Calendar Challenge

24 02 2011

After last week’s manic cache run of 825, I had a full schedule of singing, travel, and other miscellaneous things, and only had time to find 2 this week! The one day I did need to find a cache was the 22nd, as it’s the 2nd to last date I need to complete the 365 Day Challenge.
Geocaching 365 Day Challenge

I found two that day, the first in Phoenix on a business trip, and the second on the way back. Both afforded lovely and unique views of the surrounding area.

Enjoy the Koi

Camp Young Airstrip

Ahhh…. even just a couple of caches can be so refreshing!

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Diary of a Mad Power Cacher

17 02 2011

aka
The Route 66 Cache Run Reportage

825 caches in 13 hours
along the historic and largely abandoned Route 66
between Barstow and Needles

Feb. 13. 2011

5:15 My iPhone alarm wakes me, and I blearily get dressed and head to the hotel lobby.

5:30 The rest of the gang arrives: f0t0m0m, Foomanjoo, & 1/2 of the VKs. I grab a cheese omelet & some sausage, fill my coffee mug, and load my day’s supplies in to the Xterra, and we’re off to the first cache.

6:15 We find the first cache – 001-Route 66

7:15 @ 080-Route 66 = 81 finds for the hour since we interpolated this extra cache: Excuse

7:29 We have found 100 caches.

8:04 @ 153-Route 66, Steve of the Ventura Kids celebrates his 26,000th find

8:15 Our find count for hour 2 is 83.

8:58 We have found 200 caches for the day so far.

9:00 We encounter a… well… curious individual walking a decorated and heavily-laden bicycle and 5 very active dogs. It was a challenge to avoid the dogs with the car, but Steve managed. He’s the only other person we encounter, other than maybe a dozen cars and trucks passing us until we get past Amboy.

9:15 Our find count for hour 3 is 69.

10:15 Our find count for hour 4 is 71.

10:26 At 316-Route 66 we celebrate another milestone as f0t0m0m bags his 28,000th find.

11:15 We only nabbed 67 caches in hour 5.

11:39 @ 400-Route 66, we are halfway through the series, and pretty much on track for finishing just after dark

12:15 Our system is now streamlined, and we maintain the same positions for the entire run: Steve drives, I’m in charge of stickering logs, Jim and Josh jump in and out to grab the caches. Our find count for hour 6 is 70.

12:30 we break for lunch and photos and gas in Amboy

1:15 Our find count for hour 7 is 45.

2:15 Back in full swing for hour 8, we find 67.

2:30 We find a very old cache up a hill near the road: lRoute 66 Pit Stop #1 It was placed in June of 2002, a year before I started caching!

3:00 Time for another celebration for yet another milestone, as I find my 25,000th cache!
Where is it?

Here it is!

587-Route 66

3:15 hour 9 = 65 finds
4:15 hour 10 = 54 finds, and yes, we are all pretty weary, but in a great rhythm. The scenery keeps us inspired:

5:15 hour 11 = 71 finds, and this is when we start losing our daylight
6:15 hour 12 = 63 finds, and Steve actually seems to have run out of specious and silly stories to ramble on about. You know it’s a long day when that happens.

6:22 Success! We find the 800th cache in the series!! The next hour and a half are spent on the way to the freeway and back to Barstow picking up another 9 caches to get a FOURTH milestone in, this one for Josh – #10,000!
Prize!

This type of adventure is exhausting and crazy and silly and exciting and boring and inspiring and relaxing… and most of all… a ton of fun! What a team and what a day!





The Invisible Evil

10 02 2011

Ah, February – ’tis the season of Super Bowl Sunday, glorious weather, and the first wildflowers

Super Bowl Cachers

First Poppies

California #51?

… but there are more evils lurking out there besides the diabolical hides that have appeared locally of late:

Surgeon's Touch–Intern Version

It’s the season for baby rattlesnakes – look out where you step!! – and the INVISIBLE poison oak. I got some photos of it in it’s larval stage.

It looks like sticks:

It may have oily budding leaves:

It may have full, lovely green leaves:

All stages can get you. Darn it. All hail Zanfel and Cortaid.





An Old-Fashioned Pug Hunt

5 02 2011

Pug?

Otis Pug!

He was the original Southern California geocaching legend, both for his mysteriousness (to this day, no one really know who he is), and for his innovative cache hides. He was the first to hang a bird house, create a fake electrical outlet box, and even construct a bogus water fountain in a park! His creativity raised the bar for all of us, and a “tool of the trade” is still referred to as an OPET: Otis Pug Extraction Tool.

He disappeared mysteriously, too, leaving all of his caches still in place after they were archived. It’s been a local underground activity to hunt down and log these, even as they’ve gradually gotten muggled, so it was with requisite glee that I joined a band of Pug Hunters to track down one this week.

It had not been found in five years, so odds were good that it might not be there. Not Tom had found it before, and verified that it was not where he thought it should be, but with 20-30 minutes of scattering and digging through the brushy hillside, he came up with the empty container, and then the lid! This was adquedate to reconstruct the “historic” cache, and we all crossed another Pug off our lists!

Walnut Creek Cache

Also nearby:
In Search of a Pug
Sign of the Pug

Snow in the distance:

Valley of Walnut Creek:

f0t0m0m and not tom ready to go:

Unusual signage near the trail head:

Walnut Creek Trail:

Further down the trail:

Sign of the Pug – closing in on our goal!

AWEMM, not tom, f0t0m0m and I hunted in the brush, fallen trees, and leaves for our Pug!

Kudos to not tom for finding the container, then the lid – both in fine condition! Mission accomplished: