Cerro de la Calavera, translated to English, means “The Hill of The Skull.” Calavera Hill isn’t a skull, but a 20 million year old volcano, protruding above the terrain. The neck of the volcano is exposed where it upwelled through older rock. When you look at Calavera Hill jutting abruptly from the earth, you can imagine how the Indians and Spanish likened it to a skull.
Calavera Lake and Hill are now surrounded by new streets and housing developments, with more being built every month. This cache is situated about a half mile northeast of Calavera Hill – it looms in the background throughout your trek.
The cache is in a metal ammo box, covered by a pile of rocks. Due to the high use of this area, I’ve hidden the cache very well. You need to know to be looking for the rock pile to find it. When you find the cache, surrounding vegetation should keep you out of view of anybody who might happen to pass by on a nearby trail.
This cache was one of the first found by the San Diego legendary geocacher Yrium, way back on June 7, 2001. Yrium went on from that little episode with his wonderdog Gromit to pen many tales of geocaching exploits. Do a "hide and seek" search, then type Yrium under the ''Caches found by username'' field to track the adventures of Yrium and Gromit.
There is no need to bush-wack. There is a trail or path leading all the way to the cache.
There is a pile of sticks about 8 feet southwest of the cache that one visitor referred to in the log book at a "beaver dam pile of sticks" Actually, it is the nest of the Dusky-footed wood rat. More on woodrats at: http://www.hastingsreserve.org/Woodrats/DFwoodrats.html
I replaced the cache on a beautiful, sunny spring Wednesday, March 5, 2003 with a big green military ammo box. As reported, it had been stolen... again... probably from not being properly hidden. Recent rains gave the sage an enormous growth spurt, and the lush, deep green Black Sage line the trail, brushing you as you walk. As I type this from my office, I smell of Black Sage - very fragrant (getting lots of compliments from my co-workers). Today I watched a Red-tailed Hawk hunt; heard a Red-shouldered Hawk ''keering'', heard an endangered California Gnatcatcher ''mewing'', a Wrentit ''stuttering'', some California Quail (Chi-ca-go!ing) and two Northern Mockingbirds singing; watched a bunny rabbit hopping along on the trail ahead of me; enjoyed freshly blooming yellow Deerweed and brilliant red Monkeyflowers. Also seen: House Finch, Crow, California Towhee, Anna's Hummingbird and a Song Sparrow singing exuberantly.
Because this is a high-use mountain bike, hiking, and kids playing “camp” area, please be sure to carefully re-hide the cache by piling rocks on top until you cannot see the green ammo box at all to hide from passers-by. This cache has been stolen twice so please, HIDE IT WELL!
Mini-hint: You can park at 33° 10.586, W 117° 16.152, and begin at trailhead 33° 10.554, W 117° 16.206.
Enjoy the sun, the views, the hike! Carpe Diem!
P.S. Once more, I beg you, I BESEECH you, to hide the cache so well that it cannot be seen from 2 feet away while you're standing right on top of it. Lots of rocks. PLEASE?