JANUARY 17, 2011 – Lake Casitas (Ojai)

Saturday morning, I lost my keys and couldn’t go to Lake Casitas with my geofriends sissopolis (Christine), Don_J (Don) and deeznutz® (Derrick). A neighbor returned my keys at noon, too late for me to catch up. The 3 had a great time and found a bunch of caches along the lake. Their facebook picture posts made me determined to do the same hike on Sunday. My pocket query was already loaded and my daypack was in the car so all I had to do was get in and drive 1 hour.

There was 1 parking space outside of the gate and I gratefully took advantage of “walk-ins free.”

With a mental image of the google map, I started walking clockwise around the lake. Almost immediately I reached what should’ve been an easy find. But the “structure” was damaged and cache was muggled. Note the missing base of the tube. There was no cache inside.

A few minutes later I passed a bunch of metal boats. I didn’t see any like them on the water.

A very tricky hide at a lamp post Lake Casitas #2 Rachel’s Marina Hide (GC1AHE1) was next. It’s the only one I found that my friends missed the day before. Just beyond that was a fleet of parked pickup trucks.

I continued walking, very glad that the palm trees don’t produce skull crushing coconuts.

Most park visitors seemed to be barbequing at their campsites. The lake itself was very quiet. Signs read, “No body contact with the water. This is a drinking water reservoir.” That’s a big contrast to Pyramid Lake in Castaic which is also for drinking water. There I saw dozens of jet skis, people and dogs swimming and even a floating deer carcass.

The East end of the lake is bordered by a rock dam. I found a rock hide Shoreline Lake Trail #2 (GC1AK7A). Here, despite a sign that read, “No access to shore,” I saw 3 men emerge from the bushes, each holding his own string of 3 large trout.

There’s a small vineyard on the other side of the dam.

After crossing over the dam I met no one else on the trail and found 4 more caches. A boat was just offshore of the 2nd cache. The bikini-clad sunbathers on deck were uncomfortable that I stopped hiking so close to them. They had one of their husbands/boyfriends move the boat down the shoreline to get away from me. Of course they stopped directly in front of the next cache. When I reached that one, even though it was on the inland side of the trail, they moved the boat again…to just below the final cache, where there’s a convenient bench for sightseers (or cachers). Now, seriously annoyed, they took the boat directly South away from shore, and me. Some people need to learn that it’s not all about them. They should’ve waited 2 more minutes because this was my turnaround point.

An hour and a half later I was back at my car. I completed the 7.2 mile hike in 3-1/2 hours. I started my drive home by going to a cache unreachable from inside the park Ground and Chipped (GC26QX0). Someone shot a pig at GZ. Note the small caliber entry wound. I didn’t want to poke around for fear of finding something even more disgusting so I left without seeing the cache. Back at home I read my friends’ logs and learned that they’d found the cache, despite the pig.

A nearby tree was full of turkey vultures. Either they weren’t hungry (seems unlikely) or their reputation as find-all scavengers is undeserved. Why hadn’t they eaten the pig?

I found a few more caches along near-deserted rural roads and ended the day with 22 finds. The gc.com map of the area is full of green boxes so I’m going back soon.


2 Responses to JANUARY 17, 2011 – Lake Casitas (Ojai)

  1. geocass says:

    Yowza, a dead pig! That’s quite sad. We saw a dead horse whilst out caching at the weekend, but that wasn’t shot just mysteriously dead in the middle of a field. Very strange that the vultures hadn’t touched the pig. Maybe they knew something? I must say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a vulture before. I would probably be scared if I did though!!! 😉

    • oldweeb says:

      Vultures have extremely ugly heads and can have 6 foot wingspans. The only time they made me nervous was when a flock of them seemed to be following me overhead on a hike. I wondered if they knew something that I didn’t.

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