Dos Vientos

22 09 2011

This week’s adventure in to nature was a short hike in the Dos Vientos area of Newbury Park, followed by a choice selection of really high class camo jobs. One was an infuriatingly perfect reproduction of a sprinkler system, one was a beautifully crafted Cryptex (I’ll let you search for that one – you will be intrigued!), and one was an appropriately themed can in a local gym!

Danny's Cache
Beyond Doc
Gimme an L…!
Popeye's Secret
The leash police dismisseth us
Future Park Site
The Calculus Crusher!
Not Another LPC!
The Reserve
Amazing Too – Classic Agoura Charger sneakiness!
Future Park Site
Cheep Hide
A Little South Of Insanity
Elliot Meow Meow

The trail featured some rather obvious (I thought) directional signage:

… some unusual drainage area features:

…. the ubiquitous giant fennel:

… and a lovely view of my car from the top of the hill:

Oh, yes – and a dream house!

Wow. That’s near where I paused to get our relaxation video of the week:

I didn’t get photos of the ingenious hides above, but both f0t0m0m and I were stunned to pull in to a parking lot to see this one, just as you see it here:

Amazingly, it’s been there since May. Go figure.

We capped off the day with an event, our regular monthly local gathering, and it was great, as usual, to catch up with the good friends I’ve made from geocaching!
SFV Geocachers Meet & Greet #20

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!

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!

Oh, Hai! Geocaching: Weer doin it rite

3 12 2009

Lots of caches, empty dirt roads, spectacular views, fun friends.
North of Ojai – a jeep trail that only permits 10 vehicles per day to drive on it
Ventura Kids, the Devious Max Power, Terra Girl, f0t0m0m, me
95 finds
THIS is geocaching:

That’s pretty much what we “had” to look at all day. Those are the Channel Islands out there:

Most of the caches were really easy to find, even under these potentially daunting circumstances:

The next one is over there somewhere:

We never could figure out what this alien beacon was really for:

It might have something to do with the lovely little pond nearby:

Steve shows us how to really look for caches. He said he could see it from there, down where we were. Hm.

A Devious Hide?

Snow! We did get out and play in it… sort of…

A little video view:

I look forward to more fun days with these guys!

413 Geocaches in 24 Hours?? YES! We did it…

3 09 2009

50 years ago (or as the card my sister gave me expressed it “A Long, Long, Long Time Ago”), on August 29, I breathed my first taste of Terran air. What better way to celebrate than with a crazy, exhausting, record-setting day of geocaching??

For those of you who have never attempted real power caching like this and wonder how on earth it can be done, here are the most essential things for achieving light speed:

1) density – there must be a LOT of caches in a concentrated area

2) ease of transition – no traffic lights or muggles, but an open country grid of roads

3) complete pre-planning – all puzzles solves and the entire route is mapped out for maximum efficiency

***I have to give Steve of the Ventura Kids great credit for handling this part!***

4) ease of finding and logging – not too many nanos, no tricky hides, no vegetation hides, no multis

5) high level of maintenance – lots of folks finding them recently, no DNFs in the history

6) excessive good humor – it’s a LONG time to be driving around… if it ain’t going to be fun, don’t bother!

7) tenacity – especially as the sun is going down again and your hourly cache count with it, you need to know you and your team will stick with it to the end

There’s your basic recipe for a wild and woolly ride through a cosmos’ worth of logbooks.

Here’s a peek into how our day went. Well, first of all, I was picked up at the airport the day before:

We found 15 caches that afternoon, then we all ate dinner and rested up for the coming marathon. At 11:15pm, we regrouped in the hotel lobby. Steve fortified himself with coffee:

We loaded up the trunk with food for the day:

and we were off! We did 5 “warmup” caches before midnight, at which time the other three sang “Happy Birthday” to me!

Here’s our first official find of the 24-hour period of August 29:
’34 Gold Wing

Cache find 100 was around 5:30am! It was still dark.
Mondo’s Silver Bullet LV

Here’s Jim signing a log on the other side of a ditch while Steve sets his GPSr for the next one. Efficiency is the name of the game, for sure.

Many of the caches were in the late summer’s overgrowth of weeds:

and we got to experience the truly vicious variety of stickers that grow all over this place:

Speaking of stickers – we used a single group one:

I tried to reserve my energy whenever possible:

There were some interesting views at cache #200
Colorado Eastern Railroad

We could see the airport from there and pretty much everywhere all day:

and these wildflowers were all over:

They’re a smaller version of these guys:

Cache find #300 was around 4:30pm
Shadow and Sandy

Sandy of the VKs wants to call Jim “Shadow” now:

Steve observes the log signing ritual behind me. Why did he park so far from the cache??

Somewhere along the way, we stopped for gas, and f0t0m0m presented me with cupcakes! They did not light the candles since we were at a gas station – whew!

The sunset looked similar to the sunrise, just in a different part of the big, broad sky:

Find #400, at just before 11pm.
Cachonomic Stimulus Plan #2

We were a little worried earlier in the evening that we might not pull this off, but now we knew we were in the clear! We found the record-breaking #407 at 11:30pm and continued to midnight to nab 413!
Douglas #12 Hungate

Oh, and here’s a short video that shows you basically what driving up to each and every cache was like:

Here are our per hour stats (listed from the beginning of each hour):
midnight = 15 
1 am = 11 
2 am = 23 
3 am = 20 
4 am = 24 
5 am = 21 
6 am = 19 
7 am = 17 
8 am = 17 
9 am = 15 
10 am = 20 
11 am = 27 
noon = 18 
1 pm = 17 
2 pm = 13 
3 pm = 14 
4 pm = 16 
5 pm = 20 
6 pm = 14 
7 pm = 16 
8 pm = 12 
9 pm = 15 
10 pm = 17 
11 pm = 11 

We also had 24 DNFs!

We don’t know how long we’ll hold this record, but we hope it will stand through the winter. Come the longer days next year, though… who will go for it??


P.S. The Daily Reviewer has me on the list of top geocaching blogs! Here’s the *LINK*. I’m honored!

p.p.s. here’s a jpg of our route! (Steve lost his track, darn it…)
World Record Speed run Aug 29th 2009 2

The Glory of Geocaching in Glorious Scenery

2 10 2008

According to Clay Jenkinson, we as geocachers are part of what makes humanity strange and fascinating, and are to be admired as such. Check out his recent column in the Bismarck Tribune where I and all of you receive this honorable mention:
The Article

We’re right in there with the miracle of heart transplants, great music, and the world’s largest collection of Elvis decanters. LOL. But he’s right: our species really IS remarkable.

Yes, yes, I know I’m #3 and not #2, as he wrote, but someday I probably will be, so it’s close enough. I have a plan for that, you know. I’m going to outlive everyone. Seriously! I have a goal to be a healthy 103. Ha HA! That oughta do it…

Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve been doing just to try to stay ahead of the fast-approaching Team Snook, who have been rising through the stats at break-neck speed.

I grabbed 50 caches with f0t0m0m and Spoondoggie all around the Solvang area amongst the myriad wineries. We drove for miles through the vineyards and agriculture.

The best caches of the day were a nicely crafted fake pine cone, a bolt in a guard rail, a sneaky magnetic in a tree, and one in a part of a guard rail that we had to rotate to access.

The best FIND of the day, though was this guy!

f0t0m0m saw this sign elsewhere, but they needed one here, as I almost drove over the beauty!

I spent the last few days up in the Eastern Sierras, as I had a performance in Bishop with Beethoven’s Wig. I was surprised to find a large group of petroglyphs at this cache:


I was also surprised to get the FTF at this cache:


I hope more people get out there, as it’s idyllically lovely.

This is the view from
Owens Bridge Cache

and I found this awesome chalk cliff as I was driving to

The Fisherman’s Cache

Get out and find more caches, all you strange and fascinating examples of humanity! Let me know what marvelous things you discover!

Scenic Fresno? Scenic Yosemite!

11 09 2008

I spent Labor Day weekend with my sister and her family in Madera, near Fresno, and did two days of caching around the latter with her, f0t0m0m, and various local cachers.

I got off the 99 and took more of a back road up through Corcoran, “the farming capital of California”:

… and through Hanford, where one of the area’s more inventive cachers, redwoodcanoe, is based. I only had time for a couple of his hides, but one certainly did not disappoint:

Final Attempt ?

The container was not just creative, it was hilarious: a can of muggle spray with some wild directions on how to use it!

At a nearby pioneer cemetery, I was struck by one headstone in particular. It gave the age of the person beneath as 12 hours. Wow. We are so blessed now to live with all of the medical breakthroughs we have.

Pioneer Spirits

I was also impressed by a couple of newer hiders, tom&si. These guys hid one of the most effective rock-like micros here:

Home Repairs

I found 104 over the next two days with A) f0t0m0m/Angelbaby7/Jake4729 and B) f0t0m0m/Twins R Us/Trekky. Pretty much all of the outstanding caches were by Team Forward Motion, and outstanding is even an understatement when it comes to their hides. Their efforts have revitalized the whole Dry Creek Cachers community!

I’ll give the hides, but not the titles, as not to spoil the fun for future finders. We found:
– a magnetic in a palm tree – ha!
– a lovely fake snail on a brick wall
– a fake “employees only” sign on a back door at a mall
– a tupperware under a large red pole cover
– a micro cleverly concealed behind a faded no trespassing sign posted on an old fence
– a nano in a small hole under a washer
– a spiffy version of the reflector hide
– a fake stump of a branch of a trimmed-off oleander

This last one was hands down the best of the trip!

I got some photos/videos of scenic Fresno. Scenic Fresno? Why, yes, there is a park with one of my favorite views:

Polk Vista EZ

Here’s f0t0m0m and my sister near the cache. Guess where it is! Youbetchalightpoleloveit.

Nearby is a small airport where the houses have garages big enough for small airplanes.

Sierra Sky Park Micro

On Monday, I got in to the REAL scenery with my sister, finding 5 of the easy virtuals in Yosemite.

These guys walked right by us!

Bridal Veil Falls is fascinating to watch as the wind catches the water.

Most of the falls were dry, so I’ll have to get back up in the spring to see some real water action!