My introduction to the Rice Canyon Open Space
At the Von's parking lot, I met up with Auld Pro and he drove to the Rice Canyon Open Space parking area. He lives nearby and is familiar with the tangle of residential streets I would need my auto-routing GPSr to navigate. Soon after starting down the trail, the sun burned off the "low clouds and fog" or "marine layer," terms weathermen use to describe the "coastal air conditioning" common in the westernmost regions of San Diego at this time of the year.
The first cache had a useless hint: "to easy for one." Somehow Auld Pro thought the cache was hidden differently from the way it was, and he called "lostguy" for a lifeline. While he was on the phone, I spotted the container. Sure enough, it truly was too easy for a hint, but I prefer the "Hint" section on my GPSr and Palm be left blank in those situations.
The next cache was a tiny bison tube hidden in a bush. These are the kind of caches I can look and look and look for and still miss seeing even when they are just six inches in front of my nose. But, this time I saw it immediately.
After another cache in the Rice Canyon series, we found Chuck B's "Rice Bowl" cache placed way back in 2003.
Now that the sun was out, it was getting warm . . . and the humidity was high, making out little walk uncomfortable, particularly when we had to huff and puff up a steep hill to get to dillweed's "Point Loma View." The marine layer haze was too thick for us to see Point Loma, but on a clear day, the view is great from that vantage point.
From there, we walked to a cache I had a completely wrong first impression about. "The Big Boys" were some huge Agave plants.
The only Agaves I've seen that are that big are at my own "Agave Grande" cache.
From that trail high above the canyon, we had to find a way down. After a few false starts on narrow tracks past cholla cactus I was careful to avoid, we found a narrow, highly-eroded trail through thick coastal sage scrub vegetation.
At the bottom, we headed towards kwvers!' "This is wearing me out!." That cache is just wrong on so many points . . . But, knowing the cache owner, and his great sense of humor, makes the cache more tolerable. We had to make a lifeline call and Auld Pro was amazed at how technologically-challenged I am when I get out my cell phone and attempt to make a call . . . I found out how easy it is to delete the last number of someone's phone number, but couldn't figure out how to make a simple call . . . Fortunately, "lostguy" knew about the cache when Auld Pro called him or that cache would have been a DNF . . .
As we walked, I picked up cans and bottles to take to the recycling center. The bag was getting pretty full by the time we started up the very steep hill from that cache to the road above us. At the top, we found another discarded bag which was soon filled with more cans and bottles. Auld Pro was kind to carry one of them back to the vehicle for me.
Because it was Father's Day, Auld Pro needed to cut our caching day short. At about noon, we returned to my car and I took off for the Otay Ranch Shopping Center. An unseen force draws me irresistibly to The REI store there.
On my way home, my little car passed a milestone. There was a place to pull off the road to take a picture of the odometer.
I've had the car for more than five years, and if I had not driven to Colorado three times in 2006, the mileage would be considerably lower.
Since it was still early, I stopped at a friend's place and interrupted their Father's Day celebration. We had a great time enjoying the view from their new flagstone patio and sampling some different wines given to them by one of their friends.
I had a really fun day. With the price of gas at almost $4.50 a gallon now, and the inland temperatures heading towards the 90's, it will probably be a while before I go caching again. I need to find a good book to read to pass the time . . . Maybe I'll finally read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a book on my must-read list for a long time.