If you’re in the Silicon Valley area, grab your GPSr and navigate to N 37° 11.329′, W 121° 50.846′. There you will find a geocache filled with WordPress schwag. Two .50 caliber ammo boxes hold WP stickers and t-shirts. You have your choice of black or red t-shirts.
To get there, start at the Mockingbird Hill entrance of Almaden Quicksilver Park at N 37° 11.594′, W 121° 50.191′. There is a big parking lot here as well as water and restrooms. Grab a map at the trail head and head out on New Almaden Trail. Take New Almaden trail approximately 1.4 miles until you reach N 37° 11.475′, W 121° 50.832′. From there, head uphill along an unmarked but well-used trail that runs between New Almaden trail and Randol trail. There’s no sign post, but the trail is easy to spot. Take this trail a quarter mile to get to the cache. If you want a big hint as to where to look (cheater), this gives it away. The cache consists of two ammo boxes. Make sure to check them both. Shirts are available from S to XXL in both men’s and women’s sizes. Please don’t bankrupt the cache. Take only one shirt per person. Stickers I have plenty of, so feel free to take extra stickers. Before leaving, make sure everything goes back in the ammo cans and that the cans are fully latched. From here, you can keep heading uphill for some nice views of Almaden Valley, Santa Clara Valley, and the Santa Cruz mountains. Use your new t-shirt to wipe the sweat from your brow as you climb.
Beware of Western Poison Oak while on your hike. It is everywhere. There are usually plenty of opportunities to observe wildlife. Be on the watch for deer, wild turkeys, California quail, birds of prey, lots of lizards, and gopher snakes. Mountain Lions live in this area, but they are a rare sighting. I’ve spotted a few coyotes in nearby parks, but never in Quicksilver.
Here are some photos of the route you will take, and here are photos from all over Almaden Quicksilver. Enjoy your hike, and leave a comment on this post if you visit the cache.
These photos were taken while standing at N 37° 9′ 30.96″ W 121° 46′ 54.36″. This is along the Bald Peak Trail in Calero County Park at about 1600 feet. Hiking to this point from the Calero trailhead takes you through 1000 feet of elevation change. This is a nice little uphill trek that provides a lovely view of Santa Clara Valley to the North and the Santa Cruz Mountains to the South and West once you get to the top.
I recently added the Garmin StreetPilot c550 to my arsenal of gadgets. This is one of the nicest bits of consumer electronics I've ever used. It truly is plug-and-play. The UI is brain dead simple. Poke the touch screen with your finger to navigate to points-of-interest, addresses, and intersections. If you want to find the nearest Mexican restaurants, press Where to? > Food > Mexican. A list of the nearest Mexican restaurants will display. The list will update as you drive around so you can do some wardriving for Mexican food. If you press the name of a restaurant you can navigate to it or call it if the c550 is connected to your mobile phone via bluetooth. This hands-free calling is pretty nifty. With the press of a finger you can call the phone numbers for any of the included points-of-interest. You can program a call home number as well. If your phone supports it, you can access your phone's address book from the c550. The address book of my Blackberry 8700c shows up just fine. Incoming calls are displayed with your phone book information to provide better caller identification.
The c550 integrates an FM TMC traffic receiver. If your area provides traffic information, the c550 can display traffic alerts and route around congestion. This has worked pretty well for me in San Jose. A list of congested areas is displayed, and the c550 will route around them at my request.
The map can be panned by dragging your finger. You can then set a pointer on a location on the map and click "Go" to navigate to that point. Pretty slick.
The turn-by-turn voice prompting is clear and intelligible. You can choose a number of synthesized voices in various languages. "Jill" handles American English navigation. Jill hasn't led me astray yet.
The suction cup windshield mount hasn't accidentally released on me yet. It seems sufficiently sturdy to keep the c550 attached to the windshield and angled to your liking. If you live in California, it is illegal to attach things to the front windshield. I ignore such silly, intrusive laws, but if you're worried about Johnny Law, an adhesive plate is provided that will allow securing the c550 to your dash.
The c550 is full of nice conveniences and the interface is simple and lucid. So far I'm loving it.