MAY 26, 2014 – San Diego

May 26, 2014

I was close to maxing out my vacation days. Where to go? Another session of desert caching wasn’t appealing, especially with the possibility of inferno heat and high winds. Monterey was fully booked. My old standby, San Diego, was it.

Immediately I drove around Fiesta Island, stopped and found all of the new (to me) caches.
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Afterward I left my Forester in the dirt lot at the island’s entrance, next to Ring My Bell…Fiesta Island Fun (GC4TE3C) and walked along Mission Bay. I did a quick orbit of a camo’d outhouse. The ick factor kept me from searching in, on or under it for the cache. At least the terrain nearby was scenic.
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The next morning I drove around the Southern end of San Diego Bay, through Imperial Beach to Coronado. It was my first time in the area. Coronado “Island” looked just like Pacific Palisades. Starting from a small free parking lot at Bayshore Bikeway (GC1R5AP) I walked South. Less than 0.2 miles later a 1.2 mile long nature walk began, parallel to the bike path.
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There were no weekday muggles on the path. Caches were strategically located at resting points. All of them were large enough for swag!
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Occasionally, there were interesting, educational rocks.
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I kept caching South beyond the end of the walkway, back along the bike path. At 2.5 miles, I turned around and hiked back to the parking lot. There was plenty of remaining daylight and l ended up driving alongside a wildlife preserve and 4 easy caches. Here’s the view into Mexico from Extended View x2 (GCTP7H). The border fence is the dark line across the middle of the picture.
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The following day I was too sore for intense hiking. I stayed close to the hotel and visited Shelter Island.
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Pelicans were perched on it.
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And this reptilian looking bird was on a piling underneath.
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Then I drove up Point Loma to the Cabrillo National Monument. I paid the $5. parking fee, walked around and found 2 virtual caches – of which this is NOT one.
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The few muggles were all at the visitor’s center staring at Coronado Island and downtown San Diego. I walked uphill to the lighthouse and looked out at the open ocean. Down below I noticed my ideal house-compound. The road to the tide pools passed by it. Signs indicated a Coast Guard facility.
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After finding only 41 caches in 2-1/2 days I was more stressed out than ever. So that night I checked out and returned home.

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MAY 6, 2014 – PMSP, Chumash Trail to La Jolla Valley

May 6, 2014

Driving by the dirt parking lot at the bottom of the Chumash Trail always brought back memories of slipping and sliding down from the top in 2008. I never considered going UP the super steep 7,000 year old trail until I saw that it was the shortest way, by far, to reach a string of caches in La Jolla Valley. So up I went, slowly, stopping to sit on several very conveniently placed flat rocks.
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The early morning haze and cool breeze made the 40 minute climb to the ‘saddle’ bearable. Here’s the view from there looking into the valley.
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This is the view looking backward from the same spot, which is also where the Chumash Trail turns into the Mugu Peak Trail. All of the many muggles turned East toward Mugu Peak.
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I hiked West on a barely visible use trail to find 3 caches ending at (GC1JGGP) High Above the See Bees hidden by BWidget. The mostly flat walk here was a relief. Lines of arranged rocks, often breaking off into adjoining squares led me to think that the area was once a very scenic campsite, maybe for the Boy Scouts who still frequent the park.
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The haze began to clear, leaving a great view of the Mugu wetlands and Naval Base Ventura County.
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I went back to the saddle and continued into the valley which was bright yellow with mustard plants. I turned right at the loop trail for 4 caches.
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The ground was covered by shell fragments. There were scallops, mussels and 2 types of clams. All of them are very edible species. I’d like to imagine that the Chumash carried them live, over the same trail I took, cooked them and threw out the shells. And speaking of food, I’ve decided to research wild mustard seed harvesting and DIY mustard making.
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There were 3 easy finds and then my lone DNF of the day, (GC470VE) A Sticky One. I retraced my steps to the trail junction and turned North for 5 more caches. I didn’t encounter another person during my entire time in the valley. But now I see that other cachers visited the next cache beyond GZ for this picture of Tri-Peaks/Boney Mountain.
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I found 12 of the 13 caches visited and reversed course. Walking back, 2 turkey vultures buzzed just overhead and I almost inhaled a butterfly. At least there was a great view of the Laguna Peak Radar Station.
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At home I saw that I’d missed the parking lot cache. dOH!!