|The watch dog watches me|
I left Stockton on Hwy going west. My first cache was before leaving the city proper at some kind of storage facility. It was called “Turk Lost His Remote” and was an old TV remote hidden under a lamp skirt. The log was in the battery compartment. This storage area was a huge compound surrounded by a chain link fence. Staked out at about 40 yard intervals were big dogs on a chain with a canvas lean to and a 5 gallon bucket of water. The one nearest me was a Doberman that was really raising a ruckus. Now I may not be the Dog Whisperer but I usually have a pretty good rapport with dogs. So when I approach this dog in a friendly manner he turns tail and runs and as you can see in the picture hides behind his shelter. Some watch dog, huh. I’m surprised the SPCA isn’t on those folks.
I stopped for a couple of caches for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties on a county road near Stockton. I continued southeast on those roads until I turned southwest in Alameda County on The Mines Road. This is about as much as a back road that you will find that is paved. It was twisty and hilly with virtually no traffic. At times there were no lines on the road and a portion was even single lane. Eventually I reached the top of Mt. Hamilton where Lick Observatory is located. Then I began a very twisty and steep descent on what was called the San Antonio Valley Road
|Santa Clara County cache|
|Valley near Grant Park|
Just past the park headquarters I missed a turn so I had to turn off onto a sloping gravel field entrance to turn around. As I was climbing back up the incline to the road I killed the engine and down I went. I was barely moving so again no damage done but there was no way I could get my bike back up given the slope and the condition of my back. There was almost no traffic but just then a pickup approaches. When I try to flag it down for help he/she totally ignores me not even slowing down. And there I was waving on the shoulder of the road with my bike lying on the ground! About that time I see a hay truck approaching from out in the field by the road. As it turns out it was a couple of the park rangers who were more than happy to help me. Battered but not beaten I continued.
Frankly, I’m not sure where I went next because I think my GPS was jerking me around. I did go east toward Merced County but I’m not sure on what road. It began on the same kind of mountain road I had been riding and eventually I hit I-5 and probably exited at Sullivan Rd to Hwy 140 to try for my first Merced County cache which turned out to be a DNF. However, I found another one in a beautiful little park nearby to take care of that county.
It was getting really HOT now. My ambient air temperature soon read 111 degrees, the highest of the trip. I made a couple of quick stops getting caches for Mariposa County and another one for Merced County before arriving at Mariposa about 4:30, my shortest day so far.
The Mother Lode Inn in Mariposa is an old but well maintained motel. In fact, the office part is in the remodeling process now. It’s a small motel with most of the rooms down a steep incline from the street. They did have a nice pool which was very welcome given the heat. After getting unpacked and taking a swim I had dinner at the Subway just across the street. After dinner I rode around the town a bit and picked up a couple more caches. I guess I’m kind of addicted. To be continued. M/W