Some Retrospective, and a Dark Adventure

14 07 2012

I’m in a retrospective mood this week, so I took a look back through my blogs from previous Julys.

Four years ago, I was preparing for my ultimately successful climb to the summit of Mt. Shasta. That still remains as the biggest, hardest physical challenge of my life.
Black Butte hike, a trainer for the big one

Three years ago, I had rescued Marzipan, who makes an ignominious appearance in this blog post.
Marzipan is 3 months old in the video here.

Two years ago, I did a feature on some of my favorite geocaching tools, and a photo of Marzipan, of course, sneaks in.
What to get for your geocacher for Christmas…

Last year, I was dreaming about geocaching on other planets, way before I knew about the space launch I helped support this summer.
Are there Martian geocachers?

This year, I’m recovering from multiple trips back and forth to the Bay Area to perform a huge opera role, and I’m planning a 2-week road trip across the U.S. for some real estate business AND to grab some significant caches to complete some challenges.

I didn’t get any photos, but I did have a great time on a night cache with a group of Bay Area cachers recently: The Night Has Eyes (Night Cache)
The 2-mile round trip hike took us through a scenic park through tall trees with some views of the valleys around us. Rocket Girl got a couple of dark and dusky shots, though – log page


Two Odd Objects

26 01 2012

My caching activity has been largely pre-empted by work and meetings, but I did have time for a couple of interesting little adventures. I took a drive out to Pasadena to see a new version of an unusual work of art: a fork in the road.
Now That's A "Real" Fork In The Road Too

This appeals to me as a gastronome and as a lover of puns. As a bonus, the cache was expertly concealed as part of the installation.

The cache hide at this telephone pole near my house was standard, yet effective. I almost overlooked it. The most curious thing to me was the curve of the wood within the telephone pole.
V. J.'s Cache

The view of the adjacent alley was surprisingly beautiful. I even caught a plane in it’s approach to the Burbank airport.

Since this is a rather short blog entry, here’s a bonus photo: Marzipan, the Famous Geocaching Cat!

Marzipan’s 2nd Birthday Flashmob Event

5 05 2011

Marzipan's 2nd Birthday Flashmob!

I grabbed my morning cup of coffee yesterday and went out in to the driveway to celebrate the birthday of the kitty that I rescued from a geocache site two years ago! It was, indeed, an auspicious occasion, and a perfect excuse to gather for a quick event find.


Not really, but it is a peanut version of marzipan, since I don’t care for the almond flavor type.

Shirconn made one of her famous photoshows! It’s only a couple of minutes long, so be sure to check it out. She does a really good job with these.

Click here for the PHOTOSHOW.

She also made a special birthday card, and others brought treats!

Thanks to all who joined in the festivities.

Here’s the cat herself:

Happy Thanksgiving!

26 11 2009

I’m thankful for SO many things.

Geocaching with my family:

…. and they even put up with me crawling under muddy bridges….
Dam Troll

Long hikes with good friends:

Matilija Canyon Adventure

Finding a bonus cache! I qualified for this one about a year ago, and only learned of it last week:
I-5 Interstate Highway Challenge

Beauty all around:

Plenty for everyone to eat:

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Travel Bug Who Found Me

30 07 2009

Team Pair-O-Dice, geocachers in Corning, CA, sent me a lucky charm for my keychain via travel bug. It started at this cache:
Mr. & Mrs. Dice at the Tower
and I picked it up in this one:
Mayall who seek, find.

These videos are about that and what I’m doing with it further:

…. and yes, you can see the TB# – go ahead and discover it!

Of course, there is a cameo appearance by my kitten, Marzipan, as I continue:

What a nice idea! Yes, I’m flattered, too… but it’s a creative way to deliver things, if possible. I managed to send a travel bug to my cousin up in Washington a couple of years ago. It took months, but was a fun surprise for him!

Until next week… enjoy your summer, which I hope is filled with travel bugs and great experiences.

Geocaching in the Los Angeles Daily News

4 06 2009

A few of us were interviewed for this article and I got quoted at the end.
link to the article

What a great photo at the top! It’s a nice article, mostly correct, but it’s still quite disappointing to read that the state park official thinks that geocaches are buried. True geocaches are hidden, but never buried with a shovel. He corrects himself later, but it still comes off as confusing. The new restrictions for geocaching in state parks is a concern, and none of us are sure who we are supposed to ask now for “permission”. An even greater concern is that the legislature wants to close a lot of the parks. Common sense says that it would cost more to keep people out of a closed park, especially homeless and criminals, than to keep them open to the public. I’m feeling a big sense of frustration here on both counts.

To soothe our souls now, here are some photos from two recent hikes. The first four are from the hike I took last week:

These are veins of chalk, and fairly large area of them was by the trail:

Here’s Bee Canyon, just north of O’Melveny Park at the north end of the San Fernando Valley.

The park offers a variety of areas to picnic, walk, hike, even ride horses. Albackore and I took a trail loop that I had never done before, partially ascending the adjacent Mission Peak, then cutting across and down in to the canyon. This is the bread crumb trail of caches we followed:
Rise of the Phoenix
Piney Pond
Upper Walnut Plateau
Wagon Trail
Meadow Of The Grazing Deer
San Fernando Hillside View
Burnt Walnuts
O’ Melveny Overlook Again
A Bridge too Far – Gone

It was ravaged by a fire a few months ago, the evidence of which is still easily visible in the regrowth. This fire hydrant was apparently quite useless:

We saw this beauty along the trail, too! I rarely see snakes. This one is only the 4th rattler I’ve encountered while geocaching in 6 years.

Until next week – watch out for snakes!
Oh, the kitten is doing marvelously well, growing and eating, now just over 4 weeks old.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Geocache

21 05 2009

Those of us who have found lots of caches know that this obsessive hobby is about a lot more than signing logbooks. It permeates into and integrates with our lives, sometimes in the most unusual ways.

We’ve all done other things while geocaching, like shopping or errands or phone calls. The wildest thing I’ve done while out caching is refinance my house. Oh yes, and f0t0m0m can attest to this, I was on the phone with my loan officer getting the information all in order while we were driving between caches!

We’ve all found crazy things at or in geocaches, too, from oddball or stupid trade items to money to other geocachers, but what f0t0m0m and I discovered on May 8 was pretty much life-changing. We found an abandoned kitten!

Some *%#&@%!* idiot had left three of them in a shoebox, barely four days old were they, and two had already not survived the ordeal, but one had gotten out and was scrabbling around in the weeds, mewling. I got her some kitten formula from a nearby vet and fed her like clockwork every 2 hours for the next several days, and she’s pulled through! There’s no guarantee with one that young, but she’s a fighter.

Today, she is 17 days old, and just opening her eyes. While at first, I was paranoid that she would not make it and didn’t want to leave the house just in case something went wrong, I feel confident enough now to leave her at home nested in her cat carrier to run errands or find geocaches between feedings.

She’s a little miracle kitty, and I’m excited that I’ve been able to rescue her. Now if we could just educate the world NOT TO ABANDON ANIMALS!! AAAUGH!!!! HELLO?!?!?!?! CRAZY!!!

(calms down)


This is the cache where we found her. It was a nano, so it was TKLNSL (Took Kitten, Left Nothing, Signed Log):
Welcome to Farmersville
Here’s the kitty the day we found her:

And the next day:


I think the name Marzipan will stick. We were finding camo’d pouch style caches in the area, locally referred to as “marsupials”, and f0t0m0m had permuted that randomly to “marzipans”. When we found the kitty, he suggested the name. Hey, turns out that neither of us care for the almond paste, but it’s good cat name. *sigh* I won’t be doing a heck of a lot of caching for the next couple of weeks, but I’ll still get some in (DUH!), and saving this sweet thing’s life is sure worth it. This is the list of caches I got to yesterday with Albackore, between kitten feedings:

Oh! the pressure (Traditional Cache)

602L P.C. (Traditional Cache)

red zone (Traditional Cache)

3-way-stop (Traditional Cache)

Alley Oop! (Traditional Cache)

Val and Dan, A TERRIFIC PAIR! (Traditional Cache)

Schnitzengruben (Traditional Cache)

Bridge the Gap (Traditional Cache)


Undercover Jon (Traditional Cache)

Stop! See Sales Associate (Traditional Cache)

McNificent McG’s McAche (Traditional Cache)

The Gryffindor Floo (Traditional Cache)

dust ruffle (Traditional Cache)

Ernie Keebler (Traditional Cache)

bird’s nest (Traditional Cache)

Until next week, Happy Catting… er… Caching!
OH! What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done while caching? What’s the most significant thing you’ve found? Please comment below….

P.S. Greetings to f0t0m0m, both Jim and Karen, enjoying Geowoodstock in Tennessee this weekend! A big hello to all the cachers out there from me and Marzipan, the world’s sweetest trade item.