Pairs and Fanfares

25 09 2008

TWO found in Hollywood
High note in a swanky neighborhood
NOT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL near a swanky outdoor theater

TWO found in Canoga Park
LiLo the Dodo a classic OLdweeb hide
WANT TO BE TOYS R US KID!!! a classic “well-lit” hide

TWO found in Aliso Canyon… er… make that ONE found and ONE DNF… bleh….
Lower Aliso found!
Middle Aliso dnf, after much searching and a life line and… of course… someone else found it the same day….
How many caches do I have to find to get good at this?

yellow flowers

red flowers

TWO found in Santa Monica… er… make that THREE….
South Beach Green nice cache by the beach
Who Let The Dogs Out? nice bison tube in the back corner of a park
Encontrar un geocache con los amigos! nice hide overlooking another park

Santa Monica pier, just starting to light up

The sun, making its daily exit over the ocean

quintessential Southern California: volleyball on the beach

TWO very nice EMC of Northridge Tribute caches!
EMC of Northridge associated with a news stand on Reseda Bouleveard – Thanks, Capdude!
Statcache 33 Worldtop10 – 3 EMC of Northridge, CA hidden somewhere in Denmark!

Hey… NOW I really have to go there…. hmmm….

Geocaching in Oxnard: Beating the Late Summer Heat

18 09 2008

I took two trips to Oxnard over the weekend where the temperatures are, oh, about 20 degrees cooler than in the San Fernando Valley. It’s my favorite late-summer escape.

The main attraction on the first day was a big event hosted by a big group of my long-time caching friends, the Conejo Cachers. As usual, it was great to see so many folks at once, catch up with those I haven’t seen in a while, and connect with newer cachers.

Gidget Goes Geocaching – Again!

Some Conejo Cachers:

CampyC and TRUROKR:


The infamous, the one-and-only… er… ok… two-and-only Ventura Kids:

Two short videos of the area and activities:

I grabbed a few caches that day on the way back from the event:
Daytime only – One of my favorite ways to grab a light pole cache is to drive right up and reach out the car window for it! This was one of those… hee hee… and Aerospacecase even drove up and caught me in the act!
A Good Ivy hide – Yep, easy find of some fake ivy in the wall of ivy.
Another Hole in the Wall – Guess where this one was!
Sloth – This was on a sign for a slough. The VKs are easily confused.
Hueneme Border – Love those pole caps, too.
Get Garmin or Get Lost (a VK remnant) – This is near the sign for Magellan St.!
Reflect – You can guess what this container was, as well.
Veggies grow here. – This Max Gold hide was the only really evil one of the day. It took a few minutes to spot the bison tube in the trees… yowza!

The next day, I came back for a long walk on Ormond Beach to get the half-dozen caches that were placed out there over two years ago!

Ormond Beach Cache #1
Ormond Beach Cache #2 II
Ormond Beach Cache #3
Ormond Beach Cache #4
Ormond Beach Cache #5
Ormond Beach Cache #6

Fuzzy caterpillar on the trail:

I don’t know how long this teddy bear has been sitting here, but it’s pretty creepy:

Of course, I got some video of the waves!

I also grabbed a few quick ones on the way. The first three are hides by the Ventura Kids. They are all easy to find, just like they like them. Note how the titles help make them easy. Forget about their 7 Minute Rule – if you can’t find a VK hide in 7 seconds… it’s MIA.

Tiny guardrail – Yes, on a small guardrail.
The Farmer Cache – Yes, on a sign depicting a guy on a tractor. There are a series of these around Willows. The VKs never claim to be original.
The Big Blue Post – Yes, on a big blue post.
Third Time’s the Charm (a VK remnant) – OK, another light pole, but I had to get out and walk to this one. Darn.

Until next week, cache on!

Scenic Fresno? Scenic Yosemite!

11 09 2008

I spent Labor Day weekend with my sister and her family in Madera, near Fresno, and did two days of caching around the latter with her, f0t0m0m, and various local cachers.

I got off the 99 and took more of a back road up through Corcoran, “the farming capital of California”:

… and through Hanford, where one of the area’s more inventive cachers, redwoodcanoe, is based. I only had time for a couple of his hides, but one certainly did not disappoint:

Final Attempt ?

The container was not just creative, it was hilarious: a can of muggle spray with some wild directions on how to use it!

At a nearby pioneer cemetery, I was struck by one headstone in particular. It gave the age of the person beneath as 12 hours. Wow. We are so blessed now to live with all of the medical breakthroughs we have.

Pioneer Spirits

I was also impressed by a couple of newer hiders, tom&si. These guys hid one of the most effective rock-like micros here:

Home Repairs

I found 104 over the next two days with A) f0t0m0m/Angelbaby7/Jake4729 and B) f0t0m0m/Twins R Us/Trekky. Pretty much all of the outstanding caches were by Team Forward Motion, and outstanding is even an understatement when it comes to their hides. Their efforts have revitalized the whole Dry Creek Cachers community!

I’ll give the hides, but not the titles, as not to spoil the fun for future finders. We found:
– a magnetic in a palm tree – ha!
– a lovely fake snail on a brick wall
– a fake “employees only” sign on a back door at a mall
– a tupperware under a large red pole cover
– a micro cleverly concealed behind a faded no trespassing sign posted on an old fence
– a nano in a small hole under a washer
– a spiffy version of the reflector hide
– a fake stump of a branch of a trimmed-off oleander

This last one was hands down the best of the trip!

I got some photos/videos of scenic Fresno. Scenic Fresno? Why, yes, there is a park with one of my favorite views:

Polk Vista EZ

Here’s f0t0m0m and my sister near the cache. Guess where it is! Youbetchalightpoleloveit.

Nearby is a small airport where the houses have garages big enough for small airplanes.

Sierra Sky Park Micro

On Monday, I got in to the REAL scenery with my sister, finding 5 of the easy virtuals in Yosemite.

These guys walked right by us!

Bridal Veil Falls is fascinating to watch as the wind catches the water.

Most of the falls were dry, so I’ll have to get back up in the spring to see some real water action!

Late Summer Geocaching: The Discoveries Continue

4 09 2008

I am continually amazed at the unusual, crazy, and fabulous places I keep discovering as I geocache around the Southland. Here’s what I found this week alone!

The coastal fog comes all the way through Santa Paula and Piru in to Santa Clarita, keeping that city foggy on some mornings. It was a welcome surprise to see it in August, and f0t0m0m and I chased it out to Ventura as we cached our way west. Our day started at a plaque marking the Ridge Route, which not only preceded I-5, but Highway 99 as well.

The Ridge Route

According to the plaque, the creation of the Ridge Route may have prevented California from being divided into two states, north and south, which is actually an issue still debated today. For more information on an aspect of this and my favorite part of California’s history, see The State of Jefferson Story.

Along highway 126 that day, f0t0m0m and I encountered an antique bridge from 1902:

1902 Railroad Bridge

I like the fog in that photo. We then stopped at a local honey farm where we could watch bees inside a glass box making the stuff and got to try a variety of flavors. I went with Buckwheat honey. It has a unique tang.

Honey, Honey

On the way to a string of caches on a back road, we drove by a cactus farm. I don’t recall ever seeing one of those before, although I’ve seen plenty of nurseries and decorative plant farms. We were also treated to a delightful yarn on this cache page:

Battle of Bardsdale Memorial Cache

I just love entertaining and inventive storytelling. It’s kind of a “lost art.” Another stop was at one of those giant marble sphere-on-water sculptures, and we, of course, just had to get it spinning in a different direction.

Granite & Water 2

Another day took me out to the Santa Monica Mountains to successfully attempt an FTF on a new multicache with Don J.

Raven’s Roost

More coastal fog, this time in the Topanga canyons:

The fog envelopes Santa Monica to the south from Mulholland Drive:

The cache was hidden along this rugged, rocky trail:

I’m no mountain goat, so I let Don J retrieve the final:

Hey, SOMEone had to stay down on the trail to take photos, right? Here’s DonJ getting that FTF:

The next day, OLdweeb, DonJ and I headed out to Ventura for some beach caches. On the way, OLdweeb insisted that we stop at the recently placed cache honoring his 5000th find. He accused me of sneaking out there ahead of him to snake the FTF! I assured him that I was innocent and that I hadn’t been out to find the cache at all yet. “I may be crazy, because I’m really stressed out,” he said, “but I’m sure I saw your sticker in the FTF spot.” Sure enough, when we opened the cache, there was an EMC of Northridge sticker at the top of the log sheet!

An LPC in Irwindale, (NOT)

BUT WAIT! It was a clever forgery! The font and color matched exactly, and it was on a clear sticker, but the clipart cat was different. Someone had played a great trick, and the three of us left baffled as to who that might have been. I sent a couple of accusatory e-mails during the day, but was unable to uncover the culprit. It was a couple of days later before I discovered the architect of the elaborate ruse, but I’ll reveal that shortly.

The centerpiece of our day was a string of caches out in the dunes by the beach. As we approached one of them, OLdweeb alerted us to a sunbather about about 150′ from where the cache coordinates were. The guy was, indeed, reclining in the altogether, so we did our best to avoid further, er, observations as we approached our goal. I retrieved the cache from under a log – it was a toy killer whale – and then we remembered the name of this particular cache: “Free Willy”. The three of us did our best to stifle guffaws, but were rather unsuccessful.

Mandalay to McGrath #6:Free Willy

NO, I did not get any photos there! Sheesh. Here’s one of the beach, though:

This is one of two antennae gathering information on the tides via radio waves:

As we returned along the shore, OLdweeb dashed out after a retreating wave and picked up a big handful of sand…

In it were dozens of tiny sand crabs!

The award for the most unique cache of the week goes to:
As Time Permits Again

In order to log a find here, one must obtain a one-hour free parking permit, sign it, and place it in the drop box for the permits!

A couple of days later, f0t0m0m and I headed out to the City of Industry/West Covina area. The hides were all pretty standard, including lots of LPCs. We like those, as we don’t tend to DNF them! However, it was a day full of unique locations!

A Buddist Columbarium, part of a very large cemetery:

A close-up of the bronze friezes:

Buddhas all over the place!

This is a fake McDonald’s where they shoot commercials, as they were doing when we drove by:

This is a functional drive-in movie theater!

This donut shop takes its architecture seriously:

The Prius enters the donut vortex:

Finally, to get one of the caches, we had to take a long walk into a golf course/resort area and were surprised to find a funicular railroad in the middle of it. I’d left my camera in the car, though, darn it.

OK, the culprit.

(drum roll, please)

OLdweeb himself! He did a very sneaky job of pulling the wool over my eyes with his “I might be crazy” act. With that, I leave you with a little video of the beach. OK, it’s not my best cinemetography, but it will have to do for now. Cache on!