Thursday, January 31, 2008

50 Finds! Finally, A Milestone!

I've reached the half a century mark in geocache finds. This week, I was at the Marina Village Conference Center for some work training. I am in training to become a 6 Sigma Black Belt. That is basically a statistics based method of problem solving. Marina Village is in the Mission Bay area of San Diego. My classes started at 7:30. To avoid rush hour traffic, I got there early. Why not do some geocaching before my class starts?

On Monday, the first day of training, it was pouring rain in the morning so I could only dream. On a break I ran over to attempt a mystery cache. I believe I got the final coordinates OK because of some of the things I was seeing near ground zero that were mentioned in the logs of previous finders. I found things like a folding chair, a jar filled with an unknown liquid, some gold rimmed dinner plates and some random pieces of clothing. There are a lot of homeless people in the area due to the mild weather at the coast. The one thing I didn't find was the cache.

Tuesday was a much nicer day and I decided to check out nearby Fiesta Island. The island has a one way road around it that is popular for joggers, bike riders and dog walkers. The coves surrounding the area are popular for water sports such as water skiing, wake boarding and kite boarding. There are 11 traditional caches on the island. I started with a smiley on a cache that was an M&M tube tucked inside the top of a no parking sign post about 8 feet in the air. For my next search, I had to venture further in and through some very wet, very sticky sand. This was my obligatory DNF for the day. I made the find on a lock and lock container before heading off to my meeting. By the end of the day, the sand on my shoes had dried and there was a sandbox underneath my seat. OOps!

On Wednesday, I decided to take my camera as cover due to the number of "healthy muggles" in the area. I made 3 finds near the popular OTL fields. Over The Line or OTL is a game played with three players per team. One team hits a ball and tries to get it past the other. the annual OTL world championship tournament draws as many as 20,000 people to Fiesta Island. It is known for heavy drinking, rowdy crowds and half (sometimes fully) naked people. The center of the island is a giant OTL sandbox. Once again, I showed up to class all sandy. this time I was smart enough to bang my shoes off before going in!

Today, Thursday, I headed back to the island with 49 finds and 5 caches left to find. Find #50 was at Fiesta Island Returns Again. I made the find easily and signed my name on the 50th log to grace my grubby fingers. NICE! I then had to walk through a grass field towards my 2nd DNF for the week. The grass was not tall but it was WET!!! I didn't realize how wet it was until I felt the moisture soaking into my socks. That is not fun on a 40 degree morning with the aspect of 9 hours of classroom training ahead of me. I moved from this bummer of a cache to one that will go into my favorites. Don't fear the Reaper was an easy find and a cool hide. The cover is the shape of an old coffin. When you lift the hinged lid, a full size ammo can is revealed. Good times. I grabbed another parking sign M&M tube cache on the way back to the car. For some reason, I thought I was done and drove right past the final cache on the island on my way out. It probably had something to do with my water logged shoes and pants. This last one haunted me all day. I'll have to get it during week 2 of training in a month.

When I got to the conference center, I realized my pants and shoes were wetter than I first thought and guess what sand does to wet clothes. It sticks to it. That made for an uncomfortable day, but the caching was worth it.

I have now made 52 finds in 62 days. Not a bad average! If I keep this up, I'll be at 1,000,000 caches in no time!


Norm said...

50 finds in a very short time. Obsessive/compulsive??? Nice job. I'm going to write a post about the difference in caching in California vs caching in Minnesota. We don't get much caching done in the winter here, but you don't have ice fishing...

I checked out the "over the line" website and was very impressed. It looks like a clean, fun summer activity. ;)

Tinman105 said...

Hey congrats on 50! Does that make you a 6 sigma blackbelt of geocaching? Just wait until the 8 inches of snow that fell last night melts then I will gladly surpass your total!

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