I was featured in an article in the local Daily News today!
the article is no longer available except in the archives, so I’m reprinting it here…. um… without permission (!) – shhhh….. (!!)
Daily News of Los Angeles
Daily News of Los Angeles (CA)
July 27, 2008
SHE’S NEAR THE SUMMIT OF GEOCACHING
Author: Mark Kellam
Estimated printed pages: 2
They are all around us, but most of us don’t know it.
They’re called caches and they are part of an international sport called geocaching, where players use personal GPS systems to track down “finds” and record them.
The No. 3 player in the world is Elin Carlson of Northridge, who has found more than 16,000 caches over the past five years.
There are more than 200,000 caches hidden worldwide.
“You can call it a game or a sport or an obsession,” Carlson said.
Players download a cache’s coordinates from the Web site http://www.geocaching.com, but sometimes it’s not all black and white.
“Sometimes you have to decode the instructions,” said Carlson, adding that those kinds of finds can be the most satisfying.
When cracked, the number puzzles give the cache’s longitude and latitude. Sometimes players are given multiple places they must go to before reaching the final cache.
If you’ve gone to the summer concerts in Warner Center Park, you’ve been near a cache. One is hidden in the monument honoring Fernando Award winners.
There’s also a cache hidden near a waterfall on the north end of DeSoto Avenue and several are up the hill on the south end of Reseda Boulevard, along a trail that leads to Topanga State Park.
Carlson said geocaching has brought her some moments of serendipity.
When she went to find the cache along the Topanga State Park trail, for example, she was surprised how bright the stars were at a higher elevation.
She has also stumbled upon some historic places she didn’t even know existed.
“There’s a historic park and landmark just east of the corner of Balboa and Ventura. It was (an early) settlement in the San Fernando Valley,” Carlson said, referring to Los Encinos Park. “You don’t really notice it when you drive by it.”
Through geocaching, she’s also made a lot of friends and participated in activities she never would otherwise have tried.
Because many caches are hidden in parks and along trails, she got to try — and enjoy — hiking.
That led to her decision to climb 14,000-foot Mount Shasta in Northern California recently, an experience she described as “excruciating” but personally rewarding.
The most difficult part was that there was no snow on the mountain. “It was like walking up a vertical beach all the way up,” she said.
While there were no caches on Mount Shasta, Carlson said she hopes to change that one day.
“I’m in process of getting one up there,” Carlson said. “Maybe two.”
Northridge resident Elin Carlson recently climbed Mount Shasta. Though there was no geocache on the mountain, she hopes to hide one — or maybe two — there in the future.photo
Mark Kellam is editor of valleynews.com. He posted this story Friday to The Valley hub on valleynews.com.
Copyright (c) 2008 Daily News of Los Angeles
Record Number: 0807290003