I couldn't find it yesterday but, as I was going home, I had a brainstorm and realized my mistake. Geocaching even intruded upon my dreams so when I woke up I decided to go out and search again.
As I neared the cache location through another route I was sure I was on the right track. Plenty of hiding places. I was having difficulty with signal reflection but stood back, got an angle and went in. Couldn't find it. Looked some more. Still couldn't. Widened my search. As I was shimmying along the face looking in every conceviable hole and crevace, a branch that I was holding onto for stability broke off. There was a Wille E. Coyote moment of stopped time, leaning out over a precipice with the full realization of what was to come and stark reality of there being nothing to prevent it.
Lesson Number Nine: Gravity is a harsh mistress.
WHAM! I hit the trail, barely missing a two foot branch/stump that would surely have impailed me. WHUMP! I slide off the trail, too narrow to stop my descent, to another muddy ledge below. SLASH! Through the thorn bushes. THUD! Down to the muddy bank. SPLOOSH! The back of my head ends up in the river. Aside from some minor cuts on my hands and having the wind knocked out of me I survived the twenty foot drop, head first and backwards, down to the river.
After hauling myself back up the bank I continue my search but the cache is too well camoflaged to catch my attention. I covered a lot of territory, not trusting the GPS signal to get me any closer that about 80 feet. 0 for 3.
I'll be back.