I did a 10-hour, 19-mile journey in Sycamore Canyon and some of the trails leading out of it today on the quest to find all the Backbone Trail caches. Got 16 finds and a couple of DNFs.
I parked on PCH walked through the campground. My first find, A cache for Mrs Richmond’s Class, was at 7:00 AM. I continued through the Canyon, picking up caches without much problem. On the Found List were Crack Up, Time Out Log, Sycamore Rest Stop, and Seek-a-more Canyon Cache. Then it was time to head up the west side of the Canyon to find 180-Degree Canyon View and Between Main Trails. Just as I started up the hill, the sun came over the eastern ridge. Its warmth was welcome because it was pretty cool in the bottom of the canyon. I had to be alert on the trail because I was sharing it was a bunch of mountain bikers. It was interesting how different their reactions to me were. I greeting each one. Most of the time they smiled back and said Good Morning. But there were others who just rode on by without any acknowledgement.
After Between Main Trails, I headed back down the trail. I found She was Wrong! and Two Foxes South, but didn’t have any luck at all with “Bent”, even with some help from Ken (OLdweeb). I looked and looked in all the nooks and crannies, but came up empty. I found Two Foxes Burnout, then it was on to Hideout.
Hideout was the big disappointment of the day. I looked everywhere I could think that a cache might be lurking, but only spooked a few lizards. I decided to take a break and have some lunch. Perhaps my luck would improve. Nope, still couldn’t find it. I figured that I would keep going and give it another try on the way out.
I found Two Foxes North quickly. It just took a little time to extract it from its hiding place. Then, armed with info from Ken, I headed off for Love Shack. He and Marty found it a couple of weeks ago and told me that it was on the ground. I didn’t know that Erik had been by since and that restored the cache to where it should have been. So it took a little longer with the help than without it. Then it was on to Danielson’s and up the eastern ridge.
The trip up the hill took me longer than I wanted to. I’m sure it was a combination of being too out of shape and the remainder of my bad cold last week. I did enjoy the views of Boney. And it was a great day for hiking. I needed 2 caches along this stretch–BACKBONE ON BACKBONE and A Not So Familiar Ring. BACKBONE ON BACKBONE is a fun cache–just about what I was expecting. When I hiked the entire BBT a year ago, I walked by A Not So Familiar Ring and by the time I realized it, I didn’t want to turn around. So today I had to go all the way back for it.
After Familiar Ring, I continued on to the trail junction and realized that I had cell coverage. I made a few calls regarding Hideout. I learned that I was looking in the right location.
Time to go down the hill (actually, there is a little bit of elevation gain) to the bottom of the canyon. I stopped at Not the Backbone, but didn’t do much of a search. I was tired and it appeared I was going to expend more energy than I wanted to, so I just kept on trucking. I walked about 250 feet past Toe Stubber Trail before I realized that I had gone too far, so I turned around and went back for it. I realized that I was quickly running out of gas.
Once I got to the bottom of the canyon, it was time to try Hideout once again. I really worked that log over. I didn’t want to need to come back just on this one cache. I tried everything that I could think of and then a few other tricks. Nothing! I finally gave up and headed for home. I really have my doubts that the cache is there.
Along the 3-mile walk from Hideout to the car, I was feeling that I had really put in a good day’s hike. I checked the GPS and realized that the hike was going to be 19 miles. I don’t think that I’ve walked that far in a long, long time. I also wondered if I had walked all the way to tropical Mexico–I looked up in the nearby tree and saw a flock of yellow and green parrots. An interesting way to end a very nice (but long) hike.