Tuesday, June 5

Ouch.. Why.. ?

Last night was fun, Skyefoil and I did some us stuff and headed out for ice cream. It should have stayed that innocent, but we rarely let a good thing last for too long. We needed to take the dog for a walk and I knew the perfect place! I had recently tried to find a geocache in the parking lot of a trail head called South Fork in Eagle River, AK. I only had a minimal amount of information about this cache, ended up not finding it, and later found out that it was a puzzle/multi cache listed improperly. Boo..

I knew there were to very real caches in that area however, just up the trail a bit and it seemed like a good place to take the dog off leash and let him find some fuzzies to chase and get some exercise with his people. So I drove us to the trail head and we embarked on a quick walk that ended up taking several hours. The initial cache out of two was 0.7 miles away as the bird flies, straight without taking elevation into effect, so the real linear distance is 4100 feet instead of 3800 once you add elevation in. The next cache along the route was an extra 450 feet away, no big deal, right? It was slow going, we cursed a lot, the ground gave way a lot and made it hard to hike up leisurely, thankfully I had just loaded topographic information into my GPS and knew when the ground would level out, which personally kept me going. We met up with a group of 16 or so teenagers who found a quick route down, snow veins in the hillside had not melted away yet so the teens rolled down head over heel until they were nearly at the bottom of the trail, mad props for being efficient.

0.7 miles turned into 0.5 miles very slowly, we rejoiced when 0.2 miles were left and the ground levelled out dramatically, and we eventually found ourselves between two small peaks (link to topographic map). The hike from this point on was simple and straightforward. We reached a high enough elevation to get some sunshine for a little while, until the sun moved behind one of the peaks, and the dog ran all over the place chasing ground squirrels in the area. We found a lot of new and very intense ground dwelling animal holes. The wind almost blew Skyefoil away and was getting pretty chilly to me, wearing just a button up shirt instead of a coat, so we had to bunker down every so often and let the wind die down a bit. This simple walk was turning into enough mini-adventures to keep me pretty damned happy. I love the elements!

We found the caches (Momma Bear, Cache In The Notch) took some photos and headed home, totally exhausted. The dog curled up in his chair and snored away while we ate our simple dinner. Today I am totally wiped out, and am very thankful for caffeine.

To all you locals, Lets go Geocaching!

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