September 26, 2017

Nine years ago I placed 7 caches on the North/South trail in the area formerly known as Ahmanson Ranch, beginning at the North terminus of Las Virgenes Road. One was archived later because bees made a hive inside the attachment structure. The remaining 6 stayed active for 9 full years with only 1 muggling until I retrieved and archived them this weekend. That’s (6 x 9)= 54 cache years! Why archived? 9 years is a long time and new find logs were increasingly few and far between. And the containers needed to be retrieved while I’m still physically able to hike (slowly) and not left as geo-trash. The 6 mile roundtrip hike started here:

The strong natural sulfur stench just beyond the trailhead triggered memories of crowded past hikes where muggles sometimes turned around and left in disgust. This time the trail was empty except for about a dozen mountain bikers.

It felt great to be outside in less than 3 digit heat. My first stop was at this hollow on the East side of the trail. It’s ground zero for someone else’s cache – that I couldn’t find. Missing?

Continuing North I passed the location of the archived bee-invaded cache. It’s bee-free now and the structure is ready for someone else to attach a magnetized cache container.

Most of the trail was brown. Only a few short sections were green.

I retrieved 2 caches and the 3rd was muggled. The 4th was a still-in-place decon container in the pipe/pillar, lower center below.

On past hikes I’d noticed some rectangular concrete posts scattered along the trail. I finally realized that they’re old hitching posts with their metal rings broken off.

The hike was mostly flat with the only noticeable elevation change about 2-1/2 miles in, approaching cache #5.

After retrieving #5 and #6 I kept walking 0.18 miles beyond to Skippy is a Little Less Lazy (GC75K3H) to find and log it. Then I hiked back on the same trail. At the midpoint I saw a jumbo size coyote walking ahead on the trail. Do I have a picture? Yes, but no one wants to see a blurry coyote butt. A shouting, speeding biker scared it off.

Here are the retrieved & archived cache containers. All are the original ones I placed in 2009. They’re in surprisingly good condition and might have lasted another 9 years.

I plan to retrieve and archive my 26 remaining caches by the end of the year.