Muffin and I found three geocaches yesterday. One of the benefits of geocaching is it forces you to explore areas you’ve been putting off. In this case that mean going through the pass I’ve only looked through before. One of the reasons I haven’t walked down there is the gravel is deep and exhausting to walk in. If you’ve ever walked in dry sand you know what I’m talking about.
Just after the pass there is a standalone yagi (repeater?) station. It appears to be pointing to the mountains to the hills to the north but I couldn’t see any obvious receiver at that distance:
Strapped the the dog leash spool to the pack again and brought the trekking poles. They were necessary for one find in a steep area, very helpful in the second, and not needed for the third
The first cache was rated terrain difficulty 3, or “off trail; requires some risk of getting scratched, wet, or winded”. I’d say 3.25, since it took real attention to avoid getting hurt. It was “mountain goaty” IMO. And if you wanted to drive anywhere near it 4x4 would probably be warranted from especially deep gravel in the area (which would usually be a 4).
Here is a shot of the area with the 2nd cache:
It was in that little vertical cliff on the left side of the pic. Loose rockfall and the incline made the poles handy. It is marked as terrain difficulty 1.5, or somewhere between “disabilities accessible” and “suitable for small children; generally on trail”, which it definitely isn’t. It would be pretty easy to get hurt. I’d say it’s more of a 2.5.
The last one was not dangerous, and could be approached by able-bodied folk. It was rated 2. I’d say 1.5 because of uneven ground.
In the desert caches are more difficult to hide. Large ones are typically squirreled away in crevices, and small ones in scar pockets in saguaro or whatever.
Spoiler alert: I was taking a pic of Muffin going back and forth through a small natural arch at GPS “ground zero” and didn’t yet realize the cache container was right there:
It’s a cookie tin, a common container out here where it rains so little. Geocaches emplaced in areas with normal rain are typically in more expensive, gasketed containers.