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

An Old-Fashioned Pug Hunt

5 02 2011


Otis Pug!

He was the original Southern California geocaching legend, both for his mysteriousness (to this day, no one really know who he is), and for his innovative cache hides. He was the first to hang a bird house, create a fake electrical outlet box, and even construct a bogus water fountain in a park! His creativity raised the bar for all of us, and a “tool of the trade” is still referred to as an OPET: Otis Pug Extraction Tool.

He disappeared mysteriously, too, leaving all of his caches still in place after they were archived. It’s been a local underground activity to hunt down and log these, even as they’ve gradually gotten muggled, so it was with requisite glee that I joined a band of Pug Hunters to track down one this week.

It had not been found in five years, so odds were good that it might not be there. Not Tom had found it before, and verified that it was not where he thought it should be, but with 20-30 minutes of scattering and digging through the brushy hillside, he came up with the empty container, and then the lid! This was adquedate to reconstruct the “historic” cache, and we all crossed another Pug off our lists!

Walnut Creek Cache

Also nearby:
In Search of a Pug
Sign of the Pug

Snow in the distance:

Valley of Walnut Creek:

f0t0m0m and not tom ready to go:

Unusual signage near the trail head:

Walnut Creek Trail:

Further down the trail:

Sign of the Pug – closing in on our goal!

AWEMM, not tom, f0t0m0m and I hunted in the brush, fallen trees, and leaves for our Pug!

Kudos to not tom for finding the container, then the lid – both in fine condition! Mission accomplished:

The Fizzy Challenge and the Enigmatic Otis Pug

12 11 2009

Before I get in to the main subjects this week, here are a couple of newsy items.

Author and technology journalist Paul Gillen and his wife Dana are avid geocachers and are about to publish a book on the how to. It’s called “Joy of Geocaching,” and I have a link to the Amazon page already on the Geocaching Stuff to Buy tab here for your convenience. I’ll let y’all know when it’s out. Meanwhile, they did a super job interviewing Steve of the Ventura Kids about our record-setting 413 cache day!

Listen to the interview

I got a very nice note requesting that I let you all know about this event coming up in January. This is not typically what my blog is about, and there are just too many events for me to promote them, but – hey – here’s the info:

My name is Jeff Price and I am the Interpreter at Ocotillo Wells SVRA.  We are trying to get the word out about our first ever off-road geocaching adventure and we were wondering if you would let your blog know about it.  It will be a fun-filled weekend, from Jan. 29th-31st, with demonstrations, a few vendors and of course a geocache scavenger hunt all topped off with a CITO on Sunday with lunch provided!  For more information please go to our event cache listing on GC1Y5D2.”

I’m not sure if I’ll be there or not, but have it pencilled in.


This week, I found two more caches for the Well-Rounded Cacher challenge cache,
Well Rounded Cacher (The Fizzy Challenge)
and I only have ONE more grid space left to fill to finally complete this rather monumental challenge. The trick for some of us is to find high-terrain/high-difficulty caches we can actually DO. Fortunately, there are some out there with high ratings that don’t involve spelunking, deep-sea diving, long-distance backpacking, or cliff climbing, and I can get the grid space in spite of my claustrophobia, aquaphobia, acrophobia, and agrizoophobia.

I hiked out to a 2.5/5 start cache up in the Lake Arrowhead area with f0t0m0m. It’s easily doable with a motorcycle or off-road quad, but otherwise, it’s either a .10 bushwhack down a very steep slope or a rather pleasant one-mile hike each way on the single track for the aforementioned vehicles. We opted for the latter!

3W11 "Metate"

It was a lovely day, too:

I also got my 4.5/5 grid space with this cache:
Fort Orange

A quick slog up a cactus-filled hill in Orange County with Albackore brought us to this rocky outcropping and the goal of our quest.

On the way back, I got a wonderful bonus by accident. I could (and probably will eventually) do an entire blog on Otis Pug, one of our local pioneers in creative camos and challenging puzzle caches. A secretive and mysterious character, his little dog was the only visible evidence of his existence, and one day – suddenly and to everyone’s chagrin – he left the game, archiving all of his celebrated hides. He left the containers in place, though, so all of us around here decided to keep finding his caches and logging them nevertheless! Hey… they ARE there… I have a short list of the ones that are still findable.

Anyway, as we wandered around on the top of the hill after locating the target cache, I noticed an obvious geopile. I thought there might be a letterbox in there, but it was another geocache – lo, and behold! – an old Otis Pug!
Otis Pug Goes Airborne

Have a great week of caching surprises!