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Licau II

A cache by WalruZ (with props to Lil Devil) Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 10/24/2004
2 out of 5
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

Partially quoting the original cache page...

Licau in Malaysian means to take the long way around.

This is a [...] Multi-cache located in the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge.

The second stage is less than a half mile from the first stage, but as the name of this cache suggests, the route you must take is considerably longer. You can ride a bike most of the way, but you'll probably have to walk the last part. A boat might be helpful, unless you're there at low tide.

Well, a few things have changed, but I've tried to retain the spirit of the original. A boat is not necessary to find this cache, but the trail to Stage 3 is thick sticky mud after it rains, something I strongly suggest you consider before setting out. The overall distance is around 3 miles or so. The terrain is utterly flat.

The virtual stages are located around Coyote Creek Lagoon, part of the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. The first stages are along a section of the San Francisco Bay Trail. Coyote Creek begins in Henry Coe park and runs though San Jose. This area is where Coyote Creek finally empties into the bay.

The cache page coordinates are of the parking area, a hidden jewel that is almost impossible to find unless you already know where it is. There are few picnic tables, a green lawn and some shady willow trees. It's a nice secluded spot to have a pre- or post-cache repast.

To reach this parking area:

  1. Find your way to the corner of Fremont Blvd and West Warren Ave, West of I880.
  2. Travel approximately 150 feet North on Fremont Blvd.
  3. You should see a gravel road to the West.
    The coordinates are N 37 28.911   W 121 56.718.
    Take the road to it's end.
  • Look for the gravel road. The parking lots you see around you have nothing to offer you.


Stage 0: N 37 28.837   W 121 56.871

This is the trailhead, which you should have passed as you drove in to the parking area. Start your hike here.
Stage 1:   N 37 28.165   W 121 56.438
This is the original first stage of Licau. At this viewing stand is a sign. On the sign is a two digit number between 10 and 30 (inclusive).

E = first digit of that number.
C = second digit of that number.

Stage 2:   N 37 28.509   W 121 57.249

At this spot is a wooden walkway that leads to a dock. At this point in the walkway are two railings to keep you from plunging into the water below.

A = number of vertical posts houlding up both railings minus 1

Stage 2.5:   N 37 28.407   W 121 57.005

The trail to Stage 3 gets overgrown at this spot and you'll need to do a little mild bushwhacking. If you feel lost, punch in N 37 28.403   W 121 56.987 and navigate towards it. You should find a relatively unobstructed route to Stage 3.

Stage 3:   N 37 28.362   W 121 56.931

The original second stage of Licau was hidden nearby. These coordinates take you down a very faint path to a small hill and a sign which faces away from the hill. There are three large words on the sign. (ignore the NWR seal)

B = number of letters in the first and third words, combined.
D = number of letters in the second word, minus 1.
F = number of letters in the first word.

I encourage you to walk to the top of the small hill and look around. It's a nice place to sit and rest up before heading to Stage 4.

Stage 4:   N 37 28.ABC   W 121 56.DEF

The actual physical cache is a mid-sized rubbermaid container wrapped in cammo duct tape, and is very well hidden. It is not on National Wildlife Refuge lands. Please, when you visit, leave only footsteps, take only memories.

Speaking of memories...

There was a time of innocence, long ago and far away, when I had just started Geocaching. I hadn't met any other cachers, didn't know about FTFs or Leaderboards, or Find Rates, or Power Trails, or Autorouting, or any of that stuff. I would occasionally choose a local cache and then go out to find it it, blissful in my ignorance.

I was originally attracted to Geocaching because it seemed like a great thing to do with the Dread Pirate LeChuck. As the years go by he becomes more and more Dread, and I know that sooner or later he will have a ship of his own. Then I will be retired from his regular crew and will only be mustered to sail on special raids. I wanted to get in some adventuring before that time comes. Without knowing it exactly, I wanted to have something to remember.

And I have something. I specifically and vividly remember going out to find the original version of this cache. It was a long walk sometime in the evening. We looked at the various kinds of birds in the water, and I explained the difference between Tules and Cattails. We both wondered what that orange stuff was on the pickleweed, and I remember I wasn't sure which plants even were pickleweed. It was a nice big ammo can way out there in the marsh. We sat and traded. I still cared about trading then.

The sun went down on our way back, and the whole landscape changed to pink and blue in every direction. It wasn't quite dark yet, we could still see where we were going. We kept hoofing it down the trail, talking softly about this or that but mostly looking around and commenting about how beautiful it was right then, right there. The hills caught some of the last of the sun even as the stars came out. Streetlights came on along I880 in front of us. The sunset faded out behind us over the bay, and the sky above us was every shade of blue from East to West. There was a special luminous quality to the air that lasted all the way back to the car. I remember that at the time I felt profoundly lucky to be there and to have the Pirate with me.

Awhile ago I did a cache by MotorBug called Day on the Gravel. In it, Tom told of the memories he had of a good friend, and, indirectly, of how his cache helped him keep and honor those memories. I commented then, as I am discovering more and more now, that what I'm finding in caches isn't trinkets and toys or even logsheets and numbers. What I'm finding in caches are memories, and for that I am very thankful. This cache is an attempt at keeping one of those memories around just a little longer.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Hcuvyy fvqr, haqre ynetr ebpx.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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