Happy New Year!

31 12 2009

First of all I want to thank all of you who read my blog! I’ve been posting my geocaching adventures each Thursday for two years now, and have watched my subscription numbers gradually get bigger. Writing about my experiences makes it even more fun to go out and find caches. I really appreciate all of the comments, too – please keep ’em coming, and feel free to make suggestions.

I wrapped up my year of geocaching with two runs in the Pasadena area. On Christmas day, I headed out with OLdweeb, tozainamboku, and BenH57 for 40 urbans and a gourmet Chinese dinner. OLdweeb covers it very nicely in his blog , and got much better pictures than I did that day. Do click the link and check out his post!

OLdweeb’s blog post

A couple of days ago, I headed back out to the same area to do a hike through the adjacent arroyo with f0t0m0m and the Ventura Kids.

A splash of color:

An archery range:

Um, NO, Steve, the cache is NOT in there!! Fail!

By the way, I got a heads up that our record of 413 caches in 24 hours has already been broken – in Denmark and Sweden no less! Here’s the comment posted on my blog about it –

Author : Team Mojito
Yesterday (28. december 2009) the danish geocachers Picht and Elmbaek found a record breaking 480 caches in 20 hours. 251 in Denmark and the rest in Sweden. 2 hours transport between the found places included in the 20 hours.

… and here is one of the logs from that day:

Fundet sammen med Picht. Vi tog til Nordsjællands Powertrail for at tage en bid af denne. Men da vi efter 7 timer havde fundet samtlige 250 cacher besluttede vi at fortsætte dagen i Halmstad.
Fundet som nummer 384 af dagens 480 cacher!
Tak MercedesBenz for cachen. 
Elmbaek. #8035

These are the same guys, Team DK08, that set the record in Sacramento a couple of years ago, back when that was a mere 315! I’ve asked them to write a little about their crazy day, and will post that when I get it!
Meanwhile, you can check out the two power trails they did. This is one of the caches in Denmark – PT#250 – Nordsjællands powertrail and this is one of them in Sweden – Halmstad PowerTrail “HPT B75”

Of course the city of Pasadena is all about New Year’s Day and the parade. It takes a couple of weeks for all the setting up:

This is the famous corner of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevards that all floats and bands must negotiate:

This is normally a lovely tree-lined, wide-lawned scenic thoroughfare, now transformed into a jungle of chain link and bleachers:

I’ve been to the parade in person a few times, but this year I’ll enjoy it from the comfort of my living room as most Americans do… then I’ll head out for a short hike to start the year off in the wonderful local scenery. I took this photo in the hills on the north end of the San Fernando Valley this week as I hiked up to A Day At The Speedyway

May your new year take you to marvelous places!

This Week is Brought to You by the Letter V!

9 07 2009

I went caching over the holiday weekend in VISALIA, then met up with a team from Denmark named VELS!

Here’s a list of the best caches we encountered, but no hints or spoilers. Just know if you go, that these are some of the VERY good ones:
Cow Pie Corner
"Rockin’ In The Tree Tops…."
Goosin’ Mama
Zane’s Cache
Chewin’ yer cud at ECP’s 100th hide
its elementary
Local Motel

One of the caches was at this historic building, designed to replicate a VARIETY of Italian architecture ca. 500 B.C.:

I like seeing nature at its most interesting and all these spider webs make a beautiful kind of art VERITE:

This lonely guy was all by himself in his area of minimal VEGETATION:

VOILA! I asked f0t0m0m to demonstrate for you his unique method of log extraction:

OK, I do have to give one away, but this is too good a VARIATION not to share. This is why we geocache – to celebrate!

Team VELS:
When I went to Europe last winter, I made a special VOYAGE into Denmark to find this cache:
Statcache 33 Worldtop10 – 3 EMC of Northridge, CA
placed by Team VELS. They are now over here on a 7-week car tour of the western U.S. Their blog is in Danish, but they have taken some stunning photos, so I encourage you to take a look at their VISUALS!
VELS blog

Hey – I mean GREAT photos! Click on that link! VIEW them!

While they were here, I did the VICE VERSA and hid a cache for them!
Guardian Toad: Jakob & Stina Vels

Here they are enjoying the VICTUALS at the local Outback:

Until next week, I wish you VISCERAL, VORACIOUS caching!

SWEDEN, and back to DENMARK, then home

15 01 2009

A fourth of my ancestors are from Sweden, and my name is entirely Swedish, being named after my great-grandmother on my dad’s side. I know I have distant cousins up in Linköpping, but looking them up will have to wait for the next trip.

Gerlinde, the new excited geocacher that she is, and I cruised through Country #3 in about 2 hours, finding 3 caches and stopping at a gas station to fill up and to find out how to really pronounce my name. Any guesses? That’s coming up….. meanwhile, we took a ferry across from Denmark to Sweden:

Here are the three caches:
Helsingborg 02 at a park

Glumslöv view at the rest stop gas station at sunset


Hurry Up on a freeway overpass

OK, so the guy in the gas station says my name like this:

He makes it sound so purty….

We took Europe’s longest bridge to return to Denmark, then went through this very long, well-lit tunnel:

We stopped at this shopping center:

There’s a cache under the stairs! Found it with my iPhone, as we did all of them… that’s all I brought with me. It was a little squirrelly, but it worked. Next time, I’ll bring my the Garmin Map60CSX,though.
Pleasant Distractions #1 – Fields

Gerlinde bought her new Nüvi here, and I bought a Danish rap CD for my nieces for Christmans. After that, we ate at The American Restaurant:

I ordered a steak entree, which was cooked to perfection, and a yummy warm shrimp appetizer:

Alas, my stay was just over a week. It was enough time to see everyone and enjoy being there, though, and to whet my appetites – both figurative and literal – to return. On the way back, I did get to ride the spiffy German trains and have a white Christmas during my layover in Portland.

My sleeping compartment:

Frankfurt Südbahnhof, still dark at 7am:

At the airport in Frankfurt, they still have one of these fabulous old, mechanically clacking flight info signs:

Here’s the snowfall at Portland airport, about 12 hours later:

Next week, I’ll be posting about “winter” caching in Southern California, where it’s still a good time to be working on my tan. Until then – cache on!

Denmark, a visit inspired by a cache in my honor

8 01 2009

When I learned that Vels in Denmark had hidden a cache for each of the top ten cachers, I knew I had to go find it, since I’d be staying so close in Northern Germany. Fortunately, my exchange sister, Gerlinde, has a penchant for adventure equivalent to mine, so off we went, following the maps in my iPhone, to find caches in the next country over.

It was the shortest day of the year, so the sun only got this high:

The first cache we found was at a rest stop, and it was a film can – but a really nice variation of the hide:
Highway stop….Kongsted

Gerlinde.fi signs the log book:

Here are Jakob and Tina Vels, the cache hiders of the one in my honor:

They forgot where they put it, as they’ve hidden over 60 in this park:

I’ll need to come back to find the rest – we only had time for four:
Statcache 33 Worldtop10 – 3 EMC of Northridge, CA
Statcache F – vores alle sammens godkender
Statcache 34 Worldtop10 – 4 DavidT21 & Fisherwoman
Statcache 35 Worldtop10 – 5 Ecorangers

OK, all you other Top Ten cachers… get yourselves to DK and find your caches!

After that, we went with them to a large sculpture garden with the art of Rudolph Tegner (1873-1950). I thought his work showed more realism than would be expected, considering his influences, but we only saw the outdoor part.
More on the artist:
on wikipedia
and a link to the museum, which is out in a rural part of northern Denmark.

We found two caches, one which Vels had DNFd before and walked right up to that day!

The weather was brisk and windy, but the views were marvelous and sweeping, so the experience was exhilarating.


Our trek to the next country over took us along the northern coast of Denmark.

The Baltic Sea is really foamy:

I’ve googled “what is sea foam?” and it would seem to be a mysterious substance. Anyone know about it?

We drove by Hamlet’s castle! Is something rotten in Denmark? Ah… so many quotes, so little blog space….

Next week – our third country in one day: Sweden!