5 Easy Caches – NOT!

4 02 2010

Well, perhaps it was one of those days. I picked out five caches among the closest to my house to get me out on a hike and in to the fresh air. The first one had been recently replaced, so I was confident I would spot it right away:

Here it Bee

I couldn’t find it, and couldn’t get the geocaching app to work on my iPhone right there to read the cache page, so I went on to cache #2 for the day:

CTM in O’Melveny Park

I managed to make all of the wrong decisions along the way to this one. First, I saw that the arrow was pointing more or less up a trail and headed that way. I was able to access the cache page at that point, and read that it was up a steep hill, so I backtracked and headed up the hill to the south of the trail instead. A quarter of a mile later at the top of that hill, I was still 400 feet away and the arrow pointed to the original trail below, now separated from me by a non-negotiable ravine.

I backtracked again and got down on this trail.

When I got to the coordinates, they pointed about 20′ off the edge of the hill from there, and there were a couple of big trees that looked like good hiding places, so I slid down to look. Not finding anything, I checked the cache page, which said not to go down there. [*sigh*] I scrambled back up and spent several more minutes hunting in the tall grass at the top, and was very relieved to actually find the thing!

An even better reward was the view from there;

On my way back down, I checked the cache info and logs for the first cache, and noticed some new coordinates posted by an earlier finder. I went back with those and walked right to the cache! Now I was back to batting 100% for the day.

The third cache was a quick micro with a good hint:

east of the horse trail

It was fun to drive on the surprisingly rural kinds of roads up in the Porter Ranch area to get around to that cache and the next two:

Zelzah Fences
PR Estates Tennis

These last two were, alas, basic DNFs. It was a gorgeous day, though, and I’d gotten some exercise and away from the various things weighing on my mind, which was the whole point, anyway. The caches were not so easy after all, but it was a good day.

Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Geocaching (more or less)

28 05 2009

I got out for a hike on Saturday with Albackore and Capdude by taking the kitten to a cat sitter! She still needs a bottle every 3 hours, and the drive and hike took us about 5. In a couple of weeks, after she’s learned to eat more regular cat food, this won’t be necessary, but meanwhile, my schedule revolves around the still tiny feline.

Capdude did the research on the hike, but none of us were aware of the gnarlyness of the trail! We did a car bridge, parking one car at the bottom, driving another to the top, then hiking down, and this turned out to be very wise. The hike started out on a nice fire road, ascending to an old lookout, but most of the descent was along a rocky ridge. There was much rock clambering and steep parts and “where’s the trail”. We all had a blast, though, finding all of the caches on the list, some of which I’d already done, but 7 were new for me. It was a great workout, and just right for my re-entry in to hiking after being away from it for a couple of months!

100,000,000 BC
Hole in the Wall
Skunk Rock
Evil Lurks at the Root
Meadow View
Cloud City
Bite the Bullet

The views ranged from foggy to spectacular, as is typical for spring hiking around here. Albackore got this nice shot of me workin’ the poles, not exactly skiing, more like creeping down the slope. Pay more attention to the view!

I gave up on this section and did a spider crawl to get down. Where’s that view?

No cache in here, Capdude! (photo by Albackore)

At the end of the hike, Capdude placed this one in honor of the kitten – La Divina Gattina Marzapana, aka Marzipan, aka Marziboo:
Marziboo (Traditional Cache)


Until next week, mew mew!

Mt. Shasta Summit!

9 08 2008

I chose the “slow and steady” version with the Shasta Mountain Guides, and as it was, I realized that I was just barely in training enough to make it! One never knows what is required of one, until one attempts things, though. When I climbed the mountain, there were NO caches at the top OR even on the way! At least, there are will soon be TWO Earthcaches at and near the summit, graciously posted by bthomas and f0t0m0m using information I collected! (Yes, I’ll be able to log finds as a beta tester!)

The epic trek began with an equipment check at The 5th Season sporting goods store in Mt. Shasta City. After we had all of our gear together, we drove up to the trail head. This was an adventure in itself! There were some slightly sandy spots and one larger, sandy hill to get up to the parking lot, but my Prius barely made it. As it turned out, it did presage things to come….

The Trailhead:

The first day’s hike (of FOUR) was about four or so miles with 2000 feet of elevation gain to our first camp, near a spring:

My tent is on the left there, and here’s the view of the spring from within said tent:

This is looking up at the summit from our first base camp:

Yep, that moonscape is the mountain terrain, and from there it was pretty much all snowless, rocky, sandy, slidy, scree to the top! The second day was only about 2 miles of hiking, but up another 2000 feet, where we camped at about 10,500 feet and did a little crampon/ice axe training on a nearby snowfield.

Here’s the view from my tent from there:

It was very smoky from the many forest fires in the state, so the view never got any clearer for this trip. It still looked like a loooong way to the top, too:

The third day was Summit Day, and it took me 9 hours to get there from the second base camp, over 5 miles of struggling up scree and talus with almost 4000 feet of vertical gain. Words like “strenuous” and “exhausting” just don’t cover the extreme effort and stamina it took to get there, and I was BARELY in shape enough to do it!

After all the scree scrambling, a couple of snow fields, and some boulder climbing, here I am at the summit!

This is how I really felt:

I didn’t have any vista or scenery to “distract” me from the task at hand, since it was so smoky:

That also shows where the summit sulphur hot springs are, but we couldn’t see or smell much of them today, as it was pretty windy up there. This is Whitney glacier, up near the summit:

This is the summit log, the “Holy Grail” for the day:

After hanging out for about a half an hour, it was time to head back down…. which was sort of easier, but it still took me 5 hours to get back to my tent, where I collapsed. The descent involved plenty of sliding down what I’d just slid up, and it was just as fatiguing. The next day, we packed it all up and hiked the 6 miles or so back to the cars!

Here are the other folks on the slow and steady tour: Angelika and Michael (from Heidelberg, Germany) and our marvelous guide, Nick, without who’s encouragement and shepherding, I would NOT have made it!

I survived the adventure with just a couple of swollen toes… whew! This was a true peak experience… all puns and senses of the word intended! What’s next? Hm… Stay tuned for more geocaching adventures!

Geocaching around Los Angeles

27 07 2008

I love the diversity that comes with geocaching, from clever urban hides to looks at landmarks to hikes with views, and I can get all of these all around where I live!

Team Dakiba placed a cache near and with a view of Capitol Records, where I’ve had the honor of doing recording projects:
Rock Capitol

Dooley, a professional comedian by the way, put one out requesting cat and dog jokes:
It’s Reigning Cats and Dogs

OLdweeb did a nice hide at a civic center where I go square dancing. The fitting title and the instructions tell you to bring a nut on a string to retrieve it. (I guess my string had a nut on both ends!)
Vanalden Park Piscator

Finally, Capdude put a couple more up in the Castle Peak area, so I hiked up to the one with the view, finding one I’d DNFd before along the way:
The Easy Way
Lavender Fields (Sage Actually)

It was a hazy day, but I always love a bird’s eye view of the San Fernando Valley!
Cache on!

A Hike and a Flash Mob

12 05 2008

I took a lovely hike with f0t0m0m on Friday, in the hills near Whittier. We found these caches:
Rue Bourbon
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Heart Attack Hill Bypass
Shaken not Stirred
Dirt Track Date
Buddha’s Feast
WestwardHo’s Booty Cache find #15,700!
Godzilla vs Creosote
Hansel & Gretel This was my favorite of the day, as we had to follow a trail of small white stones to the gingerbread ammo can!
Pixie Stix
Marzipan Alligator Krewe
South Specific

Legless Muggle (NO rattles):

The Buddha greets us:

The weeds are THIS tall!

Purple thistle, golden sticky monkey flower, and – yikes! – a big bush of poison oak with berries:

On Saturday, I hosted one of 167 concurrent World Wide Flash Mob Events:
Worldwide Flash Mob with a view! (WWFM)
I’ll let the photos tell the tale…

The View:

The Mob:

There are many more photos on the event page.

My next report will be of Ottawa (Ontario), Charlottesville (VA), and Washington (DC).