Jimmy vs Jeremiah’s Gold: The Squeakquel

The mission was simple, I’ve done it 1000 times. Actually, now I have done that 10 times. I put all my best hiking gear on, filled my backpack full of water and camera equipment, go for a hike, find a very specific geocache, and any others that fall along that hiking route. Not too complicated. Something that is right in my wheelhouse. Recently, in some foothills near San Francisco, I thought I met my match. I went to Morgan Territorial Regional Preserve to find a geocache dating back to the year 2000. One of the oldest in the country, probably the world. It was going to be a few mile hike round-trip. There were several other geocaches along that route, so I knew they would get my whole attention. I was moving right along, minding my own business, and Jeremiah shows up in my life. It is an entire series that culminates in a final puzzle, put out by a young brother that runs by the name of Jesse. Very little I like more than a puzzle. I did like all these ammo boxes that were lugged up here. 1 was the size of a coffin. Others were the size of a really big ammo box. And yet another was so big it had to come in by copter.
There were six or seven, each with a hint on where to find the final. I found one and immediately dismissed the bigger picture. It was just a traditional geocache I found, great, plus one for me. Then I found a second one. I thought to myself, I better take a look at this. So, I found one of the four spots of shade in the county, and I sat down for a few minutes to figure it out. The route I was taking to my ultimate goal, if I veered off of that just a little bit and doubled my original plan, I can get all of these! That’s not bad. doubling only goes from 3 to 6 miles, or something like that. Still no big deal. I decide that’s what I’m doing. I even study the Geocaching map and notice an empty area where I am hoping the final will be. That would mean it was put there strategically so that you could do this loop and wind up back at the final on the way back to wherever you parked. I got to about the fourth or fifth one and realized I had went the wrong way. I look to my right and realized I had to be 500 feet above where I was right now, almost straight up. I missed the turn to walk along the ridge line. I thought to myself OK, I wasn’t meant to find Jeremiah‘s gold anyway. I didn’t know about it until a few hours ago, I can’t be too disappointed.
I just had to accept the fact that this is where my quest for the gold ended. About 10 minutes later I kicked myself in the ass and said no, I got to do this. I walked backwards adding about another mile of uphill walking to get back to the ridge line. And then I walked along the most spectacular ridge line, stellar views, and some of the most unique trees I’ve ever seen growing out of rocks. If for no other reason I’m glad I double back for that. So, I was back on track! I had already completed the task that brought me here, now I was 80% of the way to a new bigger, even better task. I find the last geocache with the clue in it. I find one of those other spots of shade. I sit down and put the puzzle pieces together. I plug-in the coordinate numbers of where this geocache wants me to be. Oh bother. It is all the way back past even the farthest point I was all day.
On a normal day, that would be no problem. But this was a different kind of hot desert hiking that I wasn’t used to. It was over 100°. Completely exposed, no shade. I’m used to hiking in trees and forests. And earlier today I had put on another 15 or so miles of hiking. So I’m tired. It is rare that it happens to me, but I was completely wiped out and couldn’t do anymore.
I barely slept for the next few nights. All I could think about was not completing the task that I didn’t even know I had. Tossing, turning, lashing out at strangers, breaking things that I haven’t paid for yet, just a wreck of a human. I can’t believe how close I came to Jeremiahs gold, and it slipped away from me. I should’ve just grit my teeth and walked back. But I did not.
Sometime shortly after that, the young gentleman that owns these geocaches, and my new best penpal in the world, Jesse wrote to me to say hello, and that he was happy I had a great time finding all his geocaches, all the things that I would want to hear. Jesse went so far as to offer me a free “find” on the final puzzle. Quoting Jesse in his original communication with me, “Dr. Sellers: You seem really cool. Please help yourself to a find on the final puzzle, based on handsomeness alone.”
I was so flattered, but I knew I could not take that. I have cheated plenty in GC’ing, but only in the ways we all agree is OK. Plus, in the back of my mind, I thought I might still go back another day. I was going to be in the “area” for a bit longer. But I knew that was ridiculous to drive hours out of my way to do a hike I already did, but I’m not on any real itinerary.
It is very well known by my friends and family that I will go way out of my way, do almost anything, just to make 1 person laugh. I’ve done things like drive 12 extra hours, buy domain names, spend too much money, lie cheat steal, whatever it takes to make someone laugh or smile. My specialty is overdoing it for 1 person. I thought to myself, if I went way out of my way just find this one geocache, I bet that would make Jesse smile. But I just couldn’t fit it into my busy schedule. My calendar was wide open with nowhere to be any particular time at all. The one day I was going to go, I’m glad I didn’t. I have nothing but respect for Jesse. But I ended up having an amazing day in San Francisco. I did a walking tour, smelling the smells, and I even took in a baseball game. I had to because my Phillies were in town. I just kept meandering around the San Francisco area for different reasons a lot longer than I expected. Take pictures of the Golden Gate bridge sunrise one morning, middle of the night the next day.
Finally, I was done with San Fran/Sacramento area, and I’m heading to the PCH to pick my road trip back up! And wouldn’t you know, the optimal route to get from Sacramento to Monterey includes Morgan Territory Road! I had to do it, and I better take a picture because people are gonna think I’m a liar and a cheater. Mainly because I am 100% a liar and a cheater
Finally, the day came. It was 9 days after my initial discovery of Jeremiah’s Gold. These were days 44 and 53 of this mad road trip. I’m so glad I did not throw away those shoes and socks. They are definitely gone after today though. I took off walking after packing up my water and needed supplies. It is a very well defined trail system, easy to navigate. VERY up and down, lots of quick elevation. I jogged everywhere it was downhill or flat-ish. All in all, it only took me two hours round-trip. I got a message from Jesse later saying that I made his day and maybe even his year. Since then, Jesse and I have become best friends. I believe I am now godfather to his imaginary children. And I have even named him executor of my upcoming will.
I just love the amazing things that I accidentally get myself involved in, mainly because I try to leave myself open to all the nonsense.

I did start an album of this trip that I am updating as I process. HERE.

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