October 18, 2003

scout orchard

We've had more than a few fiascos during our geocaching adventures, but this one takes the cake. Somehow I imagined this one as a nice walk through a grassy field with a little hill at the end. Not even close.

In July we planned to do this one along with a few others in Stevens Creek Park. We didn't read the description, had an argument about where to park, and then decided to come back to this one after we did some others nearby. We couldn't find any of them, got lost (GPSr coudn't get a signal) and ended up in Palo Alto!

Today after doing some other caches in Fremont Open Space Preserve, we came over here to try this one again. We found the parking OK, then wandered around looking for the trail, passing by a group of people singing songs in a language we couldn't understand.

The trail was nice and we got within .1 miles of the cache, but we didn't see a way up the hill, so we continued walking. At one point I spotted a small trail, but it didn't seem big enough. As the flat trail became very vertical, we started to wonder if we were going the right way. My hunch was that the trail would bring us up to the ridge, then we'd walk back down the ridge to the cache. Sure enough, we got to the ridge, and started following the trail directly towards the cache. We arrived at the park boundry gate and the cache was still .1 miles away, with no apparent way to get to it from there. Having realized our mistake, we headed all the way back down (and parts up) the trail. We ended up walking 4 miles unnecessarily, though there was a nice view from the ridge.

On the way back, we found a spot .1 miles away again that looked like a trail. We headed up a bit, only to turn back 490 feet away as the brush got too thick and the terrian too steep. We continued down the trail some more and saw yet another path that could have been a trail. I headed up this one alone. The path quickly dissapeared and I was scrambling up the hill again. After hiking at least 8 miles so far today, I was pretty tired. When I lost the trail again and couldn't find a away around the brush, I turned around, this time 250 feet from the cache. On the way down I suddenly noticed that my legs were feeling prickly. I looked down and found that my shorts, legs, socks and shoes were covered with small burrs. I walked slowly back to the main trail, then we spent about 10 minutes trying to get them off enough so I could walk without pain.

At this point, we decided to give up. We had been hiking for a few hours up steep terrian, and we were very tired. We saw a few other potential trails further down, but didn't attempt them. We did another cache nearby as a colsolation, but I was full of scrapes and burrs. When I got home, I found the easiest method was to use scissors to get the stubborn ones off my legs.

Overall, this was a painful excersize, partially our fault. Reading all the logs now, I have a better idea of how to get this cache, but it's one we won't soon forget, especially not until I've removed the hundreds of burrs from my socks and shoes. Posted by jeff at October 18, 2003 05:15 PM