Empty Circle

19 04 2012

Empty Circle 5.0 Challenge

I was inspired by GeoCraig’s post on his completion of this challenge to take a look. A couple of years ago, I had an 8 mile radius cleared out and only 20 caches left in my 10 mile radius! Now… er… I have over 100 unfound in my 5 mile circle…

I live smack dab in the center of the San Fernando Valley, which is both an advantage and disadvantage compared to where GeoCraig is centered. The advantage is that I won’t encounter any extreme terrain. The disadvantage is that there’s a much higher probability that new caches will pop up while I’m in the process of getting them all found, so I’m chasing more of a moving target.

Game on!

I started out with my fun, yet admittedly feeble, effort today, by taking a drive down to the Balboa Park area for SEVEN finds. That means I’m down to 111 (until Albackore or OLdweeb or the Ventura Kids or f0t0m0m or Team Perks or some such decide to hide a massive spew of urbans to taunt me).

For the first four, I actually got out of the car and walked around the Hjelte Sports Center, which is mostly baseball fields and a handy restroom.
Twilight – Edward
Twilight – Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Twilight – Jacob
Twilight – Bella

Looking from one cache to the next:

The food they grow in the neighboring field is sold at the farmer’s market over on Hayvenhurst:

I’ve never seen a gate with a ladder:

This is the flood control dam for the Los Angeles River. I recall seeing parts of the Valley under water as I watched CNN International when I was living in Vienna around 1991.

Looking back at my car from the other side of the park:

The last three were quick park and grabs along Woodley Avenue on the edge of the Balboa Park Bird Sanctuary and near the golf course.
Jeff rocks! That he does – kudos again on his epic SFV Scavenger Event!
OH NO…Not another LP skirt This hide was really funny. I took a photo, but don’t want to spoil it.
Dog-Fish Chapstick

The wildlife area:

Actual wildlife:

The golf course:

This was an unusually good day for me, as I had zero DNFs and needed zero lifelines. Onward!

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The Calendar Challenge and the Chatsworth Hills

18 03 2011

When I first noticed this cache –
Geocaching 365 Day Challenge
I figured that with over 24,000 finds at the time, and having cached for over 8 years, I would easily have qualified. To my surprise, I was missing three days!

I marked the open dates on my 2011 calendar and determined to make sure I got them all done. Otherwise this cache would haunt me, nay… TAUNT me for another year. I would be nagged every time I took a trip to Chatsworth or Simi Valley: “Here I am, and you can’t find me… hahahahaa….”

Mission accomplished earlier this month to fill the grid:

and I headed out for a much needed outdoor recess to claim it. I also found two nearby caches on that perfect spring day, each taking me to favorite views of the San Fernando Valley and the rocky hills of the Santa Susanna Pass.

Simi and Chatsworth Hills – this earthcache is located at one of my favorite easy-access view points

Santa Susanna Pass – a .20 mile stroll down an old road through the hills

view from the 365 Day Challenge

looking eastward from the earthcache

some of the many big rocks strewn around the hills

overlooking Santa Susanna Pass just to the south of my position

the inviting trail to the third cache of the day

Daylight Savings Time and beautiful spring weather are the perfect recipe for hiking! More to come soon….





Sequoia Park Sojourn

24 06 2010

I took a day last week to head for the hills with f0t0m0m and my sister. The goal was two more pages for the Delorme challenge, and the bonus was the spectacular scenery and local history.

The best example I have of the latter is this “Car B Q”

… which is sitting right next to this giant “Bull B Q”

Further back in history is where we found the significance of Hospital Rock, which is a group of large boulders where the natives would grind various grains and acorns for food and medicine.

We visited the world’s largest tree, named for General Sherman:

I even got to play in the snow!

The adjacent Lake Kaweah is full this year and a brilliant color of blue:

Here’s my one-a-day list for this week:
6/18 – Reimers Cache – cache at a local fresh-made candy store!
6/19 – Jackfruit
6/20 – Chapped
6/21 – Westwood Skyline
6/22 – Zulu Nut
6/23 – Stretched Before Tennis
6/24 – The Chimney II This one required a long tool and some dexterity to get it and put it back. I like these little challenges.

Next week, I take off on a road trip to Geowoodstock 8 up near Seattle. I’m thinking that instead of one big long report, I’ll pick a photo or two and a story each day to post in the evening as I journey up and back. I’ll be finishing up my 100 day cache streak on Wednesday, and I have a special cache picked out for that occasion!





Moorpark, Muggles, and Mixed Fruit

17 06 2010

I finally had a day to get out and do more than one cache, so f0t0m0m and I headed for the Moorpark area to pick up a couple dozen newer ones. Most of the time we were out on country roads like this:

Quiet scenic areas like this are ideal for geocaching, even if the scenery isn’t… er… spectacular:

They grow lots of stuff out there, like avocados:

….and the flowers are now in the height of spring colors, just like the playground equipment:

Someone is building a spacious (to say the least) house:

… and they will really get to enjoy this view:

f0t0m0m got to do the honors for this bit of a challenge in retrieval (I’d done it before already – ha!):

… and we found a new cache at one of my favorite odd street designs:

I got a special treat two days later as I was searching for a cache in Santa Monica. As I was struggling to interpret the cache page, three cars zoomed up and out piled a dozen people, mostly kids. I thought they were muggles, but it turns out that they thought I was the muggle, and one of the boys was celebrating his birthday by geocaching! They spread out and had the cache in hand in short order:

Here’s the happy birthday boy:

My tally for the week also included a short trek to a challenge cache called One Busy Day. To qualify to find this one, you must have found 6 different caches types in one day. I had managed to do that recently and finally had a chance to get to the Arroyo in Pasadena to get the final cache.
Here are my qualifying caches for that:
the Homemade Geocoin Museum
Park it in Guadalupe
Paso Robles Sulfur Hot Springs at City Hall
Old Bridge New Bridge
Historic Homes II
Summer Beach Stamp

and here’s my tally of daily caches for the week!

6/11 – Vee Grimey
6/12 – One Busy Day Icon Challenge
6/13 – "So I Married A Muggle"
6/14 – Lychee
6/15 – Star Fruit
6/16 – Chayote
6/17 – Grey Alert #2





Geocaching Minimalism

10 06 2010

In my quest for finding at least one a day for 100 days, I’m now finding myself just doing the minimum of one a day! While I’m enjoying the break from mega caching to a certain degree, I do also find myself hankering for a good day of finding bunches of them. I’m set to do that tomorrow, then it’s back to grabbing one, one, one, one for the rest of the week in between appointments. It’s nice to be that busy with the various other things in my life, but the lure of the hunt lingers.

I’m planning a road trip up to Geowoodstock 8 in Seattle over the July 4 holiday, and that should feed the caching beast for a while. My 100-day streak will be done, so i wonder what pace I should choose after that? Continue the streak for 6 months or a year? Go back to random caching blasts? Could I step it up to include both?

I’m always thinking that my life will settle down a bit and I’ll get more writing done or more gardening or more reading or more… caching… but I’m not so sure that will ever happen. I continue to seek that balance between busy and quiet, between all of the things I want to accomplish and all of the things I must do just to maintain my health and household.

Meanwhile, my to do lists haunt me.

My camera collected dust this week as far as caching goes, but here’s my real list of accomplishments for the week!

6/3 – Doc
6/4 – Rhubarb
6/5 – Velvet Apple
6/6 – Durian Fruit
6/7- Random SFV Cache 03</a

6/8 – Boogie Nights – Dollars and Donuts – while the above five were easy urbans, this was not, and I didn’t find it. It might be in there in that spidery icky news stand, but I didn’t see it. Perhaps I’ll return another day to see if I can spot this one.

6/8 – Boogie Nights – Hot Traxx – I didn’t see this movie, and doubt I ever will, but it’s fun to know that so much of it was shot locally.

6/9 – SFV Meet & Greet #5– I’d only missed one of these, but it seemed like a lot longer since I’d seen the local caching gang.

6/10 – Rodenberry – my quick, fruity finish





A Really Big Number

3 06 2010

I got to take a road trip with my sister this week, and for a significant reason: to attend my mom’s 80th birthday party! Now that’s a big number:

While I was there, I did maintenance on a couple of my caches in town, and got a couple of great photos of Mt. Shasta.

It was only about 2 years ago, that I was a the top of it! Wow.

I’m not finding much more than one a day, but my streak is still intact! Only 28 days to go….
5/27 MERIDIAN
5/28 Give It a Rest!
5/29 THE NSA REBELLIAN 2
5/30 Blackjack
5/31 Musical Chairs #2
6/1 Bikencache 74
6/2 Boys and their Toys

One last photo from the road trip – and these kinds of things are a big part of what I love about road trips. Who can resist moo cow salt and pepper shakers?





Joys of Geocaching

27 05 2010

A new book by business author Paul Gillin and his wife, Dana is out and it’s all about us! Here’s a great review and an excerpt:

The Joy of Geocaching

This is great how-to book that includes lots of anecdotes about caches and cachers! You can get it through my Stuff link above. Check it out!

I have many joys in geocaching, obviously, and one big one is sharing it with others. Not too many of my friends have joined in the obsession, but a few have, and one recently gained the coveted status of Kilo Klub! Congrats to Spoondoggie, one of my best buddies and business partners. He and his dad went on a beautiful hike along the Back Bone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains, and celebrated the milestone along the way.

I spent the week picking up quick caches to keep up my streak:
5/20 Silver Crane
5/21 Eco-cache
5/22 Play Ball!!
5/23 Laugh & Cry
5/24 Tower of Power
5/25 Leave A Trail
5/26 Welcome to Wilacre Park

Most were in the urban areas, but one was out on a short hike along dirt Mulholland, and it was my mini-vacation for the week. Enjoy!