Busy weekend. I am now two weeks behind on laundry, so I'll be doing that and catching up on TV tonight. (Yes, I have to schedule TV like a chore. I generally enjoy it while I'm watching it, but I never want to watch it.)
On Saturday, we played mini golf to use up our last 2-for-1 Groupon. We are rather serious mini golf players, lining up shots carefully and tracking our scores. (I had not realized that there were people who don't write down their mini golf scores, but a few times lately we've been asked if we even want scorecards.) We are not insanely competitive (Ken generally wins, but I did this time), but it bugs me when people just swat the ball around a bunch of times and don't even try. Because we are all srs bzns about it, we are rather slow, but this time there weren't any groups behind us, so that was nice. Unfortunately the mini golf around here is a bit boring. I grew up with a nice little course near home, and the best mini golf ever was the course we played on Catalina Island on our honeymoon. If playing mini golf on your honeymoon is wrong, I don't want to be right.
It was too hot for geocaching, so we went home and I spent some time re-reading Fire and Hemlock while Ken read news about the hurricane (his dad is in New Jersey, where they had some flooding but no major problems). I also got a call about my credit card -- the Amazon one, this time. There was a $1 charge on it for some kind of app I did not download. Little fraudulent charges often precede big fraudulent charges, so the card's been cancelled and I'll get a new one. It's annoying, but at least it got caught quickly. I won't complain the next time they ask me to verify a 99 cent iTunes charge.
We got In 'n Out for dinner, and then found some urban geocaches in the area since it was dark out and had cooled off a bit. There was an upside-down snail hanging out by one of them, but I haven't uploaded the pictures yet, so I'll leave you in suspense. I think that was a pun or something.
And then I WATCHED DOCTOR WHO. More about that later, probably.
On Sunday, I woke up early (I've been getting up early ever since Comic-Con, even on the weekends) and went to the mall to get a thing in a bag something small for Ken's birthday. I found it right away and was able to hop on the next bus back home. (Why do people open the windows on buses when the air conditioning's on, anyway? Yes, a blast of hot, humid air would be just lovely. I am all in favor of buses having windows that do open, because sometimes on a bus one needs to have fresh air, but please, use your windows responsibly.)
Then we went to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes, because we'd heard it was reasonably good, and also theaters have air conditioning. It was fine; Ken enjoyed it more than I did, because I kept fixating on how everything big that went wrong happened because people were being really stupid, but it killed two hours efficiently enough. I know y'all are seeing Fright Night (multiple times), but I don't think I'm all that interested. Even my boss said she liked it, though, which does make me wonder if it's worth seeing. My husband's not going to go on the strength of half-naked David Tennant, you know.
I am just not capable of being a huge fan of a particular actor, I think. I have actors I like, but I'm in no way driven to see everything they do. I do get very into characters, though. And shows, obviously. A select few.
We ate at Outback after the movie. Mmm, steak. I had the small one. Which is, like, moderation or something. I'm not even going to tell you how delicious their fries are these days.
And then we decided to go night caching again. There's a relatively new night cache in the Calavera nature preserve, which is 30-40 minutes north of us. Night caches are the ones designed to only be done after dark, usually by following around a trail of reflectors on trees or bushes. I really love them, so I've been wanting to do this one ever since we noticed its existence. Because the area's pretty far from home, we haven't found any of the other caches along those trails; we weren't sure how many we could do whlie following the reflectors, but another group that went out there for the night cache found ten other caches that same night.
Here's a reflector in a bush. You can sort of see it, but it was hard to photograph. They were pretty obvious as we walked along in the dark with our blindingly bright LED flashlights.
They were mostly concentrated around intersections, rather than along the straight trails, so that we'd know which way to turn. I understand why the cache owner would do that -- it's most important to know which way to go at intersections, and it's a lot of work to place and maintain these reflectors (which were actually done quite well). And this was a long night cache, a good couple of miles, so you'd go crazy trying to leave a visual reflector-to-reflector trail the whole way.
But we eventually reached an intersection where we saw no reflectors at all, and it was very difficult to figure out where or how we could have gone wrong. We don't recall missing any intersections, but we must've, somewhere.
Reflector closeup -- it's a pyramid-shaped firetack (which doesn't look reflective at this angle of lighting, but is, very much so), pushed into a plastic cylinder which is then zip-tied to the branch. Chances are this is staying put.
We detoured for other caches in the area pretty often. This was one of the more amusing ones -- it's part of a series that I guess is sort of a puzzle, mimicking a battle.
We went down by the creek for a cache hidden in an oak tree. I looked at this nearby oak first -- there's a honeycomb in there! Didn't see any bee action this time of night.
Spiderweb on the tree with the cache.
Spider! Looks good at large sizes, if you're into that sort of thing. Which you are! Right?
Half a spiderweb. The other half (not including the spider, luckily) was on Ken. He was going first, because he's more sure of himself in hills and darkness than I am.
Scorpion on the trail! Forgive me for not wanting to get much closer for a picture, though he just sat there.
Big rock cairn.
After a couple of reflector-less intersections, we knew we'd well and truly lost the trail, but it was too late (after 11:00 by then) to be backtracking. So we continued on to two other caches that we knew another team found on the same night they found the reflector cache. We thought maybe we'd intersect the reflector trail again by doing that, but we never did, despite looking carefully at every trail intersection. Finding those caches did get us back in the area of the car, at least.
In addition to the sleeping bees, wakeful spiders, debatable scorpion, assorted bunnies and beetles, and the occasional mysterious rustle in the brush that we didn't stop to identify, we saw some adorable kangaroo mice. One hopped along the trail in front of us for quite a long time before finally ducking into the bushes. There was no way I could've gotten a decent photo (maybe I should have tried video) but it was extremely cute.
We were out on the trails for 3 1/2 hours, all told -- I don't know what our mileage was, but it was probably pretty low, since we were picking our way along in the dark (sometimes on rather steep sections of trail, or crossing the creek, etc, not to mention the nine times we stopped to find other caches). The terrain was a piece of cake compared to our recent canyon adventures, but we were still careful. Wouldn't want to step on a scorpion.
So we got home around 1am, I think, and then we had to take out the garbage (I cleaned the litterboxes, too) and medicate Toeffe for his ear infection (ONE MORE DAY of this, thank goodness) before bed. I've been waking up early for the past month, I mentioned earlier, but getting to sleep at 2am is not conducive to waking up before 8:00. I even hit snooze this morning.
My feet were a bit sore after last night, so I switched to my worn-out Hersey shoes for work today. They have no tread left and the soles are unevenly worn (I'm planning to have them resoled imminently) but at least it's a change for my feet. It was fairly hot out (low 80's and humid counts as hot here, okay?) and we'd been out hiking until the wee hours, but I went on my two-mile lunch walk anyway. I did it slowly, but I feel pretty good about doing it at all.