Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: 2006-06-04

Musings about Geocaching

Friday, June 09, 2006

A lot of mention in the Forums about logging "people"

So, I just thought I would put the Avatars of a few of the people I have had the pleasure of meeting here in my blog. They are in no particular order.

I have met quite a few others who never venture into the Forums at all, and a few who don't have Avatars, even though they participate in the friendly banter on a somewhat regular basis.

A 6.8 mile hike up Iron Mountain to find 11 caches

Yesterday I went into town for the first time since last Saturday. I ran a bunch of errands, filling ten gallons with good drinking water, getting some groceries, and, most important of all, buying swag from the One Spot at Target. They have some of their "camping" swag, including some carabiners and whistle/compass combos in the bins now.

I made my way back to the shopping center and put on my hiking boots, finishing tying the laces just as Jahoadi pulled in. I locked up my car and off we went, driving through sometimes-heavy traffic up to the trailhead on Highway 67. duganrm was there already, looking very different with a new, much shorter haircut. Soon finkbr and Team Adelos arrived and soon we were headed down the trail, just a few minutes later than our 4:30 meeting time.

At first the trail goes straight, bisecting private property, so you are not supposed to venture far from the trail. There is a cache along there that is locked up with a strong combination lock so it is a safe place to leave travel bugs. I found the cache last year with Princess Toadstool, but finkbr and Team Adelos needed to log it, and I had a TB to drop off.

We continued on the trail, in the cool fog and clouds, finding one cache and then another, each at just the right distance so we could catch our breath from the climb and rest a bit.

I didn't take any pictures because it was so foggy, but I can offer a picture of our 8.6-mile track as a illustration for the afternoon and evening adventure.

On the way back down the hill, my left hip and knee started to hurt and I slowed the group down quite a bit. finkbr was kind to stay back with me as I negotiated the steep rocky trail in the fading light. We made it back to the cars just at dark and just before we would have had to get out our headlamps and flashlights.

It was another great day with excellent company. Jahoadi was very kind to let me ride with her. Although I love the thrill of the hunt, it is the people I have met Geocaching that really make it the best activity I've ever participated in. As I said a couple of months ago, this is the first time in my life I have ever been able to play with the "cool kids."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The SDCET had another very fun day Saturday

The weather changed dramatically. It was hot, and was going to get hotter, so a hike was not on the SDCET's schedule. In fact, there wasn't anything on the schedule. I woke up early, but when I got the first email about doing something, I hadn't had my coffee and was not able to make a decision. I was prepared to stay home again and monitor the very-active Groundspeak Forums.

After a flurry of emails from TrailGators and duganrm, and a couple of cups of strong coffee, I finally make a quick route into and around San Diego on my Mapsource maps, used that .gpx file in the Arc/Poly filter of my GSAK database, and loaded my GPSr with caches.

I met duganrm in La Mesa and we continued on from there. Today's group was going to consist of TrailGators, duganrm, Team Adelos, and his son, Historia. Once we got together at Hazard Center, TrailGators took over all the driving, and for that I was very grateful.

Our "carpool parking" was near my "Hazard Center and Trolley Stop" cache. Finding that one was funny. You can park right in front of the hiding spot, but TG drove past the green-painted curb to the red-painted curb. So, he drove into the nearby parking garage. No luck there. So, he turned around and drove back out on the street, where, after a left turn and a U-turn, we were able to park in front of the cache . . . which had been moved.

No wonder there have been some DNFs on it. My hint is explicit: LA Times. But, someone put it in the newspaper rack for the Latino paper . . .

From there, we headed off to find a number of puzzle caches these guys had solved. I really appreciate being allowed to join the group for these hunts, because I sure can't figure out the puzzles. Even an easy one that popped up yesterday has proved impossible for me, so far. I've spent probably half an hour on it, working through the steps, and I still cannot get it.

One of those puzzle caches was one of Duncans! and it turned out to be my 1600th find.

After that, we headed towards Point Loma where we found two Traditional caches and one Puzzle cache.

While Team Adelos was struggling to set his camera up to use the self-timer, some people walked by and a nice young woman offered to take our picture.

One of the Traditional caches was hard to get to, but duganrm took care of that for our group. The other one was very well-hidden, and well-cammoed. I was happy to be the one who found it because it was a tough one we spent quite a bit of time looking for.

After walking back to the car,we headed towards Ocean Beach, revisiting some territory I had covered last fall.

When I was in the area then, the webcam wasn't working, but the cache owner allowed a "Found It" if you were in the area. I did that, but now that we got a real webcam picture, I changed that "Found It" to a Note so this one could be an accurate "Find."

We had to stand there for quite a while as Team Adelos' wife struggled to control the camera from her computer at home. We watched the lens look in our direction and then zoom away in another direction . . . Finally, she got the picture and we were done.

Now we needed to walk out to the end of the pier to find a cache placed since the time I was here. The foghorn was right near the cache and it was very LOUD. Since muggles were there at first, we walked down to the location of the waypoint for the OB Mystery cache. I don't know if the group would have ever found it if I hadn't been with them. Afterall, P.T. and I DNF'd it our first time looking.

Finally, they got those numbers and when we got to the other cache location, the muggles were gone. duganrm read the hint and understood it and found the cleverly-hidden cache right away. Now we just had to walk to the final location of the Multi, which was a really interesting part of the beach.

From there, we walked back to the car and then drove up to La Jolla so TrailGators could visit a classic cache for his #1600. Here he is after replacing the "Vintage Coast PB Jar," a cache that has one of the most spectacular views in the area.

We found a puzzle cache on that hill and I dropped off the Jeep T.B. I picked up in Colorado. I haven't logged it into the cache yet because I thought it would be a nice surprise for the next puzzle-solver and cache-finder to see.

The sun was getting low in the sky as we headed back towards our cars. We stopped at a couple of caches in Mission Bay Park, including this one I found a couple of months ago. When I was there, it was easier to see than it was for the guys this time. Someone had really hidden it down deep in the plant, on the back side, and not like my picture at all.

Nearby was a cache by Barbados Sam. I spotted that one right away, not something I can usually do with his often well-cammoed cache. While we were there, TrailGators remembered there was a waypoint for a Puzzle/Multi-cache across the street. We really had fun trying to figure out how to retrieve it. Richard was just tall enough to get the job done, and I think he did it without getting his feet wet. I can't say the same for Team Adelos . . .

Finally, at sunset we made it back to the cars, and the opportunity to eat. We had a wonderful dinner at Trophy's, continuing the camaraderie and conversation we had enjoyed all day.

After dinner, TrailGators, duganrm, and I continued caching, finding six more puzzle caches in the area. At one, we were run off the property by a Security Guard, something that is more likely to happen when you are searching after dark, and not something we were very happy about.

Finally, it was time for TrailGators to head home, so we went back to my car and duganrm and I headed back to his car, but not before stopping to find a cache I had driven past a couple of months ago. When I saw how "mugglefull" the area was, I wasn't interested.

We looked for a really long time for this one. Someone had told duganrm it was a fake sprinkler, but all the sprinklers we saw there were the real thing. Finally, duganrm read the hint again and wondered why it said "Not Magnetic." Something just wasnt' right about that. So, he looked under the lampost skirt, the place I started to look when we first arrived at the location, and the container was attached to the sheet metal skirt by velcro.

Finally . . . if I had been by myself, I wouldn't have even looked for that cache. So, I'm very glad to have that particular cache off my map and in my "Found" database in GSAK.

On our way, there was one more cache duganrm wanted to find, a cache I had found before, but one that had gone missing a couple of months ago, so I drove there. With only a vague reference to its new location, he zeroed it on it and found it right away.

It was a wonderfully-fun day, we found lots of caches, and didn't have a single DNF all day long.

Monday, June 05, 2006

New Keen People maps of my local finds and hides

This map shows the 64 caches I have placed around the county, including the Terracache, which is still unfound after several days.


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