My parents and grandparents were from North Dakota, as was Lawrence Welk. While growing up in the early 70's, my grandparents would come over every Saturday night for as long as I can remember. After dinner, it was mandatory we go to the living room, watch Lawrence Welk, followed by a fun round of penny poker. Watching the show was torture at the time, but now I find myself watching the reruns once in a while on cable. My wife and I spent a few days at the Welk Resort in Escondido this past week. I had done some research on Red Mtn, W6/CT-229, prior to the drive and planned on making an activation on Saturday morning. After posting an alert on Friday afternoon, my wife and I headed out to scout Red Mtn and do some geocaching along the way.
Red Mtn would be about a 20 minute drive away from the resort. Unfortunately, once in the area, there were "No Trespassing, Private Road" signs posted on the roads surrounding the mountain. I kept thinking private property, public access. All of the properties were surrounded by fencing. As we made it to the final road that ascends the mountain, there was a large, solid gate blocking the road. There was no room to hike around the gate, nor would I take that risk based on the signs. We turned around and headed back towards the resort. I was bummed, as I really wanted to activate the mountain on this trip. If anyone ever finds access and activates this mountain, please let me know for the next time we visit the Welk Resort.
To get to Red Mtn from the Welk Resort, we drove north on Champagne Bl (Just off the 15, north of Escondido), east on Old Castle Road, south on Wilkes Rd. After a short drive on Wilkes, the private roads began.
Since I would not be doing a SOTA activation this trip, we did some geocaching in the area while we were out and about. Bob, KB6CIO, told me about geocaching and now I check for a few caches when I am out hiking for SOTA. My wife helped me find this small cache on the Welk property. I am glad she was there, as I would have never found it. I had to laugh that she wants nothing to do with radio, but she really enjoyed the geocaching . She is really good at figuring out the clues and finding the cache.
This cache was called "No Guts, No Glory." As you can tell by the picture, the cache looked like intestines. My wife found it at the base of a tree, while I was looking for it at another tree, and she was scared to pick it up.
The caches come in many different shapes and sizes. This one was quite small and with the camouflage coloring, made it quite difficult to see in the tree.
This was a fun find. It took me a few minutes as the clue was, "DOWN by the Oak Tree." Based on the clue, I spent several minutes looking an oak tree that was "DOWN" on the ground near this oak tree. The cache was inside the hollow oak tree.
I will never look at a roadside cross the same. This cache was hidden here. Nobody passed away at this location. The person that hid this cache, put up the fake cross, flowers, and a few other items. I often drive past the crosses, wondering what happened to the person. I thought it was bad taste at first, but by the time we left, we were laughing and thought, "how ingenious."
San Luis Rey Pioneer Cemetery was established in 1869. It was the first non-Catholic cemetery in the area. The first person buried here was a one year old girl. The founder of Oceanside, Andrew Myers, is also interred here. This would be a great place to film a ghost or horror movie, as it looks like a deserted cemetery out of an old west town. Our final stop was across the street at Mission San Luis Rey, where we attended Mass. There was also a cache on the Mission property.
Although I was unable to activate Red Mtn., we had a great time at the Welk Resort and I introduced my wife to geocaching. Once I get her to the location, she is much better than me understanding the clues and finding the cache.