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Hidden Secrets Trail
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A 4-stage multi-cache in Santa Teresa Park, revealing some secret spots, but requiring little or no bushwhacking.
This 4-stage multi will take you for a short hike through some scenic parts of Santa Teresa Park and will reveal some hidden secrets. All of the caches are along a trail of one kind or another. Almost no bushwhacking (with your feet), back-tracking, or taking volunteer trails is required. All can be reached without taking more than a few steps off the trail or "trail."
You can start at the park entrance by Heaton Moor if you want more exercise, otherwise, drive up Bernal Road. If you come up here by car, be sure to stop at 37 degrees, 12.869N, 121 degrees 47.347W first and pay your dues ($6). I was thinking of putting cache 1 there as a kind of statement, but decided against it.
Do not bushwhack up to the top of the hill above the caches. If you read the sign coming into the park, you'll know what's up there. They won't appreciate people sneaking around outside their facility, and you could find yourself in hot water.
The first 3 stages contain coordinates for each successive cache. The purpose of the first stage is to make sure you start at the right place. If for some reason you can't reach it or find it, check the backup location listed below. Go to the trailhead nearby to plot your route. Stage 2 has the coordinates of the next cache. If you stop en route to the next stage, you might see a seasonal waterfall, which only occurs after a lot of rain. It looks like this: (visit link) Make sure you hide stage 2 so it is out of sight, but don't lose it. Cache 3 is a micro container containing the coordinates of cache 4. From there, don't backtrack or follow the straight line on your GPSr. Continue on down the trail until you reach a secret paved "trail," which leads down to the final cache. You should not have to worry about muggles here, though you are visible from the upper trail. You only have to take about 10 steps from the "trail" to reach it. After finding it, then you can backtrack up to the main trail and either continue following it down to the source of its name or go back to the start.
While the caches are not hidden in particularly hazardous locations, watch out for the usual hazards: poison oak, thorny plants, rattlesnakes, mosquitoes, spiders, bobcats, coyotes, wild pigs, mountain lions, etc., all of which are in this park. After scouting out the caches, I saw a snake on the main park access road (not a rattler, though). There were lizards and mosquitoes near stage 2. Stage 4 has some pokey plants in the area, but no poison oak (at the time). There are some steep drop-offs next to the trails, so don't let your kids go wandering off-trail. The main trail is popular, so watch out for muggles, particularly speeding mountain bikers.
Stage 1: clue-only, nano-size, backup clue location: 37 degrees 12.839N, 121 degrees 47.1704W. These may move somewhat.
Stage 2: clue-only, cache 3 location
Stage 3: clue-only, micro-size, small container with object with coordinates written on it.
Stage 4: camouflaged decon container
This trail is now a gateway to a new 2-part multi-cache sequence, O.W.L.1 and O.W.L.2, The Hairy Plodder Trail. See: (visit link)
and (visit link)
Very important note: the start of this multi is listed with the same coordinates as the start of O.W.L.2. This is not the start of O.W.L.2, but it will lead you on the right path to get to the start of it. O.W.L.1 begins at the end of the Hidden Secrets Trail, and O.W.L.2 begins at the end of O.W.L.1.
You can take these 3 as a long, challenging, multi-cache sequence, if you have the time and want a good workout.
Update 6/1/06: cache 4, which was a 2-quart container, got muggled. It was replaced with a decon container placed nearby, but farther off-trail. Initial contents:
New Intel chip keychain
Harry Potter trading card
Small horseshoe magnet
Replaced stage 2, which is not a cache, has only 1 set of coordinates on it to avoid confusion. Replaced final cache, covered it better.
The secondary clue for stage 1 disappeared. Moved the primary location for stage 1 to a place where muggles are less likely to hang out for long periods. The old primary is now the backup for stage 1.
Stage 2 vanished, either by muggles or critters. It was replaced in a much stealthier manner. Look carefully.
Stage 2 replaced again. Still need to go fishing with the "pole" provided.
Stage 2 suffered from the effects of nature, but is still accessible. You can safely access its hiding place without taking more than a couple of steps from the trail. Other approaches are dangerous. It's not exactly a "fishing pole," but similar.
I couldn't find the final cache, so I replaced it with a small cache.
It turns out the previous final cache wasn't muggled after all. It just moved. Now there are two final caches. They backup each other in case one gets muggled. Finding either one is fine, but find both for more of a challenge. I updated the hint to reflect both.
One of the final caches may have disappeared. It might still be there, but I couldn't find it.
1. Pyrnahc nsgre lbhe qbt (onpxhc: fvg naq rng)
2. Srea va gur ubyr
3. Arne erzanagf bs ohfu onfr
4. Unatvat bhg
- Oh, that's what it is!It's hard to see how this plastic contraption could attract these little buggers when there are nice juicy trees nearby. It must use pheromones.
- Waterfall in Feb. 1998, during El Nino
- What is this thing?Could this be an alien communications device? Maybe a modern art sculpture? Perhaps it's a devious geocache (not mine).
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Last Updated: on 4/29/2018 10:55:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time (5:55 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum