found the mollalla, OR stash... dont read if you dont want hints
(this is an amended version I sent Jerry Connelly the day I found it)
that's all I can say... We almost gave up, while trying to approach from the west and south by major roads, figuring it was on private land, but somehow stumbled upon the mollalla river recreation area... We were able to drive within .3 miles by the main road. We tried a direct route on foot when we thought we were close, but the steepness and vegetation of the hill stopped us -- it was still .28 miles directly up this hill, no trail... We realized it was gonna be a hiking trip ("he must have put it off of one of the actual trails" was our thinking).. so we drive back to the trailhead down the road, get a free map from the info-board, inspect it, do some makeshift plotting and figuring (wtf good is 1" = 1000' without a definite inch measurement??!?!), and drive back up to the "yellow gate" trail... that will be the shortest approach.. We figured about 1km of hike (hahaha! we learned something new now!) so off we go. up the hill, past the shelter. The total hike on the main trail turns out to about 2km mostly uphill (about 300 feet vertical I think -- that's hard for us out-of-shape folks!) then there we go.. walking along the trail.. 150 meters 11 oclock.. 100 meters 10 oclock.. watch that arrow fall off to the left side.. 80 meters at our 9, right left thru the forest. 85 meters at our 8 oclock. go back, THATS IT!. Not about to give up, we start bushwackin' straight thru the underbrush, energized by our known proximity!
We got misguided by my newly purchased Garmin Etrex showing us on top of it, when in fact it was 30 meters away... it was having trouble with satellite visibility, and I had left the GPSIII in the car unfortunately. I was trying to give the Etrex a realistic workout (which turns out somewhat disappointing)... Oh yeah, I also forgot to bring my compass -- never again. ;)... We intercept a small dirt trail while following the GPS. I follow that trail uphill. Finally, it was showing 5 meters, 7 meters, 11 meters... "we're here", I thought. but then i'd move 20 real meters down the trail, and it would say 5, 10, 8 meters to the stash waypoint. Useless. wandering. Losing lock every other minute. That's as close as we're gonna get with the Etrex... So I figured, lets just start looking. So my brother and I split up, each just wandering around within yelling distance, looking behind every log, under every bush, etc. etc.... by sheer luck, and having two sets of eyes and feet, my brother searching uphill from me spotted something ... I happened to be about 30 meters away when I heard him say "I think I see it.. yeah.. I have it.. right here -- this is it!".
"stay where you are!" I yelled... I scrambled uphill to where he was, and indeed, he found it.. I sat my ass down and cracked it open.
In hindsight, I think with my GPSIII I would have had much better satellite reception... Maybe what I've read about the Etrex on the newsgroup is true.
Anyhow, according to the logbook, Dave Ulmer had found it prior to our visit...thankfully he left a canned drink.. (some sort of high tech "energy drink" ;) . We were getting low on water, so I chugged it on the spot and left some money!(we still had 2km to go back to my car, with only about a pint of water left for the both of us) Temperature was close to 80F, very humid...
After a short period of disorientation finding the original trail we came up on, the hike back down to the car was relatively uneventful.. I'm glad we had a couple liters of water stashed there though ;)