Sunday, January 13, 2008

Geocaching With the Family (from 12/22/07)

Today we went on our first geocaching trip, used our new GPSr for the first time and our first cache was our first DNF (did not find)

I got the GPSr on Thrsday. It is a Garmin Etrex Vista HCX. It is a really nice middle price range mapping GPSr. I loaded a bunch of caches into it and mapped out a route along which we could find up to 14 caches.

It was really cold overnight but by 9:00 am it was in the 50's and perfect for an adventure. Because we have not bought the "City Navigator" map software yet, I had to print out the maps from Google. We were headed out Rawson Road which is a dirt road bordered by several large ranches on one side and a county ecological reserve on the other. It was really beautiful and we were again surprised that we were so close to so much undeveloped land.

Our first attempt was at Rawson Road 1 I wish I would have read the spoilers before I left because my new unit took me 400 feet off the road into the chaparral where I found nothing. I personally think the coordinates are off for that listing. If you read the posts, a lot of people had the same problem as me. I had wandered off over a hill by myself and the rest of the family was waiting in the car, so I headed back. I don't know why but I had this feeling like I shouldn't be there. It was perfectly fine to be there but I couldn't shake the feeling anyway.

We headed further down the road to Rawson Road 2. This time there was a little more room to park and I wasn't worried about blocking the entire road. I followed the electronic compass until it said I was there and found it immediately. It was a cool container, a piece of PVC with a screw off lid called a clean out. It was green and hiding under a thick chaparral. I let Brody "find" it. The kids each grabbed a toy, Brody got a plastic harmonica and Raegan got a plastic guy on a skateboard. We left a clip on digital watch as a trade. We signed the log and moved on to...

Rawson Road 3.

This was pretty much the same thing. I made the grab just off the road and brought the container over to the car for everyone to see. Wouldn't you know it as I was putting the log back into the container, here comes someone driving up the road. I HAVE TO PUT THE CACHE BACK BEFORE WE LEAVE!!! I hop in the car and pull to the edge of the road. Muggle the farmer stops to say hi and I do a good job of convincing him we are just exploring Rawson Road. He said he had just recently grated the road himself. I complimented him on his fine work and he moved on. I got the cache back to it's spot and we were off to go find..

Dinosaur Dung.

This was a micro hidden in a bunch of rocks that looked like, well, dinosaur dung. I found the micro in a crack in the rock but it had slid deep inside and I could not get it out. Brody used his small fingers to push it in farther and Julie finally got it out using persistence, determination and a stick. Julie signed the log and Brody posed for a picture with the find. Next stop...

Diamond Valley View

This was a very bumpy ride, but the view was worth it. With Mount San Jacinto to the East and the dam to the North we could only say wow. There were squatters (or campers) down below us and the compass was pointing directly at a 15 foot wall of dirt. I found a way up and made it to GZ (ground zero) I was standing in the middle of a bunch of bushes. I saw a cluster of large rocks about 20 feet away. I knew that had to be it. I walked to the rocks and found the container under the biggest one. I signed the log and put it back. Then I slid/fell down the hill back to the car.

We started towards another one but the road we needed to take was marked no trespassing so we decided better against that.

The kids were starting to get restless so we decided to save the other 9 attempts along De Portala road for another day. The rough roads made it slow going. I am going to look for a string of caches along some trails we can hike. Getting in and out of the car is kind of a bummer but is still a blast.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, the best part is spending time out with the family. Our new hobby is going to give us many adventures and take us to really fun and interesting places. CACHE ON!!!!!!

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