NOVEMBER 13, 2011 – TSP: Musch Trail

November 14, 2011

I always have trouble getting motivated to leave the house to hike by myself, especially when it’s overcast. Dangerously close to going back to bed I posted a “who wants to hike?” notice on the SFV Geocachers facebook page. Within minutes EcuaDeb and Gummyfrog responded, “yes!” Ninety minutes later we were at the Trippet Ranch trailhead in Topanga State Park.

Right away we were relieved that there were no puddles and very little mud.

The air was still clear from last week’s rain. Santa Monica Bay and the Palos Verdes Peninsula were unusually clear in the distance.

In the other direction the trail overlooked the site of an ancient Chumash village.

The fire road kept going up.

We saw Eagle Rock, a destination for another day. It was only at home that I saw something strange in the picture.

Just after we turned off of the fire road onto the Musch Trail we heard voices. Looking back there were muggles trying to decide what to do. Funny. I used to own a cache at the base of the smaller sign called, Which Way Do We Go? (GC1DWH9).
Three caches later, Bart logged his 1,600th find. Congratulations!

We reached the completely vacant overnight camp site. It was a great place for a short rest. There are clean modern restrooms there too. And they were open!

With Saddle Peak in the background we hiked the last mile back to the parking lot. I ended the hike with 9 finds, Bart & Deb with 17.

Thanks for coming with me and putting up with my usual complaining about getting old and slow.


NOVEMBER 6, 2011 – Albertson Fire Road, Lang Ranch

November 6, 2011

Sometimes it’s hard to organize a group hike on Different work & family schedules, hiking styles and caching goals can make even securing agreement on the date & start time a drawn out process. So I set a date & time 12 days in advance and didn’t change them. Despite rain the day before and the coldest morning in months, sissopolis, Ecuadeb, deeznutz®, typograff and RocketBrewer all joined me at the Albertson Trailhead (GC1MB86) in Lang Ranch. Coordinates pointed to the white sign behind RocketBrewer. Unfortunately, we didn’t find the cache.

Immediately we saw that there was NO MUD. The previous day’s rain was completely absorbed by the parched ground and there wasn’t even a hint of water on the road. And the road was flat, just like I’d expected.

A short side hike led to a boulder with ancient Chumash acorn grinding holes.

Back on the main road we walked to some big caches. deeznutz® was especially happy to find this ammo can. Ecuadeb & sissopolis left lots of swag.

The closed portion of the road that I thought had been opened was still closed. The detour around that section led ever upward though in the right direction. After the detour we kept going up up up. I swear, it looked flat on the map.

The rain had cleaned up the air and we were rewarded with unexpected vistas. We even saw the ocean.

And Woodranch Reservoir was visible to the Northwest.

There REALLY was NO MUD.

It was a 6.7 mile round trip hike, 3 hours going in, mostly uphill and stopping for caches. Coming back downhill the same way took only 1 hour. Depending on how many of the caches each of us previously found, we ended the day with 8 to 12 caches and 2 DNFs. We skipped a multi and 2 puzzles.

NOVEMBER 1, 2011 – Fiesta Island (San Diego) again

November 1, 2011

Besides desert caching, my other favorite is caching at the beach. When I saw 20 new green boxes on the map of Fiesta Island I was ready to go. On my past visits I’d never seen another SFV cacher’s name on any of the logs. I didn’t want to keep this island a secret so I invited Don_J. Picking off a few caches on the way, 24 hours later we were there.

We saw a small satellite island. I swam to it in 2005 and found a cache there, Whale Poop Isle (GC1AEA). Later an endangered bird laid an egg under the tree and the island was placed off limits. The cache was archived and never replaced.

While the East Coast froze without power under tons of wet snow, in San Diego it was a warm lazy day.

The one-way island-perimeter road was lined with easy park & grabs.

Some caches were a few hundred feet inland. All of those were easy finds that muggles probably won’t notice. I found a $20. bill on the trail to one of them.

Believe it or not, there were people doing things other than caching!

A lot of the caches were bison tubes attached to wieners! I don’t feel guilty about showing the picture because some of the cache pages specifically thank Der Weinerschnitzel for the containers.
The scenery was best at the SE end of the island. We walked for the caches there and met many friendly unleashed dogs. A lot of them were wet from swimming in the bay.

After circumnavigating the island we used the $20. (found earlier) for giant 1 lb burritos at my favorite San Diego Mexican take out. Don ended the day with 32 finds and I had 26. Where to next?