Finally, I search for and find a nearby cache
Finally, today, after the disappointment of finding out someone picked up my stash of cans and bottles from last week's walk, I parked outside the gate and started walking. I didn't get very far before stopping to talk to a man working on the nearby property. We shared some "Jamul Stories" and then I continued down the trail. It was a beautiful day for this hike. The temperature was in the 80's and there was a nice breeze.
At the cache location, I wandered around quite a while looking for the cache. Since I had not read the description, I didn't know if there was a cache in place, or not, after the devastating Harris fire last October. As I got ready to leave, I decided to pick up some of the discarded bottles and cans in the area that is obviously visited by muggles on a regular basis. What looked like one of those insulating cuffs for a beer can turned out to be a container . . . and surprise, surprise, it was the cache! After signing the log, I rehid the container at where my GPSr said was GZ.
After that, I continued down the trail, hiking more than seven miles before driving back home. This is the Profile of the hike:
On the first part of the trail, the views are to the south down Honey Springs Road and towards Deerhorn Valley. Once I got around the corner, the view in front of me was breathtaking. The entire valley, with the Horsethief area in the foreground and mountain peaks all around, was there in front of me, unobscured.
In some places, the fire damage still looked fresh.
Off the road a ways was an outcrop of boulders and slickrock that offered an interesting view of the rocky knob of Lawson Peak.
Around every turn in the trail, different mountain peaks came into focus. Here, Gaskill Peak was framed by rocky outcrops near the road.
Near where I turned around, I saw this wind-carved hole in a large boulder.
Along the entire trail there is very little shade since the area burned last October. Whether it burned as a direct result of the Harris Fire, or a back-burn that got out of control, I'm not sure, but this fire prevented my friend from being able to get home that Friday of the week we were evacuated from our homes. The road to her place was closed just before we got there when this fire got much larger than expected . . .
There were a few islands of vegetation that had not burned, and this beautiful Manzanita offered a little bit of shade that was welcome to me as I walked back.
As I walked back, I stopped at different places where I thought I could place a small cache. At this location, there is a good view of Skyline Truck Trail with Sycuan Peak in the background.
Lately I haven't been excited about going caching by myself. I still love going with other cachers, but don't have much desire to look for hidden containers alone. However, once I saw the views from this road, the excitement of hiding some caches returned. I've always loved hiding caches — I don't get any DNFs when I do that — and don't mind doing that by myself. Now I had motivation to paint the containers I have at home and get them ready for new lives as Geocaches.
So . . . the "hiking cachers" in this area, all half dozen of them, will soon have some caches to find along a previously un-cached road.