Sunday, August 31, 2008

Finally we go again! A new hide and a death hike

Hello took me geocaching yesterday! Yay! I had started threatening to go without her, and I knew she wouldn't stand for that. So off we went.

Hello had a cache in the car ready to hide, and an idea where to put it, so that's what we did first. It was a funny bushy parking lot, sort of odd and all alone. We looked over all of it. One corner kind of stunk, another was full of thorny blackberry bushes, a dog turd guarded a likely spot. At least I hope it was a dog turd. That was the best spot, though, so the turd wary will just have to deal with it.

We went to a historical part of the big park-like cemetary to grab a cache. We had explored this part before without coordinates, just because we were already there. Hiding a cache. Poor little cache. Anyway, Hello found it pretty fast and then we went to lunch.

I'm not real adventurous about food. I'll try almost anything once, though, and we decided on dim sum. I was warned that I might be offered a chicken foot, but that I didn't have to take it. You know, if I were really hungry, and that's what I had, I would eat the chicken foot. But the truth is I've got a few extra meals stored around my middle and I can get along really well without it. Chicken feet are totally unnecessary, and I can't tell you how grateful I am for that. The GPS says the nearest dim sum place is 40 miles away. Awwwwwwwwwwww. We went to The Elephant Bar instead and had an awesome lunch. Later we were caching in the downtown area. We had to give up on one after the other because of events at the college and an art show and $20 parking fees. Kind of frustrating. Then we spotted a dim sum place. Awwwwwwwwwwwww. Too late, we're already full of sweet and sour and teriyaki chicken. Maybe next time.

The next few caches we found, no problemo. We started beating each other up a little bit though. I accidentaly got Hello with a stick, she accidentally got me with another, a bush took a bite out of her foot. I dropped a cache in between a chain link fence and a wooden fence. Things weren't going so well. I was wondering to myself if I could get over the chain link fence and stuff myself down there to retrieve the cache. Hello took the more sensible approach and was able to bring it up by reaching her fingers through the links. She's so clever. We parked near a very pretty small residential park and were accosted by a bossy smart mouthed teen holding an ugly little dog. I had just opened the door when she stalked up and informed us that we were not allowed to park there. It's their house and that's where her mother parks. I informed her that we were not on private property, she does not own the street in front of her house. I didn't get hot, but she had a snotty little attitude and I had a few extra hormones I had to hold on to, so I stopped after making my point. I was sorely tempted to tell her to call the cops to complain if she didn't like it and let them tell her a few things. After she finished and stalked off we just sat there wondering how long we should let her stew. I left the door sitting open. Nope, not moving. HA! Take that, snottty little shit. Hello had a few extra cranky hormones, too, so we sat there and let her fuss and fume a bit before moving to a better, closer spot a short ways up. I didn't want to move, but I didn't want the car to get damaged while we were searching out the cache. So we found a pretty pregnant momma cat and the cache, then we got our first little bit of nature.

The next cache was hidden above a little creek. We could hear it gurgling below the bush and tree we were searching. We could see little shadowy fishes and I was thinking about going down there, but it was a sheer drop of something like 20 feet and I had a cache to find. So I stayed put and looked for the stupid nut jar, for about three minutes, then I wandered off to look for a way down to the creek. I can't help it. I was surveying the only likely spot, wondering if it was too steep and too loose to risk a broken arm when Hello came to find me. She decided it was okay and went off down to the creek. I love Hello LOL. So I followed her down and looked all around while she cooled her tootsies in the creek and pointed things out to me. There were many little fishies, a cat in a tree, a rooster was crowing somewhere nearby (keep an eye on your feet dude!), cute little pot plants, old gross socks, a perfectly good garden hose nozzle. Some day I'll remember a trash bag and take the garbage out with me. We didn't get the cache, we wanted the creek more I guess. It was a cute one.

We cached in front of geocacher's houses a bit. I think we've visited three or four of our compatriots. It still creeps me out to poke around in someone's yard, though. It's probably the only type of cache where I truly remember to be stealthy. We had a couple of other things to do, like finding some place to pee and getting into the Hallmark store before closing. So we took care of that and then it was six o'clock. We figured we had at least two hours of daylight left and headed off to see how many more caches we could pack in. Just one, it turned out, as it turned out to be the death hike. Don't get me wrong, I like the caches planted along a game trail on a high hill. I really do, for the sights and the exercise (I'm a little bit stiff today), and we always end up on a least one of these heart pounders. So, we got our death hike at the end of the day. On our way up we saw an old quicksilver mine, two bunnies, some joggers, a bear cave, sweated a lot, appreciated a stray seabreeze that managed to get over the coastal hills, wondered if we would ever remember to carry some water on a death hike. We got to the cache just as the sun went down. After walking about 100 yards way off trail and through a field of big rocks. Rocks that have been soaking up sunlight all day long. You know who likes warm rocks? Cold snakes. I reminded Hello to watch for snakes. We sat to paw through the ammo can (our favorite!), enjoyed the view as long as we dared and then started down while the sky still held some light. There were a few more joggers in the area so I was convinced we had enough light to get back down. Losing light. Is that a snake or a stick? The bear cave is coming up. Losing light. I've got a flashlight. Should we peek in that cave? Um, no. Hello says, if a bear eats her, I should go ahead and run away. Um, no. Did you know we have a serial killer on the loose? WHAT! Well, I don't know where he is but I saw a link this morning that says there is a serial killer in California. Losing light. Crickets singing from every leaf and golden blade of grass. The killer probably isn't up here, but I didn't open the link so I don't know that for sure. How can you not open a serial killer link? I was late for geocaching!

We're half way down and the light is pretty much gone. The sky is a really pretty deep and dark purple and the trail is still visible under it, so I don't bother with the flashlight. I don't want to draw the attention of a ranger who might give me hell for being in the park past sunset. Nor serial killers. Nor mountain lions or bears. It was completely fully inky dark before we got all the way down, and as we were coming down, a young guy was pushing his bicycle up. I thought, what a dork. If his car is on the other side, he should ride around the mountain, not over, in the dark, where there are animals that would like to eat him. Hello says, watch out now. He'll be coming back down really fast. He did. He was just playing, racing down mountain trails in the dark where he knows people are walking. What a dork. We survived the rest of the walk and we were completely used up and pretty dirty. That's how I know I had a good geocaching day, by the amount of dirt I wash off. Frankly, I was kind of dirty before lunch. Hello had to pull some leaves off me before we went in the restaurant, so it was a great geocaching day and our hide was approved and published. A couple of people ran off this morning to try to be the first. One of them was a little concerned about the turd, but went for it anyway. Because geocaching is awesome!

1 comment:

P.J. said...

OK, first... I really like the way you blog!

Second, cool deal on the cache, placing it and having a built-in land mind. Is the difficulty level up?

Finally, I know that odd feeling of coming off a mountain in the dark. Wondering if you can even figure out where the heck you are supposed to be. Argh! Good story!

A 'lil HooHaa