DECEMBER 9, 2009 – Downtown Ventura

Lured by lots of new green boxes on the map of Ventura I drove 40 miles to get there on a cool afternoon. Plenty of free parking throughout the downtown area was much appreciated. I parked in a random lot and started walking in what ended up as a clockwise loop with a cache every few tenths of a mile.
Right away I was amused by the juxtaposition of the 18th & 21st century squares. Note the CFC bulbs and anti-bird top on the light fixture.
A few times a year I cross paths with Tozainamboku (Marty) on the trails. This was the first time I saw him during an urban caching expedition. He wasn’t his usual gregarious self so I left him alone.
Continuing eastward I encountered the day’s only filthy vegetation hide (FVH). The hint seemed to suggest reaching in deep on the ground. There were caches nearby in every direction so walking past THIS one was no big deal.
A few blocks south an Amtrak train sped by.
The beach was another block further south. Too many muggles were around for me to find the caches hidden there.
But the views were worth the ½ hour cacheless side trip.
After 3 hours of slow walking and finding only 6 of 12 caches reached (mostly due to muggles) I drove north on N Ventura Avenue and found some easy urban caches. The first of these was Ventura’s Gallery Car Wash (GC1V7Y2). The cache is in the front of a colorfully decorated 2 bay self service car wash. A walk around back leads to an impressive wall of license plates. If I lived in Ventura I’d definitely wash my car here.
RANT: A cacher named Puppy Dawg hiked through downtown Los Angeles. He left normal sounding logs for his cache finds but ended each one with a cache quality rating of stars. He rated most of his finds as “1-star= poor quality cache,” with a few “2 stars=below average.” I saw a “3 stars=average” on a virtual cache.

Owning caches in downtown L.A. entails significant planning, careful placement and regular maintenance. Puppy Dawg reduced all of this effort to the one digit equivalent of “SUCKS.” The lack of any followup is what enraged me beyond anything else in my 5 years of caching. I deleted his offending logs on my 3 caches. At least one other cache owner did the same. Puppy Dawg can re-log my caches, without star ratings, which I think are worse than useless unless there are lots of them from a wide assortment of cachers. (statistically: a sample size sufficient to cancel out the extremes on each end.) His comments about what he didn’t like are especially welcome. “I only like hiking caches,” “the locals scared me,” or whatever.


3 Responses to DECEMBER 9, 2009 – Downtown Ventura

  1. Thudpucker says:

    I rate that rant a 5 Star – Awesome

    Next time I find one of your caches I will make sure I do not put a star ranking. I do not want to be a subject of a Dweeb rant.

    I knew when I was in Ventura last that guy looked familiar. Now that I think of it that is Marty. He must have been under the weather.

  2. There have been various attempts to create a rating system for caches over the years, but the criteria is way too subjective. One of the best things about caching is that it appeals in different ways to different people, mostly due to the variety of hides, terrains, difficulties, goals, abilities, etc. Even the simplest hides require some thought/maintenance. I, for one, appreciate them all!

  3. Webfoot says:

    Add to that rant that if they didn’t like the urban caching in and around LA, then don’t go there and only go on the hikes in the foothills. Great rant.

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