After 3 months, I’m finally proficient at using my Garmin Oregon 400t & Nuvi 500 together in the field. I cursed my bad eye and began a day of urban caching in Camarillo and parts of Oxnard (my favorite unscenic city).
Jumpstarted by a McD large hazelnut ice coffee, I soon found myself in “Old Town” Camarillo. It was my first time there. As a muggle I would’ve walked around to check out the interesting shops. But there were caches to find!!
Haliaeetus leucocephalus (GCRGXH) was one of the very few “green” hides that I attempted. The DNF rate is more than 11% so I was lucky to find it right away. Continuing onward I passed through some BORING terrain!! The biggest challenge here was to keep from zoning out and driving myself off the road and into a drainage ditch.
A passing train was a loud and welcome distraction.
Some unusual airplanes flying around also helped.
I drove right by most vegetation hides without stopping, for the reasons I mentioned in a recent posting. Last year, 4 of us searched Almost a Lamp Skirt-Vegehide (GC1EPTM), unsuccessfully. It definitely wasn’t THERE then. This time I saw it immediately.
And speaking of missing, Granite & Water (GCKGH2), has been my Oxnard nemesis for almost 4 years. The first issue is that it’s an offset cache, not at the posted coordinates. I didn’t know that on my first few visits. Or maybe it was a traditional cache then and only later became an offset. On later visits I had very specific instructions about where to look and still couldn’t find it. I think I just happen to show up when the cache is missing. It eventually gets replaced but I keep coming back when it’s gone again.
The new Garmins REALLY make caching easier. My PC recognizes them as drives and I now cut-and-paste pocket queries as-is directly into both of them. The Nuvi gets me to parking and the Oregon walks me to GZ. It’s great to see green boxes on both screens turned into treasure chests (Garmin “found” icon) with each find. My Prius’ nav system is now officially retired for caching purposes. No more punching in coords on the fly for me. I finished the day with a personal best 32 finds. Megacachers laugh at me. But I start late, am a slow mover (like a lazy teenager, I’m conserving energy) and almost always park legally, even if it means a long walk to GZ.
Just before starting for home I stopped at a small decrepit cemetery that I’d seen in passing on previous cache runs. It’s for Japanese field workers who died early in the last century. A few of the tombstones are almost modern looking. Others are crudely made and weather worn. There are lots of plain wooden markers too, presumably for those who couldn’t afford a stone. I’m sure there’s an interesting story about how this place came to be… After I got home I saw on the map that there’s a cache, in the trees on the left side of the picture. d’OH!! I’ll get it next time.