Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our first Micro hunt

Saz and I have spent all of our time hunting larger containers. We were afraid to look for micros I think. And the idea of some super tiny thing with just a log didn't sound appealing. Where was the fun in something that you can't paw through tiny treasures?

Since we are in the process of creating our own geocaches to hide, we only had a half day to search. So we decided to try a few micros and go look at a potential hiding spot for one of our caches. I found it during my daily walk and wanted Saz's approval on it.

Saz printed out a few caches to seek and showed up around 2 on Saturday. We stopped off to get something to eat and then set out on our very first micro hunt. We stopped at a tiny little itty bitty park and began searching. Funny how we noticed two homeless people sleeping away and were still stealthy enough to find the cache shaped like a fish and sign the log without being noticed. Because I live down the street I was kind of disturbed that this little childs park had homeless people in it. If they sleep there during the day every day it finally explained to me why I never ever see children in there when I drive by. That is just to bad.

Then Saz said... Micro's aren't hard. UGH shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh don't jinx us Saz!!

Our second cache was at a library. This one was a little tougher. Thanks Saz! After a bit of searching we finally found it up in a tree. Here is the problem though. We are short! It took some fancy ummm reaching to finally get it down and sign it.

We went to the next one at a school and after searching through bushes for over 20 minutes we realized that we were totally in the wrong place. After moving to the proper area we finally found the cache. Man this one was smaller then the other two but still not what we were expecting.

The next one however knocked our socks off. After walking back and forth along a fence line I spotted this tiny pokadot on the fence. It was the size of a thumbnail. Tiny. Somehow they were able to put this freaking tiny tiny little rolled up paper inside that I was worried to death we would not be able to roll back up after signing. I have tiny hands and this thing was tiny in my hands. Unreal! I hope we don't find to many more of those.

We found another that was just a log sheet attached to a magnet stuck under a bench. We had to wait until a woman got up and left before we could get to it. Not to thrilled with micros....

The last one we found was actually in a playground. I found that kind of odd. How do lone men look when they are searching inside a playground. It was weird enough two grown women searching but I feel sorry for men. It took us playing on the teeter totter and grabbing our inner child for us to be able to find this cache.

So we found all the micros we went looking for. I like the bigger ones better. I like the opening of the container and the excitement of looking at the stuff inside. Micros are fun to hunt but they are missing something.

Did I mention that Saz and I walked through a masoleum? Kind of creepy but fun too.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A dirty sweaty day


We haven’t spent a full day caching like this in awhile. At the end of the day, we were as filthy and worn out as we could be, and Hello brought home a nasty hitchhiker. A TICK! Gross! I’ve been told a large tan tick is a wood tick, and they are not dangerous, but the little dark ones are deer ticks and can make you sick. I don’t want to cover myself in poison, but I don’t want a tick either. I’ll have to think about this.

We missed finding two caches pretty early in the day (found some blackberry bushes and a prickly pear cactus instead), so we had a slower than usual start. We’ll go back to those, but we did find one down a path that used to be a railway. I think my favorite part of caching is finding these funny little areas I’ve only driven past without even noticing. We walked down the old rocky railway bed and Hello found the cache. We took two travel bugs and left a travel bug. We like travel bugs. We also found an apple, but no apple tree, so methinks a cacher left this area a little hungrier than he/she entered it.

We got another one at an ancient entrance to the city college. Parts of the college have been updated to look very modern, but this out of the way area made me remember what it was like when I was a kid. A woman wandered by and offered us some religious pamphlets. She was nice and went on her way pretty quickly. Hello found this cache, too, a really clever hide. She knew where to look as soon as we drove up, but patiently worked the numbers until she got there. We got two more travel bugs. Woo hoo!

We had a nice sushi lunch. Er, Hello had a nice sushi lunch, I had a bento box. They had a strange bathroom, a couple of big fake trees filling the little room and a huge wall mirror facing the toilet. I’ve never watched myself pee while nestled among leaves and branches, so that was something.

I was looking forward to one cache that had birdhouses nearby. It was at one end of a really long, long, grassy park. It was a beautiful, completely empty park. We walked along with our GPSes, marveling that no one was in the park when Hello suddenly stopped. “Listen”, she said. I listened. This park was making use of the strip of land beneath power wires. Those wires were humming and buzzzzzzzzzing in a really unnerving way right over our heads. We got the cache and moved along, and completely forgot to look for the birdhouses. The buzzzzzzzzzzzzzing was really creepy. So we ran off to the next one, which was also under the power lines! This was harder to find. We ended up visiting three different parts of this large park, sort of a giant triangle. The GPS was all over the place. I blamed the buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing power lines for my trouble. We found half of the cache container, the other half and the contents had been kidnapped. This was a really clever cache container. Too bad someone ruined it. But we did see a sculpture with creepy eyes and a nice dog park with a very happy dog galloping along, and another dog had stationed himself outside a hole in the ground and was extremely focused on it.

Then we got into some serious offroading along a hiking trail. We were up and down the trail, up the hill on one side of the trail, down the hill on the other side of the trail, looking for game trails in the long dry grass, collecting foxtails in the shoes and sticker balls on the clothes. A tree grabbed Hello by the head and tried to rip her hair off. I was having trouble picking up any coordinate anywhere and was all over with this one. I really like hunting along the hiking trails and big trees and bushes, but this was a toughie, and we were hot, sweaty, and dirty when we finally emerged with swag in hand. Well, we proclaimed, we got our workout. Then we returned to a previous cache that we missed because it had been muggled the first time. We like to go back for the ones we missed for one reason or another, and then we hit the drive through for giant sodas.

We looked for one near the entrance to my favorite creek trail. It was not on the trail, but on the sidewalk outside it along a very busy street. I climbed over the railing to check the wild side of the wall, but it wasn’t there. Stealth was not possible on the street side so we just gave the whole wall a good looking over, found a benchmark, but could not find the cache or a shred of evidence of one. It’s a really good hide or it got muggled, so this will be visited again another time.

Someone forgot to bring the park pass (that would be me, forgot the camera, too) so we parked outside and walked into a lake park full of BBQing families. How can we cache in here? It’s slam full of people! Following the numbers, we enter the park and then walk quite a ways past the lake, then headed up into the hilly walking trails. Ah ha! We were certainly getting our exercise today! Hello’s GPS took her in one direction and mine took me in another. She was up the trail on one side and I was down the trail on the other side when my giant soda insisted on leaving, immediately. So I moved a little further out of sight of the trail and hunkered down to pee in some long dry golden grass. It tickled lol. I heard Hello holler out so I went back her way and we sorted through the nicely hidden cache she found. On the way down the hill I managed to remove a small stick from my underwear without Hello noticing. She managed to find us a short cut back to the car through a hole in the perimeter fence. She’s my hero.

We ended up on one more hilly park walk. It was beautiful, but I was running out of steam, to be perfectly frank, so I didn’t do much offroading, lol. We got the cache, and it was lovely up there. The valleys are full of smoke from all our wildfires so the view was a bit spoiled. I’d like to go back this fall when a little rain will clean the air up. I’m sure it’s stunning, and the walking paths are in excellent shape. For our final hunt we went back to one we missed before near a music store. We still couldn’t find it. The GPS was having more issues with me. Hello was in one area consistently, and I was walking along one side, then it changed and I ended up on the other, then it seemed to want to go in the store, so I circled around to the front of the building and then it was happy, then the numbers changed again and FRACK I don’t know. I went back to where Hello was searching and before much longer we quit on it. It was getting dark, and we were filthy and tired out. So we went home, showed Mr. Hello our new travel bugs and made a plan to move them along.

I think the power lines scrambled the handheld GPS’s brain a bit, so next time it wants me to wander off I’ll just put it in my pocket and stay near Hello instead. Unless I have to pee.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The rest of the Grandma Trip

After we found the beautiful winery and grandma got her applause we decided it was time for the second cache. Of course grandma was all fired up now. She figured she could find anything. Saz and I kept quiet because we have learned the hard way that right after you start boasting you have a string of not found caches.
Due to the fact that we were in the mountains right next to a freeway we had a interesting journey. We would be traveling along and it would tell you to make a left... well kind of hard to make a left where a center divider is. But we finally made it to our second cache location.
There was this long winding sidewalk that led down into an old abandoned golf course. There were giant blackberry bushes along the side and every once in a while we would find a yummy ripe one. We walked all the way down hill to the bottom and started our search. Saz found it under a tree under a piece of concrete. Grandma had to hold the container and read the log. She told Saz that she had LET her find it LMAO!!! Then we turned to walk back to the car.
I have no idea how this happens. We walk a leisurely walk and then end up with a monster hill to climb to get back to the car. Grandma, Saz and I looked up and I know all of us thought oh crap! We truded up the hill in the boiling heat and were all tomatoes by the time we finally reached the car. Needless to say we needed full blast air conditioning to become human again.
After a wonderful lunch we continued on to the next one. By now the temperature was soaring. After truding along through mountains of poision oak on every side of us we decided to not look for that one anymore. We were all wearing shorter pants and none of us wanted to catch poison oak lol.
The next one was better. Grandma wanted to stay leaning against a tree in the shade while saz and I wandered down this bike trail in the middle of no where. We were searching for a ammo can. One of our favorite type hides. They hold so much stuff lol. I noticed the GPS said it was up the side of this hill. Well I am deathly afraid of heights so poor Saz had to climb. I'm pointing to areas and she is the mountain goat. When we found it it was so full! So there I am at the bottom wishing I was at the top stareing longingly at Saz with her hands in the Cache. We ended up rescuing a dinosaur TB and a boyscout travel bug and leaving a firefighting travel bug there. It seemed fitting since California is on fire lol.
After taking a while to see if Saz could get down the hill without killing herself we headed our sweaty dirty selves off to the last one for the day. You could see that Grandma was tired. We thought we were going to another winery. Start the day wine tasting end the day wine tasting. Nope. We ended up in a vineyard. I ended up scrabbling along the side of this cliff thing while Saz ended up in some drainage ditch and grandma sat in the car with the air conditioning. The cache ended up being on the guardrail between Saz and I so neither of us actually had to do the mountain climbing in the first place lol.
When we got back in the car grandma kept talking about how she stayed in the car to let us have a chance to find some caches since if she went looking we wouldn't have found any lol.
We had a blast and will be going again down here soon.
Saz just bought her new cache bag so we need to fill that up with stuff and we will be ready. Now... if we could just remember to bring some water lol

Friday, July 4, 2008

Saz and I decided to take a trip up to Placerville to show my grandmother what "all this caching business" was about. I went through caches within 3 miles of her house and printed out a few that looked fairly easy on terrain and larger cache sizes. Didn't want to bum her out if we couldn't find one lol.
We got up Saturday morning and bundled grandma in the car and entered our first coordinates. She asked question after question. What are we looking for was one of them. How to explain that every one we have found has pretty much been different. So we told her that it will probably look out of place. Quick and easy answer.
What a surprise it was for us to end up on a road neither of us has ever been on before. After all she has lived in Placerville almost 20 years now and I visit her at least once a month.
We followed a small side road and came to a beautiful winery. After Saz and I admired one of the more perfect areas for a cache we started looking with grandma. We got the general area with the car garmin and started searching. There goes Saz off in the distance. Why? no idea. She was no where near the search area.
With grandma and I in the general area we started looking around. Grandma turned to me at one point and said this is frustrating why do you like it. lol. Then she headed off to the other side of the area we were searching. Not 5 minutes later I hear "is this it? it rattles?" As grandma holds up the cache.
Here is where it got so cute. Up in the window a gentleman starts applauding. Congratulating her on the find.
Saz and I never got applauded before lol.
We took the container around a corner and I showed grandma how to open it. She was sooooo thrilled. Talked about how clever it was. I let her take the stuff out of it to look at. I told her she could pick an item to keep. She got a big smile and took a quarter. I put in a geocoin and handed her the bag of goodies we keep with us when we cache and told her to pick something to put in to replace what she took. Now it was my turn to laugh. She had to put a few things in. She was so proud.
We then let her put the container back and walked into the winery where we tasted a few wines. YUMMMMMMM I have got to go back and get that desert wine. Grandma bought a bottle that she said was for celebrating her first cache.
Here are a few pictures.
Grandma first Cache and Grandma and I looking at the log