Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2007-11-11

Musings about Geocaching

Friday, November 16, 2007

Some pictures of the fire-ravaged Honey Springs area

Today after our hike to Lake Morena, I visited a friend's place, the one her husband saved by remaining behind and fighting the fire as it roared through.

They are building a home and are living in an RV next to the new foundation. The fire came fewer than 100 feet from their fifth-wheel.

The fire came out of the east from the little community of Potrero, more than 20 miles away. Most of the area in this picture is completely scorched. Out that way, more than 100 homes were lost to the flames. That is also where seven people lost their lives when the fast-moving flames caught up to them.

The nicer homes on Mother Grundy Truck Trail, well-protected by clearings around them, were saved from the fire that scorched the Mother Grundy rocks and burned other homes on that road, according to the website that lists the addresses of homes that were destroyed . . .

The hills along Honey Springs road that used to be covered with green chapparal are now blackened.

Further down the road from this location is the fire station, which has been turned into a staging area for disaster-recovery workers, fire-fighters, and the Red Cross. Along with other services for fire victims, they have anti-erosion supplies available for residents to pick up and place on their properties to prevent debris flows . . . if we ever get rain again.

The contrast between the way the area looks now compared to before is dramatic, but in some ways it is good. The views have sure been opened up where the brush burned. On a day like today, with such interesting clouds in the sky, the stark black of the burned hills has a certain beauty. The other beneficial thing is this area will not burn again for many years. That has to be a relief to the people who live nearby and who still have their homes and out-buildings. They won't have to worry about another firestorm like this one for a long time.

Wow, Wow, what a gorgeous day at Lake Morena

Fisnjack was the force behind getting both me and dillweed together for the long drive to Lake Morena to find the new caches placed by Cat & Bobby, and get to the Terracache placed by Travelita on the top of Morena Butte.

I met up with them at the Descanso Park 'n Ride and rode with dillweed to the parking place outside the park at Lake Morena. The trail had a closed sign in front of it, but we found a bunny trail up the road a bit and took that to get to the PCT and the first "Mountain Cat" cache for us, which was actually #3. It was an easy find, which is my favorite kind of cache.

We continued down the trail and I marveled at the gorgeous sky and clear air. The views in all directions were amazing.

After we found "Mountain Cat #4, we stopped so dillweed could look for "Traveling Turtles," a cache Princess Toadstool and I DNF'd two years ago . . . when the coordinates for the cache were off by about 35', a distance that was way too much in that jumble of boulders and tangle of chapparal bushes where I saw a little manzanita bush growing right out of a rock. The seed found a crack in the boulder and got a start. I wonder how big the bush will eventually get?

This is the amazing view of the butte, our eventual destination, and the section of Lake Morena near the dam where one of my "Historic" caches is, "That Dam Cache."

As we continued up, up, up toward the top of the butte, little piles of rocks, that I always called cairns, but locally are called "ducks," marked the way.

From near the top, I got this picture of Barrett Lake in the distance.

From another vantage point, we could see the lake, this time with a duck-shaped rock in the foreground.

Once on top, we didn't have too much time to play around because dillweed had to get back, however, the hike was so incredible, I think I'll be back. There is a "shortcut" to the Morena Butte trail I could use in conjunction with my mountain bike to make the trip shorter than the nine miles we hiked . . .

There was a "pinball" up near the top just waiting to be played.

Towards the end of our long hike, we found the remaining "Mountain Cat" caches and near one I saw this rock that sure looked like a bird.

On our way out of Lake Morena, we stopped to get some pictures of the antique barbershop pole which I can log as a "Locationless" cache on Terracaching. The woman who owns the shop came out to talk to us and share a cool photo of her place with an antique truck in front of it.

It was a fantastic day. I wish I could take hikes like that more frequently. Once again I am grateful to fisnjack and dillweed for doing the driving from the Park 'n Ride, so I only had to use one gallon of that high-priced fluid for my vehicle . . .

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My newest caches have been published

Prior to the fires and my evacuation, and my lack of a phone, I had been working on my second "San Diego Historic Cache Adventure -- V. 2.0"

I used this picture from the "Fantasy Garden" in Escondido as the background for the cache page.

My Terracache "Twin Peaks"was also published this morning, after ironing out a little wrinkle with the coordinates . . . Whoops . . . My thanks to PassingWind for helping me get that fixed.

Let the races for FTF begin.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A little trip up Twin Peaks to place a new Terracache

I had a couple of little projects for Twin Peaks and although I still wasn't feeling well, made arrangements to meet fisnjack at 8:00 in the morning. Our trip up to Poway went smoothly and we stopped to try for a FTF on Zeber's first cache.

After fisnjack found that cache and we both signed the log, we continued to Silverset Park and started our climb, with me carrying a heavy ammo can for the final location to a new cache I placed.

It was a fantastic day, very warm for mid-November,and amazingly clear. We could see all the way to the ocean from the top.

We spent a lot of time scrambling around on some boulders where I hid the ammo can, then continued to the top where I remembered I had wanted to place a Terracache up there . . .

Doh! That's what happens when I am not feeling well. My brain simply doesn't work. Fortunately, fisnjack had a small container all outfitted as a new cache. I placed it in one location, then discovered some pornographic graffiti next to the location, so while fisnjack went to find the other cache, I wandered around looking for another hiding place. I finally found another spot, and fisnjack gave me an Altoids tin he found in the Twin Peaks I cache.

Later in the afternoon, after a DNF at a cache near the bottom of the hill and finding a three more caches on my countdown to cache #3000, I looked for my Palm, the new-to-me Palm M515 SEPTICTANKHANK gave me. I had showed it to fisnjack up on the mountain, remarking about SEPTICTANKHANK's generosity, but now I couldn't find it. I was incredulous that it wasn't in my pack. Fisnjack was kind to drive back to Silverset Park so we could hike up the trail again, something he didn't need to do since his feet were hurting.

We took a different route so he could get two more caches, and then at the top, we looked for the Palm. The problem was I couldn't remember exactly where we were when I showed it to him. Was it at the very top? Was it at my ammo can cache location? Was it down at Twin Peaks II? How strange to remember showing it to him, then looking at the way he had his Palm T/X organized, and then not remembering anything else . . .

I am so careful with my equipment, it is hard to figure out where I would have put it, except for back in my pack.

So . . . it was a fun day, but it ended on a sad note. I have lost very few things in my life because everything I own is difficult to replace on my budget. That is a great motivation for taking good care of the things I own . . .

Perhaps the Palm will reappear somehow, some way. Perhaps another hiker who saw it will see the owner name and phone number in it and return it to me . . .

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

UPDATE: November 23, 2007. I met fisnjack this morning to go out to the desert and he greeted me with a big grin. He found the Palm M515 way under the seat in his little truck. The black duct tape on the back side of the case made it invisible under the seat and he only found it because he was reaching under there looking for something else. WHOOPIE!! I am so thankful to have the mystery solved.

The Saturday after I misplaced it, I actually drove all the way to Poway to climb up Twin Peaks again and resume the search to see if I could jog my memory. When I was up on the peak looking around, there was no place up there that looked like where I would have set the Palm down. The more I looked around, the more mysterious it all became because it would have been so very out of character for me to set something down and walk away from it . . .

So . . . my thanks once again to SEPTICTANKHANK for his generosity, and to fisnjack for finding the wayward Palm.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Planning for another Geocaching Adventure

Cat and Bobby placed several caches near the campground out at Lake Morena. As of last night, they were still "UnFound." It is a long drive out there, although it would be an interesting drive going out 94 past all the fire destruction again.

I put the new caches, and the others I haven't found out there, into Google Earth and got this image to help us plan our "assault."

Since it is such a long drive, it would be great to find all the caches on the same day . . . although that might be more than is physically possible. One of the caches is a Terracache placed by Travelita. That one could be an all-day hike by itself . . .


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