Finally: The Southern California DeLorme Challenge Final

5 04 2012

Death Valley is a destination unto itself, but the primary impetus for my initial journey was to complete the massive “California DeLorme Challenge (Southern & Central),” a 109-cache epic requiring a find on each page of the lower half of California.

California DeLorme Challenge (Southern & Central)

f0t0m0m had found all of the caches, but he was gracious enough to revisit these last pages so we could assail the Final cache as a team. This turned out to be a very good idea, as it’s up a 4×4 road out in the wilds of the Nevada/California desert.

It was windy and cold, yet the 360ยบ view was worth it.

We spent most of the rest of the day working on a series of caches on states and state capitals. The terrain was more rugged that we’d anticipated, so we ended up leaving a fair amount to come back for.

As tiring as it was to negotiate the hills, rocks, and spiny plants, we did find the three unique caches that most appealed to me: those dedicated to the “State of Jefferson,” which is where I grew up!
State of Jefferson
Yreka, JE
Redding, JE

There have been a number of states that didn’t make it for one reason or another, but the State of Jefferson has a long history of trying to become one! See the cache pages for more on this.

Bonus photo! We saw a pair of healthy coyotes near the road in Death Valley, and I got a great shot of one of them:

Vegas Desert

8 04 2011

I love going to Vegas, but I almost never go to casinos. The geocaching in the desert out there is far more compelling, and made this latest opportunity irresistible. I headed out for two days, joining f0t0m0m in progress as finished up a Delorme challenge and found his 29,000th cache. The scenery really speaks for itself. The caching was easy, with only 2 DNFs out of about 100, and there was a wide variety, from basic piles of rocks to a quirky flash mob.

The journey was most refreshing.


Vegas Phoon Flash Mob

The Bidnis Woman's Vegas Base of Operations

Lizard tracks in the sand:

I might never take the 15 freeway from Vegas to Baker again, as the route through Pahrump and Shoshone is just too spectacular.

Cachin’ in the Rain

23 12 2010

Gene, Debbie, and Donald barely scratched the surface of the fun you can have when it’s wet outside.

When the Primm Valley Resort sent several of us offers for free nights, no strings, we booked our nights. Just because it turned out to be raining cats and dogs was no reason not to go. As it turned out, the big day of caching in the desert was sprinkly, but it never got too bad, so we stuck with plan A, and found over 140 caches along a couple of power trails.

Early in the day, OLdweeb found his 8,000th cache. That’s a big number!

f0t0m0m, OLdweeb, Ventura Kid

Most of the scenery was similar to this:

… and no one was around, even though the dirt road was under some kind of construction, and we skirted big ditches, equipment, and supplies to get to some of the caches:

The caches were named mostly for places, both familiar:
Sacramento, CA

and unfamiliar:
Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas

The rain served to illuminate some of the colors:

All in all, it was fun opportunity to get out and play!

Merry Playful Christmas to you all!

Viva Las Vegas!

17 09 2009

There’s a lot NOT to like about Las Vegas, and I won’t list all that here. The trick to enjoying this burg, at least for me though, is to find those things that are not what the typical visitor encounters. This makes geocaching in and around Sin City irresistible. I know I’ll find something unusual somewhere at a cache, and the sheer numbers of caches all around are available for every level of ability and interest.

I’m spending the week here for three reasons: first to get to 19,999 finds so that my #20,000 is at a special Event Cache, Murder Among The Mateys – A Murder Mystery Event, this weekend, and second, to visit and dine with one of my best friends, a self-proclaimed bon vivant, Bob, and his buddy, Rex. He certainly taught me everything I know about wine, and for him to pick the restaurants for dinners is the best way to find culinary nirvana.

The third reason is to do some research and photography for what I call Season 2 of my Twitter novel, The Adventure of Helen and Daniel. I should be starting that up in a couple of weeks, and to read it, you can follow me on Twitter, or read whole chapters after they are “broadcast” – please contact me for links for that.

I’ve opted to do most of my caching out of the city, away from muggles…
Population 57

and in the scenery of the surrounding desert…

and mountains….

… where everything is about the smiley:

Most caches are typical desert hides:

… but this one was worth the drive up the mountain road to find!

Only in Vegas can you REALLY go from the sublime to the ridiculous:

I even got both at once, when I spent a ridiculous amount of $$$ to try the most incredibly sublime Kobe beef from Japan. Wow. It’s hard to describe, but the flavor was not beefy as we know it. It was mild and…. creamy… and marvelous.

Until next week, may you enjoy ridiculously sublime caches!

Winter Geocaching in Southern California

22 01 2009

January is probably my favorite month to be here.

It starts with the Rose Parade on the 1st, which almost invariably has perfect weather that much of the rest of the country gets to watch on TV between bouts of shoveling snow or braving subzero temperatures to go to the store.

My sister came down to visit this year, and we got tickets in the bleachers to see the parade. It’s something to be experienced at least once, as it’s one of the most spectacular events of its type anywhere. Only in person can you get a sense of how large the floats are and how truly ornate the decorating is. The marching bands are big, too, some stretching for over a city block. The horses and Western roping, the celebrity grand marshall, the general feeling of celebratory renewal of the new year, the opportunity to eat bacon-wrapped hot dogs (we were SORELY tempted, but passed on those!) are all best seen/felt/smelled while sitting right there. We got bags of free snacks from a local grocery chain: Stater Brothers. We saw an overly fatigued tuba player in the USC band sideline himself and have to wait for a rescue van. We marveled at the motorcycle cops showing off their synchronized driving skills.

Yes, we found a geocache, too! It was at the Burger KIng across the street from our bleachers, even!
The King and I

I’ve been out to the parade a couple of times before, and already knew what my truly favorite part of the morning would be: the flyover of the STEALTH BOMBER. It looks like a work of art floating over. f0t0m0m (Karen) got a superb photo of it on its practice run this year:


I got to watch it a couple of years ago flying around the Lancaster area as I was geocaching out there one day. It never fails to leave me stunned, impressed, and moved by its beauty and power.

Winter in Southern California means clear air for great vistas and cool temperatures for hiking. Here are just a smattering of photos I’ve gotten so far this month:

sunrise in Lancaster (taken by Andy of Team Perks)

fog in Sycamore Canyon

crunchy trail in the Santa Monica Mountains

the view of Catalina Island from Charmlee park in Malibu

looking out from the summit of Saddleback Peak in Palmdale

snow on the mountains west of Joshua Tree National Park

trainspotting in Palm Springs

sunset over I-10 westbound near Cabazon

a bucket of “snow” in a cache at Desert Hot Springs!!
You’ve got to be kidding, this is the desert!

Does anyone know what this stuff is?? It felt cool to the touch, was not sticky, but felt like it would make a nice snowball! It was way too funny to find this in the warm, dry desert. You can always count on the Wheeler Dealers for surprising and entertaining hides.

January is also a great month for working on that tan!

I did find cache #18,000 this week, too! f0t0m0m and I made a 63-cache run in Palm Springs and this Wheeler Dealer hide was the milestone! The container was even a little gecko. I liked choosing this one, as I found my first 10,000 or so caches using a Garmin Geko – actually two of them – and I wore them both out!
One Heck of a Gecko

Until next week, keep on caching! (if you’re not buried in snow … Ha!)