Winter Geocaching in Southern California

22 01 2009

January is probably my favorite month to be here.

It starts with the Rose Parade on the 1st, which almost invariably has perfect weather that much of the rest of the country gets to watch on TV between bouts of shoveling snow or braving subzero temperatures to go to the store.

My sister came down to visit this year, and we got tickets in the bleachers to see the parade. It’s something to be experienced at least once, as it’s one of the most spectacular events of its type anywhere. Only in person can you get a sense of how large the floats are and how truly ornate the decorating is. The marching bands are big, too, some stretching for over a city block. The horses and Western roping, the celebrity grand marshall, the general feeling of celebratory renewal of the new year, the opportunity to eat bacon-wrapped hot dogs (we were SORELY tempted, but passed on those!) are all best seen/felt/smelled while sitting right there. We got bags of free snacks from a local grocery chain: Stater Brothers. We saw an overly fatigued tuba player in the USC band sideline himself and have to wait for a rescue van. We marveled at the motorcycle cops showing off their synchronized driving skills.

Yes, we found a geocache, too! It was at the Burger KIng across the street from our bleachers, even!
The King and I

I’ve been out to the parade a couple of times before, and already knew what my truly favorite part of the morning would be: the flyover of the STEALTH BOMBER. It looks like a work of art floating over. f0t0m0m (Karen) got a superb photo of it on its practice run this year:

stealthbyf0t0m0m

I got to watch it a couple of years ago flying around the Lancaster area as I was geocaching out there one day. It never fails to leave me stunned, impressed, and moved by its beauty and power.

Winter in Southern California means clear air for great vistas and cool temperatures for hiking. Here are just a smattering of photos I’ve gotten so far this month:

sunrise in Lancaster (taken by Andy of Team Perks)
lancastersunrise

fog in Sycamore Canyon
fogbits

crunchy trail in the Santa Monica Mountains

the view of Catalina Island from Charmlee park in Malibu
malibucatalina

looking out from the summit of Saddleback Peak in Palmdale
Saddleback
on-top-of-saddleback-peak

snow on the mountains west of Joshua Tree National Park
snowmtns

trainspotting in Palm Springs
trainsnowmountain1

sunset over I-10 westbound near Cabazon
sunsetoverfreeway

a bucket of “snow” in a cache at Desert Hot Springs!!
You’ve got to be kidding, this is the desert!
snow-in-the-desert1

Does anyone know what this stuff is?? It felt cool to the touch, was not sticky, but felt like it would make a nice snowball! It was way too funny to find this in the warm, dry desert. You can always count on the Wheeler Dealers for surprising and entertaining hides.

January is also a great month for working on that tan!
tanning

I did find cache #18,000 this week, too! f0t0m0m and I made a 63-cache run in Palm Springs and this Wheeler Dealer hide was the milestone! The container was even a little gecko. I liked choosing this one, as I found my first 10,000 or so caches using a Garmin Geko – actually two of them – and I wore them both out!
One Heck of a Gecko
gecko

Until next week, keep on caching! (if you’re not buried in snow … Ha!)

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One response

27 01 2009
P.J.

Wait, “winter” in California? What’s that mean… like 45 degrees? 🙂

We finished caching at like 1:30 a.m. the other day and it was a balmy -4. By the time I got home, it was -15.

Oh yeah, we’re expecting 6-10 inches of the white stuff between Wednesday AM (around 1) and early afternoon. I’m sure I’ll be tromping through it Saturday.

Wanna trade winters???

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