Photo addendum

27 03 2008

Here are three photos I got with my sister out on the Shasta and Klamath Rivers.

Dry Gulch (my grandfather helped build this bridge!):

This is my sister on the 1901 bridge overlooking the Klamath:

Here I am with a view of the Shasta river, as it flows north to the Klamath:

1300 miles of geocaches

27 03 2008

This week, I drove all the way to the top of California and back to visit my parents for my father’s 82nd (!) birthday. I was with my sister, brother-in-law, and two nieces, so I only had time for a few cherry-picked finds. My trip this time reminded me more of how I used to take trips: get there as fast as possible. Now with the roadsides teeming with caches at all the interesting places to stop along the way, I’m finding much more joy in the journey!

Here were my joyful stops up and back:
The I-5 / Templin Hwy Travel Bug Hotel – I almost always stop here on my way north to swap TBs.
High & Dry – the weeds were really tall here, but the cache was in an obvious spot
Preferred Cache – nice, big object on a sign
Mott another Micro! – quiet place by the fields off the road
Chocolate Covered Muscats – across from the Sunmaid Raisin factory
Paintball – curious container by a vacant lot
Fowler’s Flowers – I got wet retrieving this one, as the sprinklers were on!
RFDCache – my third visit to this tricky one, and of course, one of my nieces picked it up almost immediately
Burgers by the Billions – fast one by fast food
RED SAC – one of two quick ones on an exit with no commerce, so it was quiet and scenic
MA TATO – the other one… and a regular size, too
Welcome to Williams – I met up with a couple of local cachers here, which is always a fun experience
West Side of Williams – quick and easy, near the freeway, an ideal roadtrip cache

During my visit, I got to take my sister for a few caches up the Shasta and Klamath Rivers. She took a couple of photos, which I will post as an addendum as soon as she sends them to me. The road we took winds along the rivers with nice views of the water below and mountains around.
Old 99 – River Overlook
Dry Gulch Cache
Ash Creek Bridge – at a marvelous historic metal bridge, built in 1901
Klamath River View – up a bit of a challenging hill in a rocky outcropping
Klamath River View 2

I also got my dad out for a couple of caches. He always enjoys how they give us a fresh look at all of the familiar territory in the area.
Paradise Crags View – in a more newly developing part of town
Yreka TB hide out. – fun BIG cache with a slightly adventurous approach

I rounded out my week with a few caches in Simi Valley, one of which afforded great views of the whole valley and LOTS of wildflowers.
Graveyard Outlook – the photos below are from this short hike
Xmas Grinched
Candlelight – this is at the entrance to a hidden restaurant that I’d like to check out later
Strike Zone
Hard Hat
Wagon Trails – on an old covered wagon

Photo time!
The mustard is over 6 feet high. Simi Valley is in the background:

Some purple flowers:

A different color purple:

Finally, some white flowers:

Until next week, happy caching!

“Kitchen Remodeling” – oops! I mean “Geocaching in Unusual Terrain”

20 03 2008

I started getting my kitchen redone this week, but that’s not what this blog is about.

After finding a few caches around the San Fernando Valley on Thursday and Friday, I spent the next two days is some of the most striking terrain around: Vasquez Rocks and Devil’s Punchbowl. First a quick rundown of the urban caches:

Thursday –
It’s On The Green – a short stroll along a new greenway
Around the Bend – a quick cache at a trail junction

Friday –
Hollywood Tabernacle – a not-so-simple micro near an historic building in Koreatown
Elvis Is On the Building – a Burbank restaurant with statues of Elvis and Marilyn on the roof
Crosby, Stills & Cache – a CD exchange cache in Johnny Carson park
Burbank P & G Pizza !! – a common hiding technique now, but really it’s really hard to find the first one like this
Wooden Saguaro – in a nice area near a community hall in Burbank
A Royal Summons – evil nano in an unusual object
The Name’s the Thing – at a restaurant with the word “cache” in the name

So, it’s really weird to not have a kitchen sink right now, but that’s not what this blog is about.
Now on to the scenic stuff!

Saturday –
I spent the day with Spoondoggie and my friend Jody, who’s not really in to caching, but loves to hike. They are a couple of my best friends ever, and it was special to spend quality time with both of them. We wandered all the way south through the park and back up along another path, barely making it to the car before getting rained on. The ground was carpeted with wild flowers, and the air was clear for lots of wonderful views of the area.

The central landmark formation (can you find my Prius in the picture?):

Jody at an old foundation:

Spoondoggie finds the cache!

The creeks had a bit of water in them, and we found these tadpoles in one:

Cinderella’s Canyon – the one gnarly DNF of the day
ToyKeepers Toy Keeper
Debbie’s Decon at Vasquez
Tataviam Spirit
Darling Road Too – this was on the road back, and it was HAILING on me as I signed the log!

I’m looking forward to having a stove again, but that’s not what this blog is about.
The next day, I headed out with Cybercat to what was supposed to be a CITO event, but it had snowed the night before! Since it would be impossible to find any trash to pick up under the white stuff, we had a regular event instead and really enjoyed seeing this amazing place.

At the Devil’s Punchbowl:

The snow was really a beautiful addition:

I’d never seen snow on cactus before!

The have a couple of owls there. They’ve been injured and can’t return to the wild, and it was marvelous to see them up close.

After soaking up the scenery, we picked up a few in and around Palmdale.
Devil’s Punchbowl “Cache In Snow Out” Event (Event Cache)
Devil’s Punchbowl (Earthcache)
Drinking from the Devil’s Punchbowl
A Forest Adventure
Road to the Devil’s Punchbowl
Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
Jackrabbit Soup
Blue By You
Welcome East
Grand Army of the Republic Highway
Josh, The Dancing Dude
LM Homestead
Skunk Works
Unspoiled…For Now
WALK? Way Out THERE? What FOR?
Christmas Cookies?

I’m really glad that I at least have a refrigerator and a toaster oven, but that’s not what this blog is about. I’ll be taking a road trip with my sister to see my parents and will find some caches all up and down California. Now that’s what next week’s blog is about!

Infinite diversity in geocaching

13 03 2008

This week, I got to experience a wide variety of geocaching from earthcaches to an event to a very challenging hike.

I had time for one quick cache last Thursday:
Little Lizards and Snakes I ended up calling for a lifeline as my GPSr had me out in a field when it’s next to a fence, but I enjoyed the stroll through the grounds of a local college to find it.

On Friday, I spent the day in Ventura with f0t0m0m. We found 45 caches, and these are the day’s highlights:
Salt’n Pepper – my favorite of the day: a salt shaker in a pepper tree!
“The Grass Is Greener… – first runner up: camo’d with plastic grass on the other side of a split rail fence!
Poem Cache – the log must include a poem.
Beach Sand Movement – San Buenaventura – one of two earthcaches, this one involved an extended stroll on the beach to observe the different placements of sand, which was a new way to look at a beach.

The following day, I joined an intrepid band of geohikers to assail a mountain in Agoura called Ladyface. I’d been up there before to find one cache, the oldest in L.A. county, and now there were 7 more caches to find up there. The original route was up the south face, a grueling steep, slippery climb with no discernable trail that took me an hour each way to negotiate. This week’s route was not exactly easier. I’ll tell this story more with photos (taken by Capdude and BWidger).

This was the most challenging part:

I made it!

There was more up to go:

The rewarding view:

BWidger, me, Capdude, DonJ, and OLdweeb on the summit:

On the Far Side, a cache further out and down another ridge, following a densely vegetated animal track:

Taking a break on the way back:

What goes up, must come down….

Here’s a little friend we met on the way back to the cars!

Although we only hiked about 4.5 miles, it took us 6.5 hours. These were the finds for the day:
Ladyface Eastern Approach Trailhead
Tabhair dom do lámh
Sliabh na mBan
One More Eye
Burt’s Eye View
End of the Trail?
The Far Side

The next day, I attended a special event that I cohosted with TerryDad2. Over lunch, he gave an indepth lesson in how to place an Earthcache, and even took some of the attendees on a field trip. I hope to find many new Earthcaches springing up soon. It was his first event, and he organized it very well.
Earthcache Setup Primer

After the event, I had the energy for a handful of newer caches in the area:
Tanks for the Cache! – a gentle 3-mile round trip hike with splendid 360º views at the top.
Southern Splinters – a very clever and sneaky camo job, but fortunately I’d seen similar things before…
Stevenson Cache – located conveniently near a Cold Stone ice cream parlor!

Finally, yesterday I hiked up the Cheeseboro Ridge Trail to find three caches, two new and one old. It was a 6-mile roundtrip excursion with enough cloud cover to keep the temperature very comfortable. I enjoyed views of the surrounding hills of Calabasas and of Ladyface, reflecting on my earlier journey there.
The hike was sandwiched between two quick driveup geocaches.
Do do do de do… I’m caching it!
Heffers Only
“A” is for Arbol
County Line
Ventura Fwy Depot

I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep now!

Now… over 15,000 geocaches found!

6 03 2008

This number does seem a bit unreal, but it’s a testament to how continually fun and fascinating geocaching is.

I went to the Yucca Valley/Joshua Tree area last weekend, and amid about 150 finds, I clocked #15,000.
This little gem of a cache, placed by the Wheeler Dealers included this lovely container!
Triple Crown Road

I tooled around the desert with a small and merry band driving 4x4s:
Tricky Dick, 6ftzpr, TerraGirl, MIBAlienhunter, The Devious Max Power, me, Team Showstop, Ranboze (kneeling) Not pictured but with us: Anna and JCee.

Showstop led the crew this time with his 4-wheeling expertise and knowlege of the lay of the land. The weather was warm and breezy, and the wildflowers were really starting to bloom. Ranboze took a number of excellent photographs, including one of our shoes thoroughly coated with yellow pollen. Please take a moment to check out her photos:
Desert Photos by Ranboze

I’m impressed: she even knows the names of all the flowers!

We were all brought together this weekend for an event hosted by the Wheeler Dealers, who are prolific and creative in their hides!
TRASH in..CACHE out!
At one cache that we actually couldn’t find, I saw what I thought was the container… but it moved!

Other caches to highlight from the weekend are:
Tortoise Island – not a real one, this time
Heavy Metal – a big yard full of quality metal sculpture art
Log Only – yep, I got to sign the LOG (with a felt pen)
Super Size Me – on an abandoned drive-through board
Lost and Found – featured a truly unique Cache to “find”
California Welcome Center – Yucca Valley – check out the great paint job on the container and the many displays for visitors

I also took a 4-mile roundtrip hike up Mission Creek, an easy stroll through the desert scenery with snow-covered mountains in the distance.
Creek and Snow:
Wildflowers & snowy Mt. San Jacinto:

My caching week continued with a quick local find by the inimitable Mighty Dee:
and a day of seeking diverse puzzle caches in Oxnard with f0t0m0m:
My Loop On Oxnard #10:Jam Sets
“Unicorn Blood 2”
More Tubes
My Loop On Oxnard #8:Tastes
My Loop On Oxnard #16:A Tilt Can
The Sinking Oxnard Plain
My Loop On Oxnard #1:¡Vaya!
My Loop On Oxnard #3:Lit Cab
My Loop On Oxnard #4:Iron Tail
My Loop On Oxnard #6:Tu Concentic
My Loop On Oxnard #2:Enter In A Dream
My Loop On Oxnard #18:Rags and Vermin
My Loop On Oxnard #13:In an aid
My Loop On Oxnard #14:Oil is Nil
Forty Winks
Pa’s Treasure
My Loop On Oxnard #9:Via I ring

On to the next caches!