Dunsmore Canyon

29 12 2011

Winter’s wind and rain yield to warm days with sparkling clear skies, making December and January the perfect months for hiking in Southern California. I took advantage of this with f0t0m0m this week as we set out to explore a new park for both of us. We did a loop, more or less, up Dunsmore Canyon, which is part of the Deukmejian Wilderness Park, located north of Glendale in the mountains above La Crescenta. It was only a 3-mile jaunt, but turned out to be enjoyably complex with ascents, descents, a side canyon, broad vistas, and bubbling seasonal creeks.

We started with the obligatory cache at the parking lot:
Deukmejian Park Vista Cache

This mysterious building has no signage that we could find, so we thought it was part of the water management in the area. Wrong! It’s an old barn, and its history is on this website: Le Mesnager Barn
It still features a small vineyard and an outdoor amphitheater.

This starting point is already high enough to see quite a distance.

It wasn’t long before the whole LA basin was spread out before us. We headed down a lesser-used side trail for this cache:
Old horse hitching post

The deep blue sky is a dramatic backdrop for this recovering victim of the 2009 Station fire. Yes, there is a cache there.
Still Standing, By Gum!

Looking up Dunsmore Canyon: more sky and mountains

Sarah's Cooks Canyon Cache

This is the end of the trail at the top of Dunsmore Canyon, and the cache up there was placed back in 2001. Dunsmore Canyon Trail

Wishing you a happy, prosperous, cacheful 2012!

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Avenging the Ahamanson!

22 12 2011

It was our third attempt and we brought a third party to help (f0t0m0m), but Cairngorm and I finally prevailed in finding this elusive cache:
ON THE CROSSOVER TRAIL

The first two times, we spent 20-30 minutes searching all around the tree/ground/trail, but this time, it was hanging in plain view. Go figure. It was still a great relief, and this trail is always gorgeous.

This is “winter” up the Las Virgenes Canyon of Ahmanson Ranch:

The sky is spectacular:

The view to the east from the cache in question, with mountains way in the background:

To the west, you can see the gas pipeline signs marching up the slope:

I even got a pretty good shot of the waning quarter moon:

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and holiday geocaching season!





Beverly Hills

19 12 2011

Geocaching is not a profitable as finding black gold, but either can bring one to Beverly Hills.

Beverly Hills
First Alarm Fire

A long landscaped pathway runs beside a couple of miles of Santa Monica Boulevard through the heart of this famous town.

It’s lined with fig trees, some quite large and ancient.

The powers that be insist on trying to make the greenway even more attractive with modern art. This is not so successful.

*Fail*

At least the architecture of the police station has classic beauty.

The tower of City Hall peeks down through iconic palm trees.

The entire complex is a pleasing mix of older and newer designs.

“Y’all come back now, ya hear?”





Impressions of Japantown

8 12 2011

I had a meeting a block away from Japantown last weekend, and afterwards had some time to walk around the area and grab a bite to eat. It was a bit busy, so the zen of the experience was somewhat diminished, but I still love every opportunity I have to be in this unique place.

There was only one cache within walking distance for me to find, but I was delighted to see that the hider is a good friend: OLdweeb. He has a series dedicated to the now rare, almost extinct pay phone:
Little Tokyo DoDo

I was surprised to see that this one still works!
phone

Japantown:

Entrance mural and tower:

A wall of haiku about the plaza:

One of the haiku:

Unique rock sculpture:

Paper lanterns, always festive:

The traditional Japanese Christmas tree?

Lunch, chirsashi sushi and hot tea:

Finally, a view towards downtown from the 2nd floor balcony of this city oasis:





Sundial Bridge

1 12 2011

On the way back south from visiting my parents for our annual fabulous Thanksgiving feast, my sister and I made a stop in Redding, California, to take a walk around their new landmark, the Sundial Bridge. I’ve been here several times, finding caches, and even participating in the geocaching traveling exhibit that was here for a while.
GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit-Turtle Bay Park (now archived)

The gift shop still has a nice geocaching corner:

I found three newer caches that were in the immediate vicinity of the bridge:
Entrance to Turtle Bay
Quality Time
Lena's Flutterfly House This one features a charming hiding place!

It was a perfect day, weather-wise, warm and clear.

One unusual feature of this bridge is that there is no room for trolls.

The spire looks to me like a giant, alien musical instrument.

The shadow is cast on an oversized sundial.

It’s only really accurate at the summer soltice, though, or so it would seem. It was over an hour off today.

This is the rewarding view from the bridge, featuring snow on the mountains and a few busy fisherman: