OCTOBER 20, 2012 – Jack’s Peak Regional Park – (Monterey, CA)

On the first full day of my geocaching vacation to Monterey, I drove 7 minutes from my Cannery Row hotel to Jack’s Peak Regional Park. It’s only 2 miles inland from the beach but a completely different world.

It’s a full blown hilltop forest with facilities and 8 miles of hiking trails. There were no other cars in the 3 parking lots and I didn’t see another person during my 6 hour stay.

Maybe the rules keep people away. And apparently, geocaching isn’t considered a sport.

Except for a downed tree here and there, the trails were well maintained.

This was GZ for a ‘small.’ The dried out wood produced a cloud of dust every time I poked it with my hiking stick. I was worried about inhaling it. What if it contained mold, mushroom spores and/or rodent droppings? So I didn’t search for too long and moved on with a DNF.

Except for these berries, found in shady areas, there was very little color in the forest. Maybe it’s different during other times of the year.

The temperature never broke 70 degrees but it was very still and humid. The trees blocked most of the sun and kept me from overheating.

I didn’t find a single ammo can cache. The biggest caches were lock & locks and nut jars. Many hadn’t been found for months and were under ground cover.

A rare open spot gave me a clear view over the tops of the trees on the next hill.

Contrary to popular belief, this was not my lunch. It was a cache I found! The rolls are 35mm film containers.

I found 11 caches, DNF’d 3 and didn’t find the trails to a few others. Together with my finds from 2008, that leaves 10 more caches to find. On my drive out I stopped at the official viewpoint and looked back toward Monterey Bay.

After almost being run over a few times by crazed mountain bikers in recent weeks, the quiet empty trails here were a welcome relief.

Odds & Ends:
– now (mid-OCT) the park hours are 10am-6pm
– parking is $4. during the week and $5. on weekends & holidays

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