Sunday, January 27, 2013

Off the Beaten Path

We got a later start on geocaching today than yesterday, so only did one session.  We headed first to a puzzle cache I'd solved the puzzle for a couple weeks ago, and looked for last week but couldn't find it.  There was quite a bit of snow still in the location, but the drifts were frozen solid, so I had wondered whether  the cache was tucked away behind a snow drift.  Most of the snow was gone this time, and I had Nathan with me, plus the benefit of a clue from a fellow cacher (and hider of some of the caches I've most enjoyed so far, so I'm kind of flattered he/she wrote to a newbie like me).  I had been looking right in the area where it was (amongst other spots in the vicinity), but I do think the spot had been drifted over with icy snow last time.  Regardless, with Nathan's help and knowing a more precise location to look, we found it in no time.

We drove right past Shevlin park, where there are a lot of caches, but there was still a lot of snow (and ice!) last week, so I'll give it another week or two (of course, it'll probably snow soon, but whatever).  We grabbed a cache that's barely off the trail on the opposite side of Tumalo Creek from the state park, but even though it's not far as the crow flies, it was a steep hike down to it.  My thighs were already sore from yesterday's hiking and climbing, so I thought of letting Nathan just grab it and log it for both of us, but in the end, I went all the way down to it, too, then had the joy of hiking back up the hill to the car.  Pretty spot, though!

From there, we drove to Tumalo State Park, where we parked and started hiking upriver.  The river is lined with caches.  The first wasn't far from the car, and was a pretty quick find.  I spotted the likely location, and Nathan checked it out, and sure enough, cache!

The next two were also relatively easy finds, with some beautiful scenery along the way.

Then the trail disappeared.  Lovely though these rocks were, apparently they WERE the trail.

Nathan scoped the "trail" ahead, but it didn't get better as far as he could see.

There were trails (probably just game trails, but who knows) heading uphill away from the river, and the cache description said that if you go around the rocks, the route gets better.  We headed up.  And up.  And UP.  Nathan was getting whiny (didn't help that the stick he'd found yesterday and carried around all of both days was sitting down in the boulder field.  He'd carelessly tossed it once, and I let him go fetch it, but when he did it again, I was tired of worrying about him scrambling around on the boulders, and didn't let him go get it again).  The air was getting colder, though it was still a couple hours until sundown.  The batteries were dying on both my phone and GPS.  Plus my legs were sore and tired, and getting more so by the second.  So we turned around and headed back to the car.  Maybe some other time, with a better start and a warmer day...

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