GCMJ28 – An Epic Geocaching Tale

11 03 2011

Eaton Canyon Park. Three geocaches. A beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the mid-70s. An EPIC adventure involving scree slopes, bushwhacking, bloody legs (mine), Pepsi Max, and a well-camouflaged geocache: GCMJ28.

10:40 AM: Arrival at Eaton Canyon Park. I pick up a map at the nature center and take in the beautiful day sitting on the roof of the RV. Though season hasn’t yet started, I slice up some delicious strawberries and get some day hiking gear together. My first aid kit is pretty compact and easily slips in a pocket (it’s all in a zip-lock bag), but I’m on the fence about bringing it. In the end, bringing it was a very good move. A less good move was wearing shorts.

Awesome Strawberries

Awesome Strawberries

The RV Got To Hang Out Here. Nice Digs.

The RV Got To Hang Out Here. Nice Digs.

11:00 AM: I’m out hiking and geocaching. There’s a relatively quick and easy find near the parking lot, but geocache #2 requires wading through some streams. This isn’t a big deal because I have sandals on, and the other side of the stream bed looks like a nice challenge. Getting to the cache location is a good exercise in navigation, as there are many deer trails that seem to be going in the right direction before dead-ending. By this point my legs are starting to get a little scratched up, but my tolerance for sharp things scraping against my legs went up very quickly. (This was pretty interesting to experience, because at the beginning of the brush I flinched each time something sharp poked me.) I end up finding a horse trail that – in a very roundabout way – goes straight to the cache site. I spent about fifteen minutes looking for the cache before giving up. So far I’m one for two. On to the next cache.

Cache #1

Cache #1

11:30 AM: Geocache #3 is the one that ended up being evil. The cache is called “Choose Your Own Adventure”, and the guy who planted the cache wrote that he placed it with his one-year-old daughter on his back, so if your adventure seems precarious it’s time to find another way.

I thought that I had it all figured out. I’d walk up Moist Canyon (not moist at all) and would eventually run into the cache. Not. The walk up Moist Canyon was uneventful. The canyon was essentially a dry stream bed that meandered its way up the mountains. And then I hit the point where the cache was about 150′ to my left. Easy. There were a couple of trails that I first thought were geotrails – trails blazed by geocachers following the same route –  leading to the cache. I took one. The brush kept getting thicker, but I kept getting closer to the cache. The brush became overgrown. Closer. I started to notice some mildly bloody parts of my leg. Getting closer. Getting… more like a steep scree slope? What?

It's Hard To Show Perspective In This Photo, But I Came Up From Down There

It's Hard To Show Perspective In This Photo, But I Came Up From Down There

Some Sample Scrapes (Note The Fly)

Some Sample Scrapes (Note The Fly)

12:00 PM: Then it hit me. The GPS was telling me how far the cache was in horizontal feet, but the slope that I had to climb to get there was steep, so I was close to the cache horizontally but still had a ways to climb. Finally, flat ground. The cache was nearby! I was determined to find the thing and eventually picked it out of the brush, well camouflaged. The area was pretty buggy and I noticed that the flies were attracted to the bloody areas on my legs. Not cool.

I opened the cache and was thrilled to find that someone had left bug repellant in the container. Very, very cool. I spent a little while cleaning myself up with a few alcohol pads and a bunch of  band-aids to keep the flies off of my cuts. A ton of bug spray later and I was on my way back, enjoying the Pepsi Max and strawberries that I had brought for the hunt.

See The Cache In There?

See The Cache In There?

The Cache, Nicely Camoed

The Cache, Nicely Camoed

I'm Happy That I Brought This

I'm Happy That I Brought This

My Log Entry

My Log Entry

Find The RV (Click To Embiggenate)

Find The RV (Click To Embiggenate)

The Solution (Click To Massivefy)

The Solution (Click To Massivefy)

Two for three.

*I’ve been on the lookout for a new pair on sunglasses recently. On the hunt for a cache earlier this week I found a pair on a steep slope near Jones Peak. I’m pretty sure that the person who dropped the sunglasses was too chicken to go down the slope after them. My gain.

posted by yair

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3 responses

11 03 2011
Cyndi

Ha! I love your use of “embiggenate!”

Nothing like a treasure-filled day! thank goodness for bug spray, first aid kits and strawberries!

11 03 2011
Bernie

Great post! Great adventure, wonderfully described. I was there with you all the way. I wonder, in retrospect, whether there was a way for you to figure out the right way up to cache #3 before setting out to find it.

11 03 2011
jayhorowitz

Yes, definitely. I could have looked at Google Earth aerial photos overlaid with topo data. The photos would have showed me trails and the topo data would have showed me stupid trails vs. less-stupid trails.

But if I had done that the post would be boring 🙂

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