Black Friday: I planned for an urban cache run in Santa Monica. Then I remembered the horrendous traffic/parking situation on that side of the hill, probably made 10x worse by crazed shoppers fighting to get to their next store. So I went the other way to Wildwood Park in T.O. Hiking in that 1,750 acre park would help me work off several pounds of turkey & stuffing -and- change a loop of 12 green boxes into smilies.
Starting from a little known trailhead on Wildwood Drive I went uphill and immediately entered a rock strewn area that was free of the usual plantlife. It looks like a fire in the past few years burned it off.
OF COURSE, there’s a cache at the top!! Cliff Micro (GCHMR5)
The top ½ of the loop began with a side hike east into an unburned area with a full complement of vegetation. Two caches required crossing inside a gated private driveway on a public easement:
Santa Rosa Valley View (GCWXD7) & A Sparky View (GCWXD1). There were no geopiles so these caches weren’t quick finds.
I continued on a single track overlooking the Santa Rosa Valley. The caches there were uneventful except the final one which I DNF’d. It hadn’t been found in almost 2 years so I think that it’s gone.
Wildwood Pod Races (GCHR7G)
A long line of farm workers toiled down below.
On Saturday, I went back to Wildwood. Near the parking lot I saw this creepy oak which would be great for a Halloween hide.
There’s already a cache there Magnetic Disturbance (GCA033) but I couldn’t find it.
After walking a mile west and then north, finding a few caches on the way, the GPSr showed a short .28 hike to the final, NW-most cache.
Wild West Wildwood (GCH6G8)
Do you have ANY doubt where the cache was located? I had to stop every 50 feet or so on the very steep ascent. Eventually I found myself at the top with the cache container in hand. While signing the log I heard voices even though I KNEW no one was around.
Voices in my head aren’t unusual but they talk to ME, not to each other. And none of them is named Hailey. I finally found Hailey & her friend silhouetted on a neighboring peak to the south. A weird acoustic tunnel let me hear their conversation from a half mile away. I tried to talk back. They must’ve heard something because they paused suddenly before babbling on. Cheer up Hailey. Things will turn around for you soon.
STUFF: I found another treasure at the 99¢ Only Store. LASER POINTERS for 99 cents!! The sticker states a 535nm wavelength at <5mw. If the output is anything approaching 5mw, it’s hefty for a “toy.”
These used to cost hundreds of dollars 25 years ago. Now they’re being sold as “Pet Toys.” They’re perfectly good for that purpose. A coworker uses his to wreak havoc on his 9 cats. Owning no animals I’ll be limited to lighting up distant trees and rocks on night caching hikes. With extra batteries at 3 sets for 99¢ I’m going to have fun for a long time.