Ok, I finally got my computer up and running. I had not been able to upload any pictures and the internet was very slow. I figured I would just wipe the hard drive (Sounds like what you do in the bathroom at a Star Trek convention!) and start with a new computer. It takes over 2 hours to format the drive and re install windows. Not to mention the hours updating Windows and Norton and the rest. Well, that didn't work so I did it again. After the second attempt, I was able to upload photos but it was still slow going. Then, I noticed a little green thing at the bottom of my browser window that looked like a gauge going up and down. It was a Phishing Filter "scanning" the web site I was trying to look at. I turned that stupid thing off and BOOM, I can surf the web with impunity.
On 12/26/2007 we took a drive over to Simpson Park in nearby Hemet. There are about 12 geocaches in the park. It was a nice drive through some really neat hillside neighborhoods up into the park. We parked at the first of 3 parking areas. There are restrooms and a covered picnic area here. Unfortunately, we did not have a trail map so we headed down a trail that seemed to lead in the direction we needed to go to reach Rocky 1. The trail took us down into the canyon which was a bit steep and made it a little tough for the kids. Julie had to carry 35 pound Raegan for a while. Brody and I headed off the trail towards the cache and then it got even more tough and I had to finish the trek on my own. You can see how far I climbed in this picture looking back down at Julie on the trail. And you know I made the find. TNLNSL.
We went on to log three more finds. One of these was a Letter box hybrid. To find this cache, you are not given the GPS location of the hide. Instead, you are given a location to park, and in this case a couple of pictures to help you find the cache. I found this one while the rest of the team was taking a break in the car. When I opened the ammo can, I found some nasty notes written by the self proclaimed "cool kids". They must have found the cache while out partying in the rocks and decided to mess with it. At least they didn't destroy it. There was a travel bug listed in the inventory that was not in the can. Oh well. I removed the notes and notified the owner of the cache.
Yesterday, we went out on some nearby caches. I won't go into a bunch of detail on those but one of them was great. I was looking in a park not to far from the house. The GPS kept taking me past a big sign explaining the nearby Vernal Pool and into a flower garden surrounding the sign. I kept thinking the GPS was off. I would walk 30 feet away and walk back. Same thing, I'm in the middle of a small flower bed. Well, there were no micro's stuck to the sign so I start looking through the flowers and looking to the sky for a cloud to justify my GPS being off. This was our last cache of the day and it was getting cold fast. Julie and the kids were walking over to grab me by the ear and drag me home. I'm just staring into this flower bed thinking "where the heck is this thing?" Just then, I notice that one pop up sprinkler head for the underground sprinkler system is green and the rest are black. I'm thinking "No way" as I reach down to check it out. When I pull on the sprinkler head, it comes out of the ground easily and I have found my cache. Ha! I am a genius! I am the king of caches! I came to this park and I have been victorious! The sprinkler head screws off of a tube to reveal the logbook. (Which had been signed by plenty of other geniuses before me.) This was not part of the sprinkler system, just a sprinkler tube shoved into to ground to hide a cache. What a way to end a day of caching! That's the one that keeps you coming back for more.
I have created a couple of travel bugs to set off on a mission. They are Brody's Big Bad Wolf and Raegan's Red Riding Hood. We will look to drop them off during one of our trips very soon. As they move around the world, we will be showing the kids where they are and use it as way to learn about geography.
I got my mapping software for the GPS and now it is twice as fun to play with. Need a nearby bank, or Kinko's, or bail bondsman? I can find the address, phone number and driving directions no problem. That Cleveland National Forrest caching trip is getting very close...........................................