Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2008-05-11

Musings about Geocaching

Friday, May 16, 2008

A windy, but wonderful day on Mt. Laguna

Auld Pro emailed me a few days ago saying he wanted to see pine trees on our next hike. Well, today turned out to be a perfect day to head for higher elevations. A high-pressure system moved into the area bringing almost record high temperatures to the lower elevations.

On our way, we stopped for one cache that had been found easily by two finders two days ago. Either we are blind or the ammo can has already disappeared . . .

Then we looked for another cache near a large pullout along the highway. That was an easy find, unlike the next cache we looked for. We had a chance for a FTF, if only we could locate it in that rockpile where it was hidden. I was about to call it a DNF when I moved a little piece of wood, then a small rock, revealing the hidden container. Wheeeuuu! That was close.

On a recent trip up here, I DNF'd a cache placed by FlagMan at the location where Duncan! used to have a cache. The wind was blowing so hard, I kept getting dust in my eyes. Auld Pro knew where it had been before, and I didn't read the entire hint, so we called it a DNF and headed for a more sheltered area to hike.

Before leaving, I took this picture, but had a hard time holding the camera steady against the wind gusts.

We parked at the back end of the Laguna Campground and started out headed for "The Remote Rossiter Cache," one that has an interesting history, since the original coordinates were off by more than 6,000 feet . . .

From there, we hiked down the easy trail to a cache placed by a Boy Scout Troop. It had been an easy find for the previous seekers, but we could not find the 50 cal. ammo can . . .

After that, we located the Archived "Bilbo's Book Exchange" container and decided to remove it, since it is only 100 feet away from the other cache and has been Archived for more than a year now. We stashed it nearby since we were going to be returning this way on our return.

From that location, we hiked to a Terracache placed by Akop&Fam. It was in a fantastic location with great views in all directions. Auld Pro and I sat there for a while, taking in the location and enjoying the brisk breeze.

As we hiked back along the meadow, I stopped to admire this amazing tree.

Here is a closeup of the woodpecker's larder.

With this pastoral view of the lake, you can't tell that the wind was blowing through the tops of the trees with gusts of thirty to forty miles an hour.

There were lots of different flowers blooming, but because of the wind, most of them weren't remaining still enough for portraits . . .

This prostrate thistle was very interesting. I had never seen anything like it before.

After we stopped and picked up the container we had left behind, I was beginning to feel the distance we had traveled because of the additional weight, so I left the container again, since we were going to retrace our steps after finding the cache the bradybunchboys' placed for me as a birthday present last fall.

At that location, I pulled up the Custom POI of that "Active Found" cache. My GPSr took me right to the location. I finally asked Auld Pro, who was searching about 50 feet away, "Is your GPSr leading you astray?" I hate to think how long he would have been searching that area with many fallen logs if I had not been there . . .

He retrieved a TB I had put into the container last September. I'm sure that TB owner is happy about that.

It was a fantastic day, and was the perfect place to hike, something we were reminded of as we watched the temperature go up and up and up as we got closer to where I left my car in the morning. It was 17° hotter than it had been in the mountains.

Once again I am grateful to my caching companion for doing all the driving and for making the long hike so much fun.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another little walk down my road

One of these days when I take my walk, I want to get a DNF. A "Did Not Find" any discarded cans and bottles, that is. Today was not one of those days. I brought back half a kitchen-sized trash bag full of cans, plastic water and Gatorade bottles, and a few glass beer bottles.

I'll add those to other bottles and cans contributed by one of my neighbors for my next trip down the hill to the Recyling Center. The other day when I turned in my previous "collection," I garnered more than $17.00. Not too bad, but that was less than half of what I spent on lunch and groceries when I went to town with a friend yesterday.

Today, I didn't take the GPSr with me, so I don't have a pretty image of the Track and Profile to spice up this post . . . I didn't take my camera either, but if I had, I could include pictures of several different species of wildflowers that are blooming up here now.

I'm going for a real hike tomorrow to find a cache that hasn't been found in a long time. I've already loaded the GPSr with that cache and others in the Laguna Mountain area, which is where we are heading to beat the heat from a high pressure system that is moving into the area.

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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