I was just finishing up lunch and was breaking open the last of the fortune cookies, when I was startled to find the coordinates, which I have posted for this cache, and the sign of the Illuminati. Apparently, I was meant to go to the location and further instructions would be given there.
After two hours of hard hiking, I made it to the summit. The coordinates from the fortune cookie turned out to be the spot where a picnic bench stood. Looking around, I didn't see anything obvious. There was a large two/three story building with an octagon shaped roof, bristling with antennas, a small plaque adjacent to the building commemorating some individual, and some propane tanks. Having to relieve myself, I made my way to a small outhouse nearby. After finishing up my business there, I was unrolling the toilet paper and found the following message written on the tissue paper:
Greetings once again:
We hope you enjoyed the hike. The large white building you saw as you approached has been one of our listening posts and observatories. We are a society of learned scholars and regard the bettering of our minds one of the chief occupations of our lives. Nearby you will find a box with a peculiar puzzle piece in it. Take one of the puzzle pieces for future reference. follow the instructions below for directions to the box.
Go back to the picnic table and look up towards the white building. On its left side, as you face the building, are two antenna: one long and narrow, and one short and square. On the lower left corner of the square antenna is a label with the manufacturers name on it (it is seven letters in length). You may need a pair of binoculars in order to see it (it is 25-30 feet in the air and the writing is small). Now assign each letter a number, one through seven. Substitute the numbers for the following letters to complete the coordinates:
N 36 29.L C V
W 121 47.E1 E2 E1 (subscripts refer to the fact that there are duplicate letters in the name)
- The Teacher
I returned to the picnic table, but I did have to move around a bit to get a good view of the antenna label. I pulled out my binoculars which I carry when I hike, but they were not a very high powered pair of binoculars and I ended up squinting to be able to make out the name. I did the substitutions and made my way out to the zero point. For what seemed like an hour of searching, I finally uncovered the box. I took one of the puzzle pieces, put in a logbook, pen and a few trade items and returned the box to its hiding place. I erected a small cairn nearby to aid future cachers in finding the hiding spot and returned to my car.
Foot weary and tired I finally made it to my car and found the following note under my windshield wiper:
You have completed the third task. We will be in touch with you when another task is ready.
- The Teacher
At the coordinates: N 36 29.528, W 121 46.821 you will find a bench. This marks pretty much the end of the maintained trail. Beyond this you will encounter rougher terrain and more poison oak. If you have severe allergies to poison oak it would be a good idea to dress appropriately and/or take necessary medicinal precautions (i.e. Tecnu or Ivy Block). A walking stick or poles are very helpful for pushing aside the branches that grow across the path. The last 250 feet of vertical to the summit is somewhat loose and shoes with a good lug sole would be an advantage. Happy Trails.