Sunday, July 20, 2008

A dirty sweaty day


We haven’t spent a full day caching like this in awhile. At the end of the day, we were as filthy and worn out as we could be, and Hello brought home a nasty hitchhiker. A TICK! Gross! I’ve been told a large tan tick is a wood tick, and they are not dangerous, but the little dark ones are deer ticks and can make you sick. I don’t want to cover myself in poison, but I don’t want a tick either. I’ll have to think about this.

We missed finding two caches pretty early in the day (found some blackberry bushes and a prickly pear cactus instead), so we had a slower than usual start. We’ll go back to those, but we did find one down a path that used to be a railway. I think my favorite part of caching is finding these funny little areas I’ve only driven past without even noticing. We walked down the old rocky railway bed and Hello found the cache. We took two travel bugs and left a travel bug. We like travel bugs. We also found an apple, but no apple tree, so methinks a cacher left this area a little hungrier than he/she entered it.

We got another one at an ancient entrance to the city college. Parts of the college have been updated to look very modern, but this out of the way area made me remember what it was like when I was a kid. A woman wandered by and offered us some religious pamphlets. She was nice and went on her way pretty quickly. Hello found this cache, too, a really clever hide. She knew where to look as soon as we drove up, but patiently worked the numbers until she got there. We got two more travel bugs. Woo hoo!

We had a nice sushi lunch. Er, Hello had a nice sushi lunch, I had a bento box. They had a strange bathroom, a couple of big fake trees filling the little room and a huge wall mirror facing the toilet. I’ve never watched myself pee while nestled among leaves and branches, so that was something.

I was looking forward to one cache that had birdhouses nearby. It was at one end of a really long, long, grassy park. It was a beautiful, completely empty park. We walked along with our GPSes, marveling that no one was in the park when Hello suddenly stopped. “Listen”, she said. I listened. This park was making use of the strip of land beneath power wires. Those wires were humming and buzzzzzzzzzing in a really unnerving way right over our heads. We got the cache and moved along, and completely forgot to look for the birdhouses. The buzzzzzzzzzzzzzing was really creepy. So we ran off to the next one, which was also under the power lines! This was harder to find. We ended up visiting three different parts of this large park, sort of a giant triangle. The GPS was all over the place. I blamed the buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing power lines for my trouble. We found half of the cache container, the other half and the contents had been kidnapped. This was a really clever cache container. Too bad someone ruined it. But we did see a sculpture with creepy eyes and a nice dog park with a very happy dog galloping along, and another dog had stationed himself outside a hole in the ground and was extremely focused on it.

Then we got into some serious offroading along a hiking trail. We were up and down the trail, up the hill on one side of the trail, down the hill on the other side of the trail, looking for game trails in the long dry grass, collecting foxtails in the shoes and sticker balls on the clothes. A tree grabbed Hello by the head and tried to rip her hair off. I was having trouble picking up any coordinate anywhere and was all over with this one. I really like hunting along the hiking trails and big trees and bushes, but this was a toughie, and we were hot, sweaty, and dirty when we finally emerged with swag in hand. Well, we proclaimed, we got our workout. Then we returned to a previous cache that we missed because it had been muggled the first time. We like to go back for the ones we missed for one reason or another, and then we hit the drive through for giant sodas.

We looked for one near the entrance to my favorite creek trail. It was not on the trail, but on the sidewalk outside it along a very busy street. I climbed over the railing to check the wild side of the wall, but it wasn’t there. Stealth was not possible on the street side so we just gave the whole wall a good looking over, found a benchmark, but could not find the cache or a shred of evidence of one. It’s a really good hide or it got muggled, so this will be visited again another time.

Someone forgot to bring the park pass (that would be me, forgot the camera, too) so we parked outside and walked into a lake park full of BBQing families. How can we cache in here? It’s slam full of people! Following the numbers, we enter the park and then walk quite a ways past the lake, then headed up into the hilly walking trails. Ah ha! We were certainly getting our exercise today! Hello’s GPS took her in one direction and mine took me in another. She was up the trail on one side and I was down the trail on the other side when my giant soda insisted on leaving, immediately. So I moved a little further out of sight of the trail and hunkered down to pee in some long dry golden grass. It tickled lol. I heard Hello holler out so I went back her way and we sorted through the nicely hidden cache she found. On the way down the hill I managed to remove a small stick from my underwear without Hello noticing. She managed to find us a short cut back to the car through a hole in the perimeter fence. She’s my hero.

We ended up on one more hilly park walk. It was beautiful, but I was running out of steam, to be perfectly frank, so I didn’t do much offroading, lol. We got the cache, and it was lovely up there. The valleys are full of smoke from all our wildfires so the view was a bit spoiled. I’d like to go back this fall when a little rain will clean the air up. I’m sure it’s stunning, and the walking paths are in excellent shape. For our final hunt we went back to one we missed before near a music store. We still couldn’t find it. The GPS was having more issues with me. Hello was in one area consistently, and I was walking along one side, then it changed and I ended up on the other, then it seemed to want to go in the store, so I circled around to the front of the building and then it was happy, then the numbers changed again and FRACK I don’t know. I went back to where Hello was searching and before much longer we quit on it. It was getting dark, and we were filthy and tired out. So we went home, showed Mr. Hello our new travel bugs and made a plan to move them along.

I think the power lines scrambled the handheld GPS’s brain a bit, so next time it wants me to wander off I’ll just put it in my pocket and stay near Hello instead. Unless I have to pee.

1 comment:

MaryKate said...

thank you for your fun postings! I saw you list them on AK! :) I'll be reading your blog. I'm just getting started with geocaching... not very far into it yet... but I have my GPS... I think I need to find someone who will go with me... then I'd enjoy it more! Glad you are having so much fun!

-Kat (aka Browlie)