February 22, 2009

So, as always I seem to be starting this blog with the standard "it's been a long time" preface.

Anyway, It HAS been a long time an a lot has happened since last October, and since there is no way I'm going over all of it I'll go over a couple of highlights. One was our camping trip out on Mt Laguna. It is beautiful out there and I can't wait to go back soon. I believe that I have found my favorite spot in all of San Diego out there (thus far anyway) at the top of the short nature hike. Part of the PCT runs through that area and it was fun to hike on it. I really would like to hike the whole thing some day.

We also went on our winter vacation. This year, we spent a week in Yosemite. We knew there would be snow and didn't feel that we were quite prepared for snow camping just yet, so we decided to stay in the Yosemite Lodge. It turns out, that we were probably prepared just fine. Oh well. It was a great trip anyway. We spent most of the time snow shoeing and had a wonderful time. It was the first time we had ever done it and we absolutely loved it. We were able to see some amazing sights, including a perfectly pristine alpine meadow. Besides one other person (who just so happened to be a ranger that we met a long the trail) we were the first people there in weeks. I really do love Yosemite with all my heart. There is no place quite like it. We also took a day to check out the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. It is so sad that a valley got covered up like that, but the area is still beautiful. I definitely want to go back and do some backpacking in that area.

Just before we left for that trip, I got a promotion at work. It's not a really big thing, but it allows me to work an earlier shift for the same pay I was at with the night shift differential. That was NICE.

Aaron, Joey and I have also started geocaching. If you want to check it out the website is Geocaching.com. Basically, if you have a GPS, you can upload the map for the area that you are intending to hike in and it will give you the coordinates to any "geocaches" in the area. Ususally what you will find in these areas is an old ammo box (or something similar) with a log book inside. People who find them usually also leave some small trinket (based on the size of the geocache) if you leave something, you can take something. From our experience, nothing of any real value gets left in these so it's not exactly like treasure hunting or anything, but sometimes you can find some pretty cool stuff. For example, there is a geocache on Iron Mountain that has inside of it a US Naval coin that was left by the "captain of the boat" for the USS Helena. There are also a couple of different types of trackable items, the bug and the coin.

The idea behind these is that each one has a tracking number. When you find it, you bring it home, log it into the computer as found, and then drop it off in a new location. Some even have missions, or goals. We found one coin that started in North Carolina back in 2007 and it's goal was to get to Sacramento by May of 2008. There were several of these coins sent out by different people and whoever's made it to Sacramento first won. Unfortunately for the originator of the coin that we found it never made it quite that far, but we are still going to drop it off further north than we found it (as much as is convenient anyway.) Not all of them have missions though, some just travel around and you can check on their progress to see where they end up.

The website gives some pretty strict guidelines to keep these things under control. For example, nothing can be buried, nothing can be on private property, etc... Each geocache has a name and there is a place to report inappropriate geocaches. For example there is one up at the top of iron mountain that somebody turned into a dump for old magazines. Basically everybody who goes there now carts some home in an effort to clean up the place. The three of us think we'll go up there sometime soon with backpacks and just cart out as much as we can. It's good to know that most of the people who are doing this really do have a love for nature and keep the environment in mind when they are doing this. All of the geocaches that we have found (with the exception of that one) have been securely closed and well hidden so as not to detract from the beauty of the landscape or to be inviting or harmful to the wildlife.

We're thinking that we are going to hike Woodson to Poway Lake next weekend. It should be a good hike, and we'll drop off one of the travelling bugs that we've found. If anyone reads this and wants to come along, give me or Aaron a call.