On my gc.com user profile I half jokingly wrote that I’m a low energy cacher. Years later, those words have rung true. Now, on weekends I wake up exhausted and can’t get into the car to go caching until after noon. I find myself stopping after about 3 hours and 12 finds on urban cache runs. On hikes I spend as much time resting as walking. More about that later.
The gc.com map showed a loop of 15 caches in the far northwestern corner of Pt. Mugu State Park. I thought that 92 degrees was better than 105 so I drove to the traditional trailhead at Wendy & Portrero in Newbury Park. The long walk through Satwiwa wasn’t appealing (lazy again) so I kept driving and found a different trailhead near Bookmarks Galore (GCWB39). It was a 0.4 mile walk from there, to a BIG EMPTY FREE PUBLIC PARKING LOT with water & restrooms!! d’OH!! 0.3 miles more led to the Native American Museum and the paved Big Sycamore Canyon Rd (“trail” to the beach).
I started down and was soon passed by an ambulance and fire engine coming up with red lights flashing. At the bridge & outhouse I caught up to a group of 30+ cycling novices at rest. Their leader was exhorting, “no more accidents today, please!”
I know that the newbie riders didn’t do this!!
I finally reached En Un Tronco Podrido (GC1Q6JJ) at the turnoff onto the loop. Note the location of the hydrant. It was literally a lifesaver for me on my way back out.
I started up the turnoff. At the intersection with the Hidden Pond Trail, turn North onto the dirt path to do the loop caches. If you stay on the pavement like I did, there’s only 1 more cache to reach. Clark Connector Junction (GC1KJE3). It’s at the best shade tree in the area. It was there that I admitted to myself that I was severely overheated and in trouble. I thought about staying until sundown. But an hour later I got up and started back. Every few hundred feet I stopped and laid down in any available shade, mostly in the dirt. I was so nauseous that I didn’t care about the dried out horse puckies or that bugs including a big hairy red ant crawled on me. I finally got back to the turnoff and the hydrant. Pouring a gallon of hydrant water on my head revived me enough to go back uphill…slowly. I took another 1.5 liters to pour on the way. Lesson learned: It’s possible to be fully hydrated, carrying plenty to drink and still become dangerously overheated.
Geocraig did this same hike (and more) later when it was 10-15 degrees cooler. Unlike me he turned onto the Hidden Pond Trail and completed the loop. See his blog (linked on right side of this page) for his very different story and his high quality pictures.
A reader e-mailed and said that he liked my early blogs but that I’ve become “generic, unfunny and boring.” So true… Let’s see if I can inject some life back into this.
Absurdities & Annoyances
Critically important for urban cache runs:
– Carl’s Jr.’s Big Carl is well worth the price at $2.49. But the wrapper is marked “Promo Burger” so expect a big price increase.
– McDonalds’ regular size ice coffee is still $1.89 but beginning last week the cups shrank by about 1/3.
Borders (Canoga Park) looks like it’s going out of business. They’re spreading out their shelving farther & farther apart to keep it covered with their dwindling stock. And their weekly e-mail ads/coupons have stopped coming.
HD Vision sunglasses are now $6.99 at Ross (Fallbrook Mall).