...to find or not to find...

24 Nov 2007
9:33 PM

Group outing to Pelican Stink

A simple proposal for a cache hunt on the GBA forums mushroomed into an informal group activity for the day. The discussion started with TeamOttlet noting an afternoon low tide (-1.89 ft) as propitious for a hunt for Pelican Stink. Lots of folks began responding. I asked Dan if he wanted to go for the day, and fizzymagic had also expressed interest. The three of us decided to go together (I drove).

We met at 7am near the Livermore airport and made a quick trip over to the peninsula, rendezvousing with several others at highway 280 and highway 92 (workerofwood, kindredlaugh, geokashers, mjp303, and TeamOttlet). I logged my first cache of the day there at 7:50am. I logged my 33rd and last cache of the day at 5:54pm in Half Moon Bay.

We picked up a few caches along highway 92 into Half Moon Bay, got a couple up to the north along highway 1, and then several others in Half Moon Bay. From there we cached south along highway 1, arriving in Pescadero around 2pm, and meeting up with even more cachers.

Some of the crew at Pelican StinkThere was a good-sized crew at Pelican Stink. This photo shows only some of them. It’s quite a location with a cave which is only accessible during low tide. After a lengthy search, including one by the last successful finder (British Invasion), we gave up, the consensus being that high wave action at some point washed the cache away.

We did a few more caches in the late afternoon, including a nice hike into the nearby marsh, and a few along the highway farther to the south. As the sun set, we headed back to Half Moon Bay, where we picked up three more caches by flashlight.

The drive home was tedious—jammed up on 880 and 280, but we definitely had a good time.

21 Nov 2007
6:33 PM

FTF’s at Del Valle with Dan

Three new caches were listed last night, so I got a call this morning from Dan asking if I’d like to go with him to Del Valle. He was ready to hike down the hill from the free parking area, but I wasn’t, so I paid the entrance fee and parked at the closest lot. From there we hiked to all 3 caches. I truly got FTF on the Trail To Cedar Group Camp and Dan got the other two. It was a nice morning for a 3 or 4 mile hike. We also figured out where the Ohlone Trailhead is so we know where to start when we want to hike up to those caches in the wilderness.

16 Nov 2007
4:23 PM

Pleasanton Ridge hike with Karen

Karen and I took an almost 5 mile hike today from the Longview trailhead to the top of Pleasanton Ridge and then south for a ways. We found Fire Bellied Bush and then wanted to hunt Blue Oak Knoll Fortune. Unfortunately, the area was occupied by a number of horseback riders, so we moved on south to Antzzz. It’s at a huge fallen limb from an oak tree and I couldn’t find it, despite climbing to some awkward places. On the way back, we stopped to pick up Blue Oak Knoll Fortune. Wouldn’t you know that just as I started to search another couple showed up to eat lunch just 30 feet away. Nevertheless, a discreet search turned up the cache.

14 Nov 2007
9:09 PM

Brushy Peak puzzles

Having prepared by solving a couple of puzzles, I decided today was a good day for a hike at Brushy Peak.

I started with a search for Christmas in July, a very simple puzzle cache near the airport. It’s pretty poor--a plastic baggy for a container hidden under some low growing shrubbery.

The Sorting Hat in Brushy Peak is a clever letterbox cache with a Harry Potter theme. After arriving at the starting location, you answer a series of questions and follow the movement directions that correlate to your choices. In this way you will be directed (sorted) to one of four different final cache locations (corresponding to the four different houses at Hogwarts). I was sorted into Gryffindor. After signing the log I hunted down the other 3 cache locations just for the fun of it.

From this cache I struck out cross country heading more or less directly west to Tip the Cows and Solitaire Hike (both puzzles). This took me through a very enjoyable part of Brushy Peak--rocky outcroppings, scattered oaks, and good views. I only solved Solitaire for the latitude , but was still able to find the cache.

12 Nov 2007
5:29 PM

Sycamore Trees

I took a short hike in Sycamore Trees and picked up two caches, and then found another one on the way home.

While hiking, I got an idea for a nifty cache hide. It remains to be seen if I will actually develop the motivation to work on it.

11 Nov 2007
9:16 PM

Team Alamo Celebration

Today, Dan, Janet, Dave (of Team Yofa), and I attended Team Alamo’s celebration of his 25,000th cache find. We started the day by hiking (with a horde of other folks) in Bishop Ranch open space where I picked up 5 brand new caches. It was just a very nice day for hiking the hills. The celebration was held in the afternoon at Max’s, and I think the number of attendees just overwhelmed the staff. I think I finally got my order after a wait of an hour and a half.

Team Alamo has amazing statistics (for instance, he averages over 13.5 caches finds per day) that indicate a real passion (or addiction) to the game.

9 Nov 2007
8:53 PM

Sunol, on the trail of Venona

To retrieve a clue for a geocaching/cipher solving puzzle game the bay area geocachers have been doing the last few years, I hiked up the hill in Sunol Regional Park. Erstwhile communist spy Venona annually issues a challenge. This year he has stolen the Venonium 263 cache. The previously decrypted message was an image of a location using Google Earth. Someone matched it to Sunol and we had approximate coordinates. It was very close to Sunol Vista.

I found Sunol Vista easily, and after a short search turned up the clue cache. It had a single piece of paper in it giving a code word NEKULTURNY in visible ink and BELGOROD in invisible ink (UV flourescent). On the way back to the car I picked up Shari’s Birthday Cache.

3 Nov 2007
7:10 PM

Cayucos and Morro Bay

Yesterday afternoon was Aunt Opal’s memorial in Cayucos, so I drove down, picking up 3 caches along hiway 101 on the way. In the evening in Morro Bay I found two more down along Boardwalk.

This morning I picked up one while having coffee in the Top Dog coffee place and then hunted several just north of Morro Bay, none of which I found. Frustrating!

But I found another six along highway 1 and highway 46.

1 Nov 2007
10:23 PM

Over Sonora Pass

It was a long day! Karen and I drove over Sonora Pass to highway 395 and then headed off on dirt up to Lobdell Lake (a small reservoir). We were too late for the Aspens to show their fall colors, but this would be a very nice place for that. The road goes through a large grove as it follows a small creek up a canyon. I only found six caches for the day.

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