Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hunting buddies

Well let's see. What did we do first?
I know I am going to screw up the order, so please feel free to set it straight Ms Hello.
I think it was old Calaveras Road, because I was pretty sure where we were going, but didn't end up there. Now I know how Hello feels, lol. We've mostly been hunting in her area and we'd get there and she'd say, this isn't where I thought we were going lol.
We drove around a bit for this one as the GPS sent us in a wide looping circle around the site before directing us in. Each with a GPS in hand we tracked it down. Mr. H got a handheld eTrex working and it worked pretty good, too, after I got the hang of it. We would miss the turn by turn driving directions without the other, but for the search site itself it was very good. And we found it! Yay us!
Let's go get another!Then I think we went to the park with the tennis balls. It's sort of a long park, with tennis courts on one end and grass and a jogging trail on the other. We were at the grassy end, but there were plenty of tennis balls about anyway. I expected trouble with muggles in this one as the park is usually packed with soccer and football players, but very few folks were around. And we found it! Yay us!
Let's go get another!The next was in a smaller park, with some little kids playing right near the search site. I meant to be stealthy, but it wasn't long before I was on my hands and knees pushing leaves around and poking into tree roots. Not suspicious at all, not me LOL. Anyway, we got it! Yay us!
The next was in juniper bushes. Actually, it was in one juniper all by it's lonesome. We had already searched the sticky pokey clumps of juniper a bit and decided we hate junipers. I was trying to read the cache log again for a clue and my fingers were sticking together and to the paper. Sticky junipers. Anyway, the name of the cache? Uno Juniper. And where did we find it? In the lone juniper. Yay us!
We go back to the car and break out the hand wipes and plot our next victim.This one, okay. I may have mentioned this housing community that I am sure is full of zombies because it was built over an old paint factory, there is a high wall all around it, and only one way in. There is one other entrance, a huge metal gate in the wall, for the fire department's use. This gate is where we were headed. After some looking around we found the hide on the side of the gate in a magnetized container behind some funny clinging plants. Woo hoo! We're awesome!
I'm not sure if we had lunch now or hunted one more. If we ate, it was Taco Bell. It's comical when we see that we are both slightly nuts in similar yet different ways, which is of course so much fun if you like to laugh at yourself. Hello lays out all her sauce packets side by side, those that carry the funniest sayings of course, and I lay out my burrito and break out the spork. If I were at home I'd be using a knife and fork. I know. So we had our Taco Bell our way, with a very tasty apple thing for dessert.
So next, or before that, or later, I don't even know, we went to a water station to notch our next victory. We walked around quite a bit on this one, trying to get in the right spot. None of the usual suspects were right. The trees, the bushes, the large power boxes.....we'd been from one end of the lot to another and, it seemed right, but it wasn't, so we were leaving the lot to try and find one workable coordinate next door when Hello suddenly spotted it. Sitting all alone and in plain site, a water sprinkler with nothing but concrete to sprinkle lol. That was a new container siting for us. Woo hoo!
The next was in a business park next to the railroad tracks. We didn't have to hunt much for this one. I tugged on a strange little post to see if he was hiding something underneath and he was! Somehow this one got water in it. The log book was soaked, but still usable, so I recorded our names, put it back, and off we went.
I believe this was when we got cocky enough to head into the hilly county park. There are some serious hiking trails, but also some nice walking trails, and there were two caches along one of the trails. I hoped it was one of the nice soft lake trails. We, uh, ended up in the friggin' outback. By accident of course. We could see the trail entrance on the right side of the road, so we parked and walked back to the entrance. Along the roadside. Cars whizzing by. Guess what was right beside the trail entrance? A GD parking lot. LOL So we enter the trail, and we've got two choices. A trail to the left and a trail to the right. We are at the junction of two different trails. A woman on a horse was guarding the trail on the right. I guess. Who knows what they were doing. Just standing there being weird. So we went left. We went as maybe as 100 feet, not having any success in picking up a coordinate. It's further along one of these trails. This one or that one?
While we are standing there considering, the woman on the horse comes walking by. "I guess she thinks you need some help", says the woman as they pass by. She attempts to converse with us but the horse has no interest and soon she's out of sight. Before we go any further up a trail following an animal who craps every three minutes, we decide to try our luck on the front part of the other trail.
Nothing. We aren't even close to either coordinate.
We'll walk down the trail a bit. It's rustic but not much work. Pausing every minute or so to check the GPS and hope for something encouraging, we pass a snake's skin lying on the trail. Hello: do you know what a rattlesnake sounds like? Yep, I answer, wondering if the maniacal running screaming from a snake was at hand. This would be a good spot for a serial killer to live, she remarks. Buzzards and vultures and hawks are stalking us. Horse poop everywhere. Now we've got imaginary murderers and rattle snakes to worry about, too. The trail starts uphill. I am fairly sure we have no further to go to get to the car than we've already been, so there's no point to turning back unless the trail is impassable. It's severely rutted but okay for walking, so we haul our asses up a steep climb and when we finally get to the top, my heart is trying to bang straight through my chest and I am so out of breath and I can feel my face flaming.
If we had proper caching packs, we'd have had water with us. We didn't have a frickin' thing. One day we'll get set up right.
The walk is easier now that we've got to the top and I am breathing slow and deep, trying to get back to where I can speak without huffing and puffing. There is a man ahead of us on the trail. He stops to inspect little houses along a fence just off the trail. A cacher! Let's follow him! He inspects every little birdhouse looking thing, and when he's left we check it out. I can find no way to open this box, but up the trail we can see him and it sure looks like he is opening these little houses. I have no idea what he was doing. We come down the trail into the small lake area where we left the car. Guess what's directly on the left? The other trail. The one we left to try the demon trail instead. What must be a shorter and easier walk, a shortcut, if you will, to the loopy piece of shit that we just finished. The caches have to be along this trail, but neither of us have the heart for it right now. We walk into the lake area, take a look at what's going on, take a look at the lake. Hello points out a swirly spot where she says a big fish is. I watch the swirly spot and pretty soon I do see a big fish! Kind of light colored with brown spots in very shallow water. Maybe a catfish?So we get to the car. Admonish ourselves for heading down the trail with no water, even though we had no intention of taking a hike like that, but refuse to call it a failure. It was the horse's fault. We'll take the right trail and outfit for it next time. This is a hold, not a giving up.
We picked up about six more caches after this. One was hanging in a tree, one was in a field under a rusty piece of sheetmetal (must get a tetanus shot), under a bridge, under a giant fake rock.....we got them all.

And here is my take on the "hike"
Welcome to our nightmare cache. This was one of those hunts where everything went wrong. Where you curse the hider while you are hunting but forgive them after you FINALLY reach the car and give yourself a chance to laugh!We didn't see the parking lot at the trail head. Totally missed it. We ended up parking at the park .3 miles up the road and walking down the road to the trail head. That was our first mistake. Cars wizzing by. Ugh. Then we started up the trail and for the life of us couldn't find the coordinates. Of course we were totally distracted by this woman on a horse who kept walking it by us telling us the horse thought we needed help..What? Weird? Finally we figured maybe just maybe we were on the wrong trail since it had split earlier. Off we went around the mountain. Mistake #2 We started walking... and walking... and walking. Then we were walking up a mountain. And UP a mountain. Of course we didn't bring anything with us even though we had promised ourselves we would be bringing water and such. Mistake #3. After some pretty hard core up hill hiking in what we hoped was the direction of the car I turned to Saz and said this is where people make their fatal mistakes right. Then a giant vulchure flew over our heads and we laughed. Then it flew over again and again. I told it that we were not dying even if we looked like it. By this point we were so darn far from the caches on this trail we put the gps away and prayed for the car. We kept going in the same direction and finally emerged at the total back area of the park we had parked in. We were so darn happy. We walked around the lake. Looked at some fish and finally made it back to the car. At this point we pretty much hated the hider lol. Once we got back into the car and got something to drink (almost a hour and a half later) we laughed and decided today was not the day for going back up the other side of the trail. We WILL be back for these two caches... after a while.. Oh and we don't hate you anymore LMAO!!!

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