Week in the Mountains – Fri, Sat, Sun

Continuing my blogging about my time up in the mountains…


Jeremy drove up as soon as he was off work Friday morning, and met us up at the cabin around 9 am.

Baby Sandwich!

When the baby fell asleep, so we left her at the cabin with my parents while we went on a hike/letterboxing hunt. We didn’t find what we were looking for (though we did find some rocks known as “Banana Boat Rock” and “Butt Crack Rock”).

After lunch we actually passed out and took a nice long nap together as a family. 🙂

Jeremy and I had a nice little date night dinner at Neo’s Pizza in the “big town” down the hill.

Note: I do continue to cloth diaper in the mountains. Friday was the only day I had to wash them, and they lasted the entire rest of the time we were there. I also got to try air drying them on a clothes line! I was actually very excited about that, as I have heard that they last longer and hold up better when dried on a line (as do all clothes, by the way!). I am happy that our new apartment we will be moving to next month has a balcony/patio that I can hang a line to air dry them more in the future, because I liked it. 🙂


We started the day with a walk around the lake with my mom and Blueberry. While we were there, we snagged a quick and easy geocache behind the boathouse – GVL Frog Hotel.

Geocaching - GVL Frog Hotel

And of course I couldn’t help taking a photo of the peddle boat Blueberry’s Pops named after her!

The Charlotte J.

After our walk, we headed down to “the big town” (Running Springs) for their Farmer’s Market. My mom tie-dyed a shirt, and we picked up some fruits and veggies. When we got back up to GVL, we grabbed some food and a map of the town with the locations of the local Artisans Workshop thing they had going on. (All the local craftspeople either open up their homes, or put a table out front with their wares) We picked a few off the list that sounded interested, and started driving around. Memorial Day weekend is also a big weekend for people to set out yard sale stuff, so we stopped by one of those as well. I picked up a super cute blue vintage suitcase that I plan to put all of Blueberry’s blankets in.

Back at the house, we started prepping for company: 4 of my parents friends from back home (they were camping over in Arrowhead), and 1 friend from around town. 9 people (plus a baby) in a tiny cabin is quite a few too many, so we took the dinner party out back and set up a folding table and pulled up some chairs. Ribs, corn, salad, and asparagus. Yum!

After dinner we took turns zipping up and down the street on the electric bikes (from Pedego), and Larry’s Honda 70. Those electric bikes are actually WAY fun! My dad took me on a little excursion on them after dinner – up through the campgrounds, and then up and through one of the fire roads and back down around to the cabin.


My mom had been talking about hiking “Bear Scratch Trail” all week, and we finally got around to doing it on Sunday morning. Jeremy strapped Blueberry on, and I grabbed the backpack and off we all headed – on a much longer hike than I had anticipated!

My parents call it “Bear Scratch Trail” because the first time they hiked it, they saw bear prints, and some bear scratches in the ground near the start of it. Kinda scary, but we didn’t see any signs of anything other than deer on this trip.

The trail goes up and along the ridge above the fire road my dad and I had taken on the bikes the night before, and then drops back down into the campgrounds where Jeremy and I had gone hiking on our own (where Banana Boat Rock and Butt Crack Rock are). I had brought coordinates to several geocaches that were supposedly pretty close by where we were hiking, but they all turned out to be too far out of the way from where we were hiking to make any real sense to go after (the first one I climbed all the way up the mountain through thorn bushes, only to find nothing… so yea…).

Once we got back to the main road that went through the campground, my parents convinced us to take the “scenic route” up another path that “just follows the road, but up above…” I call shenanigans! That way was way longer, and we accidentally ended up walking through a couple peoples’ campsites at the end of it before we got back to the main road.

We passed back by “The Big Tan Can” geocache, and I ran up to it real quick to add another log (the last time we’d been up there, I signed on the last line, and felt bad leaving no room for the next cacher to sign).

Like I said, that entire hike was WAY longer than I thought it would be, and I didn’t put on sunscreen first. I ended up with a pretty bad burn on my shoulders (and the part of my scalp where my hair was parted!).

Later, Jeremy asked me if I would take him on the same bike ride my dad and I had gone on the night before. So we left a sleeping Blueberry with my parents again, and headed out with our geocaching gear.

Turns out geocache #3 wasn’t as far off the trail as we’d originally thought… And would have been much easier to reach from the hiking trail rather than the fire road where we were buzzing around on the bikes…

Jeremy found Ride to Craft’s Peak after a hike up a very steep incline, and shimmying under a scrubby little bush/tree and hanging over the side of a rock… Now, I’m not complaining. I think the adventure and whatnot is what really makes it fun, haha. Then again, I didn’t have to shimmy under a bush…

But we did find our very first trackable in there!

Geocaching - Ride to Craft's Peak!

The trackable is in memory of their little pup who passed away. We plan to attach it to something special before we send it on to its next cache (down at one of the caches by our local Dog Beach).

Later that night, I wasn’t feeling so good. Between the sunburn, some dehydration from the long hike, sleeping on a not-so-great mattress for the last week, and just general fatigue, I was kind of just ready to go home. We were supposed to leave around 4pm Monday, but Jeremy could tell I was done, and just needed to come home, so we left GVL around 8.30 on Sunday night. As much as I love the mountains, I will admit that I was very happy to sleep in my own bed last night, and am looking forward to the same tonight. 🙂


Mother’s Day in the Mountains!

Our last day in the mountains was Mother’s Day! It was my very first Mother’s Day, and it was just lovely!


The morning started mellow, with a tea and cupcake breakfast with my mom and Blueberry.


We took a fun off-roading trip to go see the “Pregnant Tree.” (And get some awesome ideas for geocache hiding spots)


Pops got some cuddle time with Blueberry while Jeremy and I went on a quick and easy geocache up the street.


And then we cleaned up the cabin and headed back home to dinner at my Uncle’s house. Overall, busy but mellow day.


First Day at the Cabin

The first day at the cabin has been beautiful and perfect! My mom and I decided to take Charlotte up a day earlier than the boys (Jeremy has work until 6.30am on Saturday, and my dad thought he was going to have to work Saturday in the morning). So we got all of our local work done early and headed up around 9.30 this morning.

We packed up her dogs and the car with all the stuff we needed, and headed up the mountain! When we got up here we unpacked the car, took a short stroll/walk/hike with the pups, and then came back to the cabin to finish the work we could do remotely. Finished that up pretty quickly, so we could go on a nice longer walk up the mountain.

We were on the lookout for all kinds of plants, but mainly trying to keep an eye out for the kinds we could forage. Miner’s lettuce grows in abundance in the shady areas, and there are supposedly some kinds of gooseberries and currants up here that make good jam and ice cream and stuff.

The other thing we were on the lookout for are some good hiding spots for geocaches. We probably won’t be hiding anything up here this time, but we are doing some recon so that we can put together some awesome hides for people. Being up here makes my creative juices flow! I’ve only been up here a few hours, and I already love it!

Here are some photos from our second hike – plants we saw, and some wonderful views!

Sierra Currant









Traveling with Babies

This week is a whole slew of special occasions. Thursday is Jeremy’s friend’s birthday. Friday is my Mom’s birthday. Saturday is Jeremy’s birthday. Sunday is Mother’s Day…

KODAK Digital Still Camera

So naturally we are getting the heck out of dodge this weekend to avoid all that crap! Haha just kidding. Well, we /are/ going out of town, but not to avoid it. We will be going up to my parents’ cabin in the mountains with them this weekend (where we will, indeed celebrate both my mom’s and Jeremy’s birthdays). My mom and I are leaving to go up on Friday mid-day, and my dad and Jeremy will meet us up there on Saturday, since both of them work until Saturday morning.

Just a short trip, nothing major. But we are looking forward to doing some geocaching in nature (urban geocaching definitely has some limitations… like LOTS OF MUGGLES EVERYWHERE!!), and mom says there is even a place that does karaoke on Saturdays. 🙂

As I talked to my mom about heading up there this weekend, my brain went into overdrive just thinking about all of the extra crap I’m going to have to bring now that I have a baby! On top of all of my own clothes and toiletries, I will also have to bring Blueberry’s bouncer, enough cloth diapers to last her the weekend, warm clothes and blankets in case it gets cold, shorter sleeved clothes because it’s hot during the day, her carrier, diaper wipes… I could go on, but I think you get the gist. (Not to mention I need to bring cake mix to bake a cake up there for the birthdays)

I guess I’m just coming to the realization that the baby is going to need a duffel bag all to herself, whereas Jeremy and I are planning to share one between the two of us.

All of that aside, I am definitely looking forward to heading up there this weekend, and getting some time out in nature. Hiking, biking, swimming in the lake, snuggling up by the fire… 🙂

This will be our first real trip going anywhere with the baby, and I’m sure I’ll probably forget SOMETHING that’ll make me kick myself… Does anyone have any tips for traveling with a baby? Or anything that I absolutely NEED to pack?

Spin-y Park and Night Cache-ing

So we decided that when we take the dog for walks, we’re going to try to go Geocaching or Atlas Questing at the same time. Clover is happy to be out and about. Blueberry is happy in her carrier. We are happy for the added excitement of looking for treasure!

Geocache One: Vista Bolsa Chica

Yesterday we went down to Spin-y Park (or, as the city calls it – Weider Park) to hunt for a couple of caches hidden there. The first one we went for there were a couple of teenage “muggles” hanging out near where it was hidden, so we decided to go after the second one, and then come back after.

Geocache Two: Squeezing One More in at Wieder

At the top of the bluff, heading towards the 2nd cache (can you see Skittles?):

KODAK Digital Still Camera

This was Blueberry’s second time facing outward in her carrier, and she loves it!

The view overlooking the Wetlands from the top of the bluff:

KODAK Digital Still Camera

The field of daisies at the top of the bluff:

KODAK Digital Still Camera

When we got down to the area near where the 2nd one was hidden, there were some other muggles hanging out and chilling, so we decided to come back another day.

We went back up to the top of the bluff and around to the park again. The teenage muggles were gone, so we were able to hunt for the original cache we were going for. 🙂

KODAK Digital Still Camera

FOUND IT! I swear he was more excited than he looks in the photo, haha.

Because it was such a small container, there wasn’t much room in it to swap treasures. But someone had left a nice small rock in the bottom. So we swapped it out for some tiny origami stars, and a teacup sticker:

Vista Bolsa Chica

Then in the afternoon, my friend Ash sent me a text, asking about geocaching. I told her if she was interested in trying it out, she was more than welcome to come with us some time. We hadn’t been planning another adventure yesterday, but she sounded so excited that we decided to go search for a couple of easy ones in the Bella Terra area in the evening after the sun went down.

Geocache Three: Cache in a Field of Dreams

The first one we went after was on the campus of Goldenwest College. Nice, easy cache. Didn’t catch any photos of the search, but we swapped a container of bubbles for a little kid tambourine. Ash traded a lion coin thing for a lion stuffed animal.

Geocache Four: Ye Olde Geocache II

The next one we tried for was in Old World Village. The last note was that it was confirmed to be there, but we couldn’t find it. Perhaps because we were searching in the dark (and forgot to bring flashlights >.<, so we were using phones…). We’ll try again some time during the day.

Geocache Five: Dick’s Pick

The final cache we looked for yesterday was another successful one in the Michael’s parking lot near Dick’s Sporting goods. We swapped a Minnie Mouse/Daisy sticker for a little cupcake coin thing. Ash traded another coin thing (dunno if it was the zebra or the elephant) for a Hello Kitty coin thing. You can see the cupcake coin thing in the photo. It’s kinda small, but it’s there.



Yesterday I posted about our (unfortunately) anti-climactic Atlas Quest attempt down at Dog Beach… Today I have much better news! We went geocaching yesterday (with a handy little app I downloaded on my phone that turns it into a GPS!).

Geocache One: Louisiana Swamp in HB

Geocache Two: The Horse Course

Geocache Three: Rabbits’ Lair Redo

We made 3 attempts yesterday. The first 2 were sort of difficult ones, as we weren’t really sure what we were looking for. But the 3rd one we successfully found the cache!!

Rabbit's Lair Redo Cache

We signed the logbook, and swapped treasures. I left a 3D Artist Trading Card I had made a while back, and we took that cute little knit owl you see in the bottom corner. Isn’t he the cutest? I’ve decided to name him Skittles, and he is our new geocaching/adventure-having owl mascot! 🙂 Here’s a full body shot.

Skittles the Owl

Geocaching is decidedly fun, and so we made a trip to the local Dollar Tree to see if we could find some other treasures to swap with on future adventures. We found some little green army men, some Minnie Mouse stickers, and BUBBLES! I made little labels for the bubble containers, with the link to Clover and Blueberry on it, so if you found this blog because of the bubbles, LET ME KNOW! 🙂 Also, if you are the talented maker of that cute little owl, let me know that too! He is super awesome, and will be joining us on all future adventures!

Atlas Questing


A few days ago, Jeremy and I took Clover and Blueberry on an Atlas Quest for the first time. Actually, it was Jeremy’s first time too!

For those of you that don’t know what Atlas Quest is, it is very similar to geocaching, and is also known as letterboxing. If all of this is sounding like foreign gibberish, let me explain:

Somebody hides a secret little box with stuff in it, and you go on a treasure hunt for it. Depending on whether you are on an Atlas Quest, or hunting for a geocache, the box will contain different stuff, and you go about finding it in different ways.

In geocaching, the box will contain a bunch of little treasures other people have left behind. You take a treasure, and leave another in its place. To find the box, you are given GPS coordinates, and need a GPS tracker. Sometimes, you have to be clever and solve a riddle to discover the coordinates.

With Atlas Quest, the box contains a stamp and a journal. You have your own stamp and journal. You stamp their stamp in your journal, and your stamp in their journal. All of the stamps in your journal signify all of the adventures you’ve had! To find the box with Atlas Quest, you are given a series of clues or directions to follow to find the location of the box. Some people are clever and make the clues into cute little rhymes and things.

So we decided to go hunting for one that I have found before (albeit, years ago) down by Huntington Dog Beach. Unfortunately, the box was no longer there – the city had cut back some of the plants that worked to conceal the box, and probably threw the box away, thinking it was trash. We did have a fun time searching for it, though. And Clover and Blueberry enjoyed their trip to Dog Beach, even if we weren’t able to add a stamp to our journal to commemorate the trip… Maybe next time!

4-27-14 Dog Beach