29 December 2016

geocaching highway 33

Los Padres National Forest

There was an invite on to go up CA-33 and find the caches for a piece of "geoart" placed between Potrero John and Chorro Grande Trails. These were all set as "mystery" caches, so the locations are not really at the places required by the art, but mostly along the road. Driving along, stopping, jumping out, and finding a geocache does seem to be the most popular way to do this, but definitely not my favorite. This one also has a few walking excursions and should leave enough time to go on a hike it would be fun to do again. I expected one of the excursions was one I had done before and would be nice to wander up again, too. So I joined up.

frosty start
Frosty in the morning shade and snowy in the generally shady as well as high enough up on Reyes Peak.

The first excursion we do is the one I was expecting between Burro and Munson Creeks. It is crisp in the shade and frosted over in the night. It snowed a few days ago and a little of that remains in sheltered spots. The trail in is nice and easy to walk while it is frozen, but once in the sun and thaw, it becomes a particularly soggy mud that longs to make us slip.

wild rose in ice
Ice distracts from the thorns of a wild rose.

stopping in the sun
The others stop in the sun to get a little warmth.

ice on grass
Some ice in the grass that does not have long left.

I am surprised to see a little water in the stream. As we continue up to the little waterfall, I am even more surprised to find a hunter coming down from above. He was after quail, but the ones he flushed out got away.

stream water
It really is a stream.

water over a ledge
Found a bonus little waterfall with a little ice.

shells embedded in rock
Stumbling over a few fossils.

The expected waterfall is really a mossy dribble.

The caches end at the waterfall. I want to go on a little further and check on the pools of gypsum above, but the mud puts an end to that idea. It is too slick for just far enough up the steep hill to prevent climbing. So it is back instead. There are a couple guys setting up to use the guerrilla shooting range at the mouth as we leave.

The next excursion is just a random bit of walking. It gets us out into the ceanothus and a little better look at some of the remaining snow.

shaded snow
A little snow remaining on a north facing slope.

The third excursion is at a surprise location because we only get the coordinates for the last cache by collecting clues from the previous caches, although we have been provided with suggested parking. This one is along a trail past boulders popular with climbers. We just take in the views from the ground.

bear head boulder
A Teddy bear head rock below Pine Mountain. I got out the trackable to give it a photo session.

Sespe River
Letting the bear trackable roam up above the highway, looking down the Sespe River.

Road caching is still not my thing.  The jaunts to the side really do help, though.

©2016 Valerie Norton
Posted 1 January 2017

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