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This is a multi-stage micro cache about the size of a film container. The location requires hiking up a popular multi-use trail. The difficulty of the hike depends on the starting point.
After finding all the caches in my favorite park, I decided to place my first-ever cache at my favorite site in the park. Unfortunately, that spot is one of the most popular destinations in the park, making it hard to hide a cache without drawing attention. Today, however, it was wet and dreary. You had to be nuts to be hiking to it today. Taking advantage of that, I hiked up in a rain poncho, carrying an umbrella, with the cache in my backpack. (There was no lightning. I'm not that crazy.) I placed the cache in a spot I had scouted out before.
After getting ticked and poked at off-trail caches, I was determined to put this cache in a relatively safe location. Also, I didn't want to get anyone in the parks department upset, since I work with them a lot. This cache is sort of on the trail, depending on how you define "trail." This requires no bushwhacking if you approach it from the right direction. There shouldn't be any poison oak nearby. There shouldn't be many or any ticks. Watch out for snakes and spiders.
I wanted to make this more challenging, so I hunted around for clues to use for a multi-stage puzzle cache. Here are the directions.
Start at 37 degs 12.501 N, 121 degs 46.546 W. Read the sign.
How far is it in miles to the Rocky Ridge Trail Junction? Call it X1.
How far is it in miles to the Hidden Springs Trail Junction? Add 0.6 and call it X2.
Now go to 37 degs 12.513 N, 121 degs 46.526 W. Read the sign.
How far is it in miles to the Coyote Peak Trail junction down the hill? Call it X3.
Look at the big water tank. (If you say, "What tank?" you're lost.) See the depth gauge. What is the maximum depth of the tank? Remember the gauge uses a float and pulley system. Call this X4.
Go up to the top area. Count the number of benches. Call this X5. Now sit down on one of these benches and do the math (using standard rules of precedence):
A = 5 * X2
B = 10 * X1 + X2
C = X3 + X1 - 0.1
D = 5 * X2
E = X4 - 10
F = X5 - 3
The cache is at 37 degreees, 12.ABC N, 121 degrees, 46.DEF W.
If you find yourself going down from the peak, you need to re-check your math.
Because the cache location is easily accessible and visible by muggles, I had to camouflage the cache. The cache container is embedded in its camouflage. Don't try to remove it. You might break it. (I know it looks funny. Give me a break. It's my first cache.) Take care to hide the cache so the container is not visible.
This is a small container, similar in size to a film container. This is primarily a sign-only cache. There is only enough room for tiny items. Bring your own pen. If you forget, there's an emergency pencil in the container. Don't poke yourself. (If someone can swap in a better pencil, it would be appreciated.) Why such a small container? As I said, it's my first cache.
While this spot is well-known to locals, it may not be well-known regionally. My purpose in placing this cache is to introduce more people to the park in general, and this spot in particular. Come up here on a clear day, and you'll be amazed. You may be able to see the bridges on the Bay and the buildings in downtown San Francisco and Oakland. Besides the view, you can see all kinds of animals from here, sometimes including coyotes.
More information about the peak: (visit link)
Pictures in the park from 2008, including pictures from the peak: (visit link)
Here are some pictures from the peak in 2012: (visit link)
Windows wallpaper pictures, including several from the peak: (visit link)
There is sort of a shortcut here, which is at the end of Countryview Drive. However, this is not a legal park entrance. The rangers have been having trouble with illegal activity here, such as vandals and off-roaders tearing up the hills near this entrance. You can tell from all the litter and tire tracks. I'd avoid it. You might not have a car to come back to.
10/5/07. The signs have been changed. The puzzle has been changed to match the new signs.
Jbbqa'g lbh yvxr gb xabj?
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum