After nearly a full week of rain, yesterday morning the sun rose in beautiful, cloudless skies. It was a beautiful day. I had planned on doing some urban caching in the afternoon, worrying that the trails would be just too muddy to enjoy the hike. By the time that I was able to go, I decided to give the trails a try. The day was just too nice to pass on the chance for a good hike.
There were several caches on a trail that I didn’t know within a few minutes’ drive from my home. So I picked that area for Saturday’s adventure.
Chivo Canyon Trailhead
The trailhead is at a staircase at the end of Chivo Canyon that leads to the bottom of a debris holding basin. Because of all the rain that we received, the holding basin was doing its job–holding a bunch of mud and muck. Clearly not the best place to start a hike. I walked farther down Cottonwood Drive to the asphalt access road and entered the canyon from that direction. While a little bit farther, it was a good move because I avoided most of the mud.
The River Bottom
The initial part of the hike is up the creek that drains Chivo Canyon. Normally, this is just a dry river bed. But, because of the recent rains, there was a good creek flowing and most of the rest of the river bed was covered in silt. There were some deep footprints in the mud, but I was able to avoid most of it by just carefully choosing my route.
Just beyond the oil seep in Chivo Canyon, there is a trail/road that leads to the west. The road was in fairly good shape. It was nice to get out of the river bottom and start up the trail.
GC22K9Y Chivo side canyon was my first find of the day. It’s located near the beginning of the trail, up the side canyon, hence the name.
GC22TE8 AT THE Y is located at the junction of the 2 roads that make up the loop. After finding the cache, I decided to take the left path and do the loop in a clockwise direction. I’m glad a did. I think that is the best direction.
The road starts passing though some very nice oaks. GC2295B Xmas Tree 1, GC22TFH BURNT BUSH CACHE, and GC2295J Xmas Tworee are located along the road through these oaks. All of the oaks have been burned, but most have done OK. Some of the trees haven’t fared so well and have been killed by the fires and toppled by the winds.
At GC22TZK No-Doze, the road starts climbing steeper and the oaks are left behind. [Side note and minor whine: my log for No-Doze showed a little frustration. The hint for the cache is what I consider a non-hint. Non-hints are written in the Hint area of the cache page, but offer little or no help in finding a cache. Paraphrasing, this “hint” was along the lines of “If you found my other caches, you know what it look for.” Not too much help if you haven’t found the hider’s other caches. Other non-hints include “Too easy for a hint” (if I didn’t actually need the hint, I wouldn’t have looked it up) and “Under a rock” in an area that is a rock field. Rant over.] Even though the hint was useless, there was a geotrail that took me to a very nicely done hide.
I only noticed a few flowering plants along the route. Here is one of them.
At the Junction
After No-Doze the trail continues to another junction. My original plan was to continue west and get Oaky D’oaky and Groovin’ in the Grove. Those caches are behind me while I was taking the photo above and the trail was pretty steep downhill. Because I got a late start, I decided to leave those caches for another day and headed up the trail on the left side of the photo. As I made my way up to the top of this trail, I wished that I had brought along a cache or two for placement. There are a few perfect places for some other caches long this section of the trail.
GC22KAF Fountain of Youth, GC22TF7 OWL’S CACHE, and GC22TET OAK HIDE CACHE are along the downhill section of the trail. I also spotted more blossoms.
GC22KA7 Bushwhacked is a little off the main trail on a short spur. It’s located in another very nice grove of oaks. I had a little problem with my directions to the cache. The arrow was pointing (and a geotrail leaded to) the wrong bush that seemed whacked to me. I then looked where I would have placed I cache and there it was.
GC22TEK FURTHER UP THE TRAIL is farther up the spur. I have no idea how I found it, other than dumb luck. It’s a cammoed match case hanging in a bush. This finished the finds along the loop. I was losing sunlight, so it was time to start for home.
GC22TDW ANOTHER TANK ON THE HILL is located on a road to the south of the loop trail of the main series of caches. I decided to make that my last cache of the day.
I made it back to the hard surface roads just as the sun was setting.
With a few double backs (I walked by 2 caches and needed to retrace my steps a couple of times), the entire hike was just over 5 miles. It was the perfect cure for rain-induced cabin fever.