OCTOBER 18, 2015 – SFB Morse Botanic Reserve, (Pebble Beach, CA)

Another area with a cluster of hiking caches is SFB Morse Botanical Reserve. It’s only 5 minutes away from Cannery Row. It seems to be part of the Del Monte Forest, mostly (but not all) in Pebble Beach. I drove around winding surrounding streets and encountered multiple guard shack payment stations. It would’ve sucked to pay for entry and find out that the caches were far away from parking. Eventually I found street side free parking and a public trailhead at N36°35.632 W121°55.286.
101415_01_trailhead
The hike started on deteriorating pavement.
101415_02_road
Then my GPSr arrow soon pointed to side trails. Lots of old downed trees were evidence that the weather can be extreme. The tree below looked like it’d been twisted apart.
101415_03_twisted
Even though the road was never more than a ½ mile away, at times there were no human sights or sounds.
101415_04_trail
Occasional clearings were convenient places to sit and enjoy the solitude.
101415_05_rest
The humidity was uncomfortably high and a brief thunderstorm made it worse. As a botanic reserve there were undoubtedly many unusual plant species thriving on the moisture. With no knowledge of botany I only recognized the plentiful ferns.
101415_06_fern
I can’t spot special plants but I saw this well placed cache below.
101415_07_suspicious
Thankfully no caches were hidden in pine cones.
101415_08_pineconesIn 3 hours I hiked 5.3 miles, found 5 caches, DNF’d 1 and didn’t reach 2. Due to the rain I didn’t look for a trailhead into the Northern part of the reserve that contains another cache cluster. Instead I drove back to Cannery Row and reset for bike caching, only to find 2 flat tires (they were fine at the bike shop 4 days prior) and my fully charged portable compressor completely dead. To save the remainder of the day I walked 3 blocks to the neighboring town of Pacific Grove and found a few coastal caches skipped on prior visits. PG Beauty (GC4XM0X) was 70’ from the posted coordinates, only found using alternate coordinates posted by a prior finder. It’s an all too common occurrence, one of the main reasons why urban caching is so much more frustrating than it used to be. The hider? Zero finds, 1 hide.
101415_09_PG
By now it was late afternoon and the fog rolled in. I turned inland for a cache and then an early dinner. The hike was 1.9 miles with 4 caches found and no DNFs.

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