Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: Whooo Hoo! Another hike to Long Valley Peak

Musings about Geocaching

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Whooo Hoo! Another hike to Long Valley Peak

When I made this extremely-challenging hike last year with Chuy!, I was so tired after all the bushwhacking to get to the top, I completelyl missed that opportunity to take a picture like the amazing one T.R. Violin took for his Terracache. For that reason alone, I had to hike back up there again hoping I could get a picture like that of my very own.

Because the peak burned in a fire last summer, I couldn't get a picture just like T.R.'s, but this one is pretty good with Cuyamaca Peak in the background.

3cd's wanted to make that hike for his #1900, and there was a "puzzle" cache along the way I hadn't found yet, so I would get one smilie for my efforts.

Here is the profile of our hike:

When we got to the parking area, we started out on one trail. It seemed to be heading in the wrong direction, so we crossed over to another trail and then got a little taste of the bushwhacking Chuy! and I did last year until we reached the area that burned.

The number and variety of flowers that were blooming in the area that was scorched black last summer was astounding.

This plant was very unusual. I don't know if I've ever seen one like it before. It was more than three feet in diameter and the flowers were unusual.

Shortly after seeing that plant, we started seriously climbing and rock scrambling in our attempt to get to the area where bradybunchboys' "Ockhams CHERRY SOURS" was located. I enjoy that kind of challenge because the frequent, errant thoughts in my head take a back seat to the thoughts about where to put my feet in order to stay upright and keep from getting hurt.

When we got to the area near the cache, I saw these incredible red flowers and had to take a picture before I started the cache search in earnest.

Getting to the top of the peak is not as hard as it looks, but we took one wrong turn where 3cd's unexpectedly encountered a very slippery rock where the water pours down during rainstorms. That area shows up in this close up view of the peak.

Carefully, he retreated from that dangerous location. After that, we scouted the rocks below us and found the correct route further away from the escarpment.

Once we got on the top of the peak, we spent quite a bit of time enjoying the view and taking pictures. In this one, Lawson Peak and Gaskill Peak can be seen in the background past the little pond.

It was disappointing to see that someone had taken two of the benchmarks on the peak . . .

The dividing line between the burned and unburned chaparral is distinct from that vantage point.

From the top, we saw a little yellow meadow and decided to head back that way after descending from our rocky perch. It looked like it might offer an easier way to return to the truck. It turned out to be where the trail goes, the one we missed finding in the morning. The meadow was an absolute carpet of different "daisy-like" flowers.

Just as we were figuring out the correct trail back to the truck after I took several pictures of the amazing profusion of flowers, 3cd's got a call. It was his sister-in-law. One of his dogs, his retired police dog, had been bitten by a rattlesnake. As his wife tried to get control of the dog, it bit her on her arm. She still managed to both kill the rattlesnake and get the dog in the car. She was headed to the veterinarian.

3cd's drove as fast as possible down the rough, rocky road back to the Interstate and back to the Park 'n Ride where my car was parked. I unloaded my stuff and got it in my car as quickly as possible, so 3cd's could rush to the veterinarian.

The hike was really fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again with Auld Pro and anyone else who wants to accept the challenge of the climb and boulder hopping.

POSTSCRIPT: The dog was bitten three times and required three doses of the anti-venom. It will be okay. 3cd's wife will also be okay after her visit to the hospital for treatment of the dog bites. She will be taking some big "horse pills" for some time to prevent infection.


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