A "little" hike to check on some of my caches
I walked down my shortcut, which is a well-used, illegal alien trail. At the bottom, I took a picture of the location of Latitude 32's "Treasure Trove."
Prior to the fire of August 2006, there was a huge oak tree there that provided the hiding place for this cache I found two years ago.
Once back on the trail, I backtracked a little to find my "Mossy Boulders" cache which needed a bit of cache maintenance. It is a cookie tin, but moisture had made its way into the container due to all the rain we got this winter. After completing that little task, I walked the shady trail, avoiding the poison oak that is recovering nicely after the fire . . .
At "BBB's Hundred Hides in Horsethief" I stopped for a little lunch so I could enjoy the relaxing sound of the water flowing over the tumbled boulders.
The wildflowers were blooming in profusion along the trail that goes up and up and up towards "Elevation 3000."
To get up to the peak, you have to leave the trail and ascend through burned vegetation. It can be a struggle finding a way, but once on the top, the view is worth the work.
After checking on the cache, I looked down the steep, steep south side of the peak and decided it looked doable, which it was, but I had to take great care to stay upright in several places where the morning glory vines grabbed at my ankles and threatened to trip me. From that side of my "Elevation 3000" peak, there was a great view of Corte Madera.
I got down to a creek and started making my way back towards the west where I wandered onto the top of an enormous boulder. "Hmmmm . . . doesn't seem like I can continue from here."
Once I got around it, these room-sized boulders made an interesting foreground for the view towards the east.
A bit further along in my struggle against the tangled undergrowth, I saw this interesting balanced rock, framing Lawson and Gaskill Peaks.
And then, I found myself surrounded by huge, fuzzy-stemed lupines.
I finally made it down to an illegal alien trail that, during a rain, must be quite a waterfall. Navigating this trail was treacherous and once again, I was thankful I had trekking poles to aid my descent. As I worked my way down, I wondered how I was going to get across the creek when I got to the bottom of the valley, but there were some logs and rocks that enabled the crossing, although I could not have made it without using my trekking poles for balance.
Once back on the trail, I pondered which direction was the shortest back to my car . . . hmmmm, decisions, decisions. So, I marked a Waypoint in the GPSr, and took off in the direction of "Hopeful Tree" so I could check on the container I replaced a couple of months ago.
When I got there, I was disappointed to see that the container was missing . . . which was really bad since a Geocoin was in it . . . That makes four Geocoins that have gone missing after I have returned them to the wild . . . I think I'll just "Discover" Geocoins if I ever find one again . . .
I didn't have a replacement container with me, but I had a small ziplock bag and a new log. I put that where the previous container had been hidden and hope it stays until I get back down there with an actual container. That task accomplished, I was back on the trail. I was tired, and my hiking boots and pants were very dirty.
I had also finished the last of my water, so I just wanted to get back to my car, but these tiny blue flowers caught my attention, so I stopped to take one more picture.
When I got home, I put the hiking pants in the washing machine, in the "soak" cycle. Later, when I took them out to see how they looked . . . they were still dirty and stained from all the tangled, green vegetation I walked through.
So, now I have a pair of favorite Columbia hiking pants that can be designated as my "hiking through burned vegetation or off the trail" pants.
It was a great hike, I'm glad I got out of the house, but surprisingly, all that exercise still didn't clear my head. It did allow me to continue living one more day . . .
This episode with my illness has been a tough one . . .