DECEMBER 24, 2009 – Toland Park (Santa Paula)

Continuing my year end push to reach 1,200 finds for 2009 I drove to Toland Park for its cluster of 14 caches. It helped that the “Hwy 126 series” was nearby too.
Only the N/S portion of the paved road in the eastern side of the park was open to vehicle traffic. And only this section of the park seemed to be somewhat cleared and usable for picnics. I think that I saw the park host, Bill, walking 2 dogs. I waved and called out to get his attention but he turned away and walked into a parked trailer. Oh well, liking solitude and being the host at this empty park are a good combination.
Four of the 14 caches were park & grabs. Toland Bluebird (GC1MRZB) was in this intimidating looking pepper tree. But the coordinates were spot-on and I got out in 2 minutes with the find and also with some loose peppers down the back of my shirt.
One cache to the North a cable was strung across the road. There’s another gate (locked) to the street here though no barrier to walk-ins. In fact, there was a car parked just outside. I walked out (E) and quickly hiked on the street to 3 caches outside the park and returned through the gate. Back inside the North end of park, most of the caches were on unpaved side trails. No real bushwhacking was needed.
I was surprised to see a signature with the current date on a log. Assuming that it belonged to the occupants of the car at the locked gate I expected that the other cacher was just ahead. Sure enough I heard faint voices and saw a family walking East a few hundred feet away. I went the opposite way, found another cache, saw the same signature and then walked South toward the paved trail. See the southward view below.
Then I ran into the family, cachers “4_ofakind,” who’d backtracked and were also trying to reach the pavement. We exchanged some local caching info and parted ways. I drove back to the SE gate, parked and walked to the 3 caches on the southern end of the park. In just over 2 hours I found all 14 caches. That’s rare for me as there always seems to be 1 “easy” cache that I can’t find. I drove out, found 4 nearby park & grabs and then connected with the Gulberson Road portion of the “Hwy 126 series.” I found 14 more drive up caches and was upset when I reached the Eastern edge of my pocket query with another hour of remaining daylight. Here’s a representative view.
These goats weren’t fenced-in. They could easily have walked into traffic or across the road to eat crops.
I need 96 more caches to go to reach 1,200 for 2009.

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