Cache Maintenance – A Journal

26 02 2009

Wednesday evening, 7pm
I’m procrastinating. I’ve been procrastinating this for, oh, weeks now, really. I have three caches that need reconstructing and two that need to have the logs replaced.. oh and one more I need to hike out to check on to see if it’s still there. It’s probably not, but my sense of honor and my habit of being conscientious demand that I still go look. OK, so tomorrow, I will finally get to these things, starting with making the new cache containers for the three missing ones.

Oh, yeah, I have to do my taxes, too. I should have started them last week as well… but that’s another subject.

Thursday morning, 8am
I’m awake. I’m thinking about doing cache maintenance. I should probably actually do it today. I need to ask Albackore what he used to stick dirt and rocks to an Altoids tin for an evil camo, as I want to do the same. Then I need to get 2 decons prepped with camo tape, and reprint the puzzle clues that belong in there for my “Mouse” cache.

The Mouse

Cinders
Marmalade
Orson
Amberson

10:30am
I got the information on the glue: Gorilla Glue. I’ll have to make a stop today to get some. I did a workout and studied some Japanese – next, it’s time to shower/dress/eat – then… maybe actually touch a cache container? Or… will I still procrastinate?

1:30pm
I got the 2 decons loaded with the log books, requisite clues, token trade items, and camo taped:

Before:
ingredients

After:
donecaches

Now to get out there and do Actual Owner Maintenance!

7pm
Amazing. I did do cache maintenance! I replaced two log books:
Behind the Red Barn
It’s behind a real feed store.
redbarn

Time Warp
This is my favorite Los Angeles anomaly: an old unused barn in the middle of the high-priced suburbs.
oldbarn

After getting the Gorilla Glue and vinyl gloves at OSH, I drove up to the scenic Palisades area on the north end of the San Fernando Vally, and replaced the two caches that got burnt up in recent brush fires, Amberson and Orson (linked above). Here’s a photo of the trail head, showing the burnt stuff and the new growth.
trailhead

After all this hard work, it was time for cachER maintenance! I met up with a few of my usual suspects at BJs Bar and Grill in Canoga Park for drinks and appetizers.

RobbDogg and his Piranha beer:
robbdogg

Spoondoggie, with basketball background:
scotttv

BWidget has a beer, too:
widgetbeer

OLdweeb opts for iced tea:
oldweebtea

Yours truly, with her Tanqueray 10 martini up with extra olives:
emcmartini

Appetizers!
southwesterneggrolls

Capdude and Capsbug joined us, too. Cheers!
img_1301

8:30pm
Got all my finds from yesterday logged in, and got this blog ready to publish!

Well, I still have to do my taxes, but maybe I’ll get to that tomorrow, along with the camo job on the third cache that needs the super duper glue stuff I got today. Or… maybe I’ll procrastinate and mess around on Facebook.

Until next week, cache on!

OH – and here’s the link to the newest Amberson cache:
Amberson

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Arizona Geocaching: Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon!

19 02 2009

Flagstaff

I sang a concert there with Sixth Wave last weekend, for 1000 excited high school kids at a choral festival. It doesn’t get much better than that!

On the way, I found this handful, along Route 40:
S & S Desert Cache
Indian Lookout
French Connection
take a break !

The third cache on that list is at the infamous Bagdad Cafe, where I had to peer into an old trailer to get information to tell me where to find the ammo can.

bagdadcafe
The proprietress LOVES visitors, and insisted on taking my photo behind the counter.

cafecounter

I could see snow on the mountains as I drove toward Kingman:

It had recently snowed in Flagstaff, too, and this was the view from my hotel balcony:
hotelview

The next day, I had lunch with an old acquaintance from college marching band. We hadn’t seen each other for at least 30 years, but had stayed in touch and reconnected on Facebook. Turns out he’s also a geocacher, aka Eldon Viewer, with about 50 finds! We found one downtown after having great Mexican food:

Soap Box Derby

The day after the show, I took one of our group to the airport to pick up a rental car. Icicles were in abundance all over town, but these hanging off the terminal roof were particularly spectacular:
ravenicicles
That’s a giant raven on the trash can, and it talked to me while I photographed. It did NOT quote E.A. Poe.

On the way back to the freeway, I waded through knee-deep snow to get this one:
Flagstaff, Arizona

After that, I headed out of town to the next stop: The Grand Canyon!
No photograph can do it justice – it’s just too large and complex.

I hit a TB hotel on the way, and did four virtuals in the park:
Grand Canyon Bug Cacher
Grand Canyon Explorers
Peace on the Rim
Abyss Disk
Trail’s End Rest

I did get a few photos, and hope they give some sense of the beauty, if not the incredible scope of the area:
canyonacross

canyondown

meriver

canyonsky

canyoncolor

canyonriver

hermitsrest

Perfect snow shapes:
snowpicnic

snowparking

Some train shots for my Dad – this was in the station at Grand Canyon Village – I love the bell sounding in the video!
trainguys

train2

I grabbed a few on the road trip home, including a couple in historic Williams, AZ on Route 66:
williams661

KH – Goldie’s Route 66 Diner
Eight Cribs
Seligman Highway Haven
A Fort Rock on Route 66
Audley
Needles and Pins
National Treasure
The Power of Caffeine

And with that… I was back in So Cal! Until next week… cacheee onnn….





The Uniqueness of Geocaching in Los Angeles

12 02 2009

This week, I take you on a photo tour of downtown Los Angeles, featuring its history, architecture, uniqueness, and odd aesthetics. The list of caches found on this tour are at the bottom; it was a day-long odyssey of seeking parking places with f0t0m0m.

HISTORY

The San Antonio Winery, est. 1917, is nestled in the midst of an unscenic industrial neighborhood:
winery

Many of the caches we found were placed by GeoCraig to show us the many historic bridges over the L.A. River:
bridgeplaque

This mural is on the downtown office of the Department of Water and Power, on the site of Fort Moore which was in use during the Mexican-American War, 1846-1848:
mural

Now a chic restaurant, the original firehouse was built in 1912:
engineco28

For my dad, a railroad buff, photos of where they turn the engines at an end station for Amtrak:
turntable1
turntable2

A forever silent remnant of the cold war:
siren1

ARCHITECTURE

The new local high school for the performing arts, adjacent to a Burger King across the street.
highschool

The shape of the block and the building allow for a nice perspective:
cafeperspective

Many old theaters line Broadway:
broadway

Our latest signature building, Disney Hall:
disneyhall

L.A.s original signature building, seen all over film and TV, the Bonaventure Hotel:
bonaventure

The Eastern Airline building has also had lots of screen time:
eastern

Sometimes L.A. does not look like L.A., like here with the quasi-Euro architecture and overcast skies:
euroview

ONLY IN L.A.

The off-color squares are the ends of reinforcement rods placed for earthquake-proofing:
earthquakeproof

Part of our huge flower market, adjacent to the garment district, toy district, Little Tokyo, and skid row:
downtownflowers

A Buddist temple statue:
templestatue

The temple bell – note the Mexican restaurant with Moroccan architecture behind it!
templebell

A bride and groom getting photos done:
brideroad

I couldn’t resist this “drive-by shooting” to catch them more up close!
bride

Of course, there was a commercial being shot on location. This is the featured car and the camera car:
filmshoot

ART
These are just some “artistic” shots I got:

A pigeon on the street light:
pidgeon

Intersection art:
roundart

Neon sign in Japanese with analog clock (I just love this, for some reason):
neonclocksign

I don’t know why my camera turned the lights green, but the 2nd St. Tunnel is also commonly seen in film and TV:
2ndsttunnel

Elegant architecture:
buildingasart

Here’s our cache find list:
Riverside-Figueroa Street Bridge 1939
Buena Vista Viaduct 1911
Score For The Ohana Pod #20
Main Street Bridge 1910
San Antonio
Another Homage to William Inge
Mer-Lion
Ft. Moore Returns–Filling in the Gaps
Cathedral–Filling in the Gaps
Court of Flags-Civic Mall–Filling in the Gaps
Central HS #9–Filling in the Gaps
Gojira!
Bradbury Building–Filling in the Gaps
AT&T Sculpture–Filling in the Gaps
MOCA–Filling in the Gaps
Going to the Movies–Filling in the Gaps
Civil Defense–Filling in the Gaps
I Hate This Sign–Filling in the Gaps
Engine Company No 28–Filling in the Gaps Broadway–Filling in the Gaps
Blue Balls 2.0
Cat and Dog
Old Latrobe
First Street Bridge 1929
Fourth Street Bridge 1930
Seventh Street Bridge 1927
Eat Your Veggies!
Olympic Blvd Bridge 1925
The Tables Have Turned
Washington Blvd Bridge 1931

Until next week, cache on! …. and enjoy the uniqueness of wherever you are….





Geocaching Meditation

5 02 2009

I’m not a football fan, so I spent last Sunday afternoon on a 2-hour hike in Ahmanson Ranch in Agoura Hills about 13 miles west of where I live. I’ve hiked here often, and hiked this particular trail once before, so I when I felt the pull to find a place where I would be able to enjoy the solitude of the area and use the time to reflect, even do some healing of my soul, this was an easy pick.

The trail starts just north of a busy freeway, but is around a hill, so there’s no noise from it on the trail, and it winds quickly up a hill to afford nice views of the surrounding hills and spectacular homes on some of them.

Here’s a photo of one I got when I hiked through them a couple of weeks ago:

nicehouse

As I parked my car, and took out my camera, it occurred to me that I could make this hike a creative meditation, and study what I saw a bit with the photos I would take, each stop affording a new point of consideration and observation.

PEACE
Right at the trailhead is a home with a fairly large stable for horses. I’m not a horse aficionado, and have never even ridden one, but they always strike me with their size and power, and with a peace that they have about them. There is a purity and honesty in their demeanor, and they inspire a peacefulness around them.

horses

PERSPECTIVE
I like to find ways to construct photos with foreground and background. This gives it depth and perspective. This one also reminds me of life’s journey in that we have things we struggle through now (dead mustard), that are in the foreground, to get to the open spaces beyond.

hill-ahead

HEALING
This tree represents the old wounds in my life, now surrounded by the dead grasses of winter, but soon to be enveloped and grown over by the abundant new growth of spring. The tree is also set apart from the magnificent homes in the distance, as the old pain is disconnected from the wealth of possibilities in the future.

oldwounds

THE BIG PICTURE
Finding places with spreading vistas is one of my greatest joys in hiking. The bigness of where we are brings to mind how small my problems are and how much there is to enjoy and see no matter what. Blessings: counted.

broadview

LIGHT & SHADOW

These two photos of the road I walked are not far apart, but one is light and one is in shadow. So often our lives take quickly back and forth between places of ease and joy and places of confusion and despair. It’s all the same road and one never knows what’s around the corner.

road1
road2

LIFE & DEATH
So often in our high desert terrain we see foliage like this: both the old dead plants and the new growth entwined in it and replacing it. The metaphor is profound, if you take time to look at it and think about it.

deathlife

IN & OUT
Well… what goes in, must come out, and this captures both elements in juxtaposition. Ha!

inout

MUSIC
Of course, I always hear music. We are surrounded by it, even when the music is silence. The dead mustard sang in the wind as I walked today.

CELEBRATION
OK, I bought new hiking sticks! This is a great thing to celebrate. Now I have to USE them and get more exercise….

newsticks

Until next week – cache on – and notice where you are…..

Addendum – 2/5/09
Oh, and here are the caches I found that day – no DNFs! – that made the meditation even better:
Happy Christmahanakwanza
HALFWAY UP THE HILL
VIEW OF MALIBU CANYON APARTMENT HOMES
What a Dump! VIEW OF MOUNT CALABASAS
BEHIND THE ROCK
Junction