Blog Template Musings about Geocaching

Musings about Geocaching

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My apologies for not keeping this blog updated

Some of you know I have been very ill for a long time. I could go out Geocaching and be active, when — like a dedicated puppy — I had someone to follow. In my first year of caching, Princess Toadstool was a fantastic Geocaching partner. Her energy and excitement about caching was contagious, and on the days I was out with her, I could almost completely forget my chronic illness.

Over these past three years, I have not been doing well. My condition goes up and down like a roller coaster. Sometimes the slopes are very steep and I end up in a trough quickly, and stay down there for a long time. Other times I have gone up, up, up, slowly, almost able to hear the sound of the track cogs clicking during the extended ascent, only to arrive at the top and go down into the poor health graben for another several days. Some of the worst episodes of my 20-year illness occurred in December 2007 and again in March of this year.

When I was not feeling well, the blog, and the Geocaching Forums, kept my meandering brain somewhat focused — and gave me something to do as I sat at home . . .

Since mid-summer I have been finally feeling better. Because of that, I am doing other things besides sitting at my computer for hours on end in between the days I go cycling.

Yesterday, the "Tuesday/Thursday" group and I took a long ride from Rancho San Diego all the way out to the white church on the Viejas Indian Reservation. It was a ride of more than 40 miles.

The two women who ride with us turned off in Alpine and headed back home, going down steep and exciting South Grade. Therefore, I was the only woman on the remaining part of the ride. Since I felt like I was pedaling against the wind, uphill, with the brakes on during the stretch from the bridge over I-8 to the small white church, I wondered if the men wished I had gone back down the hill with Christina and Deanna.

If they thought that, they did not say anything. This group of men, including Pete, Frank, Jim, Steve, Tom, and Larry, are very kind and generous. Getting to know them over these past several weeks has been really great. Because the rides are like a dream, I remember few details, so I have little to write about. However, I started another blog to have a place to put the Profiles of the rides, and occasionally add some minimal comments, in case you are interested.

I still look forward to going caching with my caching buddies whenever the opportunity arrives. As long as I have a "leader," I will love to follow along.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Uh Oh . . . A new obsession has taken over

When I started Geocaching three and a half years ago, I became instantly addicted to the activity. I never thought anything else would take over . . . ever.

But something has — cycling.

Here are some of the recent rides I have taken:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tecate Peak is conquered again

Friday night I got an email from Auld Pro, who had been out of touch since our backpacking trip. He said he and "lostguy" were going east and invited me to join them. I emailed right back suggesting we meet at 8:15 at the Hollenbeck staging area.

At 8:20 in the morning, I called him and got his voice mail. Then I called "lostguy" and got his voice mail. I continued sitting there, listening to all the news on the radio about Hurricane Ike and the destruction it was bringing to Galveston and Houston, and watching the Otay Lake intersection in my rear-view mirror. Finally, I saw a vehicle that looked like Auld Pro's. It stopped and I got out and looked that way. Finally, the vehicle made the left turn and came my direction.

The guys didn't think I was coming because my email got lost in Cyberspace . . .

Next time I'll confirm with a phone call.

So, I put all my stuff in the back seat of the Jeep and off we went, stopping for a few caches I had already found on my several trips out this way with 3cd's, dillweed, and Chuy!

The only caches I still had to find were up near the top of the peak. When kwvers! were out here, they "Found a Spot" three times. As we worked our way towards the peak, we stopped for several caches. Sometimes my, and "lostguy"'s navigation wasn't the best. We teased each other, something that happens frequently between the three of us, and had lots of laughs, like when Auld Pro was able to get one container without even getting completely out of his Jeep.

From "FATTBOY's Crazy Drive" cache, it was only Auld Pro and me in the Jeep. "lostguy" decided to walk back down the hill instead of riding in the Jeep on that narrow road with steep dropoffs.

At the lower elevations, it was hazy, but at higher elevations the air was much clearer, offering views of distant mountain peaks that looked like islands.

The fire last October roared over this mountain, scorching it thoroughly with flames pushed by 80-mile-an-hour winds.

In places, there are huge boulders on Tecate Peak. These framed the towns of Tecate, CA and Tecate, Mexico.

High above the haze level and looking to the west, we could see Lyons Peak, as well as Skunk Hollow Peak, Madre Grande, Elena Mountain, Barber Mountain, and Gaskill Peak. In the valley below, Highway 94 bisects it before heading up the steep grade towards Tecate.

Before getting back to Highway 94 by taking a shortcut, Auld Pro stopped to place three new caches. Here the guys are discussing what the cache should be named.

Once those tasks were completed, we headed for a W9JIM cache hidden in the carcass of an old Pontiac way down the steep embankment.

Where's the car?

Oh, there's the car

Auld Pro climbed inside the wreck to find the cache.

I wish I could have found the Indian from the hood of the car, but it was long gone. I had to settle for this picture of the Pontiac logo.

We made our way back up the steep, steep embankment and enjoyed the air conditioning of the Jeep as we headed back down Highway 94. We stopped for a few more caches I had already found and then got to one I had not found yet. It was one placed by Night Hunter and highlights this old "sign" painted on the rock. This is the setting.

And a closeup.

The last cache of the day was another one of Night Hunter's "Stone Ruination" caches near where my friend Rita lives and not very far from my house, as the crow flies.

A couple of incredible rock walls remain, although most everything else on the property succumbed to the fire last October . . .

After investigating the area, we walked back to the Jeep and then Auld Pro returned me to my vehicle. It was a really fun day and I was grateful to be able to join the guys on their caching adventure.

On my way home, I stopped at my friend's house, where a couple of hours later, we saw the nearly-full moon come up behind the rocks on the right-hand side of this picture taken at the Stone Ruination location.

It was a perfect ending to a really incredible day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Out with dillweed for the first time in months

This summer has been a very busy time for dillweed and we have not cached together for months. Today I met her at the Walmart on Los Coches and we hiked up the trails behind there, finding several caches, including some she had already found.

It was hazy so the views were not as great as they can be, but I got a few pictures from the very top.

We covered almost six miles during our meandering hike over those hills in the open space preserve.

I had a great time, found 13 caches, the most I have found in quite a while, and got to catch up on everything dillweed has been doing this summer. It was a really fun day!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A disappointing TB rescue trip out Barber Road

This time the trip was a visit to one of my caches to rescue a Travel Bug that hadn't moved since Jahoadi dropped in July 30. I rode my mountain bike the three and a half miles from my house. Wheeeeuuu! That was tough. I stopped at the top of the hill and visited with a man riding one of those recumbent bikes. While we visited, an ambulance went by, then a fire truck, then another fire truck, then a helicopter flew overhead, and finally, much later, a tow truck went by. And, while we talked, some motorcyclists went by, riding fast and leaning into the blind curve just past our shady spot.

We finally parted company and I got to ride the mountain bike on a trail it was better suited for than the pavement.

Since I have taken so many pictures, I didn't take any today, and since the TB wasn't in the cache, the trip was sort of like a dream. Did it really happen?

It did because I emailed the TB owner and marked it as Missing from my cache. The TB owner is still trying to track it down and get it back on the road to New Jersey where it is supposed to be later this month.

After I got home, I found out all the emergency vehicles were going to a head-on crash between a speeding motocycle that crossed the centerline and hit a Thunderbird head on. Ouch.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Great mountain bike ride with "lostguy" and Jahoadi

In contrast to the last time "lostguy" and I came up here, this day was clear, and if not for the cool breeze, it would have been very hot by the time we completed our 20-mile tour of Mt. Laguna all the way to Pioneer Mail and back.

We got an early start. The sun was just coming up as we got down into the first valley.

The first cache I found was a new one placed by teamgardukes. There has been a cache thief in the area removing his caches and I hope the cammo for this one allows it to stay in place.

Shortly after finding this cache, I lost my companions. Since I was so slow and lagging behind, I thought they were ahead of me, so I just kept pedaling along, enjoying the cool morning air and the smell of the pines. Finally, I ran into another couple we had seen earlier and they said they had not seen "lostguy" or Jahoadi. Uh Oh! How did I lose them?

As we were talking, my companions appeared on the trail. "lostguy" went looking for me after they found a cache that was off the trail, one I didn't know they were going to look for.

After that, I tried to stay closer, although both of them are much better riders than I am, so at times that was a bit risky for me . . .

I didn't get to take very many pictures since any time we stopped, "lostguy" would say, "We're burnin' daylight." I did get a few more before we returned to the truck after our 20-mile ride.

Before heading down a long hill, this view of Long Valley Peak opens up.

After getting down into the valley, we had to push our bikes and once again, "lostguy" was kind to push my heavy bike while I pushed his lightweigh Stumpjumper.

Near the Pioneer Mail area, we found a couple of caches by Hammer Stone, including another one using a plastic owl as the container. I'm glad he is placing caches again since some of his were removed by someone several months ago, including one that used a different large owl as the "cammo."

On our way back to the truck, we ran into Chuy! and Ginger!. They had beaten us to the FTFs on some of the caches earlier in the morning because they started at the other end of the trail.

Here is the profile of my 20-mile ride:

The entire day was great fun and I can't wait for another opportunity to get out on my mountain bike and go exploring on a singletrack.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Another trip out Barber Road for a FTF

Gecko Dad snuck out Barber Road a couple of weeks ago to get the FTF on Akop&Fam's Elena Mountain Terracache and while he was there, he hiked to the top of Barber Mountain and placed another Terracache. I think the density of Terracaches out that way is greater than any other place in the county.

It was a nice day, with a cool breeze when my friend and I, along with her two dogs, set out walking up the mile-long hill at the beginning of the trail. I had my bike with me so I could ride the remainder of the trail after my friend turned around to take the two hot and tired dogs back to her truck.

I was riding my new, lighter mountain bike, a Jamis Dakar, and it was fun. I still need much more practice to feel comfortable taking the bumps at a faster pace. At the sloping ridge to the peak, I hid my bike, not far from my "Dehydration" cache. The nearly half mile walk was easy because the hill was almost completely denuded of vegetation by the fire of last October. Because of that, I didn't get as black and dirty as I did getting up to the Elena Mountain Terracache.

This was my destination.

And this was the Profile of my trek:

Near the top, there were interesting piles of small rocks that were the reason for the name of the Terracache, "Druid Dreams on Barber Mountain."

As usual, Gecko Dad's coordinates were absolutely perfect. It is really great to arrive at GZ, look down, and see the hiding place. I could tell it had been a while since the container was placed because I encountered cobwebs as I reached for the rocks covering the small lock 'n lock container.

After signing the log, I took a few more pictures of the interesting rock piles and then walked back down to my bike. I still can't believe it took me two years to discover this incredible trail that offers such fun recreation only three and a half miles from my house.


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