JUNE 28, 2010 – San Diego mini-expedition

June 28, 2010

In April I skipped my annual San Diego caching trip and went to Primm Nevada instead. Since then long strings of green boxes on the San Diego area map taunted me. Another multi-weekday trip so soon was out of the question. But I went on a Friday-Saturday overnight mini-expedition and logged 93 finds. First up was the 40 cache “Power Cacher’s Power Trail,” along both banks of the San Diego River. I started at the beach #39 dillweed (GC1Z3GK) and hiked just over 5 miles roundtrip on the bike/walking path along the South bank.

It was low tide and the estuary was mostly exposed. Some people dug for clams and shrimp below while I hunted for caches above along the trail.

This Little Blue Heron was also poking around in the mud. I don’t think it’s native to Southern California. It was the first one I’ve ever seen.

The view to the right was less scenic. First it was baseball diamonds and a skate park. And then a chain link fence along a freeway. There were many homeless laying around on that side. I skipped some caches because of them. After hiking both ways and then checking in at the hotel I set off for the caches on the North bank. I started here #5 Chuy (GC1ZQF9). The caches were park & grabs on an old service road. After reaching the end of the road (which continues as a bike path) a not-so-quick drive around to the West end of the trail got me to a jetty and 6 “Kings & Queens of England” caches.

Saturday morning started with hotel checkout and a 10 mile drive to National City to find the “Got No Altoids Tins,” series of 50 park and grabs. Somehow I’d mentally missed the “NO” in the name and thought that there were 50 Altoids tins to find. I “got it” after finding the first few magnetized switchplates stuck on green electrical boxes. Later some were on old payphones. There were a few film containers and non-series caches in between too. The caches were almost all on the right side of the street and the streets generally looked like the example below. I was going to write more about this series but the owner archived all of the caches the next day. I swear – it wasn’t because of anything I said or did!!

A non-series cache was a few feet from this sign. So who’s NOT allowed to park here?

I took a 3 mile side trip to find a cache 300’ from the border (the upper fence).

Before heading home I stopped at Harbor Island. I was very lucky to find parking spaces near 2 caches. One of them was an easy bison tube just to the left of these rocks.

Across from the island there’s a monument to cancer survivors. There’s a camo’d match container cache hidden there too.

There’s an odd dome shaped structure a few feet away, but no cache.

My final stop was at the East end of Liberty Station where I tried again to find Happy Moose Rocks! (GC16VGJ). It was my 3rd visit and another DNF!! Oh well, I got to see my favorite landlocked ‘ship,’ the USS Recruit.

Thank you lulu499 for the power cacher’s trail and kwvers! for the GNAT series. The huge amount of work you put into placing your caches was much appreciated.

Many of my geofriends are going to GeoWoodstock VIII in Washington state this weekend. I’m staying home to cache locally and finish my 100 day caching streak on July 9. See you on the trail!!

JUNE 16, 2010 – San Francisquito Cyn Rd (Tribute Series)

June 16, 2010

At the SFVgeocachers meet & greet last week Don_J asked if anyone wanted to find the 20-cache Tribute Series by Yosemite John & Debbie. I jumped at the opportunity for a rare visit to the area and to try out my new replacement Oregon 450T. A few days later BWidget (Bill) drove us North on San Francisquito Canyon Road. Traffic was light and the caches were MOSTLY a few steps from roadside parking.

There were other caches in between the tributes. Butterfield Trail (GC1RJQH) was an easy 3 minute walk from this sign.

Lots of unpaved but drivable looking ‘roads,’ some with caches on them, tempted us to make side trips. But we mostly ‘stuck with the plan’ and noted the detours for future exploration. A side trip not taken: We got to within 130’ of a non-tribute cache below and decided to leave the drive-around descent for another day.

The tribute cache for Don was up a brushy hill. Me & Bill didn’t want to walk through the thistles. But Don couldn’t skip a cache hidden in this honor. He found it and held it up. Then he declined an in-person tribute from a 4’ rattlesnake and hurried down.

We didn’t do any bushwhacking below. The cache was reachable from the dirt road, only 20’ from parking.

Previous finder Bill stayed behind while me & Don hiked uphill to find Bouquet Side Staging (GCZXBF). Only 10’ from the cache there was a big open cardboard box neatly filled with clothes and personal belongings next to a makeshift bed. The resident wasn’t home. About 100’ farther, at the top, there was a nice view of Bouquet Reservoir. It’s another one that’s fenced off and closed to the public.

At the caches close to the reservoir we were swarmed by big black biting flies. They kept us alert. We rushed to make the finds, signed quickly and ran back to the vehicle. At each cache a few flies followed us inside. They seemed to realize their mistake right away and switched from biting us to trying to escape. A quick roll down of the windows and they were gone. After 6 hours, we were almost done. One of our last caches was near a scenic tower.

We ended the day with 36 caches (for me) and a late lunch at In-N-Out. I forgot that there was a, now squashed and semi-liquified, Milky Way bar in my pack.

At home, an hour in the freezer made it edible again.