L.A. Rivers

16 12 2010

The L.A. River is currently (pun intended) running its course in a big, long cement ditch. It’s far from scenic, but until I found a cache next to it this week with an informational plaque on its history, I was unaware of the practical necessity of its structure. The river in its natural form is intermittent, and its course changes to the extent that city planning required that it be made to run a fixed course.

More on that here: HIstory of the Los Angeles River
… and the cache – Outdoor classroom

The river of water is tame compared to the rivers of traffic that flow through the city. In the same manner as its counterpart, cars are funneled along channels of cement:

Cross the 101 FWY
Here’s a brief history: Los Angeles Freeway System

At least there’s always this around:
Park Your Stagecoach Here?

… and the scenery nearby is much better than cement ditches:

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Playtime

28 10 2010

Geocaching to me is recess, and I got to go outside and play a couple of times this week.

I headed for Simi Valley with the Ventura Kids for almost 40 caches in four hours. The weather was ideal.

Here are the caching pros discovering what “Clow” means:

CLOW

There are no less than three caches VISIBLE in this photo. See if you can tell where they are:

Not hot and no juice

The next day I spent a few hours in Burbank with Bwidger, Spoondoggie, and OLdweeb. We cleaned up a couple dozen newer ones, most of which were stashed in an alleyway that was quiet and muggle free:
Guarding the Alley

We did see some unusual vehicles, like this taxi:

and this “cool” camper:

Scott showed us how to really have play time!

…. and we had lunch at Shakey’s, where we had smores pizza.

Yes, that’s marshmallows. chocolate and graham cracker crumbs on pizza crust. It’s actually pretty tasty! Evil, but tasty….

(NO, I did not use the hot sauce!)





Vegas, Baby!

29 07 2010

I spent 9 days in Vegas learning about real estate investing and how to be a successful enterpreneur. In between the smorgasbord of information and networking, I grabbed a few caches near the hotel. All of them were nicely hidden:

It’s not easy being Green in Vegas

"Say Goodnight, Gracie…"

The Gates that won’t close

One Tree on The Planet

Vegas is fun at night:

… but it’s also quite striking on a quiet Monday morning:

I capped off my geocaching week with a straggler close to my house!
Farkleberry

p.s. I notice that no one has rushed over to CafePress. (ha!) Here’s my offer for my birthday month of August: anyone who sends me a photo of them with any of my EMC of Northridge products from CafePress will get a free bronze EMC geocoin! Yes? Yes!





Geocaches Just Around the Corner

8 10 2009

I’ll get to the caches around the world later, meanwhile, I headed out earlier this week for an afternoon of caches near my house. I’ve had a goal for a long time to clear out a 10 mile radius, but I’ve never gotten that completely done. I do manage to keep about an 8 mile circle clear, though. This baker’s dozen had sprung up fairly recently, including some nicely designed ones by a newer cacher, Minifish.

I took notes and photos as I went, to give you an idea what a “normal” caching experience is like. (ha!)

Take the Cannoli
behind a honeysuckle bush near an indoor target practice range
found in about 2 minutes, 1:30pm, 79º
honeysuckle

Ramp
unusual and deserted place with an abandoned ramp where a loading dock used to be
found in about 3 minutes, 1:40pm, 79º
ramp

Skirting the issue.
quiet side street
found in about a minute, including one “wrong” guess, 1:50pm, 79º
heart

Deep Freeze
teeny ammo can stashed in a sign
cachehere

I met the cache owner at the next cache, as he’d noticed my logs. ( I was posting from my iPhone as I went; I love doing that, because then I have no “homework” when I get home.) He’d gotten a lot of flak about putting cache in a No Trespassing sign… (duh)… and it’s now archived… but because the sign itself disappeared! Go figure. I love these itty bitty ammo cans, though.
found in about 5 minutes, including a call to a life line to save myself the agony of the previous finders, 2:10pm, 77º

Pachinko
studied the logs and the area to find this one similar to an AgouraCharger hide, done with a simple, yet deceptive mechanism
found in about 3 minutes, but then spent a few talking to the cache owner, Minifish, who pulled up just as I discovered the secret of the hide, 2:20pm, 79º
The cache is right behind him!
minifish

Caribbean Jerk
curious installation on a quiet side street
found in about 30 seconds, as it was the first thing I touched. Sometimes I’m good at this. 2:35pm, 79º
streetview

another quick fix
this was an awkward hunt in a mini-mall parking lot, and I needed a lifeline to get me to look in the right place with the coords all over the place… not such a quick fix for me…
found in about 7 minutes, 2:55pm, 79º
minimall

pi eta – iota epsilon – theta
needed another lifeline, although I should have spotted this dang nano. Sometimes I’m not so good at this! The parking lot itself is bleak, but the sunlight dappling the mountains to the north was spectacular
found in about 7 minutes, 3:20pm, 79º (but breezy and feels cooler now)
mountains

Very Opinionated
Ahh….. quick and easy magnetic altoids in front of Vons grocery store
found it in about 5 seconds, 3:25pm, 79º
pumpkins

Bad Boys!! Watch gonna do??
Love the flat caches, and it was a bit of a search before I went to that idea.
found it in about 10 minutes, while I fielded a lifeline from Spoondoggie on a cache I haven’t found yet, 3:40pm, 79º
I forgot to take a photo here.

UCKY Commute – Another Dead End
Another quiet side street, and someone has llamas in their yard nearby
found it instantly, 3:45pm, 81º (still feels cooler, as it’s shady and breezy)
Looking back from this cache toward the previous cache just down the street:
cacheview

UCKY Commute – By The Eucalyptus Tree
Wandered around for a long time under the trees. Eucalyptus are particularly bad for scattering the GPS signals. After finding someone’s stash of bad videos, I called for another lifeline, then found it rather handily.
this took about 20 minutes, including the short hike, 4:15pm, 77º
Urban horse trail:
urbanhorsetrail

A Moving Experience
A short walk up one of the canyons in Porter Ranch led me to a container with a funny pun on it, but I won’t give it away.
found instantly after a 5 minute walk, 4:30pm, 77º

time – 3 hours
mileage – 27 miles from my house and back to my house
lifelines – 4, all to Garagedude
DNFs – none, thanks to Garagedude

Have a great caching week!





How to Be a Geosponge

16 07 2009

There is an art to being a geosponge, and it’s not as easy as one might think. There are other permutations of it, but I usually use this term to mean that I’m tagging along with other cachers and have not done any of the research or prep work. Oh, I may have solved a puzzle or two and will have the bookmarked caches loaded in my GPSr as a backup. Mostly I just show up, ride along, sticker/sign log books, and enjoy the day with geofriends.

The art is in how to relinquish control, be a team player, and get in and out of the BACK seat of a car. It can be exhausting!

Prepare what you want to take the night before as you will be rising at the crack of dark:
darkoclock

Get picked up in your town car by another cacher who happens to have one:
pickup

Have a healthy breakfast:
breakfast

Watch the other cachers hunt and take photos:
watchother

Find one of the caches early on, so you feel like you’ve actually contributed to the day:
findoneyourself

Wonder why people spend so much time at farmer’s markets:
farmersmarket

Wonder why people go kayaking or boating:
kayaksboats

They could be looking for geocaches in bushes:
bushhunt

… and finding creative containers like this one:
bushfindview

Take a photo of unusual architecture:
upsidedownbldg

Then turn around and take a photo of everyone else looking for the cache:
cornercache

Watch everyone else look for a cache that you’ve found already. This is especially entertaining when the cache has gone missing and they end up not finding it (oops!):
watchingthednf

Have a healthy lunch:
lunch

Keep going since the goal is to find well over 100 caches for the day:
#50 = Naughty Root
#100 = Riley’s Treasure Chest
Last one, #112 for me = Puzzle LPC

Celebrate a milestone or two:
My #19000!
sandyelin19000
f0t0m0m’s #17000!
f0t0m0m17000

Interact with your surroundings. Sandy carries special horse cookies with her, in case she sees one along the way that needs a snack:
horsecookies

Don’t interact with some of the surroundings. We saw this bee cluster along one of the country roads, and I took this through the CLOSED car window:
beeswarm

Update Facebook and Twitter and keep up on your e-mail as you ride along between caches.
Twitter

Enjoy the scenery:
view2
view3
venturacachview

Admire a local artfully-designed establishment:
carwash

Be the human retrieval tool, and take a walk up a bike trail to grab one while the others wait in the car, parked illegally, and enjoy more scenery:
venturariverview

Sleep well that night, and be prepared to return the favor and do the planning to lead the next expedition! Or not…. heh…..





Generic Geocaching in Simi Clarita

25 06 2009

I spent two mornings this week out geocaching, one with f0t0m0m, one with him and Capdude. The first of the days we were in Simi Valley, the second in Santa Clarita. Both days were fun and relaxing, overcast and cool. The finds were mostly standard with a couple of really good camo jobs thrown in. We did not do any hiking per se, but did climb a couple of hills in open space or parks. We had lunch at decent restaurants, but nothing gourmet. We saw lizards, birds, and squirrels, but no unusual wildlife. We were unnoticed by muggles. We were not in a hurry, and our lists had only around a couple dozen for each day. I took a few pictures. We enjoyed the fresh air, the anticipation of each hunt, and the satisfying ritual of the log book. We got outside, and saw something new around every corner.

I’d call it generic geocaching. This does not diminish the experience in any way, however. This is what we really enjoy: just finding geocaches and finding more and more of them.

I know is says “no parking”, but we really only paused here while we found the cache in the corner:
Corner Cache
noparking

Olive trees are great places to hide caches, with all the crevasses they have:
Mulligan’s Micro Madness
olivetreelog

This cache afforded a really lovely panoramic view from a bridge connecting a big shopping complex with the residential neighborhood to the west:
Paseo Ranch
mallbridge
mallview

I’ve found 3 or 4 caches under this little bridge. It’s in a small valley amongst the homes that’s lace with walking paths.
Bridge to the Summit
paseo

Capdude hid a new one by the nature preserve in Lake Balboa Park:
Guardian Toad – Ellen
balboa2

On another day, I did some cache maintenance, replacing damp, moldy log sheets. Some of my readers might see their names here:
Vector Sees Stars!
vectorlog

Until next week, happy plain-wrap caching!