A Big Hole in the Ground

9 08 2012

As we headed east from Flagstaff, my sister and I noticed a sign pointing to a meteor crater, and not just any meteor crater. The Barringer Crater is the world’s most perfectly preserved impact crater. From here, scientists discovered a wealth of knowledge about our planet and solar system.
Barringer Crater Earthcache
The earthcache page gives a good overview of its history, dimensions, and composition.

It was windy up there:

The flatness of the area around it give the illusion that the crater is not as deep as it is, but it’s as deep as the Washington Monument is tall.

These telescopes are pointed at particular things of interest in the crater, including a little statue of an astronaut waving a flag, a large rock on the rim, and various tunnels that scientists have dug to try to find the original meteor.

Inside the museum we saw a movie about the impact, and a large display of the science and history of the meteor. This is the largest chunk of it that they’ve found, and everyone can touch this piece of the sky:

We also saw am impressive display of fossils. The gift shop had fossils and little piece of meteor for sale, too!

Geology and the Old 99 Highway

23 02 2012

Spoondoggie had never been to the south side of the Lake Pyramid dam, so we set aside some time to head up there and take the 5-mile roundtrip hike up the old highway 99 to check it out. Here’s bit on the history of the highway – Hwy 99

The contrails were striking in the clear blue sky. It was pretty windy, but not too chilly.

This is Piru Creek: “Here, the flow of the lower creek is augmented by water releases from Pyramid dam and reservoir. This segment offers one of the few reliable year-round cold water trout fisheries in Southern California and is managed as a catch and release Wild Trout Stream by the California Department of Fish and Game. It is also a popular spot for families to picnic, view wildlife, and catch a glimpse of old California, before it was transformed by the urban megalopolis.” – from this site

Here’s where the wild trout are:

The dam is ahead of us, and there is a lot of geology to see in the rocks cutaway by both the original road construction and river erosion.

Scott finally got to see this side of the dam, and we both analyzed the nearby rock formations to learn about Piru Gorge Sandstone Ripples and Channels. I never knew that rocks could show which direction water flows.

Be sure to check out that cache page for diagrams and information on this phenomenon, expertly described by TerryDad.

In the spirit of Los Angeles history, we had lunch at Tommy Burgers! Those are not just iconic, but super yummy!

This Geocaching Blog is All About ME… NOT!!

12 03 2009

This week I get to tell you about an unusual and bold achievement by two other local cachers, UncleJon91 (aka Uncle Jon) and not tom (aka Jerry). The two of them found 7, count ’em, SEVEN different types of caches in one day, March 8, 2009, all in downtown Los Angeles!

Glendale Narrows by TerryDad2 (GC1772F)

Books and a Cup o’ Joe by marsfun (GCN1C1)

Hi 5, Lo 5 for Mozart by rammd (GCZ1ZR)

The City of the Angels by Saros (GC3975)

Awed Couples by Eagle Rock Rob (GCMX8A)

Letterbox Hybrid:
Cat and Dog by OLdweeb (GC1EBM7)

and a bunch of Traditionals, including this one:
Engine Company No 28–Filling in the Gaps by GeoCraig (GC1JWQG)

Here they are at the puzzle cache location:

Way to go, guys!

Here’s Jerry’s first-hand report:

Hi Elin,

I’m not a writer but I’ll give it a shot about UNCLE JON and my day of caching. We just run a query and go and sometimes it may make a milestone but today turned out real different.

We started out in San Dimas grabbing a new (1)Traditional cache GC1NDZ7. We then worked our way around about until we get to down town LA. We grabbed a (2)Virtual GCBFEC. 2 caches later we are grabbing a (3)Letterbox GC1EBM7. The next cache is a (4)Puzzle GCMX8A. After we talked to you about Walt Disney cache we DNF, we done the (5)Earthcache GC1772F. We called Rammd for him to give us some coords for a Multi, we don’t normally load Multi’s. We completed Rammd’s (6)Multi GCZ1ZR. Now we are off to do the WebCam at Pasadena Central Library. We know it is going to be locked but it is worth a shot. We think we are going to get 6 types of caches in one day. We get to the Library and call Rammd to be cam operator. He can’t see my GPSr nor my waving hand. He told me to climb over the fence and I said that is not a good idea. Meanwhile Jon is in the library. I go in to find Jon and he has good news, security will be in about 5 minutes to let us in to do the cam thing. Wow, it really did work. We posted our picture for (7)WebCam GCN1C1.

I’m at home posting all of this logging and that is when I realized we done 7 types of caches in one day. I had to go back and edit some logs for correction. We didn’t do a large number of caches but Jon and I are pleased with something special like this. I do read your blog page time to time. It is like going with Hewel Houser sometimes. LOL.


Jerry (not tom)

The two of them are also each known for their prolific and truly superior, well-crafted hides. I go out of my way to visit their territory to find those!

I also want to give kudos to Terra Girl for her recent puzzle hides. They are uniquely creative, and the containers all delightfully match the themes! Check ’em out, as they are worth the entertaining solutions, even if you never come find ’em!

Beware the Eyes
Terra Incognita
Greetings from Earth
The Butterfly Effect

Thanks for inspiring us all to hide better and have even more fun finding!

Say… have any of you set any crazy records or have unique caches in your area to tell us about? Please put them in the comments!

A Feast for the Senses

13 11 2008

Sensuality in its purest forms has little to do with what we often term “carnal”. Life is experienced through our physical beings, and I recently had an afternoon in which all of my senses and faculties were treated to wonderful experiences.

It started with a workshop for a jazz festival that I did with my a cappella group, Sixth Wave. When I sing, my entire body is a musical instrument, vibrating with and amplifying my voice. When I sing with these five other gifted people, we vibrate with each other, not just viscerally, but musically and emotionally as well. It’s sensual in a variety of wonderful ways.

The festival was in San Luis Obispo, aka SLO Town, and the place lends itself to a leisurely drive. I stopped for 3 caches at the Madonna Inn, an overdecorated, gaudy, pink landmark (sensuality for the eyes). One of the questions for the earthcache there was about the nature of the serpentinite rocks at the edge of the parking lot. They are curvy and veined, layered with turquoises and golds (more for the eyes), and I picked one up to feel its dense weight and smooth texture (sensuality for the hands).

At a cache at the other end of the parking lot, I walked across some spongy grass (sensuality for the feet) to take this photo.


Closeup of a flower there:

Yuppie Sensibilities – fun, tricky placement
Serpentinite at Madonna Inn – geology lesson in a parking lot – love that!
Lion House Cache & TB Rest Stop – got the hint only after circling the bushes a few times… duuhh…

I then cruised to Pismo Beach and found
Oilport, CA aka Sunset Palisades
which affords a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. As usual, I was transfixed by the sight and sounds of the waves, the broadness of the horizon, the complexity of the clouds, and the fresh breeze (sensuality for the eyes, ears, and nose)

As I drove to the next cache Grandpa’s Treat, I saw this place:


I was hungry, and this was way too tempting, especially on a day dedicated to the senses. The decadence of these cinnamon rolls is supreme. I timed it just right to get a fresh, hot one, both crunchy and chewy with just the right touch of the signature spice, and drenched with a luscious, gooey cream cheese frosting. I cut the sweetness with the bitterness of a fresh cup of coffee (sensuality for the mouth). As I indulged in this, I picked up the book I’m currently in the middle of, and it happened to be the turning point chapter in which the heroine, upon seeing the elegant estate of and hearing new and delightful information on the man she’s destined to love, finds her previous prejudices dissolving and her heart’s disposition turning to that love, enhanced by a breathless chance meeting with him. Written by one of the best writers of the English language, it’s sensuality for the mind.

I continued south, listening to the scores of MIB and Kama Sutra, as part of my renewed study of musical composition (sensuality for the ears). The former is by Danny Elfman, who is a master of color, texture, and rhythm (sensuality for the right half of the brain). The latter is from a movie more about deep, true love than it is about the book it’s titled after, and the music is Indian, exotic and rich in emotion (sensuality for the heart).

My next stop was at a cache that I did NOT find, but got to see some curious things for sale and a gorgeous sunset (sensuality for the eyes), and was greeted by a friendly kitty, which I petted (sensuality for the fingers).



Finally, I pulled over at a vista point in Gaviota, overlooking the surf and where, on a cloudless night, the stars are all on high beam. The balmy Southern California breeze I was anticipating was instead a gusty, chilly storm wind that threw me off-balance, and the moon itself barely cut through the overcastness, so I ducked back inside my car and read another chapter of my book. I was surrounded by the darkness, a bit of freeway noise, and the constant singing of crickets as the wind rocked my Prius (sensuality for the car?)

Perhaps because I’ve once again efficiently defeated a sinus infection (all hail, antibiotics!) that I felt so invigorated and inspired, yet it’s on days like these, full of moments like these, that I just celebrate being alive, and for a variety of reasons, I feel more vibrant and alive than I’ve felt in a long, long time – perhaps ever (sensuality for the soul).

I encourage you to find these moments….
Notice them….
Cherish them….

Ferry + Tunnels + Apes + HQ = Seattle! (part 2)

30 10 2008

Another reason I went to Seattle was to reconnect with my eldest cousin. We couldn’t remember the last time we’d seen each other, but it had probably been 30 or 40 years! He looks like both his mom and his dad, and it somehow being with him felt like being with them, too. He and his wife live on a farm out on San Juan Island, where they raise kiwis, apples, asian pears, filberts, lambs and gourmet grass to feed them. I got a long tour of their whole operation and of the island, which has a curious history involving a dispute between the American army and the English army over a pig. The resolution of that dispute led to the border we have with Canada today.

I found one cache on the island with my cousin. It’s right near where I disembarked the ferry:
Ferry Godmother – Annie’s Corsets

I also picked up two near the ferry dock at the other end:
Ship Harbor Earthcache

Ferry Godmother – Saturday Cove

The ferry rides were great fun and superbly scenic.

I just couldn’t resist getting this shot:

The music of the waves on the pebbles is something I don’t hear in Southern California, which only has sandy beaches:

For all of my newer readers, a reminder to check out my monthly newsletter on my career as a professional singer: Elin Carlson.

Until next week…. cache on!