Chivo Canyon

June 20, 2009

I hiked Chivo Canyon today, going after the recently placed caches.  The weather was just right for a hike–a little on the cool side, with a sight breeze.

Jethro Bodine & Daisy May First Car was the first cache on the list and was a quick find.  Here is a picture of the “car.”

I had the trail completely to myself, with the exception of a few critters.  I was buzzed by a curious hummingbird, who hovered about a foot from my face.  I saw a very nice looking deer and a fairly annoyed rattlesnake.  Also a variety of birds.  All in all, it was a fun day for wildlife.

One of the interesting features of Chivo Canyon is the oil seep.  It’s the home of GCVDD3 Oil that is… The first time I hiked through here, I thought that some idiot had changed his oil here.  The next trip, I could see the oil pool was at least 4 times larger and the oil and gas was bubbling up out of the ground.  I’ve tried to get an Earthcache approved here, but can’t locate the property owner for permission.  If you know who I can contact, please e-mail me.

PEAK VIEW CACHE was my second cache.  As I walked by it, I thought, “That’s looks like a good spot for a cache.”  Then I decided to check the GPS and had to walk back the 50 or 60 feet to the cache.

The hillsides are really dry, with the grasses almost white.  Then I approached these bright red bushes–my friend, poison oak.

I thought it is interesting that a few hours from summer solstice, the poison oak was already wearing its Fall colors.

As I was heading farther up the trail, I decided it was time to place a new cache along the way.  The cache is Chivo Overlook.  It hasn’t yet been approved because it is too close to another unpublished cache.  We’ll see how it goes.  If you see the log in the photo below, check in out for a cache.  You might be able to log a non-cache.

I DNFed the next cache on my list–Over the Hills and Far Away.  The group before me DNFed it too.  I tried calling and e-mailing a few friends for help, but everyone was busy having fun.  I’m not sure if the cache is missing (and I have no idea why anyone would make a cache way up there disappear), I just know that I couldn’t find it.  I wandered down the ridge to I’m Bushed! for a quick find.  As I was logging in, I saw a deer below in Las Llajas bouncing through the grasses down the hill.  This is also a great spot to view the trail up the hill to Trogdor’s Shovel  AKA: P&H Model 206.

There was a nice variety of wildflowers out today.  This late in the season and as dry as it has been, this was a pleasant surprise.

After trying to find Over the Hills again, it was time to turn south and get the caches along the ridge.  On the way to RIDGELINE VIEW CACHE, I spotted a rattlesnake coming out of his hole.  We said hello to each other and I took his photo.  He really wasn’t too happy to see me and moved his head back into a striking position.  Then he decided to go home.  He doubled back and headed down into his hole.  It was fun to watch his body slide by.  When his tail popped out, he gave it a few rattles and down he went.

snake 090620

Continuing along the ridge, I found Cache Stop #3, Cache Stop #2, Cache Stop #1, and Liv’n on the Edge.  Liv’n on the Edge is not for the faint of heart or those who have problems with heights.  The trail is safe, but it is quite close to the edge a very high cliff.

THREE TANKS VIEW CACHE, GOLF COURSE VIEW CACHE, and Road To Nowhere finished the day.

The entire loop, including about 30 minutes of DNFing Over the Hills and Far Away, took me 3 hours 15 minutes.  That’s because I hike uphill slowly and downhill even slower.  I do recommend the clockwise route for this loop.  The way down the ridge is very steep and probably better done north to south.

Here is a Google Earth screen shot of the track, with today’s finds.

Chivo Canyon and Ridge

Chivo Canyon and Ridge

Here is a topo map of the hike.

chivo 090620

Thanks to all who placed caches in this area.  It’s especially nice to be able to go hiking in a nice area like this only 10 minutes from my home.


Geocaching iPhone Application

June 10, 2009

My phone decided it was a better paper weight that a phone and I needed to replace it.  I took advantage of the $100 price on an G3 iPhone and got the Geocaching app for it.

This afternoon, I decided to give it a try.  I was in a parking lot and started the application.  It told me that a cache was across the street and then lead me right to it.  I was then able to enter Field Notes and send them to my account.  On the way home, I did it again.  Another quick find.

So far, I’m impressed.  I’m not ready to give up on my GPS, but for a quick find on the run, I think the iPhone application is pretty good.

Check it out here .