Whenever I go geocaching, I try to have a plan. This is especially true when I’m hiking. Tonight, I went from Plan A, through Plans B and C, and ended up just going with the flow.
Griffith Park has a network of great trails. Over the years, geocaches have come and gone, but there are a great number of fine caches in the park to fine. My goal tonight was to find 10+ caches, most placed by mshock . Molly has several series in the park, but I was going after the “A Walk in the Park” series today.
Plan A was pretty straight forward–park near the Merry Go Round, then go for the caches in a fairly linear order: January, February, March, April, July, May, June, then backtrack to Upper Beacon and Calvin’s Crotch. I got January in the parking lot, then headed to February. After a little bit of searching, I found the cache and headed toward March.
Not far from February, I spotted the ladder that I thought was the route to DUDE,MY CARS WHERE? #1 , so I started up the ladder. The ladder is access to a high voltage line tower. Once I arrived at the tower and climbed a little farther up the hill, I realized that the car is down in the gully.
I didn’t want to take the iffy cross country route down and then back up, so I continued by climb up to the road. So much for Plan A. Plan B was now to find the remainder of the caches in reverse order.
Once on the road, I realized that even though June: A walk in the park. was only 100 ft away, it was going to require some extra walking. The GPS needle was pointing to the top of the ridge above me.
While heading up the trail toward the cache, I was back on the main trail. There was quite a few runners and hikers out today. When I hike, I always say hello to the people that I meet. Usually, I get a “Hello” in return. But not today. I’m guessing that only 25% of the people returned my greeting. Perhaps it is because Griffith Park is an urban park and the people were too “cityfied.” It was just an interesting observation for me.
I found Henry’s Trail Cache on May 22, 2002. It was my 16th cache–5688 geocaches ago. It was nice to return for June: A walk in the park.
After I found June, I backtracked toward May: a walk in the park. It was a quick find right by a nice overlook of the Los Angeles skyline. I thought the trail to July: A walk in the park. was nearby. It was, I guess, but it was over the edge. No quick way to it. The cutoff was behind me, so I decided to approach from a different direction. I continued on to April: A walk in the park. and decided on a new plan. I would use April as a hub and go out and back to get each of the nearby caches: July: A walk in the park., March: A walk in the park., and Return to Upper Beacon. It made for some extra walking, but I would be able to then get Calvin’s Crotch Reopens and then head to Lower Beacon II.
While the out-and-back method added some distance to the hike, I was enjoying the evening–the sights, the sounds, the smells, the changes in temperature and humidity on my skin as I would round a bend in the trail. It was a great afternoon and evening. [An rant, as OLdweeb would say: Why the need to connect your ears continuously to an iPod is beyond me. If you are going for a hike in nature, experience it with your ears, too. Unplug from time to time.]
After grabbing all these caches on the top of the hill, I started down towards Calvin’s Crotch Reopens. I had visited the original cache in April 2005, coming up from the Greek Theatre. My plan tonight was to find Calvin’s, then drop over the side and take a steep trail down the hill.
Calvin's Crotch Returns
Calvin’s is located just off the trail, but, because of the recent rains, the area is really covered in a lot of greenery.
After finding Calvin’s, I couldn’t find the steep side trail. I had climbed it once upon a time, but with all the green growth, I couldn’t see it. I decided to take the safe, longer trail down the hill to Lower Beacon II. By this time, I completed gave up on which plan I was on–probably Plan Z by now.
When I found the original Lower Beacon, I had to walk through a tunnel of 10-ft tall blooming mustard. There wasn’t a sign of mustard tonight. Perhaps a casualty of the fires.
I found Lower Beacon II without a problem, then headed to Overlooking Glendale. By now, it was dark and the area around the cache is choked with grass and vines. I got out my flashlight and explored for a minute, but Overlooking Glendale is going to have to wait for another day.
It was a great walk. Somewhere around 7 miles. 1o finds, 1 DNA (did not attempt) and 1 DNS-GCBOD (did not see–game called because of darkness). I enjoyed my “Walk in the Park.” It was nice to return to places from my ‘early days’ of geocaching.