FEBRUARY 22, 2012 – Scary Dairy (Camarillo)

February 22, 2012

3/26/12: Where’s OLdweeb? I’ve been stressed out, extra busy and writing Yelp reviews instead of caching. On March 31, I’m participating in the Yesteryear Still Here event (GC3BVMG) as part of team Troupe of Troublemakers. There’s sure to be a blog post about that. And in April I plan to take my semi-annual caching vacation, destination to be determined. That’ll be good for several blog posts.

I’d somehow missed a cluster of 26 caches that popped up in Camarillo Regional Park. Then it took 2 months to finally get there. With sissopolis, EcuaDeb and pianofab I drove to the park entrance cache Flood Control (GC2WQM6) where we were met by Foocachers (the elder). Immediately, I saw that something was wrong. My Oregon 450t displayed NO caches even though I’d properly loaded a pocket query.

We drove .3 miles into the park on an unpaved road to a model plane airfield, parked and started walking. In a few minutes we saw the skeleton of a 30’ high abandoned building. Note the row of openings across the top. If they were windows there’s no glass in them now. We took pictures and turned off on a side trail.

Deb beamed caches from her Oregon to mine, one at a time until the feature stopped working. So I just followed the group uselessly. It didn’t help that my 1 and only pen (I usually carry 3) didn’t work either.

We encountered 3 beehives on our hike. The most active one was inside a large metal tank. There was no cache there.

Many of the hillsides were covered by low lying cactus.

Lil Sucky Bridge (GC30GC0) is aptly named. It’s fine to walk on but I wouldn’t want to drive over it.

In one of the most remote parts of the park we walked into a collection of ancient playground equipment. There was a slide, steel barred “jungle jims” and “rings” that I hadn’t seen since elementary school in the 1960’s.

At this point my camera died with a “memory card full” error. Siss, who is used to calming agitated children, kept me from slipping over the edge into an infantalistic tantrum. So at the next rest stop I took the picture below, some kind of farm, with my phone.

I fumbled with unfamiliar camera menus but eventually cleared some room on the memory card. Farther down the trail Siss & Deb signed the log for a bipolar cache. I removed a snail shell that someone had stuffed into the crowded container.

We looped back toward parking and explored the ruins of what must’ve been the offices and maybe living quarters of the dairy. There were too many rooms to explore during our short stop.

The ones we saw were all similarly decorated.

Going back to the trail…

The final cache of the day was up TWO steep hills. Here’s Deb, Fabrizio and Kenyon (Foocachers, the elder) on their way up the 2nd one. Siss and me decided that we didn’t NEED the cache THAT MUCH and waited below.

Afterward we drove to Establos Meat Market and ate old style Mexican food. My asada burrito was the best I’ve had in a very long time.


FEBRUARY 15, 2012 – I am a Geocaching Liar!

February 15, 2012

Is this post about the time I found ET Hwy #1 and #1,500 then logged the other 1,498 too?  NO!  It’s about my OTHER geocaching lies.

More often than not, urban caching entails working around muggles.  Depending on the situation and your patience level you can wait for them to go away, go away yourself and come back later or start searching anyway.  You can search by stealth and hope that the muggle(s) don’t notice or try to mislead them by acting like you’re doing something different and less suspicious.  I’ve done all of these but on rare occasions my evil inner dweeb broke out and I told blatant lies to get rid of muggles.  The most memorable:

  1. At an otherwise vacant South Bay park, an incredibly persistent muggle sat next to a vending machine cache.  On my 3rd stop at GZ, I shouted, “watch out, a rat!” Then I told the bewildered muggle that a huge rat ran behind him into the back of the machine.  He jumped up, terrified, and moved far away out of view.  But I don’t remember if I found the cache.
  2. At another South Bay park, off trail in a pine forest, I searched a long time.  Muggles crunched through the leaves and got closer and closer.   Then I was surprised to hear female voices speaking Japanese.   Just as I found a superbly constructed cache container on the ground the muggles arrived.  Without thinking I jumped up from behind a tree and shouted “doku hebi da!” (it’s a poison snake!)  They ran screaming and I had the area to myself.

These events were in the early days of my caching career.  Now it doesn’t matter that much if I have to skip a cache.  So I tell fewer ridiculous lies.

Entertain us all.  Please write a comment with the biggest lie you’ve ever told to get rid of muggles.

FEBRUARY 1, 2012 – Wildwood Park, Lynnmere Trail

February 1, 2012

The Lynnmere Trail loop on the South side of Wildwood Park was one of the first proto-power trails that I cached as a newbie in early 2005. Ammo cans, TOTT-required caches, caches in animal figures and fake vegetables, I’d never seen such fun and imaginative hides. Except for a brief visit in 2008 I hadn’t been back. When I learned that 3 of my geofriends had NEVER been there we made plans.

We parked at Holey Poley (GCMP08), found it and walked to the trailhead at Fishing Pole (GCMP0B).

We went West on the easy trail. The view North was dominated Mount Clef Ridge. Some call it Montclef. I tried to find the caches across the top in 2006 but the terrain was too overgrown to reach the westernmost 2. Having become less adventurous over the years, it’s doubtful that I’ll ever go back up.

It was Mount Clef again in the background as EcuaDeb, sissopolis & pianofab posed. The temperature was well over 80 degrees. I would’ve been hospitalized with heat stroke if I’d worn long pants.

In between Mount Clef and the Lynnmere Trail is the most popular part of the park. There are 2 parking lots, wide open hiking trails, a waterfall (maybe 2), picnic tables, a giant teepee, a cave and an interpretive center. A handful of caches are there too. Note, that ‘you can’t get there from here’ without driving around the East end of the park.

A cache that looked like an old potato launched us into an esoteric discussion about the word “tater.” Fabrizio was fascinated by it but I advised that he’d sound especially ridiculous if it became part of his regular vocabulary. Far above any ground dwelling tubers there was a 2 on 2 air battle between crows and red tail hawks. They flew out of range so we didn’t see who won.

Just after the westernmost end of our loop we walked carefully through a sea of cactus. There were 5 more caches to the South and West that I’d hoped to reach. They were very close by on the map. From ground level it was obvious that they were on a different trail system. I’ll get them next time!

East past the cactus patch there was a small section of oak canopied trail. We spent a long time there looking for a cache in this tangled mess. I didn’t remember where I’d found it in 2005 and the tree cover caused our arrows to bounce erratically. Eventually the cache turned up in an easy to reach spot.

All the while a big fence lizard ignored us until SOMEone poked it with his ‘Orgon.’ (don’t ask!)

We crossed a residential street at Lynnmere Trailhead (GC1WQAF) and encountered a steep hill that I’d forgotten. Sorry siss, Deb, Fabrizio. At least there were caches along the top and the view was good. We sat, rested and ate trail mix and seaweed before crossing back to the original trail at Lemonade Bush (GCMP4W).

We ended the 6 hour, 7.5 mile counterclockwise loop hike with 24 caches found (8 for me) and 1 DNF. This was followed by a great Salvadoran meal at La Carreta.