14 miles, now that’s a big number!

26 11 2008

I took this long hike with BWidger, GeoCraig, DonJ, Albackore, OLdweeb, tozainamboku, and RobbDogg. Yep, EMC and the 7 Geoguys.

usualsuspects

We parked cars at the beach at the south end of Sycamore Canyon, then drove up to the trailhead for Sandstone Peak and Inspiration Point. The first leg of the hike was about 1.5 miles, all uphill, but on a good trail. We stopped to gawk at the horrible Sylmar fire that took many houses and covered the San Fernando Valley in smoke and soot.

sylmarfire

Here I am at the highest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains with the new guy, Albackore:
withalbackore

It was a bit windy up there:
windyview

Sometimes the trail looked like this:
trailview1

Sometimes it was an eerie, magical place:
magictrail

Even the trees made this creepy music!

Looking back from whence we came:
redrockview

Our lunch spot:
lunchview2

Hm… I think there’s a cache over there!
cachersthere

Here’s a topo of our epic walk, courtesy GeoCraig:
081115-sandstone-to-the-sea

Two of the caches on the list
Henry’s Cache
Buddah’s Belly?
checked a couple more off a local challenge cache.
Santa Monica Mtns History Adventure

Finding a cache that’s been there 7 years has a mystique about it. Henry’s through here!
henryneedle
(photo by toz)
OK, we walked around the formation….

BWidger got this shot of me and the previous photographer with the Buddha’s Belly cache.
buddacache

For more fabulous photos and pithy commentary about our hike, please visit the blogs of GeoCraig, OLdweeb, and RobbDogg!

I have so much to be thankful for, not the least of which is that I’m able to hike 14 miles, especially in such wonderfully diverse scenery. I have fantastic friends, both old and new, with whom I can go on my adventures. I have many more places to go and caches to find.

I wish you all a fun-filled and food-filled Thanksgiving!

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The End of an Era and Some Creative Inspiration

20 11 2008

The Ventura Kids had to trade in their infamous purple jeep! I’ve chased that purple jeep and its giddy owners for miles and miles over city streets and dirts roads. Here it is with my Prius, aka The Battery Car:
cars

A moment of silence – hats off – breathe deeply – it’s a white Nissan Xterra now.
notpurple

Don’t believe me? Here they are with it!
vksxterra
Maybe I won’t have to pedal so fast to keep up with this one…. HA!

Hey!
At long last, a geocaching SONG:

The song is “Won’t Stop Looking – a caching song by G. O. Cash.” and it’s written and performed by Sonny of the PodCacher.

In other news: I’ve finished the first draft of my book on geocaching. Tentatively titled “A Passion for Cachin'”, it’s about my life through the lens of geocaching. Wow. I feel like I’ve really accomplished something, and that 17,000 finds actually has meaning beyond the logbooks and trade items. I was able to get it all out of my head: the experiences and the reasons this hobby/sport/obsession can be so compelling. I have chapters on geocaching as adventure, entertainment, education, annoyance, friendship, and therapy, among others. Look for it this spring! I’ll be on hand at Geowoodstock to sign copies…

What’s next? How about a geocaching novel, presented on Twitter! That’s lots and lots of installments at 140 characters each, but the form intrigues me. It should read more like a play or serialized graphic novel, and I’ll have a catchup site available to Twitter subscribers. I’m planning to launch the first installments on December 1!





A Feast for the Senses

13 11 2008

Sensuality in its purest forms has little to do with what we often term “carnal”. Life is experienced through our physical beings, and I recently had an afternoon in which all of my senses and faculties were treated to wonderful experiences.

It started with a workshop for a jazz festival that I did with my a cappella group, Sixth Wave. When I sing, my entire body is a musical instrument, vibrating with and amplifying my voice. When I sing with these five other gifted people, we vibrate with each other, not just viscerally, but musically and emotionally as well. It’s sensual in a variety of wonderful ways.

The festival was in San Luis Obispo, aka SLO Town, and the place lends itself to a leisurely drive. I stopped for 3 caches at the Madonna Inn, an overdecorated, gaudy, pink landmark (sensuality for the eyes). One of the questions for the earthcache there was about the nature of the serpentinite rocks at the edge of the parking lot. They are curvy and veined, layered with turquoises and golds (more for the eyes), and I picked one up to feel its dense weight and smooth texture (sensuality for the hands).

At a cache at the other end of the parking lot, I walked across some spongy grass (sensuality for the feet) to take this photo.

madonnainn

Closeup of a flower there:
pinkflower

Yuppie Sensibilities – fun, tricky placement
Serpentinite at Madonna Inn – geology lesson in a parking lot – love that!
Lion House Cache & TB Rest Stop – got the hint only after circling the bushes a few times… duuhh…

I then cruised to Pismo Beach and found
Oilport, CA aka Sunset Palisades
which affords a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. As usual, I was transfixed by the sight and sounds of the waves, the broadness of the horizon, the complexity of the clouds, and the fresh breeze (sensuality for the eyes, ears, and nose)

As I drove to the next cache Grandpa’s Treat, I saw this place:

cinnamonrolls

I was hungry, and this was way too tempting, especially on a day dedicated to the senses. The decadence of these cinnamon rolls is supreme. I timed it just right to get a fresh, hot one, both crunchy and chewy with just the right touch of the signature spice, and drenched with a luscious, gooey cream cheese frosting. I cut the sweetness with the bitterness of a fresh cup of coffee (sensuality for the mouth). As I indulged in this, I picked up the book I’m currently in the middle of, and it happened to be the turning point chapter in which the heroine, upon seeing the elegant estate of and hearing new and delightful information on the man she’s destined to love, finds her previous prejudices dissolving and her heart’s disposition turning to that love, enhanced by a breathless chance meeting with him. Written by one of the best writers of the English language, it’s sensuality for the mind.

I continued south, listening to the scores of MIB and Kama Sutra, as part of my renewed study of musical composition (sensuality for the ears). The former is by Danny Elfman, who is a master of color, texture, and rhythm (sensuality for the right half of the brain). The latter is from a movie more about deep, true love than it is about the book it’s titled after, and the music is Indian, exotic and rich in emotion (sensuality for the heart).

My next stop was at a cache that I did NOT find, but got to see some curious things for sale and a gorgeous sunset (sensuality for the eyes), and was greeted by a friendly kitty, which I petted (sensuality for the fingers).

pismocat

sunset

Finally, I pulled over at a vista point in Gaviota, overlooking the surf and where, on a cloudless night, the stars are all on high beam. The balmy Southern California breeze I was anticipating was instead a gusty, chilly storm wind that threw me off-balance, and the moon itself barely cut through the overcastness, so I ducked back inside my car and read another chapter of my book. I was surrounded by the darkness, a bit of freeway noise, and the constant singing of crickets as the wind rocked my Prius (sensuality for the car?)

Perhaps because I’ve once again efficiently defeated a sinus infection (all hail, antibiotics!) that I felt so invigorated and inspired, yet it’s on days like these, full of moments like these, that I just celebrate being alive, and for a variety of reasons, I feel more vibrant and alive than I’ve felt in a long, long time – perhaps ever (sensuality for the soul).

I encourage you to find these moments….
Notice them….
Cherish them….
oceanpic





Twitter?

9 11 2008

OK, I’m succumbing. I’m becoming a Twit. I’m looking to gather geocachers to follow me on Twitter, too!

Here’s a link to sign up
Twitter
or click on the counter to the right…..

emcofnorthridge is my TwitName.

Whee….





Thousands of Caches, Photos, and Memorable Experiences

6 11 2008

So many caches are just there to get me there, wherever there is.

In-N-Out Headquarters

Can I get a degree in burgers? They make the best ones, for sure!

Perhaps they should feed the little guys more!

A really large recycling project: dining cars!

There’s nothing like being able to pull off the freeway for a little fishing:

Go to church or go bowling? If you can’t decide, just do both at the same time here!

Michael Jackson’s Mailbox…. not much of a “thriller”….

Caching with my posse out in the Tujunga Wash –

Tozainamboku, DonJ, and RobbDogg, part of a Simi Valley hunting party:

BWidger enjoys that view from a different angle:

Finding 100 caches in two trips up to the Solvang area, f0t0m0m and I enjoyed views like this:

Snake Bones! How cool is that?

Towsley Canyon is still one of my favorite hikes:

This is a new oil seep out there:

Cache find #17,000 = Tell-Tale Heart
It’s not exactly a spoiler, but this very clever cache hide IS in the photo.

Whatcha waitin’ for? The caches and photo ops are out there waitin’ for YOU!