Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rainy Days in SoCal (From 1/5/08)

We are getting some much needed rain this weekend. There are 3 back to back storms rolling through that are supposed to drop the most rain we've had since 2005. Some areas are expecting up to 7 inches (insert pee pee joke here) and the Sierra Mountains could get as much as 10 feet of snow. (I'll bet you think I'd like to make a camping/geocaching trip into these mountains..............You're right!)

So, I have resorted to blogging about the weather. That's just great. How about we talk about our geocaching trip up to the Cleveland National Forest, you ask? Very well then.

On New Years Eve, we did some fun caching. I had put this trip off until I could get the mapping software for my GPSr. I didn't really know how to get there so the turn by turn directions would be nice. The trip took us out the back side of Murrieta and along a dirt road. There were some beautiful ranch houses out here. We turned off of that dirt road onto a smaller dirt road which led up the mountain. As we progressed, the road got steeper, narrower, and more washed out. We put the two wheel drive to the test. The road was only wide enough for one vehicle. It had a nasty drop off on one side and a cliff wall on the other. It was very curvy and bumpy. There was no turning around; so, as I carefully navigated the road, Julie practiced deep breathing techniques in the passenger seat.

We finally made it to one of the "truck trails" that are the main transportation lanes through the wilderness. We happened to be on South Main Divide Road, (Formerly Killen Truck Trail) This was a good thing because this is where I had planned on being! We were able to relax and do some caching. This national forest is littered with geocaches. They are fun because you park along the road, head off down one of the many trail heads and grab your caches. To park, you have to display an adventure pass on your vehicle. I picked up a one day pass at Sport Chalet for $5.00. A season pass is available for $30.00.

Brody made some finds on a couple of micro caches. One was an altoids container stuck on the inside of a metal fence post with a magnet. The kids made their usual trades of toys and I did my usual walking in circles.

On my third or fourth cache, my GPSr started to act funky on me. The "go to" arrow that guides you to the destination would not point forward. I felt like Jack Sparrow carrying a compass that does not point North. I walked around in circles for two caches before I remembered to calibrate the compass and fix the problem.

I had 20 caches planned out, but the compass problem killed a bit of time and the kids were getting ready to go home. The Santa Ana winds were beginning to pick up so we ate lunch at a park surrounded by large pine trees to escape the wind. I dropped our Motogrrl Memorial Geocoin at a nearby cache called "Penny Pines Plantation" (The coin is still there)

We headed home via the Ortega highway, State route 74. This is a windy two lane highway that took us down the mountain and into nearby Lake Ellsinore. The views from the 74 are amazing. We will take the Ortega to the National Forest next time and avoid the nail biter we traversed earlier.

We ended the day with 7 finds, one DNF, spotted one travel bug and dropped one coin of our own. We also had our typical Rogers Family adventure craziness in the form of a "think you are going to die" trip up the mountain.

Brody and I have also placed two caches of our own on a nearby hill. We placed, "A Sea of Houses" and "Those Rocky Pictures". The first is an Ammo can that I painted to look like a rock and the second is a 35mm film container painted the same way. Unfortunately, none of the rocks on this hill look like the rocks I tried to make my caches look like. That's OK the weather will add "natural" camouflage. We dropped our first two travel bugs in the ammo can. Both caches were discovered this morning and the FTF cachers moved one of the TB's for us.

Once again and as usual, it has been great to be out with the family. Geocaching has already taken us to so many cool places that we didn't know of or wouldn't have gone otherwise. It is great fun for us and I highly recommend giving it a try.

I have pictures in my photo album regarding these last two adventures. Enjoy.................Bain sult as!

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