Empty Circle

19 04 2012

Empty Circle 5.0 Challenge

I was inspired by GeoCraig’s post on his completion of this challenge to take a look. A couple of years ago, I had an 8 mile radius cleared out and only 20 caches left in my 10 mile radius! Now… er… I have over 100 unfound in my 5 mile circle…

I live smack dab in the center of the San Fernando Valley, which is both an advantage and disadvantage compared to where GeoCraig is centered. The advantage is that I won’t encounter any extreme terrain. The disadvantage is that there’s a much higher probability that new caches will pop up while I’m in the process of getting them all found, so I’m chasing more of a moving target.

Game on!

I started out with my fun, yet admittedly feeble, effort today, by taking a drive down to the Balboa Park area for SEVEN finds. That means I’m down to 111 (until Albackore or OLdweeb or the Ventura Kids or f0t0m0m or Team Perks or some such decide to hide a massive spew of urbans to taunt me).

For the first four, I actually got out of the car and walked around the Hjelte Sports Center, which is mostly baseball fields and a handy restroom.
Twilight – Edward
Twilight – Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Twilight – Jacob
Twilight – Bella

Looking from one cache to the next:

The food they grow in the neighboring field is sold at the farmer’s market over on Hayvenhurst:

I’ve never seen a gate with a ladder:

This is the flood control dam for the Los Angeles River. I recall seeing parts of the Valley under water as I watched CNN International when I was living in Vienna around 1991.

Looking back at my car from the other side of the park:

The last three were quick park and grabs along Woodley Avenue on the edge of the Balboa Park Bird Sanctuary and near the golf course.
Jeff rocks! That he does – kudos again on his epic SFV Scavenger Event!
OH NO…Not another LP skirt This hide was really funny. I took a photo, but don’t want to spoil it.
Dog-Fish Chapstick

The wildlife area:

Actual wildlife:

The golf course:

This was an unusually good day for me, as I had zero DNFs and needed zero lifelines. Onward!

Scavenging for Local History

12 04 2012

Mega kudos to Albackore, Team Perks, and BWidget for putting together an outstanding all-day event involving caches, puzzles, and finding classic and historical sites around the San Fernando Valley!

Yesteryear Still Here!

All of the new caches placed were homages to all of the toys from the 50s and 60s, many of which I played with:
Easy Bake Oven
G.I. Joe

The design of the challenge was elegant, all contained in a few pieces of paper, and it was fairly easy to strategize a route and a plan.

I was on Team Marzipan with f0t0m0m and the Ventura Kids. Here are some of the photos we got at the landmarks:

We also went for the double points for the caches in the Balboa Park Wildlife Area –

It was a wonderful day to be out there, even though we did get rained on a bit.

We ended up the day at a local Chinese restaurant, The Great Wall.

I’m looking forward to more of these (hint hint).

BONUS: Here’s another great write up of the day by the CacheKidz!
Check it out!

Can I Break the Habit? … er, Streak?

15 07 2010

Today would be Day 115, and I still have not broken the cache-a-day streak! I do expect that eventually the streak would be broken by life’s scheduling and circumstances, so I’m thinking that I should break it deliberately and with a bit of a flourish instead.

Last night I attended our monthly event in Woodland Hills after finding 40 of the closest caches to my house. This effectively clears out the easy ones that I’ve been relying on to maintain my streak. If I can resist the temptation today to grab one of the very few leftovers nearby, then I can look to getting back to caching fewer days and higher numbers.

This is the theory.

It’s also a really BIG if.

Even if I manage to break the streak, I’ve really come to enjoy the habit.

Will I break the streak today and NOT find a cache?

Meanwhile, here are some photos from my final (?) streak day:





Last cache of the streak?
SFV Meet & Greet #6

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.

My Live Blog – Posting as I go Geocaching

5 03 2009

I posted as I went today, using Loopt to update Facebook and Twitter. I entertained quite a few people with my photos and entries. All of the photos were taken by iPhone, so could post them immediately, so the quality and detail is not superb, but it’s in the moment. Note: some of the time stamps are guesses, but they are all in order! Here we go….

preparing to go caching and “live blogging” – stay tuned…. 9:37am

Logged in a travel bug to take with me @ home. 9:40am

My usual break of eggs (free range) toast (cracked wheat) & milk (no rbst) @ home. 9:49am

That would be breakfast… @ home. 9:51am

coakford @ emcofnorthridge
Where will you go caching today? 10:00am

Around the San Fernando Valley and Burbank.

Supplies for my urban caching in the San Fernando Valley @ home. 10:03am

The cachemobile & the day after a rain in LA means gorgeous clear skies @ home. 10:10am

@flicka47 heading out now! 10:12am

flicka47@emcofnorthridge Cool, will keep tabs on your progress 10:14am

flicka47@emcofnorthridge Cool ,I drove as a courier in LA for abt 5 yrs,should be able to follow your progress fairly easily. Have fun! 10:15am

Ready to roll, jazz on the radio. No video on iPhone so that will be on the blog later @ home. 10:22am

First stop new cache Pennies From Heaven @ home. 10:24am

Arriving @ GC1N482 it has a clear hint & recent finds @ Los Angeles, CA. 10:38am

Doesn’t mean I can find it right away LOL @ Los Angeles, CA. 10:41am

aHA! Vegetation hide also logged in live on geocaching.com – One! @ Los Angeles, CA 10:49am

It’s near a recycled Circuit City @ Los Angeles, CA. 10:51am

Carpe Diem GC1FXER in Mission Hills right across from where I bought my Prius (just pd it off!) @ Los Angeles, CA. 11:05am

Instant find – yay! @ Los Angeles, CA. 11:07am

On the way: Mission San Fernando @ Los Angeles, CA. 11:16am

Next cache Well Bred found in the heart of San Fernando @ San Fernando, CA. 11:26am

@coakford need help with King of 31! under the sign or by phones? in Los Angeles, CA 11:48am

Oops never mind – found it! Duh… & my favorite container, too (spoiler photo) @ Los Angeles, CA. 11:57am

[nice, empty freeway]

Daily Prophet bonus cache! @ UPS Store @ Los Angeles, CA. 12:27pm

Platform 9 3/4. 🙂 @ Los Angeles, CA. 12:29pm

I revisited the Daily Prophet since I’d missed the cool themed bonus cache! Just logged GC1JNA4 Burbank Fire St12 @ Burbank, CA. 12:43pm

Just logged quick find @ Burbank Fire St. 14 GC1JNA6 Time for lunch @ Chili John’s nearby! @ Burbank, CA. 1:05pm

Having chili spaghetti in this classic diner @ Burbank, CA- 1:20pm –
Amy Engelhardt likes this.
Kristy Montgomery at 1:26pm March 5
mmmm…..i’m hungry…that sounds good.

cinderellasarah@emcofnorthridge Oops! Typo! What classic diner is it? Looks fantastic and I work in Burbank… 1:30pm

@cinderellasarah Chili John’s! Burbank & Keystone 1:33pm

Lunchtime reading RT @weirdnews: Sea lion wanders to Mexican restaurant http://cli.gs/10Vn7T 1:34pm

Onward! (burp) next is a puzzle multi cache GC1JTP4 Cypher Me This – wish me luck… @ Burbank, CA. 1:49pm
Greg Blocher at 1:56pm March 5

Well, I’m zeroed out @ the corner of an apt. bldg no obvious hide@ WP1 & not comfy searching… Help? @ Burbank, CA. 2:04pm

A recent log left a bit of a hint about succulents. WP1 in hand – whew! @ Burbank, CA. 2:09pm

Hey! I interpreted the puzzle correctly, drove around the corner, & spy it there. Fun! @ Burbank, CA 2:22pm

Nice that a tool is provided! @ Burbank, CA. 2:23pm

flicka47@emcofnorthridge Yeah! Congrats! It has been fun following you around town! 2:31pm

Found a magnetic one in a tree – LOL @ Burbank Firefighter Training Center @ Burbank, CA. 2:41pm

GC1N1JA Burbank Park Pacific is near this monument to aviation history. @ Burbank, CA. 3:01pm

Time for just one or two more caches. Hope this has been fun for y’all! @ Burbank, CA. 3:05pm
Kristy Montgomery at 3:07pm March 5
can we go to the mountains? can we? can we?

Cache #10 is at a hidden park by the 170 freeway in N. Hollywood on a street split by said freeway. @ Los Angeles, CA. 3:25pm

Recount: that was #9 gotta find one more! @ Los Angeles, CA. 3:27pm

Awwwww a Christmas cache! @ Los Angeles, CA. 3:35pm

CacheAdvance@emcofnorthridge Thanks for allowing the vicarious caching today! 3:41pm

shawnmcguirt@emcofnorthridge been enjoying your caching post! 3:45 pm

shawnmcguirt@emcofnorthridge great to see what other cachers are seeing and doing! 3:46pm

Bonus cache! This is an odd dead end street in N Hollywood & where they shoot “The Office” – kewl! @ Los Angeles, CA. 3:51pm

Calling it quits & joining the locals for weekly cachER maintenance. Was this fun? Comments? @ Los Angeles, CA. 3:59pm

Kristy Montgomery at 4:12pm March 5
I for one had a GREAT time from my sickbed-I am exhausted! can we do it again tomorrow? xoxox kiki

I’m looking to find more creative ways to blog about geocaching. Comments and suggestions are welcome! Cache on….