FEBRUARY 23, 2009 – Venice & Marina Del Rey

February 23, 2009

Another dry & cloudy weekend… I went back to the urban coast, this time a little further South of nano-land to Venice, the marina and Culver City. Venice was jam packed as always and I was very lucky to yet again find an unmetered parking spot from which I walked to 4 caches.

This paseo to the beach definitely had a tropical feel, even though the weather was cloudy and only 65 degrees.
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It was too cold to lay out, but perfect for basketball.
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This was the view from next to Jenny & Peter at Muscle Beach (GCWF7Z). About .3 miles South down the walking path I found Jesus Rocks (GC1K77E) but didn’t see Jesus. (You’ll know when you’re there.) This cache would probably be impossible to retrieve & return during the summer when the walkway is a sea of muggles.

So far it’s the realm of made-for-cable, disaster movies. But after the great 2004 Asian tsunami no one is taking any chances.
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I saw more signs like this a mile inland!

While walking back to my car I COULDN’T pass up this photo op at a random intersection.
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It’s just soooo wrong on so many levels.

Driving South to the marina I stopped at Lil Kim’s Dirty 30 Cache (GC1EFAX). Somehow again, I got the 1 open non-metered parking space, directly across from the very unscenic cache.
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Unfortunately some REALLY GROSS objects at the EXACT coordinates caused me to run back to my car without searching for the cache.

A few minutes later I finally reached a familiar spot. For 25 years I rode my 10-speed through here from Santa Monica to Torrance several times every summer. I hated the aggressive skaters who tried to take over the bike path. Today I was glad to see that the problem is now under control.
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It’s a giant bird just after he finished off a skater. Mmm Mmm good.

I found Pacific End (GC10VYG) nearby and then walked to the end of the partially paved jetty. There are supposed to be 2 caches there. I didn’t find either one. Fishermen were guarding “their” spots near both. So I think that the caches are gone. BTW there’s an “ABM” at
Pacific Ballona (GC1BYAF)
. ABM? See my Dec 8, 2008 blog posting.
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I finished the day with a burst of 11 Culver City “numbers” caches and went home to write this blog. Thanks to everyone who hid these and the other caches I found (or didn’t).

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FEBRUARY 16, 2009 – Santa Monica

February 16, 2009

A break between storms left cool clear caching weather. To avoid the heavy claylike mud on most local trails I chose urban caching in Santa Monica. It’d been a long time since I’d been there so my map showed a welcome sea of green boxes. Many of them were hidden by prolific cacher Dooley, who like me, doesn’t place urban caches in FILTHY, WET vegetation.

Bring a fistful of nickels, dimes and quarters. You’ll need them to feed the parking meters. This doesn’t apply on Sundays or if you drive a hybrid with yellow state stickers. Santa Monica’s free parking rule for yellow stickered hybrids is the same as Los Angeles’. Of course, I didn’t know about the rule in Santa Monica until AFTER I got home.

I parked on this scenic street and walked to subscriber-only cache: BenH57 was the FIRST to FIND this cache! (GC1CZY9). It’s a good thing that these palm trees don’t produce coconuts.
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In 1995 I saw signs in Tahiti that read, “Every year in the South Pacific a dozen people are killed by falling coconuts. DO NOT sleep under these trees.” But the signs were in French and Japanese. Was it coincidence that the falling coconuts invariably chose Americans and Australians as their targets?

While logging many nanocaches on metal signs, I worked my way westward to the bluff top park above the beach. I was lucky to find an open, non-metered parking space in the middle of 4 caches.

From this viewpoint looking South toward Santa Monica Pier I went down the stairs (where I found a cache) and across a pedestrian bridge to another cache on the sand Beach View v2 (GC12NXG).
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This “in plain sight” cache was my favorite of the day. It’s ridiculously obvious to cachers but thousands of summertime beachgoers are oblivious.

An unmodified random picture from 100’ closer to the water turned out with a weird monochrome effect.
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The ocean was BLUE in real life.

Climbing back up a different set of stairs and crossing another bridge I quickly found an easy cache and continued northward to See the Sea! (GC1D2PY). A woman was searching the vegetation about 30’ N of were my GPSr pointed while her significant other stood by patiently. So I went to MY ground zero and sat with my GPSr. Eventually I heard the expected, “Have you found it?” but in a proper English accent, not ” ‘ave ye’gott-it” in the common speech of many UK musicians and celebs. We looked together and didn’t find the cache. I gave up and was walking away when she waved me back. She found it about 30’ S of (my) coordinates. Later I saw that it was her 4th find!! This demonstrates that experience ISN’T everything. It was nice to meet you, P3ters. (no, not a typo)

On my drive East and back to the 405 I stopped at a fun cache (name omitted to protect the surprise).
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Don’t worry, I re-hid him a little better.

Weather &/or work MIGHT keep me away from caching for the next few weeks so postings could be sporadic.


FEBRUARY 9, 2009 – Santa Clarita Valley (SCV)

February 9, 2009

Three days of rain dissuaded me from hiking because I HATE MUD!! So I took up Don_J’s long standing offer to act as a guide to (urban)cache through the Santa Clarita Valley. Eight of us were going and then the weather forecast caused a chain reaction of cancellations. So only Don, robb_dogg & me went on a 5-1/2 hour 47 cache run. Happily for us, there wasn’t a drop of rain until the last 45 minutes and even then it wasn’t very heavy. Urban caching isn’t very scenic so I took only a few pictures.

The old Newhall Jail, built in 1906.
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There aren’t that many places to hide a cache. But we still didn’t find it. Go Directly to Jail (GC1C95J).

The SCV is full of shopping center parking lot lamp post caches. I appreciated racking up the ‘numbers.’ It was still nice to occasionally find something different. We parked in a cul-de-sac and walked down a paseo (green winding walkway connecting different blocks of houses) to find a cache here.
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It’s Bridge to the Summit (GC1KTZJ).

One area that we passed through looked strangely familiar.
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“Little Boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of tickey tackey…”

Toward the end of our day we found Bird’s Eye View (GC1CD3Y). The only muggle was a forlorn duck.
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This is a rare civic sculpture that I like. None of the attachments are noticeable and the birds really seem to be flying.

My work schedule MIGHT stop me from caching for the next several weeks. So postings MAY be sporadic for awhile.


FEBRUARY 2, 2009 – O’Melveny Park

February 2, 2009

A string of new park & grab caches close to home and good hiking weather led to a Saturday split between urban and hiking caches. I met Don_J, tozainamboku, spoondoggie & his dad piquet at O’Melveny Park in the North San Fernando Valley. We left 2 cars and took 2 others to find 12 caches along “The Old Road.” One of them Yer Killing Me Larry (GC1KVMD) was on commercial private property in an area where any activity looks suspicious. But apparently Larry and Irwin didn’t give a sheet because they didn’t come out to chase us away.

A cache just down the road Old Road Nature Walk (GC1KVM4) was in a clearly marked “No Entry – Restoration Area.” I didn’t log the cache. I’ll give the hider the benefit of the doubt and assume that the sign was placed after the cache was hidden.

We backtracked to the Antonovich trailhead, parked and began our hike up the Weldon Canyon “Motorway,” which is a dirt fireroad.
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Spoondoggie & piquet signed a log while 100,000 rolls of camo tape moved North.

Don_J, spoondoggie & tozainamboku continuing toward the Sesnon/Sayer burn area to replace incinerated caches:
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During the day we variously carried 4 different ammo cans. They attracted curious looks and a few questions. I resisted the urge to greet those muggles with “Salaam ‘Alaykum (السلام عليكم).”

The Sesnon fire in mid-October burned to the western edge of the fireroad and the Sayer fire a month later came from the other side and burned to the eastern edge. The loss of a few caches is trivial compared to the massive damage to homes and the environment. But nevertheless we didn’t want to leave burned up caches as geotrash.
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I replaced 2 of my caches, including this one. Tozainamboku (Marty) replaced 1 of his and spoondoggie (Scott) CITO’d an exploded ammo can placed by a cacher who’s no longer active.

Parts of the area still looked like a marscape but vegetation is making a comeback in most others.
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It’ll be interesting to return here in a few months.

This is a view of the Aliso Canyon Oilfield from 100′ west of the trail. Vegetation isn’t going the reclaim THAT anytime soon.
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After reaching Mission Point, we worked our way downhill and found a string of new caches. I hope that the appropriate agencies take the opportunity presented by fire-cleared land to replace haphazard ‘use’ trails with better, official ones.
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Our hike started to wind down after 8 hours.

We found the cache at the burned out bridge
013109_bridge1and emerged back at O’Melveny Park.

MISCELLANEOUS: I tracked down the owner of the walkie talkie I found while caching in downtown L.A. over the holidays and mailed it to them. I received a $40. check as a ‘finder’s fee.’ No good deed goes unpunished so 2 weeks ago I accidentally left my Magellan eXplorist 500 and hiking stick at a trailhead. Oh well, it was an excuse to buy a Garmin Oregon 400t. I used it on the O’Melveny Park hike. It’s very intuitive but I’m still getting used to the change. Happy Caching!!