If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Griffith Park

March 30, 2010

Last Tuesday afternoon/evening, I geocached in Griffith Park.  I ran out of light, but not out of the caches that I wanted to find.  Today at lunch, I returned for 4 quick finds to finish the job.

I parked in the Old Zoo parking area, walked a short distance and got October: A walk in the park. for my first find.  Then it was up the road for September: A walk in the park. and August: A walk in the park.

A View from August: A walk in the park

After August, I backtracked a bit to a steep “trail” that dropped toward November: A walk in the park. Then it was back to the car.  I barely had time to break a sweat.

Near November: A walk in the park--Where Bad Geocachers are Kept

At November: A walk in the park

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Blowin’ in the Wind

March 27, 2010

Looking for Touch my Monkey

Even though I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to make the full hike, I met up with the Geo Connection group at the Geo_Connection in Simi Hills: Part II Event Caching this morning.  It was nice to meet some geocachers that I had not yet met.  The wind had been blowing hard most of the night and it was still blowing hard this morning when we met before the hike.  Not a good sign for the hike today.

After visited at the coffee place, we drove up the hill to drop the cars at the end of the trail at the junction of the 118 and Rocky Peak Road.  Then it was back down the hill to the Las Llajas trailhead.

Blowin' in the Wind at Some View

While there is a cache at the trailhead, my first find of the day was Some View.  Not only was it some view, but it was some wind–I’m guessing at least 40 MPH on the ridgeline.  While stepping over an old barbed wire fence, the wind blew me off balance into the barbs.  Luckily, the barb only caught my pants and not my leg.

retrofit placed a new cache for us to find this morning.  It was approved just before we arrived–WRONG WAY to go to As Far As I Wanted to Go. We will log 20 co-FTFs on it today.

Where's That Monkey?

The Return Of Marrgate was my next find.  It was a container recycled from an archived hide–Marrgate–that was farther up the canyon, right near where Guardian Toad – Ivan is now located.  That was my last find of the day.  I had to wish everyone luck and turn toward home.

I’m hoping that they all make it off the hill OK today.  The wind is really nasty and the second half of the hike is completely exposed on the top of the ridge.


Griffith Park

March 23, 2010

Whenever I go geocaching, I try to have a plan.  This is especially true when I’m hiking.  Tonight, I went from Plan A, through Plans B and C, and ended up just going with the flow.

Griffith Park has a network of great trails.  Over the years, geocaches have come and gone, but there are a great number of fine caches in the park to fine.  My goal tonight was to find 10+ caches, most placed by mshock .  Molly has several series in the park, but I was going after the “A Walk in the Park” series today.

Plan A was pretty straight forward–park near the Merry Go Round, then go for the caches in a fairly linear order:  January, February, March, April, July, May, June, then backtrack to Upper Beacon and Calvin’s Crotch.  I got January in the parking lot, then headed to February.  After a little bit of searching, I found the cache and headed toward March.

Not far from February, I spotted the ladder that I thought was the route to DUDE,MY CARS WHERE? #1 , so I started up the ladder.  The ladder is access to a high voltage line tower.  Once I arrived at the tower and climbed a little farther up the hill, I realized that the car is down in the gully.

I didn’t want to take the iffy cross country route down and then back up, so I continued by climb up to the road.  So much for Plan A.  Plan B was now to find the remainder of the caches in reverse order.

Once on the road, I realized that even though June: A walk in the park. was only 100 ft away, it was going to require some extra walking.  The GPS needle was pointing to the top of the ridge above me.

While heading up the trail toward the cache, I was back on the main trail.  There was quite a few runners and hikers out today.  When I hike, I always say hello to the people that I meet.  Usually, I get a “Hello” in return.  But not today.  I’m guessing that only 25% of the people returned my greeting.  Perhaps it is because Griffith Park is an urban park and the people were too “cityfied.” It was just an interesting observation for me.

I found Henry’s Trail Cache on May 22, 2002.  It was my 16th cache–5688 geocaches ago.  It was nice to return for June: A walk in the park.

After I found June, I backtracked toward May: a walk in the park.  It was a quick find right by a nice overlook of the Los Angeles skyline.  I thought the trail to July: A walk in the park. was nearby.  It was, I guess, but it was over the edge.  No quick way to it.  The cutoff was behind me, so I decided to approach from a different direction.  I continued on to April: A walk in the park. and decided on a new plan.  I would use April as a hub and go out and back to get each of the nearby caches:  July: A walk in the park., March: A walk in the park., and Return to Upper Beacon.  It made for some extra walking, but I would be able to then get Calvin’s Crotch Reopens and then head to Lower Beacon II.

While the out-and-back method added some distance to the hike, I was enjoying the evening–the sights, the sounds, the smells, the changes in temperature and humidity on my skin as I would round a bend in the trail.  It was a great afternoon and evening.  [An rant, as OLdweeb would say:  Why the need to connect your ears continuously to an iPod is beyond me.  If you are going for a hike in nature, experience it with your ears, too.  Unplug from time to time.]

After grabbing all these caches on the top of the hill, I started down towards Calvin’s Crotch Reopens.  I had visited the original cache in April 2005, coming up from the Greek Theatre.  My plan tonight was to find Calvin’s, then drop over the side and take a steep trail down the hill.

Calvin's Crotch Returns

Calvin’s is located just off the trail, but, because of the recent rains, the area is really covered in a lot of greenery.

After finding Calvin’s, I couldn’t find the steep side trail.  I had climbed it once upon a time, but with all the green growth, I couldn’t see it.  I decided to take the safe, longer trail down the hill to Lower Beacon II.  By this time, I completed gave up on which plan I was on–probably Plan Z by now.

When I found the original Lower Beacon, I had to walk through a tunnel of 10-ft tall blooming mustard.  There wasn’t a sign of mustard tonight.  Perhaps a casualty of the fires.

I found Lower Beacon II without a problem, then headed to Overlooking Glendale.  By now, it was dark and the area around the cache is choked with grass and vines.  I got out my flashlight and explored for a minute, but Overlooking Glendale is going to have to wait for another day.

It was a great walk.  Somewhere around 7 miles.  1o finds, 1 DNA (did not attempt) and 1 DNS-GCBOD (did not see–game called because of darkness).  I enjoyed my “Walk in the Park.”  It was nice to return to places from my ‘early days’ of geocaching.


On The Road to Dough Flats

March 20, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a geo-adventure.  Today Wendy and I drove along the road to Dough Flats to pick up the caches that had been placed there since our last visit.

We started with a couple of 126 on the 126 caches–126 on 126:#29 Welcome to Fillmore and 126 on 126:#30 Boo-Boo Bridge.  Both these caches are on the busy 23, just south of Fillmore.

Then it was the obligatory DNF at GC1JEEG The End.  I’m not sure why I have a hard time with this one.  I’ve looked 3 times with the same result–DNF.  Our next stop was another DNF–Spring Loaded.  As we arrived, we saw two people, GPSs in hand, looking lost.  I pulled up and asked them if they found it.  Nope, they had just arrived.  We didn’t find the cache, but I did one better:  got to meet LustyPirateQueen and DMTNT.

We continued up the road, picking off the caches as we came to them.  No more DNFs today, just nice caches with some nice views.  The  hills were green and were sporting some nice wildflowers.  On the way back down the hill, we saw more quail than I think I have even seen.

I recommend the drive.  We found 20 caches today, but there are more than 40 along the drive.