Sunday, October 19, 2008

It can be done

Yesterday, my friend 3blackcats and I went hiking near Big Bear, California. We did a loop hike near Moonridge which is close to the Snow Summit Ski resort located in the same general area. The hike was 3+ miles or so. I forgot to zero out my odometer on the GPSr, so I'm estimating. The overall hike was probably longer than that because most of the caches along this loop were several hundred feet off trail. We found 16 caches along this loop plus 8 more alongside the road going to and from this trail. The amazing thing about yesterday was that every single cache wasn't a micro.

We weren't trying to not find micros, but every cache on the loop was labeled either a small or regular sized cache. Granted, since this was out in the forest, one would expect the caches to be on the larger size, but I've been on hikes where you could walk 2 miles just to find a hide-a-key hidden on a tree somewhere. Even the small caches were large on this hike. There were several times we were looking for something small only to laugh when we finally found the "small" cache that was a very large cookie tin, just slightly smaller than a regular ammo can. Our only thought was they just grew caches larger up in the mountains.

Initially, we'd decided to go up to a cache that I'd already found back in July 2001 the year I started caching, just to see if it was still there or at least in the same condition. We found it and 3blackcats signed the third log book. We looked through and found the original logbook from 2001 and found my entry from July 11, 2001, my anniversary. I can remember because when we went up there, I lost track of the time, so I called home to let my wife know we were running late only to get my daughter on the phone. Now this was surprising, since I knew my wife should have been home. Even more surprising was my daughter's response that my wife was out because she was interviewing for a job that afternoon, a job that she still has today. That was an interesting day to say the least. My only regret about retracing my steps on Saturday was that I didn't take a picture of the old log page for posterity.

After getting three caches in that area, well two for me, since I'd already found one of them, we headed over to the loop and walked that, taking a good three hours to traverse the entire loop. The trail had a lot of variety in the types of caches. There were several nice spots for pictures and I didn't have to worry about waiting until I found a good sized cache to place a couple of travel bugs that I had in my possession. Even the larger travel bug would have fit in almost every cache we found. One of the caches also had a White Jeep travel bug. I haven't seen one of those in a couple of years.

Evidently, we were pleased with the size of the caches we found. Even on the ride home, the caches were large. There were several turnouts on the way home, many that had caches hidden near them. The thing that stood out was that the cachers in the area appeared to have taken the time, not to just slap a hide-a-key inside a guardrail at the turnout, but to walk 40 feet away from the turnout so they could hide an ammo can, or a large cookie tin or something of similar size. The quality of the caches we found on Saturday made us start to make plans to come up to the area again. There are many off-roading experiences up in the area that had caches along them. It appeared like we could make several caching runs into the Big Bear area and find a great deal of quality caches. It's something to look forward to in the future.

Pictures were taken at or near the following geocaches:
Hawk Hill - by Badgerdawg
Bristlecone Trail - by Badgerdawg
Rocky Raccoon - by Team Geo-Rangers

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