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I’ve been a convert to GeoCaching for a few months now and really enjoy finding them. It gives a purpose to the endless rambling around the mountains and desert that I do, too, so that’s good. When I enter a GeoCache in my GPS, I just number it in sequence, rather than try to get the whole name in there. Sooo………G10 is the 10th geocache I entered and today I went after it…..for the 3rd time. First 2 tries, including yesterday, I got weathered out by thunderstorms, so when it dawned bright and sunny this morning I threw my gear in the car and hit the road.
Several times over the last couple of years I’ve made reference to the ragged, tumbled up canyon of Cherry Creek, about 10 miles north of town. Looking from Hwy 15 you can see the lava columns in upper right and the tumbled up rock on both sides of the canyon. Since G10 is just about straight across the canyon from here – the Ben Lilly memorial – that sounded pretty good. The rocks in foreground go all the way down to the creek and all the way up the other side. What Fun ! ! !
The trail along Cherry Creek is pretty good, but it’s dark and gloomy in spots and there’s plenty of Poison Ivy. A fella I spoke with a couple of weeks ago told of seeing a Cougar stalking a group of Coati Mundi about a mile downstream. That sounded sort of good – I’ve been trying for a couple of years for good pictures of Coatis. The idea of the Cougar didn’t appeal overmuch, tho’, and the .357 rode in easy reach on my right hip today……right next to the Bear spray. It’s just under 1½ miles down the trail to where you bushwhack up the rocks and brush to G10 and there were many pretty little flowers and butterflies along the way. No idea what these are called. Can anyone help me out ??
It’s pretty easy going thru here and the rugged scenery was interesting.
In some areas, water was seeping out from between layers of rock and made little islands of crowded vegetation.
Farther downstream the heavy tree cover opened up a bit and the bedrock bed of the creek made for some nice shots.
For a long way before reaching a position opposite G10 I was watching for any sign of a trail or path up the rugged cliff, but with no joy. Finally, having gone past it, I just turned right, picked a spot and started bulling my way up thru the dense brush. Part way up a blown down tree made for a good ladder for a bit of it. That didn’t last long and in some areas I literally crawled up thru the tangle on hands and knees.
Then it opened up a bit and I thought, “aha, got it knocked, now.” Should learn to keep my mouth shut. Up and around that shoulder in high center………
………and it really got interesting, but I’m stub-Bourne. From across the canyon, this area looks pretty flat and smooth…….maybe a nice spot for a picnic. Nawww…………
Having gotten up thru that mess, tho’, it did open up onto a sort of shelf, or plateau. Narrow plateau.
GPS finally told me I was getting close. In the lower left corner, that little line below 120 ft shows that the length of that line equals 120 ft on the screen, for those not familiar with these things, so I’m within about 300 feet here.
Finally, at long last, it opened up and there was actually a sort of trail. Easy money, tho’ by now I was soaked with sweat and very dirty and scuffed up.
A little closer……WOW, look at this. Looks like an old Indian storeroom. Remember the several sets of almost buried ruins I’ve found in the last few weeks ?? This looks a lot better.
Around the other side and more stonework. GPS said I was right on top of G10 and I finally did find it not far from this spot. GPS was off by about 20 ft. Pretty good, I’d say. I was a little apprehensive – it looked like the cache was going to be in the wall and there are a few simple rules of courtesy and good sense that govern this sport. One of those is “don’t damage anything.” In addition, it’s illegal as hell to damage something like this. (no, I’m not going to show a picture of the cache……..that’s a rule, too. I had to find it – you do the same)
Having accomplished my objective, it was time to slip out of my pack and sit down to enjoy a snack and the great view. Long, bumpy way down from here. Reading the sign-in sheet at the cache, I found that just 1 other person had been here this year – last April. Just 2 or 3 a year prior to that, back to ‘06 when it was hidden here. Not too many of us lunatics around, I ‘spect.
From here the spot where I took picture 1 of this series was in clear view.
Look to the left – east – and enjoy the view of the route I took down the creek to get here. The 4Runner is parked just below the V where the ridges cross in upper left. Yep, that’s the canyon. Not too wide, is it ?? Nice hike, tho’………until you try climbing out of it.
Now, for a way down. I didn’t want to return by my upward path – that was a mess to say the least, so I climbed onto a point and saw what looked like a way down…….an almost dry creekbed. But – it ends at that rock and it’s straight down. More bushwhacking.
At least it went in sort of “stages,” where I got a break from time to time. Almost to the bottom here and very glad to see it. From the creek bottom to the cache is just over 1/10th of a mile, so up and down was slightly less than ¼ mile. Phew. Felt like 4 miles. I haven’t been as active lately and the very few weeks since getting into really good shape were wasted fairly quickly. I felt every one of these 70 years by the time I got back to the car. Now, tonight, I feel pleasantly tired and very pleased. Lar.
Silver City, NM