MAY 16, 2010 – stranded in the mesozoic era

Since my giant ant encounter in Nevada last month I’ve wanted to go back to the desert to see what else is out there. I woke up late on Sunday and decided that (Jim) f0t0m0m’s dinosaurian cache series in Rosamond, Kern County was the perfect destination. As usual, I was very disorganized and didn’t leave the house until after noon.

I’m always paranoid that I’ll take a long drive, arrive near the first cache, turn on my Oregon 400t and find that the pocket query ‘didn’t take.’ So I stopped at the Palmdale viewpoint to make sure that my Oregon wasn’t empty. It wasn’t.

After a quick stop at McDonald’s for my daily Carmel Frappé I got out for my first cache. GPSr in one hand and the frappé in the other, I had no way to grab the container or to open it. d’OH!! Reset!! The scenery was great. And at this point, my car was still clean.

I learned that California powerline roads are MUCH better maintained than those near Primm, Nevada. Note the wide flat surface, free of rocks and ruts. It was easy to park on the edge and walk off to find caches.

Because of my late start I’d expected about 20 finds. But they came much faster than expected. There were no parking issues and the coordinates were spot-on. I ended up finding 46 caches at 11 caches an hour. It helped that many of the containers were big ammo cans.

WEIRD: Most of the caches contained a flat magnet with a caricature of the former president of Syria, Hafez al Asad. WHAT’S THAT all about?! Photo from the WIKI and drawing = cache magnet.


A 4 foot (gopher?) snake watched while I logged a cache. It’s anti-camo was so effective that at first I thought it was a colorful piece of plastic pipe.

I’ve occasionally seen structures like this. They were each big enough to cover an 18-wheeler. Does anyone know their purpose? And yes, there was a cache very close by.

While pulling away from my 46th find in a very harmless looking area, I got stranded in dinoland. The car looks OK from this side.

Here’s the other side!! A 1’ high and 2’ wide mound of sand completely immobilized my Prius. I should’ve driven my all-wheel-drive Honda Element instead but, as mentioned earlier, I was completely disorganized. I dug with my hands (no tools) and stuck a tree branch (no rocks, boards, or other debris were found) under the tire but nothing helped. The car didn’t move an inch. It started to get dark and I didn’t look forward to hanging out with the jackalopes, chupacabras and other fun desert wildlife.

My new cellphone still doesn’t have any programmed numbers (I need to RTFM) so I reached help by a very roundabout way. Showstop (Tyler) & Candace drove 1-1/2 hours to tow me out, which took about 2 minutes. THANK YOU TYLER & CANDACE and thanks to UNCLEJON91, thedeviousmaxpower and also EMC for getting me in touch with Tyler.

I got home at 10:15pm.

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9 Responses to MAY 16, 2010 – stranded in the mesozoic era

  1. benh57 says:

    I think they stack Hay bales in those things.

    No AAA?

  2. chaosmanor says:

    Indeed! Those large structures are very common on dairy farms; they are for stacking bales and feeding cows. One thing I’ve never understood, though, is why the roofs are so high; they won’t do much to shelter anything from a good rain, or even from the sun. I grew up in La Mirada, near Whittier, and in the late ’50s and ’60s, those were a fairly-common sight, but the dairy farms were pushed out long ago.

    I believe that the snake is a Red Racer, although it might be a red coachwhip. I spent 15 minutes going through our books and on-line, trying to get a definitive answer, but there seems to be a lot of disagreement over the colubrid snakes. Thing is, I was out caching with Let’s Fly a few weeks back and we saw a red coachwhip, and it had a black neck, which your snake does not have. But there are several things that could explain that. You might send that photo to TRUROKR and see if he can ID it; he’s an excellent amateur herpetologist who has forgotten more about snakes than I’ll ever know 😉

    Glad you got out of that sand OK. I’ve gotten stuck a few times, and a lot farther out from civilization than you were. Was able to push our old Subaru out of one wash, but Sharon and the girls were along (this was many years before geocaching), so Sharon drove and I pushed. The toughest one was when I got a blowout in sand; not only had to dig it out but change it, too! I was on my own, out near Rainbow Basin and at least a four-hour walk to anything.

  3. the ruminator says:

    Did the dinosaur behind Showstop get him?

    • oldweeb says:

      No. It was a triceratops, a vegetarian. Congratulations on seeing it. I didn’t think that anyone would notice.

  4. not tom says:

    Now that is funny, comparing my caricature magnet to former Syrian President.
    Glad ShowStop was able to pull you free. That was a fun series to do. We did not see any snakes but maybe the snakes seen us. Be careful in the Desert.

    • oldweeb says:

      You HAVE to admit that the drawing looks like Hafez al Asad. Tom, I’ve only seen you a few times but I don’t think that you resemble al Asad -or- the magnet very much

  5. What? You went all the way to Rosamond and did not try my Queens High cache? I guess you will have to make another trip. The cache is on the other side of the hill from Rosamond. Taking the road west of there back instead of Hwy 14 is a lot more scenic.

  6. Thudpucker says:

    I thought the structures were a Rosamond Amish barn. When I had my little Kia I used to go through the Palmdale desert. Luckily I never got stuck.

  7. albackore says:

    hey, we were just out there a few months ago … I know that sand berm! and we did it with Elin’s Prius!

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