Auld Pro was available for a weekend hike and so was "lostguy", so he chose a destination where the three of us needed caches. Gecko Dad's "Stairmaster Caches" fit the bill and those were near Goat Peak where I needed to find a Terracache I missed finding on my last Poway adventure. We met up at 7:00 in the morning, piled into "lostguy"'s truck, and headed north up the 67.
Once we arrived close to our destination, we saw there were a couple of caches near a small park. After some decision making, we walked first one way, then the other to find the two small caches placed by The Lost Clan. The first one had a couple of pieces of wood used for cammo. When "lostguy" opened it up, hundreds of earwigs scrambled out, startled by the daylight and looking for a dark hiding place again.
After returning to the truck, we continued up the road to the trailhead at a suburban cul-de-sac. The guys found a nearby cache I found on my previous trip and then we started up the trail. Not too far up the hill, we had to go off the trail towards Gecko Dad's "Stairmaster Caches." Prior to setting off that way, I stopped to put on my gaiters. After some fashion pointers from Auld Pro, I received approval to continue hiking with him . . .
For some reason, none of us could get a good fix on the cache location. I made a complete 30' circle, walking carefully on the tumbled round river rocks before finally spotting the container. Only after we had signed the log and put a cute TB into the container, did our GPS units finally show a distance of less than 23'.
I bet the TB owner is glad to see that one finally travel after it spent the entire fall and winter up in the Lagunas.
From there, we started up, up, up. If there was a trail heading up the hill, we didn't find it . . . Auld Pro sure set a fast pace up to "Snake Cache (A Stairmaster Warmup)"
From that cache, we continued up, up, up some more. Getting up this peak was definitely like a huge outdoor Stairmaster . . . I was glad for the cool temperatures as we made the climb. Although there were high clouds overhead, we could almost see the ocean off to the west
In the other directions, we could see mountain peaks way, way, way off in the distance.
On a hike like this, "lostguy" is like the Energizer Bunny. He was working on a head start towards our next destination before Auld Pro and I had rehidden the cache container . . .
From high up on the ridge, we had a great view of Iron Mountain.
After surveying potential routes, we hiked down, down, down, the east side. I stopped to take some pictures of several different flowers that were blooming.
Finally, we got to the ridge heading towards Goat Peak. "lostguy" was in the lead, running downhill on the trail. Suddenly, he put on the brakes. A little puff of dust went up where he slid to a stop for this guy.
The snake took off — fast — heading for a hiding place where it wouldn't be bothered by us any more. We continued towards the peak, following a completely different, and more difficult, track than our group took on the previous trip.
On the top, I took a picture of our little group.
After that, Auld Pro and I navigated the challenging route down to Gecko Dad's Terracache. Coming back up, we had to avoid the bees that apparently have a hive in the boulders near the top. From there, "lostguy" led the way down, earning his nickname "Downhill Dick," and getting down the west side of the peak long before Auld Pro and I got there. The route we picked was certainly not optimal — we crossed over an old, rusty barbed wire fence at least four times — a fence I don't even remember seeing on the earlier hike . . .
Here is the Profile of our Stairmaster/Goat Peak hike:
Once back at the vehicle, we decided to head for more caches in a large open-space area. The clouds in the sky were beautiful as we continued another up and down hike.
We really had a great day, but unfortunately it ended with two DNFs placed by the same cacher. The first one had created problems for other cachers, the second one was in their front yard. Since we were only 100' away from it as we walked through the neighborhood towards the truck, we thought we would look for it, but that is a location we would have driven right by under different circumstances.
Here is the Profile of our second hike of the day:
Between the two hikes, we covered about seven miles, and went up and down and up and down hundreds of feet of elevation . . . !
As usual, I had a great time. With such fun company, I could have continued caching until the sun went down, but "lostguy" had responsibilities at home, as did Auld Pro, so we made the drive back to Spring Valley and then I made the long drive back up the hill to my house.