Last Saturday, Bart/Gummyfrog organized a group hike to Trogdor’s Shovel AKA: P&H Model 206, located high on the west ridge of Las Llajas Canyon. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join them because of a bad cold. I was having a hard enough time breathing sitting on my couch to try to hike up that hill. Today, breathing much better, I gave it a shot.
I had a telephone interview for a job at 10:30, so I wasn’t able to start hiking until about 11:00 AM, much later than my usual practice. Starting at 11 meant that I would be hiking up the steepest part of the trail at high noon. Luckily, there was a nice breeze today and, while it was a sunny day, it wasn’t too hot.
This was my third trip up this hill. The first time was in March 2004, when Trogdor’s Shovel AKA: P&H Model 206 was only a couple months old. The area had recently been burned over by a major wildfire and the trail had been exposed for the first time in a long time. The trail was partially blocked with burned bushes. When I came home, it appeared as if I had lost a battle with a charcoal sword. Today was much different. The trail is in good shape almost the entire length. The only problems are a couple of washed out stretches.
My goal today was to pick up the 4 caches that were placed by Gummyfrog’s group. The first cache of the day was Honey Bee Rescue. There is an area just around the corner setting up with quite a few hives. The word is that the owner of the hives isn’t very hiker-friendly. He drives a white truck. Give him a wide berth if you see him on the road. bleed_blue_LA got the FTF yesterday. I got FTFs on the other 3 finds today. 3 FTFs in one day–that’s something that I haven’t done in a long time.
The next stop was Gummyfrog’s Legs like lead. I know the feeling. My “lead legs” at least waited until I was almost back to the truck. Legs like lead is placed with great views up and down Las Llajas Canyon.
The third cache was View of the Model 206 shovel. I think Mike slightly misnamed it because you really can’t see the shovel from the cache. This was my turn around point. Because of my late start, I needed to turn back before getting all the way to the shovel today.
The favorite cache of the day was the Earthcache Coquina Limestone. Mike/lightningstar has done a great job with the Earthcache. I always appreciate a well done Earthcache and this one is well done. Mike teaches a great geology lesson. I highly recommend at least reading Coquina Limestone, even if you don’t want to hike up the hill to log it.
The round trip was 5.8 miles, with a healthy climb from the canyon floor to the top of the ridge. Total time was 3 hours, including stops for lunch, caching, and photography. And some well earned rest breaks.