FEBRUARY 21, 2011 – Ventura (beach)

After 2 weekends of desert caching I needed a change of pace. When fellow cacher T&A Divers mentioned a new series of beach caches in Ventura I knew where my next cache run would be. The geocaching.com map showed 12 new caches, The City Is Dead series, by turmoilmkr along a familiar 2 mile stretch of beach South of Ventura Harbor.

The page for a nearby cache Tossed to the Curb (GC2NQ1J) cryptically seemed to indicate that the way to the series was across the street. What I saw there wasn’t encouraging.

I’m more skittish than average about possible confrontations with security guards and angry property owners. Even though it looked like a short easy walk past the signs to the cache series and there were no workers in sight, I drove 1-1/2 miles south to UPS Ground (GCNHYX). There’s plenty of free street parking there and wide open beach access. Immediately I saw the rough water made muddy by the week’s storms. That’s Santa Cruz Island in the background.

This is the biggest feature along the shoreline. Whatever it is, it looks dilapidated. But the mechanical noises emanating from inside indicate that it’s still operating.

A squadron of pelicans flew by.

On the ground some strange things were washed up among the heaps of driftwood. The most common manmade items I saw were tennis balls, shoes, baseball caps and the occasional toy.

Seeing snow capped mountains behind the sand dunes while walking on the beach in shorts and t-shirt made me appreciate living in Southern California.

I soon ran into the “Snowy Plover Nesting Area – Seasonal Closure” signs and fence. Even though the closure period is listed as “March 15 through September15,” as far as I know the signs and fence are up year round. Maybe government budgets don’t allow for removing & replacing them every season. Fortunately for me there were no unfound caches behind the fence so there was no need to hop over.

My Garmin Oregon 450T’s rudimentary stock map showed some of the series caches in the ocean. That was doubly wrong as all of the caches were several hundred feet inland from the surf zone. There were some marshes, salt water pools and streams that feed and drain them. Navigating around or across them to reach all of the caches was a challenge.

Several water crossings were needed. Previous cachers logged getting wet and even giving up on parts of the series due to high water.

I must’ve been exceptionally lucky to find easy 4’ crossings. Water never got in my shoes.

The caches were a nice mixture of lock-&-locks, bison tubes, match containers and soda bottle blanks. All of them were reasonably quick finds except #12 (GC2NJZV). Ground zero was in the middle of a completely flat, featureless area. That’s my hiking stick at ‘zero’. There were 2 small dead bushes 25’ away but the cache wasn’t in them. This was my only DNF (Did Not Find) of the series. I think that the container was washed away or buried.
I headed directly toward the ocean to get away from the stream & pool obstacles and then turned South to walk along the high tide line. Lots of dead crabs were washed up.

The sand was littered with mussel shells, mammalian looking bones (seals, sea lions?) and there was even a lobster.

The last find of my 5.7 mile roundtrip hike was this shark egg sac.

Back at home I realized that I didn’t find #6! A quick look online showed that #6 is a multi-cache. So it wasn’t even in my pocket query!!

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3 Responses to FEBRUARY 21, 2011 – Ventura (beach)

  1. geocass says:

    Some lovely photos, makes me want to head to the beach. It’s a bit grey and dull out this way at the moment, but in a few months will be nice. Felt sorry for the little Teddy bear, he looked very lonely out there!!

  2. christine says:

    Looks like a beautiful day at the beach!!! I’ll have to go get those….but I’m waiting until summer so I can get a tan and hang out at the beach and read in the sun too! Hope you’re doing well! -Sissy

  3. chaosmanor says:

    That building with the tall stack is a power-production facility, and it *is* in operation. Water is drawn up from the marina to the south, and then is discharged into the large drainage that you had to cross. There has been a lot of controversy over this plant, as the CPUC has ordered Edison to build a “peaker” plant in the same general area.

    Also, You guessed right about the plover fence; the thing is kept up more-or-less permanently, partly because of costs, and partly to discourage people from going through the area onto private land.

    Neat shark egg sac 🙂

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