I took advantage of the cool weather to go on a long dreaded steep hike to “Eagle Rock” (unofficial name) to retrieve & archive some of my old caches. Though I’ve done the same hike well over 50 times, my 20 lb weight gain this year makes hikes with elevation increasingly difficult. I almost turned around and left when I saw 2 full size school buses disgorging screaming kids & teens in the “upper lot” off of Entrada. BTW, parking is now $10.00 !!
Instead of walking through the crowd I went N and W to look for Approaching Trippet (GC1NZQR). GZ appeared to be 40’ into a fenced off plant restoration area so I didn’t reach it. Years ago Milt McAuley told me another reason why the area is fenced off. If that’s still true, the penalty for being caught inside could be especially stiff. If the cache is OUTside the fence, my Oregon 400t was waaaay off (it’s happened) and my apologies to the hider.
On the way back to the parking lot 2 deer walked across the trail less than 20’ away. The one below didn’t seem to care that I was there. The one with antlers hesitated, turned around and ran off.
Crossing the now quiet parking lot I started up the fire road. There were more deer; 7 total in 4 encounters for the day. Now I see why they’re called mule deer.
This is a side trail not taken; saved for a future adventure.
Continuing on the main fire road I got particular satisfaction from logging TSP: Resting Rock (GC1CE9P) a cache that I originally hid and later transferred by adoption to Cairngorm. While resting on the rock I saw a crow flying around overhead. It repeatedly dropped a small piece of wood with a leaf on it. As this spun downward the bird zoomed up and dived bombed it, catching it with its beak. When I raised my camera upward in video mode, of course, the crow abandoned its game and flew away. Now that I think about it, there’ve been crows here almost every time I’ve rested on the rock. And there used to be another cache here called Raven’s Roost. I hope that a cacher captures the game playing crow on video. It could be scientifically significant or at least a World’s Funniest Animals entry.
A little further on I stepped aside to avoid being trampled by a cattle drive.
At the red “X” in the picture above there’s a stretch of “onion rocks.” They used to be more impressive but hikers have been peeling them away a piece at a time for years.
It’s Eagle Rock below. I retrieved my cache near the left edge of the picture but didn’t go to the top which was occupied by a large group of Chinese tourists. I saw them again further down the trail on my way back. Some of them were contorting themselves to drink out of a horse fountain. Their heads would’ve fit better if they’d had muzzles. (Do horses have muzzles or snouts?)
My third and final cache retrieval was I Can See My House From Here Too (GCRNXR). From here “the hub” is only a few minutes away up this trail.
But I turned around and headed back toward Eagle Rock and beyond to my car.
The caches I retrieved and archived: