Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2005-04-10

Musings about Geocaching

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Two milestones, of sorts, today. Cache #99 and 19999 miles

After driving the same little Honda car for more than 26 years, I got a new car almost two years ago. It is a Toyota Matrix and I love it. Until I started Geocaching, I babied it and never took it on any gravel roads, or hardly ever, and it was only driven when necessary.

I guess it is still only driven when necessary, but Geocaches are now in the list where only grocery shopping and other errands were.

There is a cache only four miles from my house, as the crow flies. However, by the time I drove over there and back, I put 20 miles on the car and when I drove in the driveway, the odometer was on 19999.

The cache I went to find is over by Loveland Reservoir where another one went missing a few weeks ago. When I saw it in the "New Cache Listings," and saw there was Yellow Jeep Travel Bug in the cache, I wanted to go for it, but after my adventures Thursday, including the hard fall, I was too sore and tired. But, today I had no such excuse.

Since this was cache #99 for me, you would think I would have this game/sport/activity/obsession figured out--but I don't. I clicked on the "nearest waypoint" in the GPSr as I got close to the parking area for the reservoir, and noticed it had the GSAK name with "Love" in it, so off I went down the trail. When the arrow started to point in the direction of the other cache, I checked the GPSr again. I was heading in the wrong direction. So, I actually walked back to the car to see if there was different access to the cache. But, no, the description talks about the lake trail.

So, I head off down the trail again and it is certainly living up to the rating of "3" the cache owner has designated. In fact, the lake is so high that in one place I have to do some life-threatening scrambling up a gravelly face to get around the flooded part of the trail.

Once around that finger of water, I found myself beneath a beautiful oak tree nearly surrounded by poison oak! Hmmmm! And on the Mapsource map the cache looked so easy, and so close.

Finally, I found my way to the cache and, of course, the Yellow Jeep Travel Bug was gone. So, I was "TTF" (Third to Find), which is actually really good for me.

This was the first cache I've found made of those materials. It looks like it is nearly indestructible and should last as long as any ammo can.

My trip back to the car wasn't nearly as adventurous, but I'll never tell because future Geocachers should have at least half an adventure looking for this cache. :-)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Okay, I just found out about this really cool tool

Check this out for creating a map of your cache finds. You will have to register on the site to use the feature.

This is what all my finds look like (including two "Locationless" caches and an "Event" cache owned by someone in Missouri) in a visual form.

Here are the physical caches I have found in San Diego and Imperial Counties. That lone one out in the desert was the Virtual, "Salvation Mountain."

And here are the physical caches I have found here in California. It took a while to narrow it down to the counties in which I have found caches (reading the directions on the site helps).

I created this by using a Latitude of 33.5˚ by a Longitude of -116˚ with three degrees as the height and two degrees as the width.

Very kewl!!

Have I mentioned how important the GPSr cover is?

Okay, this thing is, frankly, ugly. And at times it is hard to see through the window to the screen below it, but yesterday I fell down once and another time dropped the GPSr face down on a tile floor. I'm not sure the GPSr would have survived unscathed if this little neoprene cover had not been on the unit.

A few weeks ago when I fell down, I scratched the little plastic window, and I'm glad the unit came away from that encounter with only a tiny blemish.

Since I'm so sore after my hard fall yesterday, I sort of wish I had had a neoprene cover to protect me . . .

I found five caches and got a new icon after yesterday

Goals are not for me. I thought I would try for seven caches before the Event Cache last night so that could be my "Number 100" milestone. Well, if you count maintenance on my own cache, and the DNF I logged for another, I did "visit" seven caches.

If I had chosen different caches to do, I could have found seven easy, but the first one I decided to look for was the "Sky Show Hideaway," which has a difficulty rating of "3" and a terrain rating of "4." Now that the mustard plants are more than six and a half feet tall, perhaps the terrain rating should be changed to a "4.5."

The second cache, "Buster Groovedog's Entertainment Cache," wasn't all that difficult after finding a parking place in this very busy area during the middle of a work day. However, I didn't put my hiking boots on for this one and should have because the soles of my Nevados weren't up to the slippery branches I stepped on and I went down, hard!

The last cache, "Above Old Town Cache #2," also involved a bit of walking, and my legs could feel it as I climbed the steep hill near the Junipero Serra Museum in Presidio Park.

I've always loved this building, so it was great that the cache brought me back to this area again.

I had quite a bit of trouble locating the cache, and could feel fatigue seeping in, and the sense of "fun" going out of the "goal." During the search, I stopped to take a picture of this pretty flower growing in the shade near a huge log.

After taking the picture, I spied a face on the other side of the rabbit trail. It was a wooden Tiki Mask sitting on the ground. Because I went over to investigate it, I was able to find where the cache was hiding. Thanks Mr. Tiki.

The only other caches in my GPSr and my Palmie on the way to the Event Cache had descriptions, or logs, that made me decide to try them another day, or completely delete them from my current database. So, it was time to fill up the tank with gas ($28.00 -- YIKES!) and change into my non-caching clothes before heading off to learn something from the people who have been doing this a lot longer than I have.

At the event I saw names on nametags that matched up with those I recognized from the Forums and the cache logs. It was great to look at the name and finally put a face to it.

Great fun was had by all, and we learned a lot, too!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I get to go Geocaching tomorrow

The "Cachin in Fashion" event is tomorrow night, so I have a "valid" reason to drive all the way into San Diego. As long as I'm putting that many miles on the car, I need to find some Geocaches. So I did a Pocket Query for an area near the San Diego river, and a popular Virtual cache. I loaded those waypoints into the GPSr and put the info on my "Palmie," and then even printed out a map after putting those cache icons on the map page.

How did I do this before I figured out GSAK and Cachemate?

So, if I find seven Geocaches tomorrow before the event, the Event Cache will be my 100th cache. But, who's counting?

It is funny to read some of the Forum threads about the "numbers." If this was a truly competitive sport, I probably wouldn't enjoy it because I'm not a competitive person. That is not what drives me. But, that little arrow on the GPSr, and the numbers going down, down, down, as the distance lessens . . . now, that is what drives me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A little update on the Earthquake -- A topo

I have a really, really slow Internet connection, so it took a long time to download the topo map from TopoZone to see where they pinpointed the Earthquake.

It was less than three miles, as the crow flies, from my house.

No wonder it woke me up!

Whoooo Boy! There was an earthquake this morning

It occurred a little after 4:00 and woke me right up and kept me from getting back to sleep for a couple of hours. It was only a magnitude of 4, but it was nearby, and lasted quite a long time.

Here is the picture from the "Earthquake Site."

When you click on the image at the actual site, more information about the earthquake is given, including the coordinates. So, I just might put those into the GPSr and see exactly where it was.

Monday, April 11, 2005

I finally found an infamous SCC cache today

Rumor had it that the Sandy Creek Cowboys were very ingenious in the type of hiding places they had for their caches. So, today, after stopping by my cache to retrieve a languishing travel bug that had been idle too long, and finding two other caches, and not finding one other cache, my friend and I came upon Sandy Creek Cowboy Cache #13.

The history of the cache area was written up well, so just reading the description might have been enough entertainment, but once we got the the spot, I had to find the elusive hiding spot. Brilliant! I chose that as the cache in which to leave the Babel Fish Travel Bug, after allowing it to visit two other caches earlier.

All in all a great day, including a great lunch at the wonderful La Posta Diner.


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