Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Trails of the Guajataca Forest

On Sunday Jeff and I didn't have anything to do so we headed back to the Guajataca Forest which is our new favorite place. Diving has gotten kind of boring and the forest has 25 miles of trails we haven't yet explored. We have gone on a couple trails in the past - the trail leading to Cueva Vientos, the lookout trail and and trail number 30. We have also done a lot of off-trail "walking" looking for caves. We headed to trail 33. We walked around at an easy pace and listened to a lot of birds that seemed to be enjoying the cooler, cloudier weather. After that trail we took trail 31 and crossed over to 32 because we couldn't resist returning to what we know as Cueva Efrain Lopez on our GPS. Now there is an official sign to the cave that calls it Cueva Los Perez.

We entered and remembered it well. Something we noticed this time that we didn't notice the last time is a strange blue coating of some kind of mineral (?) on the rock near the entrance. We have seen this strange blue coating at one other cave. We wandered back into the cave a lot slower than usual since we were in shorts without gloves or knee pads or helmets or head lamps...only hand held flashlights (good ones) that Mr. I-Love-Batteries always carries around!

On the way back we went off trail whenever we thought we saw a dark area - possible cave. Nothing panned out. We continued looking while we drove out since there are many possible caves right alongside the road or down the embankment but you can't stop the car safely (crazy road). We did look into a couple obvious ones. I like this gold lichen or moss or whatever that we see from time to time. I took this photo of Jeff from inside one cave looking out at the covered picnic areas. Our plan is to continue to explore the park until we have gone on all the trails. Caving is always the first preferred activity, with diving as a second and now hiking. Hiking may even trump diving since we have done 700 dives or so here and are getting a little bored with it! So if you haven't gone to the Guajataca Forest you should give it a whirl...it is one of the highlights here!

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