One of my hobbies is geocaching. Here is my post for the geocache I found today, titled Great Recreation. Even if you’re not into geocaching, it may be somewhat amusing.
This 2-stage multicache is simple and easy. The first stage is the parking coordinates and the second is the cache location. The offsets from the posted coordinates are given right on the cache page so simple arithmetic or a handheld calculator is all you need to get the final coordinates, which are close to a trailhead. The hide is a nice-size cache in a traditional hide style and the coordinates are right on. It should be a straightforward find. But I managed to turn it into a misadventure of sorts.
I wanted to combine this with my usual Friday run, so I started not at the nearby Mora trailhead, but at the main parking lot off Cristo Rey. It should be about 1.25 mi. each way. I probably looked funny running with a GPSr and a pen, but I look funny anyway, so what the hey. I knew there was a trail connecting the Mora entrance with the Farm, so I ran to the farm and turned on my Garmin. I thought the connector trail was just past the final gate to the farm, but there was no trail there so I kept running up the Rogue Valley trail, certain that there was another trail over to Mora from there. But my Garmin kept telling me the cache was 180 degrees the other way – directly behind me and getting more distant. So after a quarter mile or so I turned around and headed back to the main parking lot. I kept running through the farm looking for the trail, but my GPSr soon told me the cache was 180 degrees back the way I had just come. Frustrating!
So finally, once I got on the other side of the creek separating the farm from the cache, the trail took a bend and the cache was directly to my left. I decided to just bushwhack. I ran up the hill through the foxtails, getting my shoes and socks all stickered up, until I spied some women walking on what must be a trail. I headed their direction and ended up on a beautiful paved road/path that led me directly to the cache. I had no idea where it came from. At the cache site I had to crawl on hands and knees to get the cache, which is not a good idea in running shorts. It’s a nice big cache but has no pen in it, so it was good that I brought one.
I ran back down the road to find that it emerged just before the farm. There was even signage for it, but the problem was the trail at that point led 180 degrees away from the eventual direction of travel and the sign was facing the wrong way! The wrong way for someone coming from the main parking lot, that is. Unless I was running backwards, or looking over my right shoulder every five seconds, there is no way I could have seen it. Even if I had spotted the road/trail, it looked like it was just a driveway up to a ranger’s residence and it was pointed the wrong direction, too.
I probably ran about 50% longer than I had intended, and got chewed up knees and stickers in my shoes, but we all know that pain is pleasure in geocaching. I got my find, and that’s what counts.