Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2008-03-02

Musings about Geocaching

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Another FTF, shared with rnblver, Auld Pro, and dillweed

Gratefuldad went out to the Hollenbeck area to fix his "On the way up" cache and while he was there, he found that his "Free the Gnomes" cache container was gone. The heat of the fire when it went through that area last October was very intense, so perhaps the container just disintegrated.

Bradybunchboys beat our group to that cache, getting the FTF the night before, so we thought he got the FTF for the other new cache, but he didn't. It was rnblver's first FTF!

The area is so very, very green, after all the rain this winter, so it is hard to imagine how black the area was after the fire.

The California Poppies were also in bloom.

After we found those two caches, dillweed and I revisited the caches we found last week, and then we made another loop around to find a cache Auld Pro had DNF'd on two previous occasions, the very difficult-to-find "Hollenbeck Holiday Hide" placed by bradybunchboys. Fortunately, when I looked for it, I found the little "hint" placed near the black cord by Chuy!. Today, we almost couldn't see that because the viny plants that grow in rockpiles like that are growing in profusion right now, covering over everything with a loosely-woven blanket of green.

On our way back to the trailhead, we took a little side trip to check on a Puzzle cache of Greatfuldad's. It didn't fare very well in the fires last October.

Then, as we continued down the trail from there, we came across a message scrawled on the trail.

After crossing the creek one last time, we took the "high road" and then followed the fence line which gave us this amazing view of an area that is rarely green to this extent. The fires, and then all the rain this winter, have sure given this area a fresh start towards recovery.

Here is the track and profile of our hike:

The day could not have been better for the hike. The temperature was in the 70's, on the high points and ridges there was a nice breeze, and the distant views were about as clear as it ever gets here.

After the hike, I stopped at a friend's house on the way home. Their genial companionship, and a couple of glasses of wine, rounded out a wonderful day.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Kitchen Creek has water flowing in it again

The last time I hiked to the waterfall area of Kitchen Creek, it was dry. Now, after all the rain we have had this winter, it is flowing and the falls are noisy with that wonderful, relaxing, water-falling cacophony. It was a short hike, compared to some I've taken recently, but the first time I made this hike, back in 2005, it was a long hike . . .

At the trailhead, the wind was gusting and the temperature was cool. Typically, I was wearing several layers of clothing to keep warm, but a couple of my hiking companions were wearing flip-flops, shorts, and t-shirts . . . This was the inaugural hike for my new Asolo hiking boots. I got them months ago from Sierra Trading Post when my odd size was available for a discounted price, but since my other boots are so comfortable, I have been waiting until they were almost completely worn out before wearing these new boots. Although there seemed to be a pressure point the other day, today they were fine, and they have tread, something my two-year old boots no longer have . . .

Here are a couple of pictures I took during the little adventure:

The wind was blowing, and must have really been blowing out in the desert, because the sky was hazy with blowing dust. Therefore, I didn't have many opportunities for photography as I have on other trips to the falls.

Although my companions were not Geocachers, I made a trip up the hill to "Kitchen Creek: Monteverde 2" anyway in order to drop off both the White Jeep and Red Jeep TBs I acquired recently.

In the cache, I found a Geocoin that had been sitting there since December. I retrieved that and will move it on to a "safe" cache as soon as I can.

It was a fun hike and I met some new people. Although they are not Geocachers, and I was not able to convert them to my fun little addiction, one man seemed somewhat interested. Maybe there will be one new convert in the near future . . . If so, having that "Historic Cache" as cache number one will definitely be something to brag about. I'm sure glad my very first cache was an ammo can hidden under an "artificial pile of rocks," as opposed to an urban micro hidden under a lamp post skirt in a parking lot somewhere in Santee . . .


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