Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2007-12-30

Musings about Geocaching

Monday, December 31, 2007

Whooooo Hoo, dillweed passes 1000

The last day of the year was an auspicious one for dillweed -- she was to find her 1000th cache. I joined her, rnblver, and fisnjack at the Descanso Park 'n Ride. I hoped we could get a FTF on a new cache up in Cuyamaca State Park, but we got delayed at the Park sign by a Park Ranger. I didn't understand why we would be asked what we were doing, parked on the side of the road as we were there, when we weren't even in the Park yet, but the Ranger turned out to be nice, and we were able to tell her that Cuyamaca State Park has a new Geocaching Policy that allows caches, as long as they have a permit, unlike the new policy in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

So, after that delay, we turned around and headed for SCC #3, the one that requires "Specialized Equipment," a 15' ladder. While rnblver and dillweed figured out where they needed to put the ladder, fisnjack and I shared our own stories of our experiences at this cache.

Here dillweed is searching for the hiding place.

The old bottling plant offers many opportunities for creative photography, if you can take a picture without including some of the obscene or suggestive graffiti.

From there, we drove down Old Highway 80, stopping for a couple of caches rnblver hadn't found. Then, we stopped at the wonderful little La Posta Cafe for a couple of "To Go" cups of coffee.

At one of the first caches along the La Posta Road, rnblver and dillweed pass the pen.

After that, we took a break. Since the wind was blowing, and it was chilly, that area was perfect for our short rest where we had some sparkling cider, and some wonderful chocolates rnblver brought. We celebrated the "Anonymous Geocacher's" 1000 find, and welcomed the New Year.

That cool weather was perfect for the Sandy Creek Cowboy caches where, for nearly six months of the year, it is way too hot to hike around in the chapparal.

To get to this cache, with a cleverly-hidden container, we did have to hike up a steep hill, on which we had to be careful to avoid the cholla cactus.

At another cache, the log was again cleverly-hidden.

The last cache we found was SCC #12. This was the first time, in my three or four visits to this cache, that I have done it correctly. Somehow when Princess Toadstool and I were here the first time, we found the final without doing the cache the way it was intended. This time, I didn't give it away. At the final, fisnjack and Teddie were enjoying some of the swag . . .

On our way back, we stopped at the La Posta Cafe again where rnblver treated us to lunch. Thanks, Bob!.

We had a great time and it was wonderful to again spend the last day of the year with my Geocaching friends. A year ago, I spent the last day of the year doing the caches in the Valley of the Moon with a whole different set of Geocaching friends. Before I discovered this wonderful activity, the last day of the year was frequently forgettable and the same as every other day. I am very grateful for this "GPS Game" we play and thankful for the generous friends I have gained since I started Geocaching.

Happy New Year, everyone!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

We Geocachers had a great, but sad, day in ABDSP

My alarm went off at 3:45 in the morning . . . After my brain figured out what that obnoxious noise was that had interjected itself into my dream, I got up, got dressed, put on my coffee water, and fixed breakfast. I put together some snacks for the day as well, some almonds and raisins in little snack bags, as well as those great spicy dried mango strips I buy at Trader Joe's. Finally, I got everything in my car and headed out in the dark to make the long drive to Chuy!'s house. As the crow flies, his place in Lakeside isn't that far away, but whether I go the back way, or down into Rancho San Diego and through El Cajon, it is more than 25 miles . . .

As I approached his street, following the auto-routing on my Vista HCx, I saw another vehicle ahead of me. It was fisnjack, who left his house even earlier than I did because he stopped for a cache on the way.

We loaded all our stuff in Chuy!'s truck and took off for Ramona to meet the rest of the group for breakfast. After everyone fueled up for the day's adventures, we took off for the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

We started out hiking up a beautiful canyon in search of one nearby cache. Then we decided we could make it up to the next cache further up the canyon, and still meet up with the group later one. That cache was called "Cool Canyon Rainbow Rocks." In the past two years, that cache has only been found nine times, which makes the new "No Geocaches Allowed" policy for ABDSP absurd. We saw a group of hikers going up the canyon as we were heading back down. There were more people in that one party than had found the cache in two years.

Along the way, we saw some interesting geology.

By the time we made it back down the canyon to Chuy!'s truck, we were 45 minutes late for the meeting time, but we managed to catch up with everyone at "The Squeeze," which is where we had to stop. The Tacoma was too wide to make it throught that obstacle.

We piled into different vehicles to get to "Heart Attack Hill." I got to ride with RUSCAL, whom I had a the pleasure of hiking with to the "Hydro Cache" back in October 2005 during the big campout weekend.

At "Heart Attack Hill," each of the vehicles took their turn making their way over the lip at the top and down into the hole. After negotiating that, the rest of the steep grade is easy . . . as long as the tires grip and the brakes work . . .

Here is another picture fisnjack took of another vehicle making the steep descent.

Here are a couple of the videos I took with my little camera: Marko Ramius and Team Fatman. I haven't used the camera for movies before . . . next time I'll know which way to hold it . . . Doh!

After everyone made it safely down to the bottom of the hill, fisnjack, Chuy!, and I walked back the mile or so to "The Squeeze" to continue our day's adventure.

I'll add more pictures and tell more of the story later.


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