Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Geocaching (more or less)

28 05 2009

I got out for a hike on Saturday with Albackore and Capdude by taking the kitten to a cat sitter! She still needs a bottle every 3 hours, and the drive and hike took us about 5. In a couple of weeks, after she’s learned to eat more regular cat food, this won’t be necessary, but meanwhile, my schedule revolves around the still tiny feline.

Capdude did the research on the hike, but none of us were aware of the gnarlyness of the trail! We did a car bridge, parking one car at the bottom, driving another to the top, then hiking down, and this turned out to be very wise. The hike started out on a nice fire road, ascending to an old lookout, but most of the descent was along a rocky ridge. There was much rock clambering and steep parts and “where’s the trail”. We all had a blast, though, finding all of the caches on the list, some of which I’d already done, but 7 were new for me. It was a great workout, and just right for my re-entry in to hiking after being away from it for a couple of months!

100,000,000 BC
Hole in the Wall
Skunk Rock
Evil Lurks at the Root
Meadow View
Cloud City
Bite the Bullet

The views ranged from foggy to spectacular, as is typical for spring hiking around here. Albackore got this nice shot of me workin’ the poles, not exactly skiing, more like creeping down the slope. Pay more attention to the view!
skiingnot

I gave up on this section and did a spider crawl to get down. Where’s that view?
sittingyes

No cache in here, Capdude! (photo by Albackore)
nocachehere

At the end of the hike, Capdude placed this one in honor of the kitten – La Divina Gattina Marzapana, aka Marzipan, aka Marziboo:
Marziboo (Traditional Cache)

precious

Until next week, mew mew!





A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Geocache

21 05 2009

Those of us who have found lots of caches know that this obsessive hobby is about a lot more than signing logbooks. It permeates into and integrates with our lives, sometimes in the most unusual ways.

We’ve all done other things while geocaching, like shopping or errands or phone calls. The wildest thing I’ve done while out caching is refinance my house. Oh yes, and f0t0m0m can attest to this, I was on the phone with my loan officer getting the information all in order while we were driving between caches!

We’ve all found crazy things at or in geocaches, too, from oddball or stupid trade items to money to other geocachers, but what f0t0m0m and I discovered on May 8 was pretty much life-changing. We found an abandoned kitten!

Some *%#&@%!* idiot had left three of them in a shoebox, barely four days old were they, and two had already not survived the ordeal, but one had gotten out and was scrabbling around in the weeds, mewling. I got her some kitten formula from a nearby vet and fed her like clockwork every 2 hours for the next several days, and she’s pulled through! There’s no guarantee with one that young, but she’s a fighter.

Today, she is 17 days old, and just opening her eyes. While at first, I was paranoid that she would not make it and didn’t want to leave the house just in case something went wrong, I feel confident enough now to leave her at home nested in her cat carrier to run errands or find geocaches between feedings.

She’s a little miracle kitty, and I’m excited that I’ve been able to rescue her. Now if we could just educate the world NOT TO ABANDON ANIMALS!! AAAUGH!!!! HELLO?!?!?!?! CRAZY!!!

(calms down)

OK.

This is the cache where we found her. It was a nano, so it was TKLNSL (Took Kitten, Left Nothing, Signed Log):
Welcome to Farmersville
Here’s the kitty the day we found her:
firstday

And the next day:
kittymay9

Today!
marzipanladivaday17

I think the name Marzipan will stick. We were finding camo’d pouch style caches in the area, locally referred to as “marsupials”, and f0t0m0m had permuted that randomly to “marzipans”. When we found the kitty, he suggested the name. Hey, turns out that neither of us care for the almond paste, but it’s good cat name. *sigh* I won’t be doing a heck of a lot of caching for the next couple of weeks, but I’ll still get some in (DUH!), and saving this sweet thing’s life is sure worth it. This is the list of caches I got to yesterday with Albackore, between kitten feedings:

Oh! the pressure (Traditional Cache)

602L P.C. (Traditional Cache)

red zone (Traditional Cache)

3-way-stop (Traditional Cache)

Alley Oop! (Traditional Cache)

Val and Dan, A TERRIFIC PAIR! (Traditional Cache)

Schnitzengruben (Traditional Cache)

Bridge the Gap (Traditional Cache)

*** TOOK A BREAK TO GO HOME AND FEED THE KITTEN ***

Undercover Jon (Traditional Cache)

Stop! See Sales Associate (Traditional Cache)

McNificent McG’s McAche (Traditional Cache)

The Gryffindor Floo (Traditional Cache)

dust ruffle (Traditional Cache)

Ernie Keebler (Traditional Cache)

bird’s nest (Traditional Cache)

Until next week, Happy Catting… er… Caching!
OH! What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done while caching? What’s the most significant thing you’ve found? Please comment below….

P.S. Greetings to f0t0m0m, both Jim and Karen, enjoying Geowoodstock in Tennessee this weekend! A big hello to all the cachers out there from me and Marzipan, the world’s sweetest trade item.





A Beautiful Day of Geocaching Along Hwy 126

14 05 2009

One of the most gorgeous areas in Southern California is the isolated stretch of highway between Santa Clarita (Magic Mountain) and Ventura. While the savvy locals use it as an alternative thoroughfare, it’s generally uncrowded and always scenic. The valley features rolling hills that remind one of Italy, a wide variety of agriculture to observe, and charming towns replete with their unique histories. Fruit stands, wineries, antiques, and a honey farm along the way are tempting even to the most determined cacher.

I’m always happy to see fresh hides go in up there, and I have another excuse to take a relaxed journey through the countryside, and revisit the towns of Piru, Fillmore, and Santa Paula. This last trip was with f0t0m0m, who did the routing homework for us, and even included a short hike (gasp!) in the itinerary.

Here’s the view from the *cache name*, a deceptive .1 from the car, but up a couple of switchback and a steep animal track through the weeds:
goodenoughview

The fig trees were in full bloom:
figblooms

We found a cache at a place where film productions can rent trained animals:
animalsforrent

Do they train the chickens?
trainedchickens

The alpacas at this ranch are not trained or for rent, but tolerated my approach for a photo. What oddly cute creatures:
alpacas

Spring colors were abounding, indeed:
color1

color2

Did you know that Ozzy Osbourne has a par 3 golf course? The cache is in the sign, of course:
ozzgolf

The valley is rich in all kinds of resources:
richland

I especially love finding places where the sounds are like natural symphonies. Take a moment and enjoy the chirps of various birds and the gentle squeaking of the oil “bird”.

Until next week, I wish you relaxed and scenic caching!
(Oh, and Jim, don’t worry… next week’s blog will be ALL about the kitten we found abandoned at the cache in Farmersville! She’s doing so well now…. we saved a life!)





Report from the Road, Including a 100-Cache Day

8 05 2009

I’m sitting in the breakfast bar at the Best Western in Porterville with f0t0m0m, preparing for our third day of caching around the area. We’ve dipped in and out of the Sequoia National Forest during the last two days, and today we will cruise through the local orange groves and agriculture. Our numbers have not been quite what we’d hoped, as we only got 35 on Wednesday, bogged down by curvy mountain roads and a high DNF rate, but yesterday we managed to find 100 in 12 hours. Our mettle was tested literally in the 11th hour. With only 6 caches needed to make the magic 100, 6 out of 8 were DNFs! We were either tired or they were missing, or both, nevertheless we persisted and found the four more after that to reach our goal.

Often a day of geocaching will test one’s attitude, and it’s important to find caching teams that maintain good ones. That’s at least true for me. I always have a fun and relaxed time with f0t0m0m, as that’s his nature, and we both know that it is just supposed to be fun after all. I feel blessed to have the time and resources to be able to get out there and enjoy life through geocaching so often!

This is a quintessential California scene, a two-lane highway through rolling golden hills dotted with oak trees and scattered cattle:
californiaroad

One of the public back roads took us through this gate:
gatepassage

We herded a few cows along the way:
herdingcows

There was a really big lizard in a rock crevasse watching us retrieve a cache:
biglizard

There’s a cache in this lovely spot:

Our list of caches took us near Lemon Cove, where f0t0m0m, Jim, grew up, so I got the literal two-minute tour of the town of about 150. Here’s the church where his dad preached for 30 years:
fotomomchurch

This is the house where he grew up, and it’s still the parsonage:
f0t0m0mhouse

The winding mountain road with not enough caches on it at least had scenery like this, featuring creeks and sequoias, and that’s why we’re out there, right? OK, sometimes it IS about the numbers, but I’m also out there for this:
sequoiacreek

I think one word that describes so much of California and caching in the state is “bucolic”:
bucolic

I haven’t logged in yet, so check my profile in a couple of days for the list of what we found this week. Until next week, happy, bucolic caching!