fatigue wasn't present. I guess I need to go for a long, strenous hike every day in order to feel really well . . . and truly alive.

Now that the weather has cooled off, I won't have a valid excuse for not going for either a hike or bike ride every day. It would be great if I could do that . . .

My thanks to "lostguy" for placing the cache where he did. It was really a fun hike, and a fun adventure trying to find the path to the location . . .

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Lots of pictures from our day in the desert

Our day started long before dawn in Rancho San Diego where the four of us met, CTYankee9, fisnjack, SEPTICTANKHANK, and me. I was late this morning because I set one of my alarms for 4:15 pm and slept through the "Snooze" of another alarm . . . The guys weren't mad at me, but it did set us back a bit. CTYankee9 wanted the early start for the photo opportunities in early morning light.

The sun was coming up just as we got to the little desert town of Ocotillo and I got this picture at the Desert Museum where T.R. Violin has a cache called "No See Um Yet."

The first caches on our list for the day were near an old Dolomite Mine. The cache was in a challenging location, but each of us made it up the treacherous and steep "trail" to the container.

High up on Mine Peak behind the Geocache, there was a Terracache. It was only .3 away, as the crow flies, so fisnjack and I headed up the hill, me with my GPSr in one hand and my camera in the other hand. I won't go that unprepared again. I could have really used my walking stick on that crumbly rock, and I should have had my hands free, but then we didn't think it would take more than an hour to cover that distance . . .

The views from the peak were incredible. We got a good view of the mud caves we were heading for next.

I was grateful to CTYankee9 for letting fisnjack and me find that "uppity" cache, because it did take time out of his day. However, he and SEPTICTANKHANK made good use of the time investigating the remnants of the mining operation and taking some great photographs in the early-morning light.

After fisnjack and I made it back down, we took off for the mudcaves area. The first cache we found was "Dead Things?", a cache hidden by $kimmer. Then we started for a great cache hidden several years ago by W9JIM, seeing amazing geologic features along the way.

On our way up to a Virtual cache called the "Peanut Gallery," we stopped under a natural arch to take a picture of our little group.

The "Peanut Gallery" was a place where hikers have collected different concretions that take an amazing variety of shapes.

This guy sort of looked like a smurf.

On of our goals in this area was a puzzle cache for which we didn't have the final coordinates. Until we got to the parking coordinates, I didn't realize we wouldn't be able to find the final container . . . We had lots of fun exploring the mudcave anyway.

When we emerged at the other end, there was a "Pyramid."

High up on the top of the mud hills, there is an amazingly barren landscape.

By the time we finally left the tangle of roads and tracks in the mudcaves area, we had covered more than thirty miles.

From there, we drove, and drove, and drove, to ultimately get within a mile of where we had been . . . With a tricked-out vehicle raised up and equipped with lockers, we could have descended the Diablo Dropoff, but after looking at it, we turned away from the challenge . . . but not before getting a FTF on a new T.R. Violin cache hidden a short distance away from the drop off.

In that other part of the desert, near Ocotillo Wells, and up Fish Creek wash, we found three Earthcaches and a few other caches. We scouted the "Basilisk" and found we weren't equipped for that one, plus it was a bit late to start such a challenge.

A couple of hours later, on our way home, we stopped to look for Gecko Dad's "Ranchita Microvillage" cache again. It was after dark, as it was the last time, but this time there were four of us, with four lights, and we still couldn't find the container. I did see more of the little houses and took more pictures. This was a little "Mosaic House."

Then I got a picture of part of the "village."

There was even a little log house.

By the time I got home, it was almost midnight. Wheeeuu! What a fun day! Fortunately, CTYankee9 likes the desert, and doesn't like being stymied by caches, so we will be back out there next week to find the container for the puzzle cache, and get past the physical obstacles in our way to the "Basilisk."

I have still more pictures to post and I'll continue "fleshing this out" as I get the time.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A wonderful day for caching and hiking and caching

bradybunchboy's "gave" me a cache for my recent birthday "Milestone." The day the cache came out it was cloudy and misty at my house, so I waited. Good thing, too, since Habu! was FTF! He left four Geocoins in the cache. WOW! I didn't realize all the coins were unactivated when I was at the cache, and although I left several items, I'm not sure they added up to the value of the beautiful Joshua Tree National Park coin I took, that turned out to be unactivated.

This interesting tree was near the cache location.

From there I drove down Thing Valley road to a parking place I remembered CTYankee9 parked at a few weeks ago. I was heading for another Hammer stone cache called "PCT Hike." During my attempt to get to the cache, I got to travel cross-country a couple of times. . . When I finally got on the correct trail, finding the cache was no problem because it was very exposed. The last finder didn't pile the nearby rocks on the container the way they should have, or a muggle found it and just left it.

A TB I picked up at the Event the other day is now in the cache. Before dropping it, I took a picture that I posted on the TB page. Along the trail that clung to the west side of the slope, there were interesting rocks along that trail.

After I found the cache, since it was such a beautiful day, I continued walking on the Desert View Trail for a while longer. However, I didn't know how far it continued, so I turned around before actually getting to the "desert view" . . . . There was some fall color as a reminder of the upcoming change of seasons.

On my "schedule" for the afternoon was a hike to the final container for the "San Diego "Historic" Cache Adventure," and wanted to have plenty of time to get to it. I wanted to put a Geocoin I picked up last Sunday on Mt. McGinty, as well as a Green Jeep I picked up a while ago. This is a picture of the coin in its new environment.

And, here is a panorama from that high ridge.

At the very end of the day, on my way home, I finally placed a cache on Lyons Valley Road near some cool boulders and a huge oak tree. I called it "Equus" because of the cache container, and its proximity to Horsethief Canyon.

I found one item at a Thrift Store and found its little brother at the Swap Meet I went to with a friend a little while ago. The small one is my new TB. Since he wouldn't fit in the container, I hope the first finder takes him with them.

This is the view from high above the road. I was in a very precarious, dangerous position when I took this picture.

I hope people like the container and enjoy taking the TB on it travels.

It sure was a fun day. I wish I could do that more often, but I put 60 miles on the car . . . I can't afford to spend that much on gas very often when I am not also running necessary errands.


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