The Fizzy Challenge and the Enigmatic Otis Pug

12 11 2009

Before I get in to the main subjects this week, here are a couple of newsy items.

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Author and technology journalist Paul Gillen and his wife Dana are avid geocachers and are about to publish a book on the how to. It’s called “Joy of Geocaching,” and I have a link to the Amazon page already on the Geocaching Stuff to Buy tab here for your convenience. I’ll let y’all know when it’s out. Meanwhile, they did a super job interviewing Steve of the Ventura Kids about our record-setting 413 cache day!

Listen to the interview

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I got a very nice note requesting that I let you all know about this event coming up in January. This is not typically what my blog is about, and there are just too many events for me to promote them, but – hey – here’s the info:

“Hello,
My name is Jeff Price and I am the Interpreter at Ocotillo Wells SVRA.  We are trying to get the word out about our first ever off-road geocaching adventure and we were wondering if you would let your blog know about it.  It will be a fun-filled weekend, from Jan. 29th-31st, with demonstrations, a few vendors and of course a geocache scavenger hunt all topped off with a CITO on Sunday with lunch provided!  For more information please go to our event cache listing on geocaching.com: GC1Y5D2.”

I’m not sure if I’ll be there or not, but have it pencilled in.

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This week, I found two more caches for the Well-Rounded Cacher challenge cache,
Well Rounded Cacher (The Fizzy Challenge)
and I only have ONE more grid space left to fill to finally complete this rather monumental challenge. The trick for some of us is to find high-terrain/high-difficulty caches we can actually DO. Fortunately, there are some out there with high ratings that don’t involve spelunking, deep-sea diving, long-distance backpacking, or cliff climbing, and I can get the grid space in spite of my claustrophobia, aquaphobia, acrophobia, and agrizoophobia.

I hiked out to a 2.5/5 start cache up in the Lake Arrowhead area with f0t0m0m. It’s easily doable with a motorcycle or off-road quad, but otherwise, it’s either a .10 bushwhack down a very steep slope or a rather pleasant one-mile hike each way on the single track for the aforementioned vehicles. We opted for the latter!

3W11 "Metate"
trailto5star

It was a lovely day, too:
altitude

I also got my 4.5/5 grid space with this cache:
Fort Orange

A quick slog up a cactus-filled hill in Orange County with Albackore brought us to this rocky outcropping and the goal of our quest.
5starview
albackoresummits

On the way back, I got a wonderful bonus by accident. I could (and probably will eventually) do an entire blog on Otis Pug, one of our local pioneers in creative camos and challenging puzzle caches. A secretive and mysterious character, his little dog was the only visible evidence of his existence, and one day – suddenly and to everyone’s chagrin – he left the game, archiving all of his celebrated hides. He left the containers in place, though, so all of us around here decided to keep finding his caches and logging them nevertheless! Hey… they ARE there… I have a short list of the ones that are still findable.

Anyway, as we wandered around on the top of the hill after locating the target cache, I noticed an obvious geopile. I thought there might be a letterbox in there, but it was another geocache – lo, and behold! – an old Otis Pug!
Otis Pug Goes Airborne
otispughide

Have a great week of caching surprises!

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3 responses

16 11 2009
P.J.

I think you should do a full entry on Otis Pug as it sounds like it would be interesting reading!

I like the Fizzy Challenge… alas, even if I conquer it, I’m not sure I’ll get to the final being it’s on the other side of the country!

16 11 2009
Elin Carlson

Otis Pug…. coming up… someday… LOL – and PJ, I believe there are copies of this challenge in other states… ?

20 11 2009
Mike Pacholik

That was the first Otis Pug cache I had ever found. The next day all his caches where archived with this note: Too many Politics for a simple game. It was because of a few of his caches in Chino Hill State park being taken by the ranger there.

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