Despite the unassuming description from OLdweeb (
at no time will we be more than 1-1/2 miles from the parking lot) this hike was significant and unexpectedly eventful.
We saw tempting berries all over the place:
On arriving at Tujunga Wash Caching Trail Bonus A Reinshadow noticed that his sunglasses were gone! We tried to backtrack using his GPS all the way to the point where we knew he had them (OLdweeb had taken a picture of him, still with the sunglasses). However we reached the point where we were supposed to ford the river, so we abandoned Reinshadow to his destiny. We were hoping that he would find them quickly and catch up with us — he eventually succeeded in the former but not the latter. As a side effect he may not have enjoyed, I got to keep both the geocoins we found together!
Before the final jump, shopping cart acrobatics were required:
Elin grabbed the video… more about our Tujunga hike in Elin’s blog.
We had quite a few cactus encounters:
Later on we found an odd birdcage:
In Italy one could expect this device to help prepare Polenta e Osei, but here in the U.S. for some reason they use it to rid the area of the nasty non-native cowbirds:
After this I spectacularly jumped across a stream as immortalized by OLdweeb; everyone else had used a slippery branch as a bridge and I was not ready to slip into the water just yet:
On the way to Yuk Cah there was another stream to ford. RCKen and I headed west where we saw a promising narrowing of the flow. I noticed a huge, dead yet solid branch and I lifted it to see if it could be used as a bridge. By the time I dragged it to the stream RCKen had already found a spot so narrow that one could just jump on the other side. After jumping myself, for some reason I turned around and made one step back toward the river. Then I heard a KAPLONF! In horror I patted my pockets.
My GPS had slipped out of my pocket and fallen into the water!!!
The water was muddy and it was running so quickly I did not even have a chance to see the splash when the GPS hit the water. I immersed my arm into the cold water to find the GPS but no luck. I knew that the Garmin Oregon is waterproof, so it may have survived the event. Unfortunately the others had headed east, found a different fording spot, and quickly disappeared so it was just RCKen and myself. The spot where my GPS fell into the water is at the bottom left corner of this picture:
You can still see the branch I had dragged around. Even though the water was running fast I reasoned that there was no way the GPS could have been carried downstream. The water was surprisingly deep and very muddy so there was no way to visually find the GPS though. I blindly persevered and in a few minutes of literally grasping at straws I was able to recover the Oregon! Persistence pays off… sometimes. We emerged victorious from the woods and I whistled loudly. We heard some voices: the rest of the group had been waiting for us at Yuk Cah all along.
My Garmin Oregon 400t passed the test. It was still functioning when I pulled it out of the water!
Still a long way to go. And we still had to cross the main river again. Albackore and myself found a tricky way through, which allowed me to reach the other side completely dry. OLdweeb and others tried the hard way:
Just when we thought the worst was behind us, we had to work our way through a muddy jungle:
Here are our heroes during a moment of respite from the quicksands:
It took us an extra effort but eventually we worked our way back up to the main trail.
I am looking forward to seeing other reports! In the meantime you can see more pictures here.