A year ago this weekend, we drove the Figueroa Mountain Loop and discovered the beautiful wildflower blooms along the road. Click here to see last year’s entry. We decided to go back today and see how the flowers were doing. And they were doing great.
It was a great day for an adventure–plenty of blue skies and sunshine. Our first stop was Old Highway and it was a DNF. Not the best way to start, but we did enjoy this old country road. It is the original highway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. At the next cache, we fared better. Flyin’ High has a great view of the area. You also need to reach high for the cache.
FromGC1MQD2 Flyin' High, looking toward GC1MPDJ Old Highway
The next stop was Nojoqui Falls. It is a very pleasant walk from the parking lot to the falls–about one-half mile and not too much of an elevation climb. Niagra’s Baby Brother is located in the parking lot. I found it floating in its hiding place. Then it was on to the fall to claim the Earthcache Nojoqui Falls – Advancing Falls.
Along the trail to GCZ5TQ Nojoqui Falls - Advancing Falls
The trail is hard-packed dirt and is as wide as a road. The trail is shaded the entire way by trees towering overhead and bordered by some of the healthiest looking poison oak I have seen in a long time. It seemed that if it was green and near the ground, it was poison oak.
Nojoqui Fall is 100 feet high. The interesting feature that makes this a unique Earthcache is that instead of eroding the cliff like most waterfalls, Nojoqui Fall is depositing rock on the face of the cliff. Some of the dissolved minerals in the creek’s water stay behind when the water evaporates, much like how stalactites and stalagmites are created. I would tell you more, but it would give away the Earthcache. This cache is worth the stop. We had a great time here.
After the Falls, it was more caching along Alisal Road. We really love these back country roads. Most of the trees were covered with lichen. Country Road had not only lichen, but also poison oak near the cache.
GC1MPFR Country Road
I have yet to meet macgyverandflo, , but judging by some of these caches today, I think one of them much be 14 feet tall. They have placed a bunch of very nice caches in some very nice areas. We have fun finding them.
Mossy Trees was next stop. It was a quick cache and dash. It’s named for the lichen-covered trees in the area. A little farther along the road, we DNFed The Alisal. I found a great place to hide a cache, but it was empty. We drove into Solvang, made a quick stop at the store for some batteries, and then headed up the mountain. We pretty much cleared out the caches along this stretch of road last year, so it was mostly driving, not caches. We DNFed The Troll last year and almost did again today. After reading a few of the recent logs, I had an idea of where the cache was and made the fast grab.
The concentration of wildflowers is near Poppy’s and Lupin, but the views on the way up are nice, too.
Near the wildflower area, parking is at a premium. You also need an Adventure Pass, but I didn’t see even one displayed. Here are some photos of the area.
After a fun time on the mountain, we drove back to the flatlands and did a few more caches in the Los Olivos/Santa Ynez area: Wine/Whine # 48, Wells Fargo, Watusi View, Wine/Whine # 86, and Park and View.
Wells Fargo was a fun, well-crafted cache. While looking for it, I poke my hand on some fence wire. I may need a tetanus shot–an added bonus for that cache. We DNFed Watusi View in September and were about to do it again today. As I was walking away, I looked right at it and saw a tell-tale sign. Eureka! We did see the Watusi cattle. They were in the adjacent field to the south. Very strange looking beasts!
After Park and View, it was time to head for home. We enjoyed the bright green spring greens and the great views of the wildflowers. We enjoy caching in this area. We will be back.