Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2008-03-30

Musings about Geocaching

Friday, April 04, 2008

Guatay Peak is conquered again

Auld Pro is training for a five-day hike in the Grand Canyon and wanted to go on another long hike. Guatay Peak had a number of new caches, placed by nine intrepid cachers who braved bad weather last Sunday to make the six-mile hike, so that became our destination. "lostguy" and dillweed were also able to go, so I got to hike with three of my favorite Geocachers.

I was wearing the new "Energy Enhancing" device that has had a positive effect on my mental health in recent days, and it also seemed to work for enhancing my physical endurance. I started off really cookin' on the trail. Auld Pro said something, so I slowed down to the pace of my companions, letting someone else lead the way . . .

The first cache we found along the section of the trail that parallels Old Highway 80 east of the little town of Guatay was near this critter.

We found a couple more caches and then the trail started up a steep section. As we trudged up the hill, dillweed said, "I'm so outpaced by people older than I am, I'm going to start hiking with younger people . . . "

She was kidding of course because she is a real endurance hiker. Her reputation for long hikes was well known long before anyone knew who she was.

Because the "onshore flow" is the weather pattern now, the views were not as incredible as they were when I made this hike back in January. These are some of the pictures I took:

This was the view to the southeast with Long Valley Peak in the foreground and Buckman Mountain, the mountain Auld Pro and I hiked last Friday, in the background.

Looking to the southwest, the foreshortened view of the rocky outcrops of Lawson and Gaskill Peaks, and the Carveacre Wind Cave area is interestinng.

This is how that same view looked back in January when the air was much clearer.

At the summit, where the air temperature was in the 60's, I saw this rattlesnake who was so cold and lethargic, he never even rattled at us as he slithered . . . very . . . slowly . . . further down into the rockpile.

We found this cute little guy on the trail on our way back from the summit.

A bit further down the trail I saw this interesting plant.

Because the elevation of the ridge is around 4000 feet, the daytime temperatures haven't been warm enough yet to encourage many wildflowers to emerge as they have in the Hollenbeck Canyon, and Horsethief Canyon areas which are 2000 and 1000 feet lower. Maybe in another few weeks, and especially if we get more rain, there will be many wildflowers along this great trail that offers such spectacular views.

After returning to the parking lot, it was still early, and "Secret Canyon" was only a little more than a mile away, so we walked up that trail, adding to the distance we covered during our day.

After getting to my cache, "Secret Canyon View," we decided to turn around instead of continuing on to that "Historic Cache," which was a good idea. My companions had a much further distance to go to get home. "Secret Canyon" has been there for many years, it will be there for us later on.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Who knew one cache could cause so much trouble?

When I posted my new "Desert Virtual" cache, there were a few people who were upset about how I was dealing with the cache removal situation in Anza Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP)

I really didn't think my allowing of Multi-logging on a single, unique cache, would become a wildly-spreading practice in the San Diego Geocaching community and cause "bad blood," however, when I wasn't feeling well a week ago, and couldn't handle the criticism when some people called the cache concept "cheesy," I Archived the cache.

A few days later, when I was feeling somewhat better, and after I had time to think about it, I begged Marko Ramius to forgive my impulsive action and Un-Archive the cache. After editing the cache page at least a dozen times, I re-Activated it. Two cachers emailed me thanking me for creating the cache and giving them a new opportunity to go out to the desert.

Well, now I have been contacted by "abvlntr" telling me I should not even bring people out to the desert to visit the locations where the caches used to exist. After I wrote back stating that my cache was a sort of "Guidebook," I received this response:
Nevertheless, your new "outside the park" cache has created a series of virtual cache references within the park. I can't say what the official outcome is going to be from the park admin people, but I have a sneeky feeling you are not going to like the result--just my personal hunch.

This woman has even threatened to steal my final container, which is not inside the Park Boundaries. I checked a map carefully, and zoomed way in on it. According to this official .pdf document, I can confirm that my "final container" is not in ABDSP, unless this map is not accurate:

If my final container is stolen by someone affliated with the Park, whether they are an employee, or a Volunteer just following misguided directions, there's gonna be trouble . . .

Who would have thought my little cache, inviting people to visit one small section of the 600,000 acre desert park, would cause so much controvery?


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