AUGUST 9, 2013 – Carpinteria to Ventura

August 9, 2013

The map showed a 16 mile coastal stretch of green boxes from Carpinteria to Ventura. To turn them into smilies Don_J and I started from the North end and worked our way south. The first stop was an 8 cache hike at Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve. Oh My (GC47HPC) was the first and easy find, a few feet from a small free parking lot.
The second cache was a DNF in this eucalyptus grove. It was a needle in haystack situation. After 15 minutes we gave up. Later, I saw a ‘spoiler’ photo on the cache page. But it wouldn’t have helped.
We walked away disappointed, across active railroad tracks to the bluffs.
We saw and heard no seals. According to the signs it was the wrong time of year.
The caches were easy finds. At some places there were no barriers. Muggle families seemed to have no problem with their small kids walking up to the very edge. I stayed well back.
A cache was just 0.19 ahead. But it was across the ‘canyon’ and unreachable by direct hike. It was while trying to drive there when we made our only routing mistake of the day.
We ended up in the wrong free parking lot at Rincon State Park. We started here and walked a mile along the beach only to find our target cache, IN another parking lot.
It was low tide. There were more exposed sea anemones here than I’ve seen in 35 years of beach combing. Don commented on the large numbers of dead crabs and lobsters.
We found ourselves 85’ below Surfers Dolphins Lizards & Squirrels (GCG9YR). Don went straight up while I walked back a quarter mile to a paved walkway. I emerged from behind the sign, into the CORRECT parking lot where we found Rincon Park (GC1V7G2). This super well designed & placed cache got a favorite point from me.
We continued driving south, stopping at caches where parking allowed. At too many of them we found garbage dumped indiscriminately. There’s a cache in the tree below.
There were alternately occupied RVs parked end to end along the beach road and long stretches of “No Parking.” Some caches just weren’t accessible. Our last stop and third hike was at Seaside Wilderness Park in Ventura. Parking was free on our last visit in 2010. Now there’s a booth with a ranger collecting fees. We were only going to be there for 3 caches so we parked on the street and walked in. We crossed under the abandoned looking, but live, railroad tracks twice and found all 3 caches.
I gave a favorite point to Number 5 (GC2380V). It was the first time ever that I gave 2 points on the same day. Beware of poison oak here. There’s lots of it.
I ended the day with 27 finds. Don had a few more.