It was yet another day where I chose caching over household responsibilities… I joined EMC and spoondoggie (Scott) on their hike to Mentryville a little known “ghost town” 10 minutes north of the San Fernando Valley. We started from the deserted parking lot at the “town” proper, passed the old 1 room schoolhouse before going into Pico Canyon and then up the steep trail.
Elin & Scott started walking just before I did.
I didn’t want to be the third wheel.
I was relieved to find that Elin was just cleaning mud from her shoe. Speaking of which, we saw many interesting animal tracks therein. None of us has any real training but we had great fun discussing the dangerous gigantic animals that must’ve passed through the area. We were relieved that no NEW tracks were on top of ours on the way back down the hill.
Homer was here too! What’s the CRV on this can?
It’s mind boggling!
There were frozen puddles and even some icy ground in the most shaded areas. We passed the site of California’s first commercial oil well (1876) and the scattered wreckage of ancient drilling machinery.
Scott did his best Carol Merrill impression. (you have to be a baby boomer to understand…)
Doors # 1, 2 and 3 all contained an Altoids tin inside a baggie.
We passed this on our way up but stopped on the way back for pictures and more mud removal.
The stench of leaking sulfur was very strong at this capped well. Note the chain belt and wooden wheel. There’s a steam boiler in the back.
A canyon view.
Ursula the Bear who is also an occasional cacher calls this area home.
This trailer was at the top of the hill. The solar cells were obvious and the VHF beam antenna was pointed at Oat Mountain. But we saw no external sensors and had no clue about what kind of data was being gathered & sent.
Within steps of the trailer…
Union Oil Co. Odeen #1 test well. (1951)
And just beyond the sign was the cache at the end of the trail.
Gillian’s Shrine (GC1GNM4)We started back and soon daylight began to fade and the temperature dropped. Elin suggested a side trail shortcut to the lone remaining unfound cache There Will Be Blood (GC1GNPH). Normally I won’t take an unknown “return” trail in fading daylight, especially a muddy downhill one that looked like it could peter out at any time. But Elin’s iPhone research showed it to be a real trail so I followed her & Scott. We carefully negotiated the mud and ice and no one was killed.
We saw this rock wall on the way down:
Formed by bubbling lava? This surely deserves an Earthcache.
The shortcut shaved almost 1 mile from our return trip. In all, we found 20+ caches in just under 7 hours. Thanks to Wanderer7 and friends/family who hid most of them.
More days off and more caching…details to follow.